Saving Energy (and Money) with Energy Star

electric towerOur customers know that they can depend on us for reliable appliance repair in DC and the surrounding areas and our overall knowledge about appliances. When we visit our customers’ homes, they often use the opportunity to ask us about buying, maintaining and repairing appliances.

One of the topics we get a lot of questions about is Energy Star appliances. While most people know that appliances with that label are supposed to require less power to operate, they may don’t understand exactly what the rating means or what benefits they can get from buying an Energy Star product. So here’s a quick overview.

What is the Energy Star program?

The Environmental Protection Agency started the Energy Star Program more than 20 years ago to identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings. The goal of the program is to reduce energy consumption in the U.S. and thus to reduce pollution that causes climate change.

According to the EPA, over the past 20 years Americans have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by using Energy Star products.

What kind of products are included in the Energy Star program?

You’re probably most familiar with Energy Star appliances. But the Energy Star program covers a broad range of products including heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, building materials, computer equipment, electronics, lighting and fans and even battery-charged small appliances like handheld vacuums and power tools.

How does a product get an Energy Star rating?

Appliances and other products can earn an Energy Star label if testing and measurements show that they meet the stringent guidelines established by the EPA for Energy Star products. They must also provide the same kind of features and performance that consumers expect in comparable products that aren’t as energy efficient.

Do Energy Star products cost more than similar products that aren’t Energy Star rated?

They can – but to qualify for the Energy Star label, the products must provide enough savings on utility bills to compensate for the additional cost “within a reasonable period of time,” according to the EPA.

What kind of savings can I expect if I purchase an Energy Star appliance?

According to the EPA:

  • Washers with the Energy Star rating use 20 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than standard washers. On average, an Energy Star certified washer costs about $85 a year to run and uses 15 gallons of water per load, compared to 23 gallons for the average washer. The EPA says that washers more than 10 years old are “significantly less energy efficient” than the new Energy Star models
  • Dishwashers with the Energy Star cost about 40 percent less to run. Over the lifetime of the appliance, they will require 1,300 fewer gallons of water than a conventional dishwasher.
  • Central air conditioning systems that are Energy Star certified are 15 percent more efficient than conventional models. Room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy than non-rated models.
  • If you run an Energy Star-rated refrigerator, you’ll save anywhere from $200 to $1,100 in utility costs compared to running an existing, 10-year-old refrigerator.

Where can I get more information about Energy Star appliances?

If you want to read more about the potential energy and money savings you might enjoy with Energy Star appliances, you can visit the EPA’s website at www.energystar.gov.

Should I get an Energy Star appliance?

When a dishwasher, air conditioner, dryer or other important appliance stops working, you’re faced with a choice: should I repair my old appliance, or opt for a newer, more efficient one? If you give us a call when you need an appliance repair in Washington DC and Virginia, we’ll be glad to discuss the available Energy Star options with you and help you make the right decision.