Katy Evans-Bush from the Energy Saving Trust talks energy-guzzling appliances, how to spot them and how to avoid them with the Energy Saving Trust ‘Recommended’ scheme.

Take control of your appliances! Energy Saving Trust’s ‘Recommended’ scheme hands the reins back to you.

This week the Energy Saving Trust has been celebrating its 14th Energy Saving Week. This year’s topical theme is “control,” and today is the day we celebrate our Recommended scheme for energy-efficient household goods and services. Most of us, when we buy electrical goods, base our decisions on price, size, colour, brand; but often another crucial piece of information – how much energy the item will use to run – is hard to come by. It’s the same as buying a car without knowing how many miles to the gallon it gets.

Our Recommended scheme enables people to make an informed decision when they buy, and take back control of their running costs. It covers products ranging from hair dryers and toasters to double-glazing and insulation.

For example, did you know that an average 32” flat-screen television costs more to run than a fridge freezer? Replacing a less efficient TV with an Energy Saving Trust Recommended could save you around £200 in running costs over its lifetime. And your fridge-freezer works harder than any other appliance you own: it’s on the go night and day. Investing in a more energy-efficient one, recommended by our scheme, could save 60% of its energy consumption and save around £36 a year.

But of course, the single biggest gobbler of your energy pounds is your boiler. Heating and hot water account on average for 80% of household energy use. If you upgraded your boiler to a Recommended, energy-efficient one, and improved your heating controls, you could save a whopping £235 every year.

With the current economic climate promising little warmth of its own, we’re hoping people will cast a beady eye on the ‘juice-guzzling’ appliances they share their homes with, and replace them with something a little smarter.

And, speaking of things that are smart, we all know our phones are now smarter than we are. Smart meters can help us be as smart about our energy use as we are about our apps. Piper Terrett – the ‘Green Voice of Britain’ – says in a guest post on our blog  today:

“Once you get an energy monitor, you find yourself watching it like a hawk. We’re always nagged that a kettle uses lots of electricity, for example – but the first time you make a cuppa and watch the display numbers jump off the chart, it actually sinks in.” She goes on: “Once, when the monitor numbers bounced, I couldn’t work out what was causing it. I wandered around the house turning appliances off before realising that my other half was taking a shower. It’s obvious really, but heating water guzzles an incredible amount of power.”

So we feel we have good reason to celebrate our work identifying the best-performing energy-efficient products.

As the Recommended scheme is ten years old this year, we’re celebrating in style – but instead of receiving presents, we are running a prize draw to win a £20,000 energy-saving makeover for your home. You can win everything your house needs to cut your energy bills; from insulation to a new boiler and heating controls, to a fridge-freezer and TV, plus much more. Visit the Energy Saving Trust website and request a call back from our advice centres while it’s still Energy Saving Week, to be in with a chance of winning. You have until Sunday, October 31st.

Have a great Energy Saving Week. And don’t let your toaster make toast of your bills.