21 Nov 2019

With Energy Prices on the rise, we should be more conscious about our use of appliances, both at home and in the work-place, what effect it has on the environment, and more importantly to some, the effect it has on our pockets.

One thing to consider when we are purchasing appliances, whether it’s a new washing machine, cooker, tumble dryer or TV for the living room, is the energy rating awarded to the appliance.

Almost all appliances are now at least ‘A’ rated. This does not mean that they are all the same. Models can be A+, A++ rated or even A+++ — each of which means quite a big leap in energy efficiency.

The greener the arrow, and the more +’s on the energy label, the lower the energy consumption i.e. the cheaper it is to run.

The current average unit price for electricity is around 18pence/kWh and the energy label can often help you to estimate running costs.

For example, an ‘A+’ fridge/freezer with an energy consumption rating of 256kWh/year would cost 256 x 18pence = £46 a year in electricity.

If an average freezer ‘life’ is about 17 years, then the total energy costs over that time may be around £782.  In fact this cost is likely to increase as electricity prices continue to rise.  So you can save a lot of money over time by spending a bit more to buy the most efficient appliance you can afford today.

We should also remember to switch off all unnecessarily electrical appliances and not leave them on stand-by. Whether its computers or monitors at work, TVs and gadgets at home, or phone chargers plugged in but not charging; it all uses energy and costs money.  Electronics left on standby can cost households an extra £86 a year.

According to MoneySuperMarket’s research, the most expensive household items to leave on standby over one year are as follows:

  1. Digital TV box (left on) - £25.91
  2. Multi-room speakers (in idle mode) - £19.66
  3. Modem (left on) - £5.64
  4. Microwave (left on) - £3.24
  5. Digital clock (left on) - £1.83
  6. TV (on standby) - £1.23
  7. Coffee maker (left on) - £1.20
  8. Phone charger (plugged in, not charging) - £0.27

 For more information on how you can save energy please visit our website at www.choice-housing.org/energy or contact the Northern Ireland Energy Advice Line on 0800 14 22 865.