Choosing Appliances

As with the energy used by appliances, there can be a vast difference between the least and most water-efficient products on the market. For example, the most water-efficient washing machine with a 6kg load capacity uses about 57 litres of water per load, while the least efficient model with the same load capacity uses about 138 litres of water. With most appliances having lifespans between 10 and 15 years, the opportunity to buy or replace a large appliance occurs rarely. Take the time and effort to research and make the right choice.

  • What does your household need?
    For example, a person living alone might decide not to buy a dishwasher at all, while a large family will want a machine large enough to meet their needs.
  • Compare water efficiency.
    The Water Rating label program helps you to do this by providing a typical water consumption figure and an overall star rating for dishwashers, washing machines, showers, toilets and tap fittings. The more stars a product is given, the less water it typically uses. Remember that devices that use hot water will require energy to heat that water, so saving water by choosing water efficient products will help you to save energy and the money otherwise spent on it.
  • Other green features.
    Look for other features such as ‘water-save’, ‘suds-save’ or ‘eco’ cycle options on washing machines. Such washing machines, for example, may use spray rinsing instead of submerging. Also look for extended warranty programs.
  • Finally, favour brands that have a good reputation for reliability, long product life and corporate environmental responsibility.
  • A detailed guide to buying specific appliances is included in Tanya Ha’s new book The Australian Green Consumer Guide.