When you’re shopping for appliances, think of two price tags. The first one covers the purchase price – think of it as a down payment. They second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You’ll be paying on that second price tag every month with your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance. Refrigerators last an average of 12 years; clothes washers about 11 years; dishwashers about 10 years; and room air conditioners last about 9 years. ENERGY STAR® appliances require 30% less energy than regular appliances.
In the average Saskatchewan home almost half of the electricity – approximately 46% – is used to keep appliances running.
Appliances account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, with refrigerators topping the list. However, they have become more efficient over the years. By removing just 1,000 inefficient fridges, we would save over 1,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), which is enough electricity to power 120 homes for a year.
The EnerGuide label on new refrigerators tells you how much electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) a particular model uses in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost you to operate. In addition to the EnerGuide label, don’t forget to look for the ENERGY STAR® label. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® label uses at least 20% less energy than required by current federal standards and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.
Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnerGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water heating.
When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to find one that uses less water and energy than required by federal standards. They are required to use 22 litres of water per cycle or less – older dishwashers purchased before 1994 use more than 38 litres of water per cycle.
How to Read the EnerGuide Label
The EnerGuide label is required to be placed on all appliances by the manufactures. The label provides information about energy consumption, and shows you how much energy an appliance uