Many Australians are led to believe that modern energy efficient appliances, use less energy than older supposedly non-efficient ones. With all the talk about increased energy efficiency and energy stars, it is easy to understand why this is so.
It is further easy to understand why the average householder would not question these beliefs, when we are being told this by governments, manufacturers and marketeers.
Are we really be told the full truth though? Is the average Australian making the correct choice and taking home an appliance that will 100% of the time, use less energy than the appliance they threw out?
Would a bit more information allow for a better educated choice? Could this additional insight question some of these beliefs? Beliefs that are based on information from governments, manufacturers and marketeers. Parties who want us to buy their products?
At Aussie Home Energy we would argue, that it is not a good assumption to believe that for 100% of the time, newer appliances use less energy than older appliances!
We would say there is more knowledge that a buyer needs to understand, before being able to make a well educated choice?
The problem is, most people have been led to believe energy efficiency means less energy used. This is not always the case though and Australians need to be aware of this.
Most of us appear to have been brainwashed, into believing the buying of a modern appliance, means it's almost a 100% guarantee less energy is going to be used.
At Aussie Home Energy we are going to show you, that this is not always the case. We are going to show you an existing operational, 'old school' 1950's Pope Power-Pak fridge, indeed uses less energy than it's modern 250L equivalent.
You would be correct into maybe thinking the 60 year old Pope Power-Pak fridge, would be using more energy because it has:
- An old style compressor.
- Old decaying or a lack of insulation.
- Inefficient or reduced refrigerant.
- Old decaying door seals.
- Old style energy hungry technology.
- High energy use by design.
What we have found out though, is quite the opposite. That this old appliance is using far less energy, than it's modern equivalent of comparable size!
So why is this? Well this simple refrigeration appliance, consists of nothing more than a compressor and a light. Built before the days of multiple additional components. And it is the simplicity [less components] of the appliance here, that is keeping the total energy used at a low, even though the components may not be the most efficient.
Specifications of the 250L Pope Power-Pak fridge are, that it has an ampere rating of 1.85 Amps and is connected to an averaged voltage of 245 volts. The home electricity monitors used during testing, were of the type measuring voltage and current, to compute the total energy used by the appliance.
The test results showed the Pope Power-Pak had a monthly operational cost of approximately $2.85 during the winter and $3.10 during the summer. The electricity tariff was 22.12 cents per kWh, with the Pope averaging 14.01 kWh per month. Annual forecast operational costs were $37.19 per year / 168 kWh per year.
Now what is amazing here, is that if you go shopping in the energy efficient fridge section of your local electrical store, shopping for the same running costs per year, all you can find is a non-comparable bar fridge!
So what is going on here, we here some of you ask? Let us explain.
Firstly to double prove our results, we ran the tests twice with two different brands of home electricity monitor. The results were almost identical taking into account the different brands of monitor, slight changes to appliance usage patterns and seasonal changes. The results had less than 5% difference.
Secondly let us look at a modern fridge, an appliance that over the years has had a lot of extra components added to keep the modern family happy. All of these modern components working efficiently in their own right, but totally adding to the overall appliance's energy consumption.
And what are these additional components, added to the modern fridge? Well there are:
- Electric fans to circulate cold air and assist defrost cycles.
- Additional lights, as in the freezer.
- Defrosting heaters.
- Heaters for specialised zones, for example a butter conditioner.
- Anti-sweat heaters, to prevent condensation at the edges of cabinet doors.
- Electronics for monitoring the device.
- And finally those two original components, the compressor and fridge light.
We are sure there are a lot of Aussie householders, who are not aware of what all these extra components are, thinking a fridge is still a fridge, with just an additional de-frost cycle.
If we all knew what was being added to the modern fridge, then we would be in a position to choose more wisely. A choice between modern fridge with it's added components and raised energy use, compared to those of us who simply want 'Just A Fridge'!
As you can see, it is not hard to understand why the modern appliance with all of it's energy efficient components when bundled together, can result in increased energy use!
So make sure you do your homework on energy efficiency and energy used before shopping for any new appliance. What you need to do before buying any new electrical appliance is to:
- Compare features and components, as these often increase energy used.
- Understand the 'kWh' box on the appliances energy label, as this tells you what the costs per year are.
With this information you will be allowing yourself to make a better educated choice when choosing your next new appliance?
We would love to know what you think about energy efficiency versus energy used. Please leave your stories here on this blog post.
This blog post and podcast brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.