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Appliance and Solar Calculator FAQs

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Appliance Calculators (Dishwasher, Fridge, TV and Washing Machine)

 

1. How do I use these calculators?
2. How do I use these calculators on my mobile?
3. Where do I find the model number?
4. How do you come up with your recommendations?
5. What do the different recommendations mean?
6. Why do you sometimes recommend the model with the highest CO2 emissions?
7. How do you work out my CO2 savings?
8. How do you work out my cost savings?

1. How do I use these calculators?

We’ve designed these calculators for you to use when shopping for one of these appliances. If you’ve got a shortlist of models, you can use the calculator to work out which model has the highest carbon footprint. The calculator will then tell you how much CO2 you could save if you bought one of the other models, and whether any of these other models can also save you money. To make it easy for you, the calculator will give you a recommendation on whether or not to buy a particular model.

2. How do I use these calculators on my mobile?

If you’re on a mobile, download APPliance – it’s an app that contains our dishwasher, fridge, TV and washing machine calculators all in the one place. It’s free, and is available on Android and iPhone.

3. Where do I find the model number?

You’ll normally find the model number wherever the model is advertised – this includes catalogues, websites and on the price tag in-store. We’ve put together a separate page that shows you how to find the model number in each of these places.

4. How do you come up with your recommendations?

Our recommendations are based on identifying which model out of the ones you’re comparing has the highest electricity use, and therefore the highest CO2 emissions. We then compare all the other models to this, and see if any of them could save you money. We then make our recommendations based on the potential cost savings that each other model could deliver.

5. What do the different recommendations mean?

You’ll get one of 3 recommendations for each model – YES, MAYBE or NO.

You’ll get a “YES” recommendation in 2 cases:

  • If a model delivers both cost and CO2 savings; OR
  • If none of the models delivers sufficient cost savings, we’ll give the model with the highest CO2 Emissions a “Yes” recommendation, as the others are too expensive.

You’ll get a “MAYBE” recommendation if one of the models is slightly more expensive than the model with the highest CO2 Emissions. This recognises the fact that the extra cost of achieving CO2 savings is not exorbitant, and that in some cases bargaining on the purchase price may make it economical for you.

You’ll get a “NO” recommendation in 2 cases:

  • If a model that provides CO2 savings is far more expensive overall than the model with the highest CO2 emissions; OR
  • If any of the models can save you money, or come with a “Maybe” recommendation, then we’ll tell you not to buy the model with the highest CO2 emissions.

6. Why do you sometimes recommend the model with the highest CO2 emissions?

If the alternative models are too expensive, then we don’t recommend them. That’s because they represent a very expensive way to reduce your CO2 emissions. There are cheaper ways to reduce your CO2 emissions, such as buying carbon offsets through an organisation such as Greenfleet, which also offers tax deductibility on any purchases of offsets.

7. How do you work out my CO2 savings?

Our calculators show you a “Lifetime CO2 Savings” figure. We firstly take the Annual Energy Use of each model, which is published as part of the model’s Energy Star Rating. Using some of the information you gave us about how you use the appliance, we then make some adjustments to the published energy use, so that it more accurately reflects your situation.

We then work out how much CO2 would’ve been emitted in the State / Territory that you live in, in order to produce the amount of energy needed to run each model. We use Federal Government data to calculate this. After this calculation, we then get an annual CO2 emissions figure for each model. We then multiply this figure by the number of years you intend to keep your appliance for, to come up with a Lifetime CO2 Emissions figure for each model.

Out of all the models you’re comparing, we then identify which one has the highest Lifetime CO2 Emissions. We then work out how much CO2 you’ll save by buying one of the other models you’re considering.

8. How do you work out my cost savings?

Our calculators show you a “Lifetime Cost Savings” figure. We firstly calculate the Lifetime Cost of each model, which is the Purchase Price + the electricity costs for each model over the lifetime of the appliance.

Out of all the models you’re comparing, we then identify which one has the highest lifetime CO2 emissions. We then work out how much you’ll save by buying a model with lower CO2 emissions.

Sometimes a model may actually cost you more. Whenever this happens, you’ll see the “Lifetime Cost Savings” figure display a negative value. If there are savings to be had, you’ll see a positive value.

Solar Panel Savings Calculator FAQs

 

1. How do I use the solar panel savings calculator?
2. What if my city doesn’t appear in the calculator?
3. What is my panel size?
4. How do I work out how much electricity I use during the day?
5. What is the Payback Period?
6. How do you calculate my savings and profit?
7. How do you work out my CO2 savings?

1. How do I use the solar panel savings calculator?

This calculator helps you work out if it’s worth installing solar panels at your home. It can estimate how long it will take you to get back the installation cost of the panels through electricity bill savings.

2. What if my city doesn’t appear in the calculator?

If your city doesn’t appear in the list, then simply choose the city that’s closest to where you live. The amount of sunlight varies by city, which affects how much electricity your panels can produce. Generally most cities are grouped together under a particular zone based on how much electricity they produce – the cities we’ve picked represent all the main zones.

3. What is my panel size?

When you get a quote for a system, you’ll be given a system size, which is measured in kilowatts (KW) or watts (W). One kilowatt is simply 1000 watts. System sizes for homes usually range between 1.5KW and 10KW. When entering your panel size in the calculator, make sure you enter it in kilowatts.

4. How do I work out how much electricity I use during the day?

Generally this refers to the hours between 7am and 6pm. If you’ve got a smart meter, you can often get this data from your meter. Alternatively if you’re on a time of use energy plan, your bill will give you details of your peak, off-peak and shoulder period usage, so you can use this to make a reasonable estimate.

In all other cases you’ll need to make a best guess at this. When coming up with an estimate, you should think about the following:

  • How many people are at home between 7am and 6pm on weekdays?
  • Do you spend most of these hours at home over the weekend?
  • Do you run heating or cooling between these hours, or do you use a lot of electric hot water during these hours? These account for 60% of all household electricity use.

If you’re still not sure, we’d suggest using a figure of 50%.

5. What is the payback period?

The payback period is how long it’ll take you to break even on your solar panels – that is, the estimated number of years and months it’ll take to recoup your installation costs through electricity cost savings.

6. How do you calculate my savings and profit?

Firstly we work out how much electricity your panels are expected to produce in the area you live in. This is based on data published by the Federal Government. Next we look at how much solar electricity you’d expect to use yourself, and how much surplus electricity you’d expect to send to the grid. We then work out how much money you’d expect to save by generating your own power and how much you’d expect to receive by selling some to the grid. We apply a Net Feed-In Tariff for these calculations. This then gives us your annual savings. We then look at how much these savings would add up to over a 10 year period to work out your final profit.

7. How do you work out my CO2 savings?

Once we’ve worked out how much electricity (in kw/h) you could expect your panels to produce each year, we multiply this amount by what we call an Emissions Factor. This then gives us the total CO2 emissions that you would’ve saved through the electricity generated by your solar panels.

The Emissions Factor measures the amount of CO2 that would’ve been emitted in the State / Territory that you live in, in order to produce 1 kw/h of electricity. The Federal Government publishes Emissions Factors for each State / Territory.

© 2017 Start Sustainable Pty Ltd.