How much does it cost to run your appliances and how to reduce it

January 23rd, 2012

Environment, Energy & Water Saving Kitchen Laundry

Appliances account for about half of the energy used in a household, according to an ABC report. This includes 9 per cent on fridges and freezers and 15 per cent on electrical appliances such as kettles, irons, and vacuum cleaners. Over 50 per cent of Australian households use dryers, and these are the biggest culprit in the energy guzzling category. The actual running costs of your appliances can be worked out using an appliance’s wattage and your electricity tariff. The electricity tariff is the cost of each kilowatt hour of electricity. The General Domestic Peak Rate of electricity is 15 cents per kW hour, according to Dan the Sparky Man electricians. For example, a 2kW fan heater would use 30c per hour. The following list uses this method and assumes an average four-person household.

How much does it cost to run your kitchen appliances?

  • Fridge/Freezer (2 door, 500 litres) – $11-$14 per month
  • Bar Fridge – $4-$5 per month
  • Freezer (chest or vertical, 300 litres) – $8-$11 per month
  • Microwave Oven – 22 cents per hour
  • Oven (conventional or fan forced) – 27-38 cents per hour
  • Hotplate (on maximum setting) – 19-31 cents per hour
  • Toaster (two slice) – 10 cents per hour
  • Blender/Food Processor – 6 cents per hour
  • Dishwasher – 24-28 cents per hour

How much does it cost to run your laundry appliances?

  • Clothes Dryer – 35 cents per hour
  • Washing Machine – 13 cents per hour
  • Iron – 14 cents per hour
  • Vacuum Cleaner – 14 cents per hour

How much do living room appliances cost?

  • Television (100cm LCD) – 3 cents per hour
  • Stereo System – 0.06 cents per hour
  • Home Computer – 0.01 cents per hour

How much does it cost to heat and cool your house?

  • Fan (portable or ceiling) – 0.01 cent per hour
  • Wall Split Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner – 33-35 cents per hour (1-2 Energy Star Rating)
  • Wall Split Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner – 24-37 cents per hour (4-6 Energy Star Rating)
  • Ducted Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner – 32-47 cents per hour (zoned system – bedrooms and living areas Cooled at separate times)

So, how can you save money on your household appliance energy bill?

Appliances on standby use a small ammount of power, constantly. This is called ‘phantom load’ and it accounts for 10 per cent of your energy bill! You can avoid using this excess electricity by switching appliances off at the wall. Easy done. Specific appliances can be used more effeciently as well. When using a dryer, for example, try to separate light items from heavy items; dry full loads rather than single items; and do multiple loads in a row to make the most of the residual heat in the dryer. With fridges, temperature settings can be adjusted so perhaps only the beer fridge really needs to be uber cold. In the kitchen, try using the appropriately sized saucepan for the element, and there’s no need to pre-heat a gas oven. Remember, star ratings are an important way of measuring the efficiency of any new appliance you purchase.

Having once had to sit on the washing machine to stop it from bouncing into oblivion, Keri is today delighted with the new (smoother running) technologies that make housework easier every day. A self-confessed lazy-bones, Keri seeks out quirky inventions that ease the human workload, such as the robotic vacuum cleaner (wow). And as soon as someone figures out a Jetsons-like self-cleaning house, she will happily lay her pen to rest and retire from appliance journalism. Until then, her pick is a fridge that will tell her smartphone when it's time to pick up more beer on the way home. Magic.

14 responses to “How much does it cost to run your appliances and how to reduce it”

  1. Mikeywhite says:

    What about kettles!?

  2. malinda says:

    well i’m glad i dont iron lol that one shocked me its more then the washing machine…

  3. Rosco532 says:

    Am I reading correctly that ”TV’s”……are only using around 3c an hour ????…
    I was lead to believe that these ”40”ish” size TV’s are more like ,,,,upto .50c hr…..especially if the brightness etc is turned up bright….and can reduce down to around 30c an hour if not on so bright  etc.

  4. Easy Mike. A fast kettle is up around 2kW, so about the same as a fan heater (30c/hr). As long as you fill with only enough water for the number of cups/mugs you’re making (say <4), it's going to take less than 6 minutes to boil – so under 3 cents 🙂

  5. Darshanobates says:

    Dont know how old this site is We pay .26228cents / hour  Not .1500cents per/hour

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi  – thanks for your comments.

    Darshanobates, the operating costs of electrical appliances have been calculated at 15c per hour as per the information we received from two separate sources. uses a similar tariff. If you are paying .26c you’d have to re-calculate for an accurate reading.

    Rosco532, this is specifically the cost for 100cm LCD according to one source. Other sites mark this cost as high as 18c per hour. A 125cm LCD or Plasma uses a more energy, up to 25c per hour, according to

    Hope this helps!

  7. Slbarnes66 says:

    is this based on using hot or warm water in a washing machine ?

    I only ever use cold water.

  8. says:

    Heaters how much do they cost the ones that sit on the floor with the 3 or 4 lights bar ones i am interested in knowing thanks! Debbie

  9. Keri Algar says:

    Hi Partychic – take a look at the back of your heater (or on the box or instruction manual) to see what wattage it has (2kW = 2000w). Multiply the kW by your rate of electricity per hour to see how much it costs to run that appliance for an hour.

    The above quotes are for an electricity rate of 15c per hour. This can vary widely and we have had a lot of peole saying that they are charged 27c per hour. Best check with your electricity provider first!

  10. Keri Algar says:

    Mmm you have me stumped! I have put the question to LG and will let you know when they respond. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s a cold wash.

  11. Gk308 says:

    What about ducted evaporative cooling ??? 

  12. Carbon Bill says:

    I wish I could buy electricity for 15c/kWh. People forget to ad the GST, mine is costing 23c/kWh for peak, others are paying over 40c if thy are on time of use metering.

  13. John Barton says:

    i would like to know how much per hour to run a 2000w fan heater same as the cheapies at k mart

  14. Mark Bristow says:

    Hi John,

    Using the rate given above, a 2000w (or 2kW) fan heater should use about 30c worth of electricity per hour.

    However, the average electricity tariff has gone up a bit since this article was first published – according to an average peak electricity tariff is 30 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and an off-peak electricity tariff is 15 cents per kWh.

    So with this in mind, a 2kW fan heater should cost approximately 60c per hour during peak time and 30c per hour during off-peak time.

    Remember that this figure is an approximate average only – your best bet is to check with your electricity provider.


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