Understanding Energy Star - Energy Labels

Learn how to read energy labels before heading to the appliance store. UBuildIt's experts break down the information here.
Green Building

When looking for appliances, one of the many factors you may take into consideration is the ongoing operational costs. The Federal Trade Commission has established the Appliance Labeling Rule which requires manufacturers of certain appliances to place the easily recognized yellow and black Energy Guide Label on most home appliances (except ranges and ovens). The label provides an estimate of the appliance's energy consumption and annual operating cost. It also shows the highest and lowest energy consumption estimates for similar models. This allows for an easy comparison between models you may be considering. 

energy guide label

A hot water heater label is shown here. This hot water heater uses 268 therms of energy per year and is being compared to other similar models which range from 238 to 273 therms per year. This model's estimated yearly operating cost is $162. When comparing different appliance models for your new home, be sure to look at their estimated energy consumption. This will impact the operating cost of your home for years to come.

energy star label

Another label you might see on home appliances and electronics (except water heaters, stove ranges and ovens) is the Energy Star Label. The U. S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have developed a program called Energy Star which labels those appliances meeting strict energy efficient criteria. The Energy Star qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10-50 percent less energy and water than standard models. With the typical household spending $1,900 a year on energy bills, energy efficient appliances can help reduce that annual expense. While an appliance which uses more energy may have a lower cost to purchase, the higher operating costs will soon eat up any savings you gained at the time of purchase.

These energy efficiency standards have saved consumers over $200 billion - about $2,000 per household - while cutting electricity use by 5 percent and reducing levels of pollution that come from the power plants by over 2 percent.

Using energy efficient appliances helps you and your family save, while also decreasing the overall pollution in this country.

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