Upgrade and save – the importance of energy efficiency

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians spend more on utilities than ever before with the latest survey showing one of the biggest increases in household expenditure has been on energy bills, up 26 per cent.

In my job, I get the opportunity to talk to lots of different technology customers and when they discuss their reasons for upgrading their household technology, such as fridges and TVs, the most popular reason is the current one no longer works. When they provide reasons for choosing their new product, I hear price, design and features all mentioned. This is somewhat puzzling given Australians are increasingly concerned by the dollar figure on their energy bill.

Today’s household appliances like TVs and fridges use far less electricity than comparable models that could be purchased even five years ago. When manufacturers release new products, they not only work to improve the design and the features, but also the efficiency of operation. The improvements on power efficiency can be significant and save you hundreds of dollars.

Earlier this year I investigated this with A Current Affair, looking into the power efficiency of old TVs, compared with new TVs and how this translates to cost of operation. We looked at small and large sizes, models with 5-star energy efficiency ratings and also a Hisense model with a 7-star super energy efficiency rating. One 46-inch TV that was around seven years old used more electricity than the 75-inch Hisense Series 8 ULED TV that is on sale now. Looking at their performance and electricity prices, it is possible to save $150 a year simply by purchasing a new TV with a higher efficiency rating.

When shopping for a fridge, energy efficiency is even more important. Research shows fridges are the highest energy users in the home. This isn’t exactly surprising given a fridge runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An energy efficient compressor motor can save big money over the life of the product. Over the course of 10 years, this saving can be as much as $300 per year by purchasing a more energy efficient fridge energy efficient fridge with more features. As such, you ideally want to choose a fridge that is engineered for efficiency; a great example is the Hisense Bottom Mount Silver 453L Fridge.

What’s important to remember is that the less energy efficient a product is, the more likely you’ll pay for it in the long run. Based on my experience, it often pays to upgrade, so be sure to look out for energy ratings next time you visit a retailer.