Environmental Information Exchange


Appliances refer to energy using equipment not related to heating, hot water, lighting, and IT systems.  While this category may cover a seemingly endless range of items, the principles of energy efficiency apply to many of them.

When purchasing new appliances, take note of EU Energy Labels, compulsory labels applied to all white goods and appliances, to find out the energy efficiency and consumption of the product. The appliance's energy efficiency is shown in a rating scale, which provides an index of its efficiency from 'A+++' (the most efficient) to 'G' (the least efficient). Energy labels allow consumers to make informed decisions about the purchase of energy-consuming appliances.

Appliances use energy in a variety of ways.  Many use a small amount of power when ‘off’ through led lights and displays.  There are a number of methods to determine how much energy an appliance consumes when not in use, including use of an energy monitor at the plug socket.  Knowledge of the exact amount of wasted energy an appliance consumes is not necessarily a requirement for switch off items completely.

Appliances have differing controls, however most have a manual on/off switch.

The following is a list of common workplace appliances and potential methods of reducing wasted energy through controls.

Common workplace appliances

How energy can be wasted

Methods of reducing wasted energy


- During idle periods
- Some modes use more energy than others

- Manual switch off at end of day (if not used as fax machine)
- Timer at plug socket
- Potentially controlled by network software

Data projectors

- Standby lights

- Manual switch off (must consider cool down time)


- More water boiled than required

- Correct amount boiled (some models help measure this amount)

Water coolers

- Chills water constantly

- Manual switch off or timer  (check with manufacturer’s specifications)

Vending machines

- Lights and displays on constantly
- Chills or heats constantly

- Manual switch off or timer (check with manufacturer’s specifications)
- Motion sensor power saving mode

Extractor fans

- Operated when not required

- Manual switch off or timer connected to lighting or motions sensors
- More complex ventilation can be controlled by time, temperature, etc.


- Using energy when batteries already recharged

- Manual switch off (some models switch off automatically after charging is complete)