Utilising Energy Efficient Appliances

Utilising Energy Efficient Appliances

While installing solar panels is a fantastic move towards sustainability, there’s more you can do to amplify your energy efficiency.

One of the major sources of energy wastage in homes is outdated appliances. Thankfully, modern appliances are engineered to use up to 30-50% less energy than their traditional counterparts. While there’s an initial investment upgrading your old appliances, the benefits in terms of energy savings are quickly realised. For instance, an energy-efficient washing machine could save you about $50 per year in electricity costs compared to a traditional model.

By upgrading, you’re not just saving on appliance-related energy costs; you’re maximise the benefits of your solar energy system. Energy-efficient appliances draw less power, allowing you to rely less on grid electricity and generate more surplus solar energy. This surplus can be stored in batteries for later use or fed back into the grid.

And while you’re saving money and boosting your solar ROI, you’re also doing good for the planet. Using less electricity means reducing your carbon footprint, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle.

And let’s not forget—you’ll enjoy the perks of owning high-performance home appliances!

Calculating The Benefit

When homeowners decide to invest in energy-efficient appliances, the most tangible benefit they experience is the reduction in their electricity bills. To illustrate this, let’s delve into an example comparing an old air conditioner with a new, energy-efficient model:

Old Air Conditioner:

  • Consumption: 5kW per hour.
  • Daily Use (8 hours): 40kWh.
  • Monthly Use (assuming 30 days): 1,200kWh.

New Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner:

  • Consumption: 3kW per hour.
  • Daily Use (8 hours): 24kWh.
  • Monthly Use: 720kWh.

By switching to the energy-efficient model, a homeowner would save 480kWh each month. Given the average electricity price of around 30c/kWH in Australia, this reduction in consumption can lead to a notable decrease of $144 in the monthly electricity bill.

If the air conditioner cost to buy new was $1,100 – it would take just over 7 months to pay for the new system out of energy savings.

Furthermore, energy-efficient appliances not only save money but also conserve essential resources like water and energy, enhancing the benefits of a solar-powered home and contributing to a more sustainable living environment.

Types Of Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are not only about advanced technology but also about optimising power usage to deliver the best performance. When compared to their older counterparts, the difference in energy consumption can be stark. Here’s some of the appliances that can be replaced with energy-efficient versions:

  • Refrigerators and freezers: Older models, designed without today’s energy-saving technologies, can run continuously, consuming a significant portion of a household’s energy. Upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient refrigerator can dramatically reduce this consumption.
  • Washing machines and dryers: While a washing machine might last up to 25 years, it doesn’t mean it remains efficient throughout its lifespan. Older washing machines and dryers tend to use more water and power, making newer energy-efficient models a wiser choice for both the environment and your wallet.
  • Dishwashers: Traditional dishwashers might use excess water and run longer cycles. In contrast, contemporary energy-efficient dishwashers are designed to maximise cleaning with minimal resources.
  • Air Conditioners: Older air conditioners can be significant energy guzzlers, particularly if they’re not well-maintained. Modern air conditioners are engineered to provide optimal cooling with much less energy use.
  • Heaters and Heat Pumps: Traditional heaters can consume a lot of power. On the other hand, modern heaters and especially heat pumps are highly efficient. Heat pumps are unique in that they transfer heat, providing a dual solution for heating and cooling your home with less energy expenditure.
  • Ovens and cooktops: While an old oven might still roast or bake, it could be using more energy than necessary. Modern, energy-efficient ovens and cooktops are designed to heat up quickly and maintain temperature with minimal energy loss.
  • Pool and spa pumps & heaters: Traditional pool pumps and pool heaters can be one of the highest energy consumers in homes with pools. They often run longer than necessary and at speeds higher than needed. Upgrading to a newer, variable-speed pump can lead to significant energy and cost savings.
  • Lawn mowers: Traditional petrol lawn mowers not only emit greenhouse gases but also consume more energy. Switching to an energy-efficient electric mower can significantly reduce energy consumption, and when powered by solar energy, it further accentuates the benefits of a green, efficient garden maintenance routine.

By understanding the inefficiencies of older appliances and the advantages of modern energy-efficient alternatives, homeowners can make informed decisions that benefit both their energy bills and the environment, especially when paired with a solar energy system.

Choosing the Right Energy-Efficient Appliances

Selecting the most suitable energy-efficient appliance for your home goes beyond just looking for the ‘energy-efficient’ label. It’s about understanding the specific needs of your household and ensuring the appliance aligns with them. Here are some pointers to guide your decision:

  1. Energy Rating Label: In Australia, the Energy Rating Label provides crucial information about the energy consumption of an appliance. The more stars on the label, the more energy-efficient the appliance is. When shopping, compare these labels across different models to find the one that offers the best efficiency for its price range.
  2. Understand Your Usage: Before investing in a new appliance, assess how often and for what duration you’ll use it. For instance, if you frequently use an air conditioner, investing in the most energy-efficient model will yield higher savings in the long run.
  3. Brands Matter: When it comes to appliances, certain brands have built a reputation for producing high-quality, energy-efficient products. It’s beneficial to conduct research or consult with experts in the appliance field to identify brands known for their energy-saving performance.
  4. Consider Longevity: While energy-efficient appliances might have a higher upfront cost, they often have longer lifespans and require less maintenance. This means fewer replacements and repairs, leading to savings in the long term.

Government Rebates and Incentives

One of the encouraging aspects of transitioning to energy-efficient appliances in Australia is the support from the government in the form of rebates and incentives. These financial incentives are designed to reduce the upfront costs, making it more accessible for homeowners to make the switch.

Various state and federal programs offer rebates to homeowners who purchase and install energy-efficient appliances. These rebates can significantly offset the initial investment, making it more cost-effective in the short term.

For example, in Queensland the government offers a Climate Smart Energy Savers rebate for eligible Queenslanders who replace old appliances with 4 star-rated (or higher) energy-efficient appliances and hot water systems:

From time to time, local councils or state governments may also run special programs or initiatives promoting the adoption of energy-efficient appliances, offering further incentives or discounts. Check out your state government website to find out more about what rebates and incentives are available to you.


The journey to a more energy-efficient home extends beyond the installation of solar panels. While solar energy plays a pivotal role in reducing energy costs and promoting sustainability, energy-efficient appliances complement this effort, offering homeowners a comprehensive approach to energy conservation. By understanding the inefficiencies of older appliances and recognising the benefits of modern, energy-efficient alternatives, homeowners can achieve significant energy and cost savings.