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Energy Comparisons of ENERGY STAR® Appliances

Sep 19 2023

If you’re looking to save on electricity costs, one way is to invest in ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. Let’s take a look at what ENERGY STAR is and perform some energy comparisons. You might be surprised to see how much a new energy-efficient appliance could save you.


ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. It is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

When you see the blue ENERGY STAR label on an appliance or other electronic equipment, you know right away that an item has been externally certified against strict performance requirements.

Why would a company want their product to be ENERGY STAR rated? First, it meets the growing consumer demand for efficiency and sustainability. Second, providing energy-efficient products helps protect the environment, improve air quality, and protect public health. It’s a win-win for all.

Since it began in 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped:

  • Save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity
  • Avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4 billion metric tons

How can ENERGY STAR appliances help me save money?

There are two costs to every appliance: what you pay to buy it and what you pay in energy (and water) costs to use it.

Owning an energy-efficient appliance will help you use less energy than one that meets the minimum federal requirements. Using less electricity helps lower your monthly energy bill. For appliances that are heavily used — like refrigerators, laundry machines or dishwashers — the monthly savings can add up.

If you’re in the market for a new appliance, perform an electricity comparison between the models you’re interested in. There should be a noticeable difference in kilowatt hour usage between the ENERGY STAR appliances and non-rated options.

Energy comparisons of 4 major appliances

We’ll begin with refrigerators since they’re plugged in and running all day, every day.

A refrigerator/freezer model must use approximately 9% less energy than a model that meets the federal minimum energy efficiency standards in order to earn the ENERGY STAR rating. Energy-efficient features of these units include:

  • High-efficiency compressors that emit less heat and use less energy
  • Improved insulation
  • Efficiency temperature and defrost systems

If you want to be energy efficient, you should replace your refrigerator if it’s more than 15 years old. That’s because an old fridge could cost up to 30% more to run than a new ENERGY STAR unit. And keep in mind that the most energy efficient full-size fridge/freezer combos are between 16 to 20 cubic feet.

Energy comparisons of dishwasher efficiency

Next up are dishwashers — a modern convenience that more than half of households in the U.S. possess.

Compared to standard models, ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwashers use 12% less energy. Over a 10-year period, an efficient dishwasher can also save about 3,870 gallons of water.

ENERGY STAR dishwashers have energy-efficient features including:

  • Soil sensors that test for dish cleanliness and adjust as needed
  • Better water filtration that removes food from the wash water as the cycle runs
  • Efficient jets to spray detergent and water
  • Innovative dish rack design to maximize your load

Energy comparisons of clothes washer efficiency

Moving on to the laundry room, we’ll first look at clothes washers.

ENERGY STAR-certified washing machines use around 20% less energy than regular models. They also use 30% less water — around 14 gallons, compared to the standard 20 gallons.

Additionally, ENERGY STAR-rated front-load washers use about 45% less energy and 50% less water than a top-load washer with an agitator.

Technology that helps deliver added efficiency to washers includes water-conserving wash systems and high spin speeds.

To get the maximum efficiency while doing laundry, pair an ENERGY STAR washer with an ENERGY STAR dryer.

Energy comparisons of clothes dryer efficiency

An efficient clothes dryer uses about 20% less energy than a standard model, which can help lower your electricity bill — especially if you have a lot of laundry to wash but don’t like to hang your clothes to dry.

ENERGY STAR rated dryers often feature:

  • Sensors that can tell when clothes are dry
  • Lower heat settings to conserve energy
  • Delayed start option, which can help you save money if you’re on a Time of Use electricity plan that charges less per kilowatt hour during certain times of the day
  • A steam cycle, to avoid having to iron clothes once they’re dry

Together with ENERGY STAR clothes washers, efficient dryers can help maximize your energy savings. In fact, ENERGY STAR certified laundry sets use 25% less energy and 33% less water.

Compare power plans for even greater savings

Upgrading to ENERGY STAR appliances when necessary can help you save on energy costs over the lifetime of the product. You can also compare electricity rates with an energy broker to help take control of your energy bill today.

To compare electricity prices, plans and providers the easy way, simply enter your ZIP code and start shopping with Everything Energy!

