Energy ratings: how much difference is there with clothes dryers?

Wednesday, June 30, 2021
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Appliance efficiency series: Clothes Dryers

Recently we had a look into energy efficient washing machines, and how to select the best machine?

This time, clothes dryers are in focus: we look at the best method of determining the best clothes dryer for you based on electrical energy efficiency ratings, how long to pay back difference between two models with different prices and what else can I do with my money.

What is the energy rating system?

The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) program is a cross jurisdictional program through which the Australian Government, states and territories and the New Zealand Government collaborate to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.

What are the program objectives? 

To reduce energy bills for households and businesses in a cost effective way by driving improvements to the energy efficiency of new appliances and equipment sold; to improve the energy efficiency of new appliances and equipment that use energy and to also improve the energy performance of products that have an impact on energy consumption.

https://www.energyrating.gov.au/about-e3-program

How do we select the best appliance?

When selecting an appliance there is going to be a price difference between a more efficient option, say 4.5 stars compared to a less efficient one but questions need to be asked:

  • What is the actual price difference between two models with similar capacity?
  • How many years will it take to recoup the difference in price?
  • What about the price of electricity increasing? How do I factor this in?
  • What if I invest the price difference between models, is this a good way to go?
  • What about the warranty?

Star rating

The star rating is about energy efficiency – that is how efficient a model is relative to other models of the same size. More stars means more efficient – when compared to other models of the same size and most products are given between 1 and 6 stars.

Tip: Always choose which size (or capacity) model you need first, then use the star rating to compare them.


How do we select the best appliance?

When selecting an appliance there is going to be a price difference between a more efficient option, say 4.5 stars compared to a less efficient one.

But questions need to be asked:

  • What is the actual price difference between two models with similar capacity?-
  • How many years will it take to recoup the difference if purchasing the more efficient model?
  • What about the price of electricity increasing? How do I factor this in?
  • What if I invest the price difference between models, is this a good way to go?
  • What about the warranty?




Energy rating examples: purchase $, cheapest

Energy rating examples: cost to run per year, cheapest

Big differences in cost! 

In our example the difference between the cheapest clothes dryer and the most expensive is $700. 

So we need to ask lots of questions.

We have determined the different prices for the clothes dryers but what about other factors:

  • Cost to run per year
  • Star rating
  • Purchase cost per kilogram
  • What else can I do with my money

Energy rating examples: cost to run per year, expensive  

Cost to run per year  

The cost to run per year is an ongoing one. 

I have assumed a price of $0.28/kWh and have multiplied this with the supplied kWh consumption per year and what has emerged is the following:

  • The most expensive clothes dryer to purchase (AEG) is the second least efficient unit
  • The cheapest (Hisense) is the third most efficient
  • The most efficient is the Samsung and LG units at fourth and sixth most expensive

What accounts for this disparity?

Star rating  

This is an interesting area as the star rating system is, effectively, a range. In the examples we have presented the models range from 7 to 9 stars:

For example we have 4 x  examples of 7 star ratings ranging from 158 kWh/year for the Electrolux, 156 kWh/year for the AEG and 155 kWH for the Fischer and Paykel and 150 kWh/year for the Bosch.

We have 2 x 9 star rating units; the Samsung and LG, 115 kWh/year for both.

The star rating is simply a guide.

What else can I do with my money?  

So we have a range of prices and yearly operating costs and pretty similar warranties. So the question is if I do buy a more expensive machine, how long would it take to pay off and/or will it be paid off within the warranty period?

Also what if I selected a cheaper model and invested my money in the bank?

Would this be a better option?

Lets select two clothes dryers  


Have selected the Electrolux and the Samsung and there is a small difference in price and a considerable difference to run per year based on $0.28 kWh:

  • Difference in purchase price between the two, $100
  • Electricity assumed to be $0.28 kWh with 2% increase per year
  • We have the option to invest the $100 @ 1.5%

If the more expensive option was selected it would take 8 years to recoup the difference in price via the savings. 


Difference in price $100, actual savings over 8 x years is $103 and if invested @ 1.5% for 8 years would get $112.

Payback period meets investment  

So what is the maximum number of years if we invest the difference at a certain interest rate to match the payback?

  • If we invest for 2 years
  • At 1%
  • Would receive $102 dollars

At three years would receive $103 

Conclusion

✅ When looking at clothes dryers look at the star rating of the appliance

✅ Then the kWh used per year

✅ Calculate the cost per kg of your clothes dryer 

✅ Don’t forget the time value of money, warranty, replacement costs and other factors


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