Energy-efficient appliances: What to look for when buying a new appliance


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The price of living sucks. It’s going up and up, and wages aren’t matching the rise. While energy efficient appliances aren’t a full solution, they can definitely help keep utility bills down.

By using less electricity to do the same job as other appliances, these smarter products help reduce the overall cost of running the appliance over time.

Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the benefits of investing in an energy-efficient appliance. Not just for the environment, but also your back pocket.

Understanding energy efficiency ratings

The first thing you need to understand when thinking about a new appliance is its energy efficiency rating.

In Australia, we have a government regulated rating called the Energy Rating Label to help us understand energy efficiency. 

This label tells us how much energy different appliances use. It’s a bit like a report card for appliances, showing how good they are at saving energy. 

You can find this label on things like fridges, washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, and TVs. It helps us pick appliances that won’t use too much energy and can save us money on our bills.

There are several variations of the Energy Rating Label, depending on the appliance its rating. The best way to understand the nuances of the different labels is to visit the government’s energy rating website.

Comparing energy efficiency ratings

When you compare appliances, you should consider prioritising models with better energy efficiency ratings. 

Understand the class of appliance you need, and then look at factors like price and the energy rating. 

While it may seem a bit more expensive to get a more energy-efficient appliance up front, consider the amount of energy you will save over the 10+ year lifespan of the product.

Breaking down the Energy Rating Label

While there are a few variations, the core of the energy rating label is a star rating, and a number informing you of how much energy the appliance will use in a year.

The more stars that appear on the label, the more energy efficient it is.

The Energy Rating Label for appliances is generally observed as a 6-star label. Some appliances also offer a ‘super efficiency’ 10-star label (if they have a rating of 7 or higher).

Swimming pool pumps have a dedicated 10-star label as well.

Domestic single phase, non-ducted air conditioners have a slightly different label as well, because performance varies depending on the regional weather. 


This “Zoned” energy rating label outlines the air conditioner’s performance based on where it is installed across Australia.

Why should you consider energy-efficient appliances?

Investing in energy-efficient appliances brings more benefits than just saving money right away.

It also helps the environment and the economy in big ways. 

By using less energy and cutting down on carbon emissions, these appliances play a vital role in protecting the environment and making sure we use resources wisely.

Save the environment

Energy-efficient appliances reduce the demand for energy resources and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

As we deal with the serious effects of climate change, it’s important to reduce carbon emissions as much as we can. 

Energy-efficient appliances give us a real way to do that. They help ease pressure on the planet’s natural resources and lessen the harm caused by using energy.

Save money over time

Energy-efficient appliances don’t just help the environment; they also save you money. 

Because they use less energy, you’ll see lower bills over time. Even though these appliances might cost more upfront, the money you’ll save eventually makes them a great choice, especially if you’re careful with your budget.

Long-term durability

Energy-efficient appliances are usually made to last longer and need less fixing. That means they’ll stick around for a while and won’t need much maintenance. 

Manufacturers focus on making them energy efficient, which saves power and makes them more reliable. 

Because they last longer, we don’t need to throw them away as often, which helps reduce waste and saves resources. 

Government incentives and rebates

Government and utility companies regularly give rewards and discounts to encourage people to use energy-efficient appliances. 

These rewards can come in different forms, like tax rebates, money-back offers at retail, or even cheap financing options. 

How to choose an energy-efficient appliance

When picking energy-efficient appliances, it’s essential to think carefully and learn about different things like their size, features, and how much energy they use. 

By understanding these factors, you can choose appliances that save energy and fit your needs and budget.

Consider how much energy it uses

When selecting energy-efficient appliances, one key thing to think about is how much energy they use. Energy efficiency ratings, like the Energy Rating label, provide you valuable information about how well an appliance saves energy. 

It’s a good idea to pick models with higher energy efficiency ratings because they usually use less energy and cost less to run over time.

Pick the right size and capacity for your needs

The size and capacity of an appliance are also important for its energy efficiency. You should pick appliances that match your household’s needs. 

If an appliance is too big, it might use more energy than necessary. On the other hand, if it’s too small, it might not work efficiently. 

Selecting the right size helps you save energy and reduce waste.

Pick the appropriate features and functions

While energy efficiency is crucial, it’s also essential to look at the features and functions of different appliance models. 

Some advanced features, like temperature controls and timers, can help improve energy efficiency and how well the appliance works. 

But it’s essential to balance these features with how much energy they use and how much they cost.

Compare different brands and models

There are many brands and models of appliances available, each with its features, energy efficiency ratings, and prices. 

It’s a good idea to research and compare different options to find appliances that suit your needs and preferences. 

Reading online appliance reviews and checking consumer reports can help you learn more about how well appliances perform.

Budget carefully

While energy efficiency is important, you should also think about your budget when choosing appliances. 

Energy-efficient models may cost more upfront, but they often save you money on energy bills eventually. 

It’s essential to consider both the upfront cost and the potential savings over time to make sure you’re getting good value for your money.


  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

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