If you’re doing green remodeling you may well be thinking of purchasing new appliances. Installing energy-efficient systems like solar panels without paying attention to the appliances that use that electricity is obviously madness.

But even if you’re making do with conventional power, it makes b udget sense to pay close attention to the energy your appliances use and their environmental impact.

The first step is to know which appliances are energy guzzlers. Refrigerators and washing machines are up there at the top of the list. You can always turn the operating temperatures down a bit, or go for shorter wash cycles, but for maximum energy saving it’s worth investing in appliances that are designed for the job.

Other high energy appliances are tumble dryers and dishwashers. Now, we all know what lifesavers these can be. In cold climates, for large families and parents of babies, the tumble dryer is a good friend. If you can’t do without it, check the energy rating of your existing appliance and see if you can get a more efficient one. Ditto for dishwashers – and make sure you only run it when it’s full. Gas stoves can really make savings for you – and many cooks swear by the instant heat you get with gas.

One of the home appliances that use more electricity than you’d imagine is the humble kettle. It’s so easy to fill it with more water than you need, or to keep boiling it up for a single cup of coffee. A small travel kettle for coffee can help, or a new one with an energy-efficient endorsement.

Lighting is another area where you can make savings on your electricity bill. If you haven’t already put lower wattage, energy-efficient light bulbs in, do it now. Or consider alternatives. LED lights have a long life and are low on energy consumption. Consider LED strip lights and accent lights for areas where you don’t need full-on brightness. For outdoors, solar-powered lights that absorb light during the day and emit it after dark are a really cost-effective solution.

Always compare the energy consumption when purchasing new appliances, and when you’re shopping don’t be afraid to ask the store assistants. In reputable stores they should know what they’re talking about. By replacing your appliances, and monitoring the way you use them, you can make savings of up to one fifth of the running costs of older appliances. For longer term savings and your green credentials, upgrade now.

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