If you want to know more about how energy efficient your appliances are, the U.S. Department of Energy has provided a great resource for estimating your electricity loads and the resulting operating costs. The following formula will allow you to estimate the energy usage of a specific appliance and the annual operating costs. Wattage X Hours Used per Day / 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) Consumption Multiply the daily kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption by the number of days in a year you use the appliance. You can then calculate how much it will cost you to operate this appliance (multiply this number by your local utility's rate per kWh). Let's look at an example of a 200 Watt window fan that is used 4 hours per day for 4 months of the year. 200 Watts X 4 hours/day X 120 days/year = 96,000 96,000 / 1000 = 96 kWh of usage per year 96 kWh X 8.5¢ per kWh = $8.16 per year to run this window fan. As you look at your next appliance purchases, doing some planning and homework will provide you with all the information you need for an energy efficient home.
85-90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine goes to heating the water. To lower your operating costs, you can lower the water temperature or have a washer that uses less water. A front loading washer uses 16 - 24 gallons of water vs. the more typical top loader that uses 40 gallons. To put this in perspective, washing your clothes in hot water instead of cold uses more electricity than leaving the refrigerator door open 24 hours per day.