In addition to price and quality, larger numbers of consumers are also recognizing the importance of buying and using energy-efficient products. Appliances are a good place to start. When you consider that you use large appliances in your home every day, the purchase of those that are energy efficient can really save you money in the long run, as well as be an eco-friendly alternative to fight climate change.
How do you recognize energy-efficient appliances?
To help you identify those that are energy efficient, the government has decided to use a recognizable label. The label may look different depending on which country you live in. However, in all cases, appliances must earn the energy-efficient label. In other words, strict energy-efficiency criteria must be met that reflects the most current product and technology advancements. Energy-efficient items use less energy but have the same functionality and performance as their energy-sucking counterparts.
In the U.S.A. and Canada, you will recognize an energy-efficient appliance with the “ENERGY STAR” label. This particular label is a voluntary program of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA). This label assures you that you are getting the best of the best of that model in a select product category for that calendar year.
In addition, places like the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, the Philippines, the EU, and Australia have various types of “Energy Guides.” In the U.S.A., you will recognize these “EnergyGuide” labels by their familiar black and yellow colors. In Canada, for example, the black and white label is called,”EnerGuide” In any case, whatever the name is in your country, the purpose of these labels is to make it easier for consumers to compare the energy performance of products to aid in selection. They tell you how much energy the appliance uses so that you can compare it to similar products and models.
Will using ENERGY STAR items really make a difference?
Consider this. According to the ENERGY STAR website, if every home in the U.S. was using a TV, DVD, and home theatre system with the ENERGY STAR logo, it would save consumers nearly $150 million in utility bills and prevent almost 2 billion pounds of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere in one year! This is because these kinds of equipment use up to 50% less energy than conventional ones.
Are there any other savings if you choose to use ENERGY STAR appliances?
Yes! Some districts and areas of your State may offer rebates for purchasing energy-efficient appliances. You can find out if your area does this by entering your zip code on the government ENERGY STAR website.
Do only appliances qualify for the ENERGY STAR rating?
When it comes to energy efficiency, remember that this classification does not only apply to appliances you use in your home stove, fridge, dishwasher, washer and dryer, water heater, or furnace. It also applies to your air conditioning unit, your gas fireplace, furnace, your vehicles, windows, doors, skylights, and more. Always be sure that you are using the appropriate kinds for your climate zone (ex. Doors and windows). New home builds can also qualify for the ENERGY STAR rating. Builders form a partnership with ENERGY STAR and must meet the testing set forth by the EPA in order to meet the necessary requirements. These ENERGY STAR homes tend to be 20% more energy efficient than homes built according to the local building code.