Don’t be fooled: Cheap appliances could be costing you more in the long run


Consumer group warns against budget devices that are energy guzzlers

Consumer group Which? is cautioning households against purchasing supposedly cheap appliances that could actually drive up energy costs by hundreds of pounds. Their study examined eight appliances, including ovens, washing machines, and freezers, all priced under £500. Despite their lower price tags, these appliances were found to have poor energy efficiency and higher running costs compared to other models.

Energy bills on the rise

With energy bills for the average household now standing at £1,834, families are increasingly concerned about saving money. The study by Which? revealed that certain budget appliances can significantly contribute to these rising costs. By choosing energy-guzzling devices, households may unknowingly be adding to their financial burden.

A closer look at the findings

The Hoover-HLEV10LG vented tumble dryer, priced at just £279, was found to be the most expensive appliance to run, costing £200 a year. In comparison, the most energy-efficient heat pump dryer cost just a fifth of that amount. Similarly, the Hisense RB327N4WW1 fridge freezer, priced at around £399, was found to have running costs of £113.12 per year. The average freestanding model, on the other hand, costs only £81 per year to run.

The study also examined the Cookworks Plastic Kettle 825/6344, which costs only £7 to purchase. However, it was discovered that this cheap kettle costs over £50 a year to run, while the average kettle only costs around £23. Additionally, the Beko DIN15X20 dishwasher, retailing for £279, was found to have running costs of £89 per year, compared to the cheapest model on the market, which costs only £46 per year.

Other appliances that showed poor energy efficiency included the Samsung NV7B41307AS built-in oven, which costs £79 per year to run compared to the average of £64 per year, and the Samsung UE43CU8000, which has a yearly running cost of £29 compared to the £25 average.

Expert advice from Which?

Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?, advises consumers against being swayed by low price points when purchasing appliances. She recommends considering energy efficiency ratings and using the Which? website for recommended eco-friendly options and tips on reducing energy costs.

Calculate the true cost

To determine the running cost of any appliance, consumers can use a simple formula: Cost = power (in kWh) × time (in hours) × price of 1 kilowatt on your energy tariff. Most retailers provide the wattage of their devices on their product pages, which can be used in the formula. By comparing the running costs of different appliances, consumers can make informed decisions about their purchases.

Manufacturer responses

Manufacturers Beko, Hisense, Whirlpool, Argos, Dimplex, Hoover, and Samsung did not provide comments on the findings.

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