Energy rating tags Vs Prize tags: both matter

Efficiency label Vs Prize tag

Energy efficiency labels Vs Prize tags: why are both important

Efficiency label Vs Prize tag

– Energy efficiency labels –

If you have recently bought a home appliance like a dishwasher or a washing machine you most probably know what an energy label is.

If not, you must know that the energy efficiency labels aim to be a clear and simple indication of the energy efficiency of product at the point of purchase.

The ratings on the energy efficiency labels go from A+++ to D (A+++ being the most efficient and D the least efficient). 

Those ratings are defined by the EU for each type of appliance (e.g. fridge, tumble drier,…) through a number of different tests and criteria. This means the ratings can only be compared between one type of appliance (e.g. fridge to fridge).

Eco labels

– Prize tags –

And, well, when it comes to the prize tag, the more efficient the appliance the bigger the prize will be. This is because the energy efficient appliances use less electricity and water than those less efficient appliances.

energy efficient appliance prize

– The dilemma – 

The dilemma is: Is it really worth to buy a more expensive but also more efficient appliance or should I buy the less efficient but more economic appliance? 

The answer is: Depends on how high the prize tag is. 

Let’s have a detailed look.

Buying and energy efficient appliance: Payback period

Appliance payback period

You have to choose between two fridges:

– Fridge A: It uses 252 kWh per year and it has a prize tag of 899 euro

– Fridge B: It uses 174 kWh per year and it has a prize tag of 1159 euro

Fridge B it is more efficient but also 260 euro more expensive that Fridge A so, which one do you choose?

The only way to make an informed decision is to figure out how much electricity you would be saving per year by choosing fridge B, and then calculating how many years it will take for those savings to compensate the initial extra 260 euro.

We know that we are paying 0,217 euro per kWh (do you know what a kWh is?) so for us that means that

 Fridge A will have a yearly electricity bill cost of  252 x 0,217 = 54,7 euro

– Fridge B will have a yearly electricity bill cost of  174 x 0,217 = 37,8 euro

For us, there is a difference of 16,9 euro per year on electricity cost between the A+++ and the A++ fridge.

That means that if we buy the A+++ we will be paying an extra 260 euro but we will be recovering that amount due to the lower electricity bill within 260/16,9 = 15,4 years…

Well, in this case the payback period it is far too long because nowadays a fridge does not last 15 years.

That means that for us it makes more sense to buy the cheaper and less efficient fridge.

Conclusion

– Cost – 

From the cost perspective, you really need to know how much you are paying per kWh before making an informed decision. 

Do not just buy the more efficient but more expensive appliance by assuming that lower energy or water consumption will compensate for the higher prize tag.

– Environmental impact – 

From the environmental perspective, of course that it would make more sense to buy the most efficient appliance but here comes into play the prize tag. 

The appliances manufacturers and the distributors need to make sure that the prize tag it is reasonable. 

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If you are looking for tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

What is standby power?

Standby power consumption

What is standby power cosumption

Standby power consumption

Standby power consumption it is the power used by a device or appliance when the are not in active use.  

Those appliances and devices that draw power while in standby mode are also called vampire loads or phantom loads.

Many devices, like TVs or microwave ovens, remain in standby while not in active use to they can be quickly put back into use. 

This is, instead of having to wait a few seconds so the device can go through the power on cycle, the device can be put back into use instantaneously because it was never completely powered off.

The standby power consumption it is relatively low but low power consumption over long periods of time can quickly amount to a considerable cost.

Now that you have learnt what standby power consumption is, consider your options to reduce or eliminate that waste of electricity and money:

  1. Switch your devices off while they are not in use
  2. If your appliance or device has an ECO function, make sure that it is enabled
  3. Use a power strip to power off several standby devices with the flick of a single switch
  4. Use a smart power strip to measure and control the standby loads
  5. Use a visually friendly smart socket to avoid unnecessary standby times

Standby power consumption calculator

The calculator below can be used to calculate the cost over time of a device or appliance kept in standby mode during long periods of time.

