Large appliances account for 42% of household electricity use, says charity.
If all UK households switched to the most energy-efficient appliances, this could save tens of millions of pounds a year, according to a new report.
According to a new report Watts in the Kitchen from environmental charity Global Action Plan (GAP), white goods – such as washing machines, fridges and freezers – account for 42% of all household electricity usage.
GAP says that if all UK consumers who bought an A rated fridge-freezer in 2011 had instead purchased an A+++ rated appliance, UK households would have made a collective financial saving of £24million a year.
However, the charity says consumers do not get the information they need to understand how much money super-efficient domestic appliances can save them.
Over the 15-year lifetime of the fridge-freezers, consumers would save £360million and enough energy to power 51,000 UK homes for a year – roughly the same as a town the size of Exeter.
This would save 100,000 tonnes of carbon a year – equivalent to taking 33,000 cars off the road.
GAP says the number of domestic appliances in UK households is increasing – with an average of 41 electrical products now in each home. Yet super-efficient white goods only account for 30% of sales because of a lack of consumer information.
Which? concurs with GAPs findings, as the consumer watchdog’s energy costs calculators show that the best annual running cost for fridge-freezers is £15 and the worst is £76, a potential £610 saving over 10 years.
Similarly with dishwashers, where the best annual running cost is £22 and the worst £68, a possible £460 difference over 10 years.
According to Which?, the following products legally have to display energy information, so if you can't see it, ask for it:
- Washing machines, washer-dryers and tumble dryers
- Fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers
- Electric ovens
- Energy-saving light bulbs
- Air conditioners
Which? also advises consumers to be aware that energy efficiency ratings now go up to A+++ for some appliances, so even if an appliance is A rated it may not be the most efficient sort.