Choosing Energy Efficient Appliances

When looking for energy efficient appliances for your home, you need to look out for the energy ratings label on appliances and consider the size of the appliance that you require.

How do energy labels work?

Energy ratings are generally given to products based on their size category. This means that two differently sized appliances with the same energy rating may use quite different amounts of electricity. For instance, an A rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £39 a year to run, whereas a larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+ rating could cost £51 a year to run.

It is best to look for the product which has the best energy rating and also matches the size you require.

How can I reduce my energy consumption?

Avoid leaving appliances on standby

Did you know that 49% of us overcharge our gadgets?

Even aaeaaqaaaaaaaabxaaaajdrhzjzkmwrklwrmogitngyymy1hm2nilwm2otc2yza0ytjizawhen a gadget is fully charged, if it’s still plugged in it could still be draining energy. Make sure you don’t overcharge your gadgets and do unplug them once they are fully charged. With some devices overcharging can also lower battery performance and ability to hold a full charge over time. Why not try using a timer? This is a great way to prevent overcharging while you sleep or manage appliances when you are out.


Older appliances and energy efficiency

Unfortunately as appliances get older they tend to use more energy. If you leave on an older appliance on, it will use a lot more energy than a newer, more energy efficient model.

If you have an older fridge or freezer, this may be draining more energy than you think… As the appliance gets older, sometimes the seal starts to become less effective. A simple way to check this is to place a piece of paper against the seal when you close your fridge or freezer. If it is difficult to remove then the seal is still working properly. If it’s easy to remove or it falls out then there is a good chance your appliance is draining more energy than it should.


When you are looking to buy a new appliance, keep your eyes peeled for the EU energy efficiency label. These range from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most energy efficient. These labels are now a legal requirement on many large home appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric ovens and air conditioners and are a great way to see, at a glance, how energy efficient your new purchase is. Also be on the lookout for offers, some retailers offer cash for old white goods when you replace them with new ones.

What should I do with my old appliances?

Electrical items should be disposed of carefully due to the nature of their materials.

Items which have the image of a wheelie bin with a cross on them should not be disposed of using the general household rubbish collection. These items include everything from large white goods to energy saving light-bulbs. By keeping waste electrical equipment separate from other waste, the hazardous substances can be removed and other parts can be recycled rather than sent to landfill.

Disposing of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

If you are buying new electrical appliances, retailers are obliged by law to either:

  • Take your old appliances off you for free in store.
  • Tell you where you can take your old item for recycling free of charge.

Many retailers offer collection of old appliances from your home, although they are not obliged to do this.

Alternatively you can take your old equipment to your nearest recycling point, or ask your local authority to collect your bulky items. Some may charge for this service.