Media Release

Price versus planet: Aussies favour cheap appliances over energy efficiency

  • 41% don’t even consider energy rating
  • Baby Boomers are the most energy conscious
  • How to save money when purchasing appliances

26 July 2018, Sydney, Australia – Almost eight million Australians don’t rate energy efficiency when buying new appliances, a new survey by has revealed.

Two fifths (41%) of Australian adults – equivalent to 7.8 million people – did not even consider the energy rating when choosing a new appliance.

The top three priorities Australians listed were price at 88%, brand reputation at 63% and features at 60%.

Angus Kidman, editor-in-chief at, said Australian households are missing out on potential savings by not considering the energy efficiency rating of new appliances.

“Don’t be dazzled by cheap prices – a power-hungry appliance can end up costing you much more in electricity in the long run,” he said.

“For instance, a more energy-efficient dryer can save you $1,000 over 10 years, so it’s worth spending more.”

Of the 2,085 respondents surveyed, Baby Boomers are the most energy-conscious generation with 73% considering an appliance’s energy rating versus 60% of Gen X, 47% of Gen Y and 43% of Gen Z.

It’s hardly surprising Australians consider the initial outlay above all else, said Mr Kidman.

“It’s no surprise that Aussies base their purchase decision on the up-front cost. When you're comparing it can be hard to see past a low price tag or a snazzily-designed appliance.”

“It’s not essential to spend big to get a higher energy rating. Some of the cheaper options are surprisingly energy efficient.”

“By switching your household to energy-efficient appliances you’ll save on average around $380 a year off your energy bill – that’s almost $4,000 in bill savings over 10 years. Even after factoring in appliance costs, you could easily be ahead almost $2,000.”

The survey showed 64% of men placed energy rating in their list of criteria when choosing an appliance, compared to 53% of women.

Perth households placed the biggest priority on energy efficiency (at 63%), compared with only 55% of those from Melbourne and Sydney.

Warranty, design, reviews and delivery matters to fewer than half of Australians.

Is an energy efficient clothes dryer worth it?

Energy ratingCost of applianceAnnual running costTotal ownership cost (over 10 years)

Tips for purchasing appliances

1. The newer the model the cheaper it is to run
As with smartphones and vacuums, home appliances are constantly being redesigned and updated to perform more efficiently. Generally, the newer the model, the more energy efficient it will be. For example, a 20 year old dryer will use more electricity than most of the new models in stores today.

2. Meet in the middle
If you want to see real savings it’s better to opt for an appliance with a relatively high energy rating but that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. It might not have the highest energy rating but at least it’s saving you a little off your electricity bill, and you don’t have the added stress of an expensive outright payment. In most cases, this will end up cheaper over a time period of 10 years.

3. Use the app
An easy way to figure out your best option is by downloading the government's energy rating label app. It allows you to compare products side by side to see which one is going to give you the most savings.


For further information


The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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