License article

Second fridges should be frozen out

THAT old fridge out the back keeping drinks cold for Christmas might be better unplugged. It could be adding almost $300 a year to your electricity bill, according to new research.

Unused swimming pools are a bigger waste, adding an average $620 a year to energy bills.

Households using a clothes dryer four times a week could reduce their electricity bills by about $320 a year if they put the washing on a clothes line instead. And an air conditioner running for 280 hours a year contributes $165 to the bill.

The research, by NSW's Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, indicates thousands of empty-nesters living in sizeable homes are wasting hundreds a year on under-used gadgets.

More than 40 per cent of free-standing homes in Australia have second fridges, which tend to be old and less energy efficient than modern machines.

The tribunal also found 40 per cent of households had dishwashers, which, it said, added an extra $400 to power bills if used five nights a week - although it warned this estimate may be high for statistical reasons.