How to Buy an Energy Efficient Home Appliance

The best place to start your search for energy-efficient home appliances is ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR is a government-backed symbol (a joint effort of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy) for energy-efficiency information. In 2020, an average of 800,000 ENERGY STAR certified products were sold every day.

The ENERGY STAR website provides various ways to search for products such as ENERGY STAR certified Products and ENERGY STAR Best Value Finder. These search tools help the consumer find energy-efficient products, at the best prices.

Required by federal law in 1980, the EnergyGuide label has been added to most large appliances to better inform consumers of the operating cost of an appliance. Appliances like clothes dryers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, ovens, and ranges do not include the EnergyGuide label.

Estimated Yearly Operating Cost: Operating cost is based only on the appliance’s energy usage. The estimated yearly operating cost is the estimated yearly amount of electricity multiplied by the national average cost of electricity. To get a more accurate calculation, multiple your costs per kWh, using your utility bill to determine what you’ll pay.

Cost Range of Similar Models: You can easily understand an appliance’s relative energy-efficiency by comparing it to other similar appliances. Look for appliances on the lower end (far left) of the cost range. Compare models to similarly sized appliances with the same features listed on the label (upper left and right of the label).

When in doubt, look for the ENERGY STAR label and check the Energy Star web site to be assured you’re getting an energy-efficient appliance.