A NSW Government website

Discover what's using the most energy

The first step to reducing your power bill is working out what's using the most energy. Once you know what's using the most power, simple changes can make a big difference.

What's using the most power

The top three energy-guzzling items in the average Australian home are:

  • ducted reverse cycle air conditioners
  • hot water systems
  • fridges and freezers.

Use the Energy Rating Calculator

You can use online tools to work out how much energy each of your appliances is likely to be using. The Energy Rating Calculator shows expected energy usage, and estimated running cost of many appliances. You can:

  • input the brand and model of the appliance
  • check the annual energy usage, and the expected running cost
  • if your electricity price is different from the calculator amount, multiply the kWh price on your bill by the energy usage to get an expected running cost.

Measure the actual energy use of appliances

Use a plug-in power meter

To check how much electricity appliances are actually using in your home, you can use a plug-in power meter.

Power meter are available for purchase online or in selected stores. Some brands retail for as little as $20. Once you have one:

  • plug the appliance into the power meter
  • plug the meter into a power socket
  • input your electricity cost per kWh, which you'll find on your bill

The power meter will show you:

  • real-time energy use and cost
  • how much standby power is wasted.

Keep in mind that some appliances, like fridges, cycle on and off based on the thermostat settings. For this reason, fridges need to be monitored for a longer time - at least 24 hours.

How do you compare with other households

Bills from energy providers will tell you how your energy use compares to other households.