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.
What is ENERGY STAR?
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!