One way to save electricity at home is to decide what you want from the refrigerator before opening the door. A better way is to use an energy efficient fridge.
Spend a month away on holiday and your electricity bill is still a few hundred dollars. That is because your refrigerator is running around the clock and could account for 15 to 25 per cent of your home's energy consumption.
According to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the reason why refrigerators are getting more energy efficient is that the technology of cooling, vaporising and heat insulation has seen major breakthroughs.
Since November 2009, Hong Kong has implemented the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MEELS) in phases to help improve energy efficiency. Some products are required to carry labels informing consumers of their energy efficiency and manufacturers breaching the requirement are committing an offence. As of September last year, air conditioners, refrigerators, energy efficient light bulbs, washing machines and dehumidifiers are covered by the MEELS.
The energy label classifies performance into five grades. Grade 1 means products are among the most energy efficient and grade 5 among the least efficient.
'To master the art of saving energy and water resources, you have to start from the most mundane details,' says Maggie Li, marketer for BSH Home Appliances, which markets Siemens and Bosch products.
Li says it is possible to calculate and compare the energy consumption of different models before making a choice. Newer models also offer new technology.
Siemens's new i-Dos washing machine, for example, is equipped with an intelligent auto-detection system, which will decide the mode of washing based on weight of the clothes, type of fabric and how soiled the clothes are, saving not just power, but also thousands of litres of water a year. It also helps save energy by using magnetic levitation technology to reduce friction and wastage.