How to Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances for the Home

Polka Dot Toaster
We have heard most of it before – we need to control our actions to save the planet, and mitigate our effects to the environment. Increases in ambient temperatures leading to rises in sea levels and ultimately climatic changes are nothing if not proof that without a drastic shift in the way we do business, we can hardly hope to leave our future generation in a safe and comfortable place.

Energy conservation and environmental preservation are indeed not just preserves of huge multinational industries: the buck starts with you and me, doing everything we can to conserve how much energy we use, how we dispose of our waste products and how we control our activities and their effects on our immediate surroundings.

Did you know that the average home causes more pollution than an average car?

We have come a long way since the 19th century. Right now, there is virtually an electrical appliance to do virtually everything around the house. By making our lives easier however, we also increase the demands on energy required to finance that kind of lifestyle, which is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly where renewable and sustainable energy sources are in place of electricity.

However, where we are unable to avoid the use of electricity, we can control how much we use by investing in energy efficient appliances, as well as using them efficiently, and the following are some ways in which this is achievable:

Check the style and size

Before making a purchase, decide where you will place the appliance, and whether it fits properly. Ensure the door and/or lid can open fully, and that there is enough room for ventilation if that necessary.

Buying price vs. energy consumption

When you are selecting the brand and model of a particular appliance to buy, do not just consider the price upfront. Consider the energy efficiency and/or operational capacity. You may end up saving more money by going for a slightly more expensive but more energy-efficient model. You can look up forums to find out how different models behave prior to purchase.

Enquire about offers on energy efficiency

Depending on what you are buying, there may be offers for going for energy-efficient versions e.g. loans at lower interests, cash rebates or other incentives.

The energy guide label

Majority of new appliances now come with energy guide labels, which notify you on average annual consumption of energy depending on user frequency and other factors. Read this guide and compare efficiency of various models according to your use for them before making a purchase.

Energy compliance logo

Make sure that you always look for the energy compliance logo on the appliance you want to buy. For instance, the British Kitemark for appliances made in the UK or the Energy Star logo for models from the USA. A model with the Energy Star for instance is more efficient than a similar model without the logo.

Corporate Responsibly

Empowered by the web and the abundance of free flowing information, you could go one step beyond and seek out an energy supplier that tick your boxes in term of ethics, corporate responsibility and price. In the UK, in addition to the big 6 Energy firms, there are many smaller energy firms that tend to have a fresher perspective on such matters. If this matters to you, consider doing a little research and switching energy supplier based on ethics. These smaller firms include Ecotricity, Utility Warehouse, First Utility, Ovo, Flow Energy, and Good Energy. A quick check on one of the many online review sites and you can see how much you can save, and what ethos you can support by switching. For example, we checked out the Money Saving Expert website for current Utility Warehouse Reviews and also the Utility Warehouse Complaint handling record process to get a feel for how this company compares to the bigger firms and were reassured. There is an abundance of reviews for all these smaller firms and it may well be time for us, the consumer to re-evaluate all of our options.

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