Energy saving home appliances

Energy saving home appliances

Are you doing due diligence and choosing the most energy-efficient household products when you need to replace them (having recycled the old of course...)?

By Hari Alexander
Energy efficient appliances can help cut household bills

If your appliances are years old, there is the dilemma of whether to replace them with new energy efficient models. If they're working perfectly, it's probably best to keep them, but if they're starting to be a bit erratic in their performance it's wise to start investigating the most energy-efficient replacements for when the time comes.

Be honest now, if it's some years since you last bought a cooker, washing machine or fridge-freezer do you recall checking its energy rating? Ok, that's a resounding no all round.

Fast forward and the topic of energy ratings is no longer such a snore, given the spiralling costs of gas and electricity and the need for countries to cut their CO2 emissions. No, these days more of us are checking the energy rating at the start of the buying process and ruling out products that are less than A+.

Government and EU legislation has done wonders to focus appliance manufacturers' minds on the need to make products run on less energy, so you'll find plenty of choice when it comes to A+++ rated dishwashers, fridge freezers and washing machines, while A-rated ovens - and for years ovens have been down in the Bs and Cs - are becoming the norm.

And when it comes to central heating, there are products to cut usage or boost heat, while lots of us are thinking about counter top cooking with electric pressure cookers or halogen ovens instead of putting on the main oven.

Recent energy saving arrivals on the market

Fridge/freezers are on 24 hours a day, so it's well worth choosing a min A++ model when you next need a new one. Slovenian brand Gorenje has ISO 14001 certificiation for environmental management and puts a lot of resources into making its products energy efficient. Its new Colour Edition RK6193 model is A+++ rated and it looks good too (various colours are available).

Choose an induction hob over gas or electric as they heat only the pan. Electrolux EHD8740FOK InfinitePure Induction hob, £899
Radfan is a plug-in device you put on your radiators. It has fans which push warm air out into the room, instead of that air going into the wall or window behind. From £49.99,
Vektra vacuum kettle will keep water hot for up to four hours after boiling. Around £80.
New from Hoover, the triple A rated HBWD 8514TAHC-80 washing machine
Gorenje A+++ rated Colour Edition fridge/freezer with Ion air food preservation
Instant Pot (£119) is an electric pressure cooker that allows you to cook using minimal energy.
Liebherr's most energy efficient fridge freezer is the CBpesf4043, with its A+++/-20% rating
New 12-place setting Freestanding A++ rated dishwasher from Zanussi. 30 minute quick wash option. £429
Igenix 1190 halogen counter top cooker can roast, boil, sauté and steam. Around £80. Available at Appliances Direct
A++ rated Zanussi Combi Bottom ZRB38315XA Fridge Freezer. £499
EnergyEgg2, the second generation Energy Egg that turns everything off..and on when you come back in.
Chop Cloc turns off your heating for a portion of each hour it's on

Get more from your radiators

It'll soon be time to put on the cental heating..ouch.. But you can cuts your bills by installing the Chop Cloc, which turns off the heating for a portion of every hour you have it on. So choose to cut it out for 15, 30 or 45 minutes of every hour.

Or you might want to buy some Radfans - a plug-in device that sits on top of your radiators and pushes warm air out into your room, instead of that air dissipating on window panes or being absorbed into the wall behind the radiator. Radfan's annual running cost is put at around £2 and the company says the products can cut energy bills by some five per cent.


Microwaves have been popular for decades, but there is growing interest in other counter top cooking appliances, such as halogen ovens and electric pressure cookers.

Halogen ovens were around in the '70s but never really caught on, however they've been improved and use around 60 per cent less energy than cooking in a traditional oven. They can do all sorts of things including roasting a chicken in under 45 minutes, as well as sauteing, frying and steaming. A brand with a good reputation is Igenix.

More of us are familiar with induction hobs, which remain fairly pricey, but which are energy efficient because they heat only the pan. And returning to countertop cooking, the Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker and slow cooker from the US that cooks anything and everything using minimal energy.

Kettles are gas guzzlers, so it's about time an electric vacuum kettle hit the high streets. The attractive vacuum-insulated Vektra kettle is a little more expensive that a conventional electric kettle, with prices between £70 and £80 depending where you buy it.

However, it seems to be widely applauded because it does keep water piping hot for up to four hours after boiling. If you're someone who drinks endless hot beverages each day, then this should be something you ask relatives to club together to buy you for Christmas.

Boiling water taps

These taps have been considered a luxury item, but people who have invested in them swear by them. They supply instant boiling water from an insulated tank under the sink, and they do away with the need for the aforementioned gas guzzling electric kettles.

Quooker is one of the best known brands and it's launched its Fusion tap which can work with its COMBI system.

The Fusion tap itself draws on normal household hot and cold water supplies, allowing you to switch between hot, cold and 100°C boiling in an instant and Quooker says adding the COMBI system makes it even more versatile: 'As well as being able to dispense hot water from the normal hot supply, the COMBI allows boiling water to be mixed with the cold supply to provide 55-65°C hot water for washing up, hand laundry or cleaning, without drawing on the hot water supply from a domestic hot tank.

'This means there's no need for the central heating boiler to be fired up to heat water other than for personal washing in bath/shower/cloakrooms, a significant saving on domestic fuel bills in warmer months in particular.'    

Tumble dryers

Buy an airer instead. Really, tumble dryers are pretty hard to defend unless you live on a truly rain-soaked island and have hoardes of mud-splattered children always in urgent need of dry clothes...

For those who still leave things on standby

Invest in the second generation Energy Egg. It's a sweet looking little thing that turns everything off when you leave a room...and it'll put them back on when you come back in. 

For more detailed information on eco friendly washing machines, see our feature