Posted: Wed 8th Nov 2023

Budget appliances may drain wallets, Which? finds

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 8th, 2023

Consumer champion Which? has issued a stark warning to the public: purchasing ‘cheap’ appliances may seem economical at first glance but could lead to significant energy bill increases in the long run.

Some ‘cheap’ freezers, ovens, and washing machines that cost under £500 could actually prove pricier in the long run by adding hundreds of pounds to your energy bills over a year, Which? has found.

Amid soaring energy prices, the watchdog’s findings shine a light on the hidden costs of budget-friendly freezers, ovens, washing machines, and kettles.

Which? has scrutinised several appliances that, despite their lower initial cost, have been shown to be energy inefficient, leading to excessive running costs.

For example, a £7 kettle was found to cost a surprising £50 a year to operate, far exceeding the average running cost for kettles.

Similarly, the Hoover-HLEV10LG tumble dryer, with a price tag of £279, could have annual running costs over £200 — more than quintuple that of the most energy-efficient model available.

The Hisense RB327N4WW1 fridge freezer and the Beko DIN15X20 dishwasher, both priced below £500, also did not meet expectations for energy efficiency, incurring significantly higher annual costs for consumers than more energy-conscious alternatives.

Furthermore, the Samsung NV7B41307AS built-in oven, while competitively priced, received just one star for energy efficiency from Which?, indicating a potential rise in running costs for unwary buyers.

As the UK prepares for a chilly winter, the report also highlights the considerable running costs of certain heaters. For instance, the Dimplex 3kW Rugged Fan Heater could contribute nearly £500 to winter energy bills if used frequently.

Yet, not all the news is alarming; Which? also emphasises the benefits of choosing ‘Eco Buys’.

Products such as the Bosch SPS4HMW53G dishwasher and the Samsung WW80T554DAW/S1 washing machine may come with higher initial costs but are touted to offer substantial savings throughout their lifetimes.

These results are in line with the consumer group’s aim to conduct transparent, thorough testing that includes energy efficiency ratings, aiding customers in understanding the real cost of their purchases.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, encourages consumers to consider the long-term energy cost implications rather than just the upfront price. The Which? website provides resources for those in search of appliances that are economical and environmentally friendly.

Brands such as Beko and Hisense have stated their dedication to energy efficiency and the phasing out of lower-rated appliances in line with new EU rules.

Conversely, Samsung has highlighted the energy-efficient and cost-effective nature of its product lineup. Meanwhile, Whirlpool has declined to comment on the findings concerning the Hotpoint washing machine, and Argos, Dimplex, and Hoover have not responded to Which?’s review.

With energy prices in flux and the forthcoming Ofgem rate announcement, consumers are advised to educate themselves on the potential drawbacks of ‘economical’ appliances, to ensure that their money is spent judiciously for long-term sustainability and savings.

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