With energy prices on the rise, not only are people paying more at the pump, but they’re also paying more in their utility bills. This may cause you to be looking at energy efficiency in a whole new light. When you are purchasing home appliances, it is becoming more and more important to consider not only the price tag, but also the impact on your energy bill. So while some energy efficient appliances may cost a bit more at the store, the savings you get at home can outweigh the purchase price difference pretty quickly. Another bonus is that energy efficient appliances cause less stress to the planet, saving the environment.
Figuring out which appliances are best for you though, can be tricky. Different appliances and other home products like windows and insulation all have their own terms for what makes them energy efficient and they can be tough to compare. Looking for the Energy Star can be a good place to start, but before you do, it is helpful to know what it is and what it means.
The Energy Star is a US government program, started in 1992, that is a joint project of the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The list of consumer goods that can qualify for an energy star rating has expanded steadily ever since. According to their website, http://energystar.gov, products that have the Energy Star label have met strict standards set by the DoE and EPA for energy efficiency and low emissions. While appliances are not on the list, some Energy Star labeled products give tax credits to purchasers, and manufacturers of Energy Star appliances are eligible for business tax credits, which can mean savings passed along to consumers. Switching to Energy Star rated appliances can save an average of $80 a year on home energy bills.
Looking for the Energy Star when purchasing appliances is a good place to start, but keep in mind that not all appliances are eligible for the Energy Star. These include clothes dryers, ovens, and ranges. The DoE does have guidelines for purchasing energy efficient appliances in these categories though, and you can find links to them at http://energystar.gov also. You can find the Energy Star on washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers, as well as other products for your home, like computers, phones, and lightbulbs.