Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings
Up Your House
Energy Checklist for Action
cost of using appliances and heating and cooling
equipment averages more than $1,200 per year. You can
sharply reduce your energy bill by using high-efficiency
appliances and space conditioning equipment. While these
may be more expensive to buy than comparable models with
lower or average efficiency, your reduced energy bills
will put that money back into your pocket long before
the product wears out.
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Energy-Efficient Appliances Important to the Consumer?
purchasing energy-efficient appliances, you can also
have a positive effect on national security, the
economy, and the environment. The efficient use of oil,
gas, and electricity improves U.S. economic
competitiveness, and reduces the environmental pollution
associated with energy production and use.
In fact, choosing
energy-efficient appliances is one way you can
immediately reduce your contribution to global climate
change. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
is the primary gas affecting global warming and
virtually all energy-using equipment results in CO2
emissions either directly or indirectly. Since burning
oil or gas in your furnace creates CO2
directly, choosing a more efficient furnace will reduce
this pollutant right from your home. Furthermore, coal
or gas is burned in most power plants to create
electricity and this produces emissions. By replacing a
20-year-old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient
model, not only will you save about 800 kWh per year,
you will also reduce your home's CO2
contribution by about one ton per year—all while saving
about $65 per year through reduced electric bills.
Rebate and Tax Incentive Programs
Some states and utilities offer rebates if you purchase
energy-efficient appliances. Rebates reduce your initial
purchase price of high-efficiency models, making them
even more attractive.
Rebate programs are most common for high-efficiency
refrigerators, air conditioning equipment, and clothes
washers. Some gas utilities offer rebates for
high-efficiency furnaces, while water utilities may
offer rebates for water-saving clothes washers. If you
plan to buy a major appliance soon, ask your utility if
it offers rebates for efficient models.
number of states have introduced tax
incentives—typically income tax credits or elimination
of state sales tax—for the purchase of high-efficiency
appliances. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 enacted new
federal tax credits for consumers for 2006 and 2007 .
For more detailed information
about federal income tax incentives in the Energy Policy
Act of 2005, visit the new Web site from the Tax
Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) at
Buying a new appliance
When you buy an appliance, you pay more than just the
sales price—you commit yourself to paying the cost of
running the appliance for as long as you own it. This
energy cost adds up. The sum of the purchase price and
the energy cost of running an appliance over its
lifetime is called its lifecycle cost. The lifecycle
cost of an energy-efficient appliance is typically lower
than the lifecycle cost of an average model.
The model numbers in our lists are those used by
manufacturers in their product directories. In some
cases, appliance dealers use abbreviated model numbers.
An asterisk (*) appearing in a model number indicates a
digit or letter that varies with features of the
appliance not affecting efficiency or capacity (for
you cannot find some of the models listed on this site,
you can still use the
information to your advantage: compare the efficiencies
of the models you can find to those listed here. The
models listed on this site represent a very small
fraction of all the new appliances available.
Manufacturers constantly introduce new models, and very
efficient models may have become available after lists
on this site were compiled. Also, you can ensure you are
purchasing a relatively efficient product by looking for
the ENERGY STAR label on refrigerators, freezers,
dishwashers, clothes washers, central and room air
conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, and boilers.
When shopping for major appliances, you may want to call
several stores or dealers to check the price and
availability of different models. Ask the salesperson
for information about the efficiency of each model. The
yellow EnergyGuide labels can help you compare similar
realize that energy performance is only one of several
important criteria for selecting home appliances. We do
not collect information on product reliability or other
concerns. However, energy-efficient appliances are
generally high-quality products due to better materials
and components used in their construction.
Source - U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental
Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR