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Energy Rating Labels: The Second Price Tag
Considering an appliance’s running costs for long term savings
Energy Rating Labels (ERLs) are there to provide Australians with the information to make informed decisions when purchasing a new appliance. Considering running cost calculations means consumers can have confidence in their purchase and ensure they save money in the long run. Energy efficient appliances also emit less greenhouse gases reducing consumers’ carbon footprints.
In Australia, the measure of an appliance’s energy efficiency is communicated through the familiar star rating system on ERLs, displayed on the product. The star rating, which can range all the way up to ten for some appliances, is a comparative assessment of an appliance’s energy efficiency. The ERLs also show an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance in kilowatt hours per year.
The ratings have been in use for over 25 years and are compulsory for lawful sale of certain appliances in Australia. Their purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency resulting in money saved. Through increased efficiency, the E3 program which regulates the ERLs, is estimated to generate an economic benefit of $22.4 billion dollars by 2024 for Australia.
“ERLs are great because there is more to an appliance than its face value and these ratings make it so easy for anyone to be well informed. We take fuel efficiency and running costs into consideration when buying a car, so why not for appliances,”
Appliance running costs account for up to 30% of an average household energy bill. Therefore, the purchase of a more energy efficient appliance should reduce energy bills.
“How much an appliance is going to cost to run, is certainly worth considering before you make a purchase. The savings you make on your energy bill when you invest in an energy efficient appliance could outweigh any at- the-counter savings that a cheaper, inferior model provided.
“The first thing to consider is the size of the appliance as a smaller one could be more efficient than a larger on with a higher star rating, it’s all relative. Pick a size that is suitable for your home and lifestyle then compare the energy efficiency of similarly sized appliances.
“Take advantage of the information provided on the ERLs, multiplying the number of kilowatt hours per year by your electricity rate. You can find this rate on your bill or by contacting your energy supplier. Then multiply this calculation by ten as that is the average lifespan of an appliance. You now have a figure which you can use as a kind of second price tag.”
An appliance that is more expensive due to its higher star rating may prove to be worth the investment in the long run because of its low running costs. Taking long term costs not just upfront costs into consideration by using the simplified resources provided on the ERLs means being able to make an informed decision and having confidence in the purchase.
“It is always good to take everything into consideration before jumping into any big purchase and it is always good to think long term not just upfront costs. However, there is also the possibility of unforseen costs if an appliance were to breakdown. Calculations that prove you save money over ten years are meaningless if the appliance breaks earlier than that, but later than warranty. PropertyCover’
For more information call 1300 733 420 or visit the website: propertycover.com.au.
Sources: energyrating.gov.au, livinggreener.gov.au, propertycover.com.au