Do Single use Appliances Matter?

Yesterday we saw that only a very small number of appliances that have standby modes actually use enough power to worry about.

But what about the appliances in our house that don’t have standby modes, but we use once or twice per day?

This picture shows which single-use appliances use the most energy in a typical home:

Appliance Power Consumption


As you can see the vital few energy guzzlers are:

  • the bath (water heater)
  • tumble dryer
  • shower (water heater)
  • dishwasher
  • washing machine

We’ve already talked about water heating, so that leaves the tumble dryer, washing machine and dish washer.

If you’ve read this far then you don’t need me to tell you that tumble dryers are bad news, and the joys of the Hills Hoist. So we’ll quickly move on to washing machines and dishwashers.

Choosing an energy efficient washing machine and dishwasher.

If your washing machine or dishwasher is more than 6 years old, it is probably worth upgrading to a super efficient one.

Here’s a tutorial on finding the most efficient washing machine and deciding if you should upgrade:


And here’s a guide to finding the most efficient dishwasher:


add currentcost and howto guides move energy meter to standby page

Finally, everyone’s home is unique and you may have some appliances that we haven’t talked about here that really use a lot of energy.

The only way to find out if you have some sneaky energy guzzlers lurking in your home is to buy a cheap plug in energy meter (usually about $20) and go around each appliance looking at the numbers on the meter. You can get hold of one of these meters here

I went round my house and found that my espresso machine that I was leaving on standby all day, used as much energy as my fridge!

Tomorrow: setting an energy use target (and keeping to it)

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