If the time has come for you to think about purchasing new appliances, don’t forget about energy efficiency. Sure, the initial price of the appliance is a top consideration, but don’t forget about operating costs. You can save money on monthly energy costs by choosing energy efficient appliances for your home. And you’ll be paying these monthly costs for the next 10-20 years, depending on the appliance. So, operating costs are pretty important to consider if you want to save money. The good news is, there are a few easy ways you can help ensure you purchase appliances with low operating costs.

  1. Look for the Energy Star® label. Energy Star products usually exceed minimum federal standards by a substantial amount. The Energy Star logo is on all qualified products that meet specific standards for energy efficiency. Look for the label on appliances, electronics, water heaters, windows and other products. It’s easy to spot!

  2. Learn to Read the EnergyGuide Label. The federal government requires most appliances to display the bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label. These labels will show you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself. The label shows the following:
  3. Maker, model number and size of the appliance.
  4. Estimated yearly operating cost (based on the national average cost of electricity), and the range of operating costs for similar models.
  5. The Energy Star® logo (remember that?) indicates that this model meets strict criteria for energy efficiency.
  6. Estimated yearly electricity consumption.
  7. Key features of the appliance and the similar models that make up the cost comparison range.

  8. Consider SMART Appliances. Some manufacturers are now offering “smart” appliances that can be connected to smart electric meters or home energy management systems to help you shift your electricity use to off-peak hours. Smart appliances don’t just turn off during peak electricity demand – instead, they use subtle ways to shift energy use. You might not even be aware of it. For example, your refrigerator might delay its defrost cycle until the middle of the night. If your utility charges lower rates for electricity at night, also called time-based rates, you could save on your utility bill. While you may not notices these changes, they could add up to big savings for your utility bill.

Don’t forget to consider these tips when purchasing new appliances. Happy shopping!