Energy Efficient Appliances Shopping Buyer’s Guide


  • An economy cycle feature uses less hot water – about 85% of a dishwasher’s electricity is used just to heat the water.


  • A “perma press” cycle tumbles clothes in cooler air for the last few minutes, to reduce wrinkling and save energy.
  • A time control helps avoid over-drying and energy waste.
  • An electronic moisture or temperature sensor will automatically shut the dryer off when clothes are dry – a great energy saver!

Electric Stoves‚Äč

  • Self-cleaning ovens can be up to 25% more efficient because they are usually better insulated than other models. When it comes to normal usage, the heat is distributed more evenly so less energy is consumed.
  • Check to see that the oven door is well insulated and fits tightly. An oven window lets you check on food cooking without opening the door and letting heat escape.


  • Chest freezers are more energy-efficient than uprights and give you more usable space.
  • Allow for about 85 to 140 litres (3 to 5 cu. ft.) per person.
  • As with refrigerators, be sure to allow for the appropriate airflow space around the unit.


  • A refrigerator usually consumes the most energy in your home, so be sure to select the right size for your needs.
  • What refrigerator size is the most energy efficient?
    • For one or two people, about 340 litres (12 cu. ft.).
    • For three or four people, 395 to 480 litres (14 to 17 cu. ft.).
    • For each additional person, add about 55 litres (2 cu. ft.).
  • Allow for 25mm (1″) of space on all sides so heat can move away from the compressor and condensing coil.
  • When considering the various makes and models, choose a refrigerator with an energy-saver switch.


  • A front-loading washer uses significantly less hot water and is much more energy efficient.
  • Cold water wash and rinse cycles significantly reduce energy costs.
  • A water level option and shorter, gentler cycles lets you do small loads and wash fine fabrics without wasting the energy needed to run a full cycle.
  • Consider a compact model if your laundry loads are usually small.