Modern appliances generally use significantly less energy than those of even 10 or 15 years ago.  Fridges and freezers in particular use a fraction of the power of older models and therefore are usually well worth replacing.

Many electrical appliances now come with an energy rating:

Energy label

For some appliances, particularly fridges and freezers, the energy rating is only in context of its capacity.  For example, a large A+++ rated fridge or TV may use more energy than a small A rated model, so it is important not to buy a bigger model than you really need.

Appliances should be positioned with care – in particular, fridges and freezers should not be situated next to ovens, radiators, in direct sunlight or near any other source of heat.  They should also have plenty of room for airflow around them to ensure they operate efficiently.

Top tips on using appliances

Just because your appliance is efficient doesn’t mean that more can’t be done to save energy.  How you use the appliance can have a big impact on energy use.

Fridges and freezers

Keep them reasonably full or pack unused shelving with bubble wrap to stop so much cold air being lost each time the door is opened.  Fridges should be kept at around 4o Centigrade and freezers at 18oC. Any colder is unnecessary and wastes energy.


Many meals do not need to have ovens preheated - so long as meals are thoroughly cooked this will kill any harmful bacteria.  Don’t keep grill pans (or any other unnecessary items) in the oven if you are not using them as energy is wasted heating these up when they are not needed.


Induction hobs are more efficient than other types. However you can do more to save energy:

–        keep lids on pans to retain much of the heat that is otherwise lost in evaporation.

–        steam vegetables in a bowl in the microwave. This is more energy-efficient and retains more of the vitamins than steaming on the hob.


Take care to stack efficiently – make sure plates aren’t touching as this reduces wash performance.  Run only when it’s full and consider washing up bulky items such as saucepans separately as these don’t make best use of the space in the machine.  ‘Eco’ settings save water and energy and are fine for all but the most baked on deposits.

Washing machines

As with dishwashers, washing machines are most efficient when run at full capacity.  Most modern liquids and powders work effectively at 30oC, although it makes sense to run a 60oC wash once a month as this will kill any bacteria and clear out any gunk that can accumulate with continual low-temperature washes.

Tumble dryers

You should avoid using these as far as possible as they use a huge amount of energy. However if their use is unavoidable then ensure items are thoroughly spun first to remove as much water as possible.  Do not mix polyester and cotton items as they dry at different rates.


Home Energy – Appliances (L1)                                                                                                 


WinACC - Appliances - L1.pdf216.77 KB