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The 5 most power-hungry appliances to run in your home

The most common appliances in your home are costing you an average of $400+ per year.

You're probably aware of your energy bills now more than ever following back-to-back price hikes in the last 2 years. According to our research, Aussies now consider it one of their top 3 most stressful expenses.

It also doesn't help that home appliances use an average of 25% of household energy with some inefficient models racking up costs quickly.

What common household appliances use the most electricity in Australia?

You can ease some of the pressure off your energy bills by understanding how much it costs to run commonly used appliances around your home.

Barring your fridge, make sure you turn these appliances off at the wall if possible so they don't consume standby power. Also remember to compare electricity plans to ensure you're getting a good rate.

How much does it cost to run a clothes dryer?

The average annual cost of running a clothes dryer twice a week comes out to be $130.34.

They're a convenient and fuss-free way of drying your clothes whenever you want, but the costs can add up quickly if you do multiple loads each week.

You may think of clothes dryers as a luxury rather than a necessity. Much like other luxuries like air conditioning they can balloon your bill. Clothes dryers can amount to up to 10% of a household's energy use for heavy users.

💡How to save

  • Use a clothesline or dryer stand to hang your washed clothes outside whenever possible and take advantage of sunnier days.
  • Can't dry your clothes outside? Consider investing in a more energy-efficient model if that's an option available to you. Alternatively, dry them in a well-ventilated area inside your home and place a fan in front of your laundry.

Finder survey: How many Australians consider the star rating or energy efficiency of an appliance before buying it?

ResponseFemaleMale
I sometimes consider the energy efficiency41.46%40.07%
I always consider the energy efficiency41.29%38.96%
I rarely consider the energy efficiency4.15%6.49%
I don't know what an energy efficiency rating is3.15%2.04%
I never consider the energy efficiency1.66%2.04%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1145 Australians, December 2023

How much does it cost to run a fridge?

Refrigerators are one of the most power-hungry appliances in a home and can make up 13% of your energy bill.

Those with a fridge and freezer combo can cost an average of $102.24 a year to run.

💡How to save

  • Don't overfill your fridge because it will struggle to keep all your food cool and consume more power. Avoid putting in hot food – let it cool down first.
  • Fridges are probably one of the more important appliances to upgrade, if you can, for an energy-efficient model with a high energy rating. It's best to have a fridge-freezer combo and have the freezer at the top as it's cheaper to run.
  • Don't buy a bigger fridge than you need.
  • Don't leave the door open unnecessarily and clean your door seals regularly.

How much does it cost to run a washing machine?

The cost of running your washing machine 5 times a week averages out to $90.31 per year.

Have a washer plus dryer combo? That'll cost you $72.95 annually.

As with any other power-hungry appliance, there are ways to lower running costs.

💡How to save

  • The easiest way to be energy efficient is to only put a full load on. This is especially true for households with oversized models.
  • Invest in an energy- and water-efficient model. The higher the star rating, the more you'll save. Opt for one with at least a 3.5-star rating. An extra star on the energy label rating can save you 25% of the washing machine's energy use on a warm cycle.
  • When making the purchase, ensure the appliance matches your needs. Bigger isn't always better if you don't need that much capacity. Front loaders are also more energy efficient.
  • Find out if your state government is offering any rebates to upgrade to an energy-efficient appliance. These can help navigate upfront costs.

How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

Dishwashers can cost $44.19 to run per year on average if you do 4 loads per week.

Using one can be cheaper than handwashing as you end up using less hot water. But only if you have an energy-efficient dishwasher.

💡How to save

  • Only do full loads so you're not running the dishwasher more than necessary during the week.
  • Clean the filters so your dishwasher is running more efficiently.
  • Use the eco mode on your dishwasher if available as it can help lower the wash and rinse temperatures while running.
  • Are you a homeowner and able to invest in an energy-efficient dishwasher? Purchase one with at least a 3.5-star energy and water rating.
  • If you have an electricity plan with a time-of-use tariff, consider delaying running the dishwasher during off-peak hours. Some appliances allow you to set a timer for when you want it to run.

How much does it cost to run a TV?

Households watching television for 2.5 hours per day can expect to pay $34.10 per year on average for their viewing habits.

It may not seem like a big expense, but the costs can add up if you binge-watch more TV during the week. Or if you have multiple TVs running at the same time.

💡How to save

  • Don't leave your TV switched on if you're not watching it.
  • Standby mode also consumes power, so turn off the TV at the wall when it's not being used.
  • Choose an energy-efficient TV if you do have the option to upgrade. According to the Australian government, a 7-star 55-inch TV costs $60 per year to run compared with a 3-star 55-inch TV, which costs $146 per year.
  • Remember, the bigger the TV, the more energy it'll consume. If you have a smaller space, it may be better to buy a TV accordingly to keep your power bills down.

Learn more about energy

Our energy guides can help you compare and understand what plan is best for you.

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