HomePropertyHome LifestyleWhich household appliances use the most power?

Which household appliances use the most power?

In the modern household, energy efficiency is not just a buzzword – it’s a necessity for both environmental sustainability and financial wellbeing. While you may be vigilant about turning off lights and unplugging chargers, some of the biggest energy hogs in your home could go unnoticed. Let’s shine a light on these silent spenders and explore strategies to rein in their power consumption.

Which state has the highest electricity bills?

A study conducted by the financial comparison website Canstar Blue surveyed more than 4100 households to determine the typical quarterly electricity expenses across the states and territories. The Northern Territory was excluded due to insufficient data.

Western Australia enjoys the cheapest average at $296, while Tasmania has the highest at $372. Averages for the other states are as follows:

South Australia – $352

New South Wales – $345

Australian Capital Territory – $321

Victoria – $320

Queensland – $315

However, these figures can fluctuate based on several factors, including your specific location, energy consumption habits, and the provider you choose.

The most power-hungry household appliances

Let’s delve into the appliances that are likely contributing the most to your electricity bill, according to data from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, and the SA Department of Energy and Mining.

Heating and cooling

Heating and cooling systems are the biggest culprits, accounting for a whopping 40 per cent of home energy use. 

It’s tempting to turn on the air conditioner during Australia’s scorching summers or blast the heater in the chilly winters, but there are more cost-effective ways to stay comfortable. For instance, using a fan can cost as little as 2 cents per hour. 

If using the air con is essential, setting the temperature between 23 and 26°C can prevent your bill from skyrocketing. Each degree below this can increase your bill by up to 15 per cent. 

Alternatively, you could use both the air con and a fan at the same time. 

This could save you 70 per cent of your electricity usage, according to research by Professor Ollie Jay, a professor of heat and health at the University of Sydney.

“If you move air more in an indoor environment, the temperature at which you [feel like you’re too hot] is hotter,” Prof. Jay says.

“So you feel the same at 23 degrees with still air as you will at 27 degrees with air moving, because we’re cooling the person, instead of cooling the air.”

In winter you can save on your energy bill by setting your heater between 18 degrees and 20 degrees. And whenever you’re heating or cooling a room, close off the areas that you’re not using.

Hot water

Hot water usage is another significant contributor, making up 25 per cent of a household’s energy consumption. Shorter showers and low-flow showerheads can drastically reduce this figure. A standard shower head might use 25 litres of water per minute, whereas a water-efficient model uses around nine litres. 

Regularly checking your hot water system for leaks and ensuring pipes are insulated can also prevent unnecessary energy loss.


Electronics, including TVs, computers, and gaming consoles, account for 14 per cent of energy use. Generally, electronic devices enter a standby mode and continue to draw power instead of powering off completely. Electronics staying in standby mode can add up to 10 per cent of your electricity bill annually. The simple act of turning off devices at the wall when not in use can lead to significant savings.

Fridges and freezers

These appliances that must run continuously, account for 8 per cent of energy use. Opting for appropriately sized and efficient models is key. Routine maintenance can also help, check the door seals are clean and brush off any dusty coils on the back of the fridge regularly.

One other thing you can do is make sure the fridge is in the best location. Refrigerators positioned in a warm place require more energy to maintain a cool temperature. It’s essential to place them in well-ventilated areas with adequate space around the unit to optimise efficiency.

Additionally, keeping your fridge full can reduce running costs because the thermal mass of its contents helps it maintain a consistent temperature.

Cooking appliances

Ovens and cooktops use about 5 per cent of household energy. Benchtop appliances such as air fryers or microwaves can be more economical for small households than using an oven or cooktop. Remember to only run dishwashers when full to maximise efficiency.

Washing machine

Laundry appliances make up 4 per cent of energy consumption. Opting for cold washes can save up to 10 times more energy than warm washes. Washing full loads and using economy cycles on your washing machine can also help save energy, and nothing beats the sun for drying clothes cost-free.

If you don’t have a washing line and need to use a dryer, don’t overfill it as this can slow down the drying process and lead to greater energy usage.

Extra tips

Here are some additional tips to help you save on your electricity bill:

1. Invest in energy-efficient appliances when it’s time for replacements. 

2. Use natural light during the day instead of relying on artificial lighting. 

3. Insulate your home to maintain temperatures more efficiently. 

4. Consider solar panels to reduce reliance on the grid and potentially earn credits for excess energy produced. 

5. Monitor your energy usage with a smart meter or energy management system.

By being mindful of your energy consumption and making a few strategic changes, you can enjoy the comfort of your home without the stress of a high electricity bill. 

Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Share your energy-saving tips and experiences in the comments section below, and let’s help each other keep those bills at bay.

Also read: Take back control of your energy-sucking kitchen appliances

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.


  1. I have roof solar panels. A simple cheap timer on your hot water fuse can save heaps depending on location, time setting & weather conditions. I live in cairns, North Queensland & normally experience plenty of sunny weather, so I set the timer from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Great savings.

  2. I noticed that once I had installed the “new” flickmaster taps my water heating bill went up. With the old style separate taps it was ok just to use cold. Now in order to get a good flow the switch is in the middle, mixing in hot water to supply a warm tepid water flow. Plus they are prone to breaking down and leaking, another step back in efficiency and quality of our plumbing supplies.

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -


- Advertisment -

Log In

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.