Everywhere you look these days, “Energy Star” is the new designer label. Consumers know that the name is synonymous with quality, much the same as a brand-name product. But what does Energy Star really mean and what does it guarantee?
The Energy Start program is a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the program is to protect the environment and help consumers save money though energy efficient products and practices. In 2008 alone, the government estimates the program saved American consumers over $19 Billion in energy costs!!
When a consumer is ready to make a purchase, they should factor the cost of ownership for their appliance choice as part of their cost. Here are some statistics provided by the Dept. of Energy to show how consumers save money when purchasing Energy Star rated appliances.
Upgrading all Energy Star rated appliances can save a homeowner approximately $2,200 per year Replacing a washer that was manufactured prior to 1998 with an Energy Star rated washer can save over $150 per year. At that rate, most washers will pay for themselves after only a few years of use.
Replacing a refrigerator from the 1980’s will save over $100 per year. Replacing a refrigerator from the 1970’s will save over $200 or more per year. Energy Star rated appliances save anywhere from 10% to 50% in energy costs as compared to non-Energy Star rated units.
In addition to purchasing Energy Star appliances, there are some important things the Dept. of Energy recommends that consumers can do to help reduce energy costs. One of the easiest steps is to vacuum the dust from the coils on your refrigerator every 3 months. This helps reduce energy costs on perhaps the biggest energy hog in the home. Another tip is set your washer to rinse the clothes in cold water, as opposed to warm or hot. Finally, do not pre-rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Not only will you save hundreds of gallons per year, but your dishwasher will perform better and last longer.
Now that you know how to save money, you can be a more educated consumer. If you have any other questions, you can learn more information at www.energystar.gov or by consulting with a knowledgeable local appliance dealer.