Whether it's cooking our food, washing our
clothes, or keeping us entertained at night, electricity is needed for all
aspects of modern life. Power bills are a huge expense for most people, with
domestic appliances accounting for 33 percent of all household energy
consumption. Other big contributors include water and cooling at 40 percent,
and water heating at 21 percent. Electricity is charged in kilowatts per hour
(kWh) units, with some appliances much more expensive to run than others. Let's
take a look at some of the best, and some of the worst offenders.
The kitchen is home to many of the biggest
energy drainers, with the refrigerator/freezer and oven standing out as the
most demanding appliances. While modern fridges can be quite economical,
they're also in operation 24 hours a day. According to the YourHome website
produced by the Australian Government, the fridge/freezer accounts for 18
percent of all energy consumed by household appliances. Even a small fridge
with a four-star energy rating is likely to cost over $100 a year to run.
Your oven is another potential energy
guzzler, with a large 8.7kW oven used for an hour a day costing over $1,000 a
year to run. While cooking appliances account for just 15 percent of energy
consumed by household appliances, this number is low due to the amount of gas
ovens in circulation. If you do have an electric oven, it's important to use
pots with lids and keep the oven door closed to ensure greater energy
efficiency. Surprisingly, dishwashers and microwaves account for just 2 percent
of the energy consumed by household appliances each.
The laundry is another place where domestic
appliances run supreme, although they don't consume as much energy as you might
think. Thanks to infrequent use and more efficient design, washing machines and
clothes dryers account for just 2 percent of overall appliance consumption
each. While large families and extended households are likely to use much more
than that, the laundry is one of the most energy efficient rooms when it comes
to appliances. This figure can be deceiving, however, with hot water washes
also contributing to water heating costs, which account for 21 percent of all
household energy usage.
Whether it's in your lounge room, your
family room, or your bedroom, the humble TV is one of the worst offenders when
it comes to energy usage. While the exact numbers vary considerably depending
on the size of your TV and whether you have a plasma or LED/LCD model, the TV
is the single worst offender of any household appliance. According to YourHome,
TVs account for 19 percent of all energy consumed by household appliances, with
other home entertainment equipment consuming an additional 5 percent.
There are lots of things you can do to
reduce your energy usage, some of which can save you hundreds or thousands of
dollars each year. Turning off appliances instead of leaving them on stand-by
is a great way to save, with overall stand-by consumption accounting for 10
percent of all energy consumed by appliances. The careful selection of
appliances in terms of size and energy usage can also help you to save money
and reduce your environmental impact without compromising your lifestyle.
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