Appliances

The dashboards below for the various appliances all utilise data from the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) website. If you are after details on a specific product or want to compare products, then visit the E3 website. The dashboards show the general distributions for a variety of measures from appliances that are currently listed as available in the Australian market.

Dishwashers

To choose an energy efficient dishwasher, you should look for:

  • high star ratings on the label because these products use less energy – sometimes an extra star can save a lot of money in the long-run
  • the appropriate capacity for your needs – to meet demand but avoid under filled loads
  • correct dimensions to ensure the dishwasher will fit in the required space. Also, some dishwashers require ventilation to operate properly – and efficiently – if it can’t cool properly it may run for longer to cool itself down
  • delayed start functionality can save a lot of energy – and money – because it means you may be able to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates or use your PV generated electricity.
  • half-wash and economy options are now on most modern dishwashers. If you only have a small load or the dishes are lightly soiled, these options can save energy and water.

Washing Machines

Some washing machines will have two energy consumption figures instead of one. This is because manufacturers can voluntarily display the cold wash energy consumption – next to the mandatory warm wash figure.

It is important to note the Star Rating relates only to the warm-wash figure – not to cold. The dashboard below shows the distribution of energy consumption for the mandatory warm-wash.


Some washing machines only have a cold water connection on the back. This means the washer relies on its internal heating element when set to do a warm wash – and this element is what consumes about 80% of the energy.

If you have a super-efficient hot water system in your home – such as a gas, off-peak electric, solar or a heat pump system – it may be cheaper to use your external system to heat the water. To do this, you need to have a machine with dual connections so you can connect the hot hose from the washer to the hot tap in your home. This bypasses the washer’s internal element – so the machine uses about the same energy to do a warm wash as it would a cold wash.


Dryers

Old-fashioned (traditional) dryers are vented, so they just pump the warm, moist air out the back in to your laundry. They don’t have a system to reuse any of the warm air, which is why you’ll notice the laundry heats up and your windows fog up when you put on a load.

These are the generally the least efficient dryers on the market and most expensive to run – but generally the cheapest to buy upfront.

While more expensive to run, traditional dryers can still be a cost-effective choice for some households. For example if you have a small household and can dry your clothes outside on the line for most of the year, you’ll rarely need to use the dryer. This means your lifetime cost from buying a traditional dryer may end-up being pretty low – as they’re cheap upfront and the higher running costs won’t hurt the hip pocket so much if you rarely run it.

Super-efficient models use the latest technology to heat the air for the dryer – it’s called a heat pump condenser.

Traditional dryers use an element (like a bar heater) to heat air that dries the clothes and then the moisture laden air gets blown into your laundry or outside through a pipe or a vent. However, heat pump dryers are different because they do not vent the humid heated air but instead capture the heat energy in the air and recycle it. They also use a process separate water from the humid air and the captured water drips in to a tank which you regularly have to empty or, depending on the model, may run out a drain pipe.

This means heat pump driers use a lot less electricity and they end up being quite cheap to run.

The dashboard below allows you to filter the data by condenser or vented dryers so you can see the efficiency difference between the two types.

Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme
Supported by data from the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) www.nathers.gov.au