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How can I reduce the cost of my appliances (purchase, usage and end of life)?

When you look at it closely, appliances represent a significant portion of the household budget. At the time of purchase, of course, but also during use. Do you want to save money? Here are a few leads!

How many appliances do you have at home? A dozen or so? Around twenty? The exact number is probably higher than you think. The average home has no fewer than 100 appliances! There is the fridge, the washing machine and the TV, of course, but let's not forget the vacuum cleaner, the electric toothbrush, the coffee machine, the toaster... All these appliances consume electricity.

Obviously, we are not going to condemn the use of these devices. Most of them make life easier and save precious time. But it's worth looking at their cost so you make the right choices when buying or using them.

Reduce the cost of purchasing appliances

Saving money starts before you buy your new appliances. Here are the key questions to ask yourself if you are considering buying a new electronic appliance.

Do I really need this device?

Are you really gaining anything by electrifying your pepper mill or can opener? Is there a non-electric version of this device that is just as effective? It may seem obvious, but it's worth asking!

Which model do I really need?

Sizing can lead to substantial savings. Do you really need that American fridge when there are only two of you at home? Choose the right appliances for your household size and usage.

Moreover, it is not always necessary to choose the most powerful devices. Besides the fact that these devices consume more energy and cost more to purchase, we don't always need a "Formula 1" in every area.

Which device to choose

Have you determined your exact needs? All you have to do now is choose from the devices available on the market. To help you make the right choice, there is one watchword: compare!


  • For large appliances, look at the energy labels so you choose those that consume the least electricity (and water for some). The grading system has recently changed. Here's how to decipher energy labels.
  • The energy label is not mandatory on small appliances. Make a habit of turning them over to read their rating plate. The power is always stated. It allows you to compare similar devices with each other. The higher the power, the higher the consumption. But a more powerful device can also be more efficient and effective.
  • Manufacturers will soon have to put a mandatory label on certain appliances. It will display a score of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent) to assess the repairability of these devices. This is already the case in France for washing machines with windows, laptops, smartphones, televisions and electric lawnmowers.

How do you calculate the usage cost?

You can calculate the usage cost before buying your device. All you need to know are the power of the device and the amount of time you will use it. We'll help you do the maths!

See also: How much do appliances consume?

Some tips for buying appliances

  • For the kitchen, choose induction hobs and a fan oven. Check out our tips for choosing a fridge and freezer.
  • A heat pump dryer uses less energy, but takes longer to dry your laundry. However, the most economical way is to dry your laundry outdoors or in a ventilated, unheated room.

Reduce the usage cost

Best practices are recommended for each type of device. On this site, you will find tips:

Beware of standby power consumption

Unplug devices when not in use. The minimum cost of standby mode for the five main household appliances is €64 per year!

Read our tips for detecting and eliminating standby consumption.

Optimise your usage time

In some cases, it may be worthwhile scheduling your use of energy-intensive appliances (washing machine, dryer, oven, etc.) for specific times of the day or even during the night.

Do you have photovoltaic panels? Run as many devices as possible in the middle of the day, when the light is strongest. You may want to fit them with a programmable plug for this purpose.

Do you have a dual hourly rate meter? Run them from 10pm to 7am on weekdays or any time on weekends and public holidays.

Manage the end of life of your devices

Do you want to get rid of an appliance and replace it with a newer model? Is one of your appliances faulty or broken? Don't neglect this stage of the life cycle of your devices!

While it may not represent a direct cost to you, it can have an environmental impact that we will pay for sooner or later.

Hoarding: not necessarily a good idea

When you replace your TV or fridge with a newer model, it's tempting to keep the old appliance as a back-up, if it still works. But it is an extra consumption point. Why not donate it to an association? Or sell it second hand?

Repair or throw away?

When an appliance breaks down, the first reflex is to replace it rather than repair it (or have it repaired). The cost of the parts, labour and a technician's visit can easily add up to a significant percentage of the price of a new unit.

And yet, by repairing it, we also save "grey" energy, which is all the energy needed to produce the materials and manufacture, assemble and transport a new device. This invisible energy has a direct cost to the environment. A cost that will come back to us sooner or later.

A recent VITO/KUL study showed that it is more advantageous to repair, unless the appliance is nearing the end of its average service life (12.5 years for a washing machine, 5 to 9 years for a vacuum cleaner).

Where can you get your appliances repaired in Brussels?

  • Volunteer repairers work in Repair Cafés, where they repair your appliances for free: more information at
  • The shop where you bought the device may have its own repair service or a partnership with an external service.
  • Many manufacturers do the same. You will find their phone number in the manual that came with the device.
  • Independent repairers or spare parts shops can be found in directories or on the Internet.

You can also donate your appliances to an electroREV recycling centre.

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