You'll see hundreds of appliance models lined up when you step into a big home improvement store. You might think that energy-efficient goods are prohibitively expensive to buy when you browse among the choices. But the price tag at a home appliance does not always tell the whole story of the cost. Knowing a few key facts can help you decide the true cost of a conventional appliance compared to an energy efficient model.
The meaning of Energy-Star certification
Energy Star designation is supported by the government that helps people identify energy-efficient appliances. When an item is accredited as Energy Star, rigorous testing is done to ensure that it is significantly more efficient than the minimum standards for simple appliances. If a product is accredited as Energy Star, quantifiable savings on energy costs will balance a more expensive price tag. A product that therefore cost slightly more up front, but the EPA has decided that savings on utility bills would make up the initial rise.
Significantly more efficient energy-star appliances are expected than the old and outdated appliances. A refrigerator certified Energy-Star can be 10% more effective than a version that only meets the minimum US requirements. Energystar.gov replacing an old refrigerator with a new Energy Star refrigerator can save up to $300 in energy costs over the appliance's lifetime, according to a government website. An Energy-Star washer uses up to 40 percent less water than a conventional ten-year-old appliance and 20 percent less energy.
Considering that the average American family does at least five laundry loads a week, this adds to significant water and electricity savings. Switching to a new front loading efficient model from your 10-year-old top loading washer can save you nearly $200 a year. Even though the current front-load washer is marginally more than a normal unit, over the years the savings are steadily adding up. Washing machines and refrigerators are just two examples of energy efficiency, but for almost any appliance made there are Energy-Star quality choices.
It is a win for both the customer and the environment when consumers buy energy-efficient goods such as Energy Star Certified appliances. Initially, if the appliances are more expensive than conventional products, rebate programs often exist that can help offset the higher initial costs. You can often find rebates while shopping if you think you're asking a salesman.
Checking at websites like energystar.gov or DSIREUSA.org online will narrow down what rebates you can get. Rebates vary by state, but daily searches will help you find the best available rebate or item. Often rebates can be for the actual purchase of a newly approved product, or they can be for the safe disposal of the old device.
Rebates can also be applied to Solar, and with solar, your energy efficient appliances will run with even less energy and save you more.
Doing the math
Initially, energy-efficient goods may seem more costly than their counterparts, which only follow minimum standards and requirements. Consider the exponential savings that would result from replacing every appliance. The average home has 10 gadgets that can be replaced with a version that is more energy efficient. The savings will be measurable as you become more energy-efficient. Comparing your new utility bills with those from when you've had older and inefficient appliances should make each dime spent on appliances classified Energy Star sound like a very wise investment.
Ready for Your Home Energy Audit?
At Frontline Electrical Services we love helping our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. To have your home’s wiring checked or to receive your free home energy consult and you are in the Benicia, Walnut Creek or Fairfield, California or surrounding areas, contact us today at 800-945-0268 (here is a map to our location) and we’ll have one of our certified specialist analyze your electricity usage and give you the information you need to make sure your home is the most energy-efficient it can be!