Could a phone app be the secret in the war on power prices?

THE WEIGHT of power bills on the hip-pockets of thousands of Australians could soon be eased with the help of a new smartphone app designed to save money on electricity.

Using data from the national Energy Rating label system, the new Energy Rating app displays the power use of many household appliances over the life of the gadget.

Released for Apple, Android and Blackberry smartphones, the app can show people exactly how much a new or old appliance is likely to cost them in extra power use, to help guide consumer choices.

Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched the app on Friday, encouraging people to get online to check it out.

It is available for free from, or at a range of online application stores for various platforms.