The ENERGY STAR® label is used to help consumers identify energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, and other appliances. An energy-efficient appliance is one that consumes less energy than other models.
There’s no doubt that these appliances help consumers save energy, but you may have heard that purchasing these appliances will also save you money. Is it true—do ENERGY STAR® appliances really save money?
Here’s what you need to know:
Are Energy Efficient Appliances More Expensive?
Many people assume that energy-efficient appliances will cost more than standard models, but that’s not necessarily the case. A number of factors can affect the price of an appliance, including:
- Special features
The price of an appliance will not increase simply because it has the added benefit of being energy efficient. You won’t have to spend more to reap the rewards of purchasing an energy-efficient appliance.
You may even qualify for a rebate or special offer if you purchase an ENERGY STAR® appliance. A number of consumer brands and utility providers throughout the country have partnered with the ENERGY STAR® program to offer consumers rebates on the purchase and installation of these appliances.
Visit the ENERGY STAR® website and enter your zip code to see a list of rebates offered by companies in your area. If you qualify for a rebate, this will lower the cost of your new appliance, making it an even more affordable investment.
How Much More Efficient Are ENERGY STAR® Appliances?
The ENERGY STAR® label is only placed on appliances that have met certain energy-efficient requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means every ENERGY STAR® appliance is guaranteed to consume less energy than a standard model. But the requirements that an appliance must meet to earn an ENERGY STAR® label vary.
For example, the ENERGY STAR® label is only used on room air cleaners that are at least 40% more energy-efficient than standard models. An ENERGY STAR® refrigerator, on the other hand, is typically about 15% more energy efficient than other refrigerators. An ENERGY STAR® freezer uses about 10% less energy compared to non-certified models.
If you are shopping for a new appliance, it’s important to look for the ENERGY STAR® label to find information on its energy efficiency. This label will help you understand how energy efficient the appliance is compared to non-certified models.
How to Read An ENERGY STAR® Label
The ENERGY STAR® label is a bright yellow sticker placed on products and appliances that are considered energy efficient. This label contains a wealth of information that will help you make smart—and eco-friendly—purchase decisions.
At the center of every ENERGY STAR® label is a graphic that shows you how much it will cost to operate the appliance in comparison to other non-certified models. The large dollar value in this graphic is the estimated yearly operating costs of the labeled appliance.
Below the large dollar value is a cost range of similar models. See where the estimated yearly operating costs of the appliance falls on this range. If it is on the lower end of the range, this means it is much more energy-efficient than other non-certified models. Purchasing this type of appliance will lead to significant savings.
Are ENERGY STAR® Appliances Worth It?
This may seem like a lot of information to digest, but the bottom line is that ENERGY STAR® appliances are worth the investment because they can help you save money over time.
ENERGY STAR® appliances consume less energy than other models. The less energy you use, the lower your monthly utility bills will be.
The amount you will save will vary depending on the appliance. For example, it’s estimated that upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator will save you $200 over the course of the appliance’s lifetime. Investing in an ENERGY STAR® clothes washer can reduce your energy costs by about one-third and your water costs by more than half.
Installing ENERGY STAR® appliances can also increase the value of your home. If you plan on selling in the near future, this is another factor to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to upgrade.
Save Money—And Energy—With ENERGY STAR® Appliances
Installing ENERGY STAR® appliances is an effective way to improve the energy efficiency of your home and drastically reduce your monthly utility bills. If your appliances are outdated, consider upgrading to ENERGY STAR® models so you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint at home.