Your utility bills know some things that you don’t. We all assume that our electric bill will go up in the summer to cool the house and our heat bill will increase for keeping the house warm in the winter. But what about those small discrepancies that affect our utility bills every month?
If your appliances are dirty, meaning like the coils on the back of the refrigerator and the dryer vent clogging up, or they are getting old and maybe older than the Energy Star rating day, then they are costing you money. If your dishwasher is older than 10 years, it is using way more electricity and water than necessary. If the gaskets around the door of your freezer or refrigerator are cracked or hard, there is energy seeping out constantly.
It is the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and their Energy Star Rating program that now allows consumers the ability to make comparison of energy costs on different products. It is a voluntary program promoting energy savings by sharing information. There is a rating program in place for appliance products that will save you money while it helps the environment.
The Energy Star Rating guide on appliances shows what their average usage is in kWhs annually. So you want to choose the item that has the lowest energy number to get the most efficient use. But you need to be careful in how you’re reading these labels. An appliance with Energy Star rating or a appliance with Energy Efficient label are not the same.
What Makes An Appliance Energy Star Approved?
The EPA has set standards that products need to meet to be awarded an Energy Star Rating label. The criteria that they must meet are:
- Product must have a significant contribution to nationwide energy savings.
- The features and performance of products must deliver what consumers demand as well as be energy efficient.
- Any product that is more expensive than a like product that is less-efficient should offer the consumer the opportunity to recover that investment over time by of lower utility bills within a period of time that is considered reasonable.
- More than just one manufacturer can offer the energy efficiency through technology that is broadly available and non-proprietary.
- There is a testing procedure in place where consumption & performance of product energy consumption can be measured & verified.
- Consumers can easily see the labeling that shows the difference in products.