Monday, March 7, 2011

Energy Labelling : Appliance Efficiency Rating

Do Not Shop By Stars Alone!
During our research we have found that over 95% of the Australian homes we have visited, use the Australian Energy Rating label, when selecting a new appliance.Whilst this is good news, as householders are paying attention to the label's presence, it is not good news when you shop by the number of stars alone!

Householders using the energy rating of the appliance, to make a well educated choice, were found to be less than 1%, of the 95%. So why is this, when the energy rating is really more important, than the star rating?.

If you shop by the stars alone, you may be left in the dark!

Meaning you may choose the wrong appliance for your needs, or lose out financially by choosing the more expensive to run option.

So let us explain what is going on here with the label. As you can see with this example label, the star rating is three and a half, whilst the energy rating is stated at 384 kWh per year.

So what can we really learn here? Well whilst the energy efficiency of the appliance is stated, it does not tell us anything, except that the appliance was awarded the rating when compared to some unknown benchmark. So we are being told the appliance is energy efficient, but remember this, energy efficiency does not always mean less energy used!

So let us look at the energy rating. Now as already said, most Australians do not fully understand this figure.But they should, as it can easily be converted into the appliances yearly running costs! And afterall that is very important, as it is what is coming out of the wallet or purse.

To understand the energy rating on the label, let us assume a on-peak electricity rating of twenty-five cents per kWh. We can see that 384 kWhs per year, when multiplied by the on-peak rating, equates to this appliance costing $96 per year. If the home is billed quarterly, this appliance is then going to add $24 to the bill!

Now by knowing the costs of the appliance per year, you are further in a position to make a well educated choice, when it comes to comparing manufacturers models, running costs and sale prices.

Let us say there are two similar appliances, offered by different manufacturers. Both with a six star rating.

  • Appliance #1 costing $500 rated at 500 kWh.
  • Appliance #2 costing $400 rated a 700 kWh.

Up to this point most shoppers would choose appliance #2, as it is $100 cheaper. But is it really? In fact it is the more expensive appliance to operate! OK so let us say you plan to have the appliance for a period of ten years.

  • Appliance #1 is priced at $500 and costs $125 per year to run.
  • Appliance #2 is priced at $400 and costs $175 per year to run.

After the first two years, the savings of $100 if you chose appliance #2, have gone. After that time, appliance #2 is costing you $50 more per year. During the last eight years of the ten year period, appliance #2 will cost you $400 more than appliance #1. Therefore appliance #2 is not the best choice!

As you can see it does pay to fully understand the energy rating label. Paying more attention to the energy used per year. Thus allowing you to make a well educated choice, on the total costs of your next appliance.

Remember, if you shop by stars alone you may be left in the dark!

For more information on energy label analysis and how you can further use this knowledge to benefit your sales choice, visit our website Aussie Home Energy.

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