 

For other useful calculators have a look to the electricity consumption calculators page.

How to save electricity at home

If you are looking for additional tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

What is a Kilowatt Hour (kWh)?

Learn what a Kilowatt Hour is

- What is a Kilowatt Hour (kWh)? -

Find out how much electricity you are using at home

Electricity used at home

A Kilowatt Hour (kWh) it is a unit of measurement used to measure electricity consumption. 

Therefore, if you are really interested in knowing how much electricity you are using at home and how much the electricity cost is, you need to learn what a Kilowatt Hour is.

For example, as you can see on the picture below, this household is using an average of 2700 kWh per year and it is paying 0,2173 euro per kWh they consume. 

If we multiply the 2700 kWh by 0,2173 per kWh, this gives us an electricity variable cost of approximately 600 euro per year. 

Our home electricity consumption in kWh

One Kilowatt (kW) it is the equivalent to 1000 Watts (W) so, for example, if we have a 60 Watts bulb and we want to find the equivalent in Kilowatts we just need to divide 60 by 1000 and that gives us a power consumption of 0,06 Kilowatts.

60 W /1000 = 0,06 kW

If we want to know how many Kilowatts hour are used by that bulb over a period of 10 hours, we just need to multiply 0,06 kilowatts by the 10 hours and that gives us a total of 0,6 Kilowatt Hours (kWh).

0,06 kWh x 10 hours = 0,6 kWh

Watt (W), Kilowatt (kW), and Kilowatt Hour (kWh) relationship

For those who are interested on some additional knowledge about this topic, have a look to the video below from the Youtube Effiworkx channel.

In this video we are explaining how Watts (W), Kilowatts (kW) and Kilowatt Hours (kWh) are related and how this knowledge translates into useful applications like deciding if purchasing a more energy efficient appliance it is really cost effective.

How to save electricity at home

If you are looking for tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

How to use a plug in power meter

Plug in power meter measure power consumption

- How to use a plug in power meter -

Measure your home devices and appliances electricity usage

Measure electricity usage at home

Older Vs Newer building - Thermal camera results

If your objective it is to decrease your electricity consumption and save money on your electricity bills, the first step that you need to take it is to measure how much electricity you are consuming.

Afterwards, you need to find the most effective ways to reduce your electricity consumption and measure how much electricity you are actually saving.

All of our house appliances and devices like the washing machine, the dishwasher, the TV or the printer are plugged to a wall socket. So, with a power consumption meter we can determine how much energy our appliances or devices are using and, more importantly, we can measure the electricity usage over a period of time.

The image below shows the power meter that we are using during our tests. For more details and specifications, clicking on the image will re-direct you to the product page in Amazon.

Learn how to use a power consumption plug in power meter

Following the principle that one image is worth one thousand words, we have made a video where we show how to use a plug-in power meter and how it can be used to measure our appliances and devices power consumption.

We are working towards making the videos available in different languages so, if English is not your main language, have a look to our YouTube channel for other language options. 

Do not forget to ENABLE the CAPTIONS.

As explained on the video, we did measure the power consumption of the different dishwasher cycles and that did allow us to know that we were not using the most efficient cycle. 

We were mostly using the Auto cycle, which consumes more electricity than the Eco cycle. Even though there is only a difference of 13 cents per cycle, in the long run we will be saving quite a bit of money on electricity by using the Eco cycle.

CyclePower consumptionTotal cost
70 degrees1,21 KWh0,31 euro
Auto0,80-1,10 KWh0,20 - 0,28 euro
Auto + Vario Speed1 KWh0,28 euro
Eco0,60 KWh0,15 euro

In our opinion, a plug-in power meter is a cheap an easy to use device which make us become more aware of our daily electricity usage. 

And, as we have proved already, to save money it may just be matter of being more aware of how our habits (lifestyle) can contribute towards reducing our energy and water usage.

As an example on how our habits define our electricity and water consumption, have a look to this video where we review what it is more economic, if washing the dishes by hand or using the dishwasher.

How to save electricity at home

If you are looking for tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.