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The Energy Guide Label

To find out about an appliance's energy use rating, look for the Energy Guide Label when shopping for appliances. The label is usually big and very easy to find.

This label will tell you how the applicance you are considering compares with similar appliances.

The label contains a very useful bar scale. The scale shows the lowest and highest yearly energy use for similar models. It also gives the average yearly energy use for that particular model. As shown by Arrow 1 on the label to the right, this refrigerator uses about 776 kWh per year. Similar models use from 742 to 836 kWh per year.

Try to buy items that are on the lower end of the scale.

In addition to the energy use, the Energy Guide label also displays the yearly cost to operate the unit. On the label, we can see that the refrigerator will cost about $68 per year to operate (shown by arrow 2).

If you were shopping for a refrigerator and found this one and another one that had a lower price but used more energy per year, you could actually pay more over the life of the machine for the one that has the lower price.

Let's take a look at how spending less for a refrigerator could actually cost you more.

The unit on the label above sells for $600 and uses $68 per year in energy costs. After ten years, we would have paid $1280 to keep our food cold ($600 price plus $68 per year to operate).

Another unit sells for $500, but uses $90 per year. After ten years, we would have paid $1400 to keep our food cold ($500 price plus $90 per year to operate).

In this case, spending another $100 for the unit that uses less energy saves us a total $120 in the end ($1400-$1280). The refrigerator that costs more from the store actually costs us less over time!

When your family is shopping for appliances, be sure to consider the energy costs to operate the unit.

 

 

 

Copyright 2011