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Houston Energy Companies Offer Storm-Readiness Tips

Sep 05 2023

If you’re a Houston resident, you probably know a thing or two about hurricanes. Maybe you’ve even lived through hurricanes Harvey (2017), Ike (2008), Rita (2005) and/or previous Houston storms.

If so, you know it’s always best to be prepared. In an effort to make storm prep easier and keep residents safe, many Houston energy companies offer a bevy of tips and resources. We’re highlighting a few of them today to encourage you to be storm ready all season.

When is hurricane season in Texas?

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. At the time of this publication, we’re right around the halfway point.

Hurricane prep tips from Houston energy companies

Brush up on your hurricane prep with these helpful tips from Houston power providers.

Green Mountain Energy’s Texas Storm Readiness Guide

This thorough guide assembled by Green Mountain Energy tells you what to do before, during and after a storm.

Helpful tips include:

  • Stay alert by checking the National Hurricane Center website regularly.
  • Stock up on supplies for your home and car. Don’t forget to pack:
    • Bottled water
    • Non-perishable food
    • Medications (prescriptions and over-the-counter)
    • First aid supplies
    • Toiletries
    • Pet food, if applicable
    • Rain gear
    • Batteries
    • Flashlights
    • Battery-operated radio
    • Solar-powered phone charger
    • Backup power solutions such as a generator and a portable power bank
  • Prep your home by securing outdoor equipment and trimming tree branches near your house to minimize the risk of broken windows and debris.

Direct Energy’s Learning Center Resources

In the Direct Energy Learning Center, you’ll find helpful ways to deal with summer weather. That includes not only hurricanes but other storms, floods and extreme heat.

Some of the many tips from Direct Energy include:

  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan for your family. Things to plan are a family meeting spot; alternate routes to your meeting place (in case you encounter flooded roads, downed trees or power lines); and an emergency backpack that contains important documents and identification cards.
  • Understand post-hurricane food and water safety, like what to do with frozen and refrigerated foods during a loss of power and whether you need to boil water before drinking it.
  • Print this supply and grocery checklist to make it easier to assemble your storm supplies and “go” bag.

Reliant Energy’s Storm Center

Reliant Energy offers a robust section on its website to help Texans prepare for severe weather. Here are some highlights:

  • Evacuations can be lengthy and stressful. Make sure to include a board game, deck of cards and/or books in your “go” bag.
  • Other items to add to your “go” bag are a 7-day supply of medications; glasses/contact lenses and eye care items; and food/supplies for any pets you’d take with you.

Reliant also provides a handy way to report an outage. Simply choose your Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) from the list (or enter your service address). You’ll be provided with two options for reporting an outage — by phone or online. We recommend bookmarking that site for easy reference.

Cirro Energy’s Storm Center

Another site to check out for hurricane prep is Cirro Energy’s Storm Center. During a storm, the Houston energy company offers these tips:

  • Head to a basement or bathroom. A bathtub can provide some protection if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.
  • Turn off and unplug major appliances and electronics during a power outage.
  • Avoid being outside, even if it seems like the storm has ended. Strong winds could follow periods of calm.

Cirro also provides information on how to apply for FEMA assistance. For reference, you can apply by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or calling (800) 621-FEMA.

Discount Power Storm Center

Getting where you need to go when severe weather is forecast can be chaotic. Discount Power’s storm preparedness page shows where you can find the latest updates on traffic, construction, and road closures.

Become familiar with these sites before a hurricane is on the horizon so you’re well-informed during a storm:

More resources from Houston energy companies

Now that you know where to look as you prepare for the second half of hurricane season (and future years as well), you have a wealth of information at your fingertips.

Here are a few more resources from electricity companies Houston residents trust for hurricane support.

Preparation is key when it comes to Texas weather

With these resources from local Houston power companies, you can make sure you have a plan for keeping your family safe through severe weather situations and potential evacuation.

Now is the time to prepare, so you can remain cool, calm, and collected in the face of adversity.

Shop and compare Texas and Houston energy companies

To find some of the best electricity rates Houston and the Lone Star State have to offer, check out Everything Energy. You can shop, compare, and enroll in a plan that fits your home, lifestyle, and budget.

Click here to get started with just your ZIP code!

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