For new homeowners, the purchase of household appliances is one of the biggest decisions to make. Do you get a big one? A branded one? A cheaper one? An energy-efficient one?
Here’s the thing–– choosing which appliance to buy depends on how you plan to be using your appliance.
When it comes to electrical appliances, the costs considered are not always upfront. You should also include running costs on top of your purchasing cost. This makes a great impact when you use energy efficient appliances.
If you’re a new homeowner, here’s why we think an energy-efficient appliance (even if it’s more expensive) is actually cheaper in the long run.
#1 Better Doesn’t Mean More Expensive
The purchasing cost of energy-efficient appliances do not differ that much. In fact, it can sometimes even be cheaper. As an example, here’s a look at the cost of some of the top refrigerators from popular furniture store Harvey Norman.
|Refrigerator||Capacity||Size||Type||Energy Efficiency Rating||Price|
|Fisher & Paykel E450RXFD1||451l||H169.5cm x W63.5cm x D69.5cm||1-door fridge||–||$1,999|
|EuropAce ER3461T Upright Fridge||830l||H177cm x W70cm x D67cm||2-door fridge||1 tick||$745|
|Mitsubishi MR-V50E2G-ST-P||448l||H180.1cm x W68.6cm x D70cm||3-door fridge||2 ticks||$1,299|
|Samsung RT43K6037SL||430l||H178.5cm x W70cm x D72.6cm||2-door fridge||3 ticks||$1,099|
|Samsung RR39M71357F/SS||765l||H185.3cm x W59.5cm x D69.4cm||1-door fridge||4 ticks||$1,699|
Based on the table above, a refrigerator with a higher energy-efficiency rating is not necessarily more expensive, even when we’re comparing refrigerators with similar capacities.
Refrigerators with bigger capacities does not mean a larger budget as well. Smaller refrigerators also tend to have lower energy efficiency on average, while larger fridges tend to be manufactured with better energy efficiency.
#2 Lower Running and Standby Costs
Quite obviously, the recurring costs of operating your household appliance will lower because it is more energy efficient.
Energy efficiency does not just constitute the amount of electricity needed to power the appliance. As these machines tend to be used very frequently, an energy-inefficient appliance will result in higher long-term usage cost over time. This is known as the life cycle cost. You also have to take note of the energy consumed when these appliances are in standby mode.
For instance, using a 5 tick air conditioner can allow you to save as much as 33% in electricity consumption compared to a 3 tick air conditioner. Even if you spend 30% more money in buying the 5 tick air conditioner, the recurring costs will quickly override the purchasing cost difference as the owner accumulates more and more savings by consuming less energy over time.
As an example, here’s the illustrated difference in energy consumed between a 1 tick energy efficient refrigerator model and a 3 tick refrigerator model:
Based on the illustration, you would have accumulated $750 by the end of 10 years, while the amount of savings you can “accrue” is only set to increase as you use your household appliances over a longer period of time.
#3 Electricity Tariffs Are The Same Regardless
Electricity tariffs are appliance indiscriminate. This means that opting for a more expensive or energy efficient appliance bears no impact on the electricity tariff you have to pay and you will not face any additional charges.
The total annual electricity cost is calculated via this formula:
Annual electricity cost ($) = Annual energy consumption (kWh) x Electricity tariff ($/kWh)
If the only variable you can change (without changing your consumption habits) is the efficiency of your household appliance, then changing your appliance to a ‘green’ one will have a direct impact on your household’s annual electricity cost.
Following the opening of the electricity retail market too, the cost savings you can get when you switch to an energy-efficient appliances can be lowered even further as OEM retailers tend to be more aggressive with their pricing, since they do not have to abide by the Energy Market Authority’s mandated electricity tariffs.
#4 Energy Efficient Appliances Tend To Be Longer Lasting
When it comes to energy efficient appliances, they tend to be longer lasting and less prone to breaking down since they are not likely to be overloaded.
For instance, using LED lamps over incandescent light bulbs can last about 20 times longer, even if they produce the same amount of light. This is because up to 85% less electricity is needed to power up energy efficient lamps.
When your appliances are longer lasting, this means that you spend less in the long run due to replacement or servicing costs.
#5 You Can Get Rewarded For Lowering Your Energy Consumed
With mobile apps like SP Utilities, you can even be rewarded when you lower your total electricity consumed. The SP Utilities mobile app includes features like Carbon Footprint Trackers to help you reduce carbon emissions as an individual.
SP Group will also launch an in-app initiative where users can earn “leaves” when they complete eco-challenges and take up sustainable habits such as lowering their total energy consumed each month, or opting to receive electronic bills. These “leaves” can be redeemed for shopping vouchers and other rewards–– an easy incentive to attain when you switch to an energy efficient appliance.
Going Green Is Not Just Sustainable, It Is Economical
Common household appliances that bear the energy-efficient label include air-conditioners, refrigerators, clothes dryer, lamps and televisions. You can visit the NEA website for more information on the tick rating system (the higher the number of ticks, the more efficient it is), and even read about how energy efficiency is calculated for each appliance.
The green lifestyle is not just a sustainable practice for the environment but can be one that is more economical. If you’re not sure about which appliance you can switch, you can even do an energy audit of your electricity consumption with online calculators.
In some cases, just doing some simple ‘green’ actions like turning off the power of your appliance when you’re not using them can go a long way in saving electricity costs in the interim before you switch over to an energy efficient household appliance.