If you’ve ever looked at your electricity bill and wondered where all of the power is going, you’re not alone. Electricity bills can be a huge cost, and the first step to managing them is understanding what appliances use the most electricity in Australia.
Of course, this will vary between households depending on your habits and which models you have. However, as a general guide, we have thoroughly researched the most expensive appliances to run and compiled this complete article on the most power consuming appliances in Australia.
Where is your electricity going?
According to finder.com.au, heating and cooling is the biggest power-guzzler in Australian homes, using about 38% of the total electricity. This is followed by hot water at 25%, and ‘other appliances’ at 16%. Fridges and freezers alone use up around 7% of your electricity.
So let’s take a closer look at each energy-consuming appliance, and which are the most power consuming appliances.
Air conditioners and heaters
As mentioned above, we use a huge proportion of electricity heating and cooling our homes. This comes as no surprise, as many Queenslanders will notice that their summer electricity bill is noticeably higher than its winter counterpart.
It’s difficult to survive a Queensland summer without your trusty air conditioner; however you can optimise it for maximum energy efficiency. When shopping for a new model, look for energy-efficient options. Clean the filters out regularly, and ensure that windows, blinds, and vents are closed when the air conditioner is on.
Try setting the temperature to 18-20 degrees during the summer, and 25 degrees in winter, as every degree above or below this can increase running costs by around 10%.
Hot water system
Hot water systems are one of the most power consuming appliances in any home, making up around a quarter of our energy usage. Try cutting down your showers by around five minutes to significantly reduce energy usage over the course of the year.
Furthermore, consider installing a low-flow showerhead, as this will also cut energy usage and save you money in the long run.
Fridges and freezers
Fridges and freezers are also up there as two of the most expensive appliances to run. As they need to be running constantly, it’s no surprise that they can make a significant contribution to your energy usage.
Energy consumption will depend on the size, capacity, make, model, and age of the appliances. However, Australian homes often have 600L fridge, which has an annual running cost of around $101 – $166.
When it’s time to replace the fridge and freezer, it’s worth paying more for more energy-efficient models, in order to save money long term. For maximum efficiency, keep them in a cool, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and distanced from the oven. Keep them clean and ensure that seals are tight and not decayed.
Washing machine and dryer
When we think about what appliances use the most electricity in Australia, many people’s minds go directly to the tumble dryer. Running costs will vary depending on how often you use your dryer, and which model you have, however they could easily be adding $100-$200 to your annual electricity bill.
The washing machine uses a little less power, costing around $70-$100 per year. As with other appliances, there are energy-efficient models available. Washing machines often have an eco setting as well.
For more savings, try to cut your tumble dryer usage by 50%, by using the washing line instead. Putting a dry towel in your tumble dryer load also reduces drying time, saving electricity and money. Only use your washing machine when you have a full load, and consider using a cold wash when clothes aren’t too dirty.
Ovens can be one of the most power consuming appliances in your home; however they vary greatly between different models. A powerful oven used for one hour every day can end up costing over $1,000 per year, so it’s important to look at the power rating when making a purchase.
Determine whether gas or electricity is better for your cooking needs, as this varies between households. In addition, you can make the most of the Queensland weather by using your barbeque, or indulging in salads and smoothies instead of hot, cooked meals. Try meal-prepping several meals in advance, to save on the empty yet expensive pre-heating time.
Dishwashers are another one that frequently comes to mind when we consider what appliances use the most electricity in Australia, as they’re not exactly a necessity. Using a dishwasher once per day on a normal setting costs around $60-$70 per year in electricity alone, not accounting for water costs.
As with many other appliances, there are energy-efficient models available, and you can adjust the settings to increase energy-efficiency. Try to only run the dishwasher when it is full and try to cut down a couple of loads a week f you are trying to save electricity.
Televisions can easily contribute over $100 per year to your electricity bill, however LED/ LCD models are considered to be more energy-efficient than other options, but you should always look closely at energy ratings to make an informed decision.
Watching less TV will of course cut down the costs, and you can also try turning the TV off at the power outlet when it’s not in use, as it may still consume energy when it is in standby mode.
Swimming pool pump
To complete our list of the most power consuming appliances in Australia, it’s the swimming pool pump. Of course, not every home has a swimming pool, but Australia has the highest per capita ownership in the world, and here in the sunshine state they are pretty popular.
The downside to having your own pool is that using your pool pump for 4-6 hours per day can add a massive $1500 to your energy bills every year.
You should always ensure that you are using the correct sized pump, as many people use a larger one than they need. Solar powered pumps are also available. Furthermore, a pool cover will help to reduce evaporation.