Energy efficient appliances - what you need to know
How much emphasis do you place on energy efficiency when buying new appliances and technology for your home? Is it a main concern? Or just something that you are not really bothered about?
With electricity prices seeming constantly on the rise, it might be worth paying a little more attention to energy rating labels the next time you go out shopping.
First introduced by the federal government in 1986, the Energy Rating Labelling Scheme has now become mandatory legislation for every state and territory in Australia.
Under this scheme, many common household appliances are now required to be sold with clear labels that offer information about the energy efficiency of the device.
This includes, but is not limited to, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, dishwasher and televisions.
These labels will usually display a star rating out of five which gives consumers a fast and easily understandable means of assessing the energy efficiency of different appliances.
The label will also show an average energy consumption rating, which displays the amount of electricity that the device will typically consume over a given period.
While it's true that energy efficient devices will often have a higher sale price than less efficient alternatives, it's important to think about the long term expenses as well.
Over time, and with regular use, it's likely that you will save money due to the reduced monthly utility bills that you will be required to pay.
So while you might be paying more to the retailer who sold you the device initially, you will make up that investment by paying less to the electricity suppliers.
According to the Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, the appliances in your home can actually account for up to 30 per cent of your energy bill.
For that reason, it's important not to undervalue just how much you can save by thinking efficiently.
Not only will you be saving money in the long run, but you will also be cutting back on your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that you are responsible for.
Should you decide that the time is right to upgrade your old, inefficient appliances to newer, more eco-friendly alternatives, then there is one more thing to keep in mind.
Make sure that you dispose of all electronics and appliances properly, either by donating them to a local charity (they will be glad for the contribution) or by finding a professional appliances disposal service.
Some appliances can contain valuable materials that might be reused, or alternatively, might utilise dangerous metals or chemicals which can be hazardous when disposed of improperly.
So don't make the mistake of simply hauling your old refrigerator or computer to the dump. Do your part and make sure that the item is properly recycled.