Wittingly or unwittingly, many manufacturers make it difficult to compare the electricity consumption of home appliances such as TVs and refrigerators. Although many appliances have been through standard EU tests and then been awarded a letter grade for energy efficiency, these grades are increasingly unhelpful in distinguishing between the excellent and the merely satisfactory. As in British school exams, an A grade doesn’t mean much because it covers such as wide range of performance.
In addition, many people are unaware that the grades that are issued are calibrated against the size of a machine. So a huge American-style refrigerator can be graded A but have electricity consumption three or four times that of a small under-counter fridge with the same rating.
A new service (available at www.energytariff.co.uk) provides the electricity consumption figures for huge numbers of appliances currently available on the UK and European markets. The user enters the model number and an estimate of usage and the webpage returns the typical electricity consumption and the cost of the power. I’ve made some spot checks and I found the information to be accurate and helpful.
This site can act as a guide for purchasers but, as importantly, it can show the user how his or her electricity consumption builds up. The webpage adds up the power use of each of the machines to give a total for the main appliances in the house. A householder will typically find that the top six or eight appliances are responsible for well over half, and perhaps three quarters, of the electricity bill. This helps us understand the importance of buying efficient appliances in the first place and can show us how our usage patterns affect our monthly electricity bill.
This site, developed by Faizcy Hope Lumley, is a wonderful piece of work, thorough, complete, intuitive, and useful.