Appliance running costs

We’ve estimated typical running costs for a range of heating, kitchen, lighting and general household appliances.

17sep appliance running costs hero default

Where does it go? Is that what you wonder when you open the power bill? We’ve estimated typical running costs for a range of heating, kitchen, lighting and general household appliances so you can work out how to make the most effective savings in your home.

Always-on appliances

Want to read the full article?

  • Heaps of buying advice so you can choose with confidence
  • Independent reviews of thousands of products and services
  • Personal advice an email or phone call away on our advice line (members only).

Chargers

On standby

Appliances on standby get a bad rap for needlessly using power. However, while it’s true any power used on standby is wasted, it’s probably not as much as you might think.

We measured standby power consumed by technology and appliances we’ve tested and calculated the best and worst performers over a year.

Appliance Lowest ($)[width=medium] Highest ($)
TVs (40-45”) 0.04 0.05
Blu-ray/DVD player 0 0.05
Home theatre system 0.04 0.25
Clothes dryer 0.30 1.86
Dishwasher 0 2.29
Games console 2.47 3.38
Sound bar 0.78 4.87
Microwave oven 1.00 5.11
Washing machine 0 8.22
Speaker dock 0.65 20.56
Multi-function printer 0 127.94

Some technology products (TVs, Blu-ray players and home theatre systems) cost much less than a dollar each year on standby, no matter the model. A games console will cost you a couple of dollars, regardless of whether you choose an Xbox or PlayStation. However, in the case of some multi-function printers, the power used on standby varies significantly between models, from nothing at all to more than $10 every month.

TIP: The only sure way to kill standby energy use is by unplugging a device or turning it off at the wall when you aren’t using it.

Sky-high standby

Sky and Vodafone decoders are notorious for using almost as much power on standby as they do while you’re watching Game of Thrones. We found a decoder used 24.3W while in use, and 23.6W while on standby. Switching to standby seems to do little more than switching a blue LED to red. Sky says you shouldn’t turn off your set-top box as it needs to be updated regularly. A set-top box, even if left unwatched on standby all day, would use $53.75 in power each year. Add that to your Sky fee.

Cost of hot water

Typical running costs

Bathroom

Bathroom Typical power use (watts)[width=medium] Cost
Bathroom heater - fan 2400 61c /hour
Bathroom heater - infrared 1100 28c /hour
Heated towel rail 80 49c /day
Shower 3750 85c /10 minutes
Bath (small / large) 4500 / 7000 $1.02 - $1.59 /bath

Heating

Appliance Typical power use (watts)[width=medium] Cost
Cupboard heater 180 $1.11 /day
Fan heater - 2kW 2000 51c /hour
Fan heater - 2.4kW 2400 61c /hour
Heat pump - 4.5kW heating output (min / max) 1250 / 1800 32 - 46c /hour
Heated towel rail 80 49c /day
Heater - one-bar 1200 31c /hour
Heater - two-bar 2400 61c /hour
Night-store heater - large 3300 50c /hour
Night-store heater - medium 2500 38c /hour
Night-store heater - small 1700 26c /hour
Oil-filled heater - small 1200 31c /hour
Oil-filled heater - medium 2000 51c /hour
Oil-filled heater - large 2400 61c /hour

Kitchen

Appliance Typical power use (watts)[width=medium] Cost
Breadmaker 500 9c /loaf
Cake mixer 350 9c /hour
Carving knife 230 6c /hour
Coffee percolator 1400 1c /2 cups
Cooktop (per element) (min / max) 1700 / 2200 44 - 51c /hour
Crockpot 230 6c /8 hours
Dishes (15 litres hot water) 16c /sink
Dishwasher - 15 years old 2000 46c /load
Dishwasher - new 2000 31c /load
Electric frypan 1250 32c /hour
Electric jug (min / max) 1800 / 2400 3c /boil
Extraction fan 40 1c /hour
Food processor 375 10c /hour
Freezer - chest 164L 20c /day
Freezer - vertical 300L 40c /day
Fridge/freezer - 15 years old - 380L 54c /day
Fridge/freezer - 10 years old - 372L 44c /day
Fridge/freezer - new - 372L 455 32c /day
Kitchen radio 100 3c /hour
Microwave 1000 2c /plate
Oven (roast) 1900 38c /roast
Oven (scones) 1900 13c /batch
Rangehood 150 4c /hour
Toaster (2-slice) (min / max) 850 / 1250 1.1 - 1.6c /load
Waste disposer 373 / 746 1 - 2c /day

Lights

Appliance Typical power use (watts)[width=medium] Cost
40 watt bulb 40 6c /6 hours
60 watt bulb 60 9c /6 hours
100 watt bulb 100 15c /6 hours
150 watt bulb 150 23c /6 hours
Compact fluorescent - 50 watt equivalent 11 2c /6 hours
Compact fluorescent - 60 watt equivalent 15 2c /6 hours
Compact fluorescent - 90 watt equivalent 20 3c /6 hours
Fluorescent 1.2m 40 6c /6 hours
Fluorescent 1.5m 65 10c /6 hours

Laundry

Appliance Typical power use (watts)[width=medium] Cost
Clothes dryer - 5kg load 1800 $1.06 /load
Clothes dryer - 3.5kg load 1800 86c /load
Ironing (min / max) 1750 / 2400 45 - 61c /hour
Washing machine - front loader, cold wash (min / max) 5 - 8c /load
Washing machine - front loader, warm wash 13c /load
Washing machine - medium top loader, cold wash 3c /load
Washing machine - medium top loader, warm wash 31c /load
Washing machine - large top loader, cold wash 4c /load
Washing machine - large top loader, warm wash 46c /load

Other appliances

Appliance Typical power use (watts)[width=medium] Cost
Computer and CRT monitor 200 5c /hour
Computer and LCD monitor 150 4c /hour
Dehumidifier (min / max) 200 / 400 $1.23 - $2.46 /24 hours
Vacuum cleaner 1100 28c /hour
Digital alarm clock 8 5c /day
DVD 20 0.5c /hour
Electric blanket - double (min / max) 80 / 200 2 - 5c /hour
Electric blanket - single (min / max) 40 / 150 1 - 4c /hour
Fan 200 5c /hour
Hair dryer 1600 41c /hour
Power drill 500 13c /hour
Security alarm 5 3c /24 hours
Sewing machine 200 5c /hour
Shaver 15 0.3c /week
Stereo 85 2c /hour
Television 29"/76cmv Tube type 110 3c /hour
Television 32"/80cmv LCD 128 3c /hour
Television 42"/107cmv Plasma 445 11c /hour
Set top box (min / max) 9 / 22 6 - 14c /day
Waterbed - queen size 450 12c /day

Energy ratings

If you’re shopping for a new whiteware appliance, TV, computer monitor or heat pump, you’ll see an Energy Rating label prominently displayed on the products.

The label shows a simple star rating – the more stars, the more energy-efficient the appliance. The label also features an annual energy consumption (kWh per year), calculated from average expected use.

When comparing models of the same type – for example, small top-mount fridge-freezers – the one with the most stars will be the cheapest to run. But if you’re comparing 2 appliances of different size or type – for example, a small top-mount with a large French-door fridge-freezer – you can’t compare stars and need to use the kWh per year figure to find the cheapest to run.

Member comments

Get access to comment