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Estimate running costs of appliances and technology
Running costs can add up over the life of a product so it's a good idea to calculate the running costs of your appliances. If you're choosing a new appliance this will help determine the real cost of the product over its lifetime. For products you already have at home, find out which ones are costing the most to run and aim to use them as efficiently as possible.
Appliances can account for up to 30% of home energy use. As our reliance on appliances and technology increases, buying energy-efficient appliances becomes more important.
- Find out the real cost of an appliance over its lifetime
- Identify the biggest energy users in your home
- Make better informed purchasing decisions
- Save energy and money by choosing energy-efficient products and using them more efficiently
At a glance
- Savings 2
- Ease 3
- Impact 2
To estimate how much an electric appliance with a star rating will cost to run each year, multiply the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) a year (the number on the Energy Rating Label) by your electricity rate. Electricity rates vary depending on where you live. The rate you pay will be on your electricity bill. If you don't have a bill handy, contact your energy supplier or visit their website to check.
The following examples use a rate of $0.2855 (28.55 cents) a kWh as an estimate of electricity costs a unit. Electricity is usually measured in watts. A kilowatt (kW) equals 1,000 watts (W).
- a TV (55" or 140cm screen size) with a 7-star label of 213kWh a year × $0.2855 can cost around $61 a year to run
- a TV (55" or 140cm screen size) with a 3-star label of 520kWh a year × $0.2855 can cost around $148 a year to run
To estimate the lifetime running cost of an appliance or television, multiply the annual cost by 10 years (the average lifespan of most major appliances before they need replacing).
In this scenario, choosing the more energy-efficient television could save you $876 over a 10-year period. This may exceed any saving made on the original purchase price.
The crucial steps to reducing electricity consumption are identifying how much energy you're currently using and looking at usage habits. Once you work out which appliances are having the greatest impact on your bills, it becomes easier to use appliances efficiently and also to buy energy-efficient appliances to reduce energy consumption.
Estimate the running cost of new or existing appliances and technology by following a simple calculation.
Using a portable electric heater as an example:
Find out how much you pay a unit of electricity.
This information will be on your electricity bill. If you don't have a bill handy, contact your energy supplier or visit their website to check.
Find out how much input power the product uses in kilowatts (kW).
The 'input' power is usually marked on the packaging or in the manufacturer's information in 'watts' (W).
2,000W of electricity: 2,000W÷1,000 = 2kW
Estimate hourly running cost.
Multiply the input power in kW by the price of your electricity a kilowatt hour (kWh).
2kW×$0.2855c a kWh = $0.571 an hour
Estimate daily running cost.
Multiply the cost an hour by the number of hours you use the appliance.
$0.571×5 hours = $2.85 a day
Estimate yearly running cost.
Multiply the daily cost by the typical number of days you use the appliance.
$2.85 a day×100 days = $285 a year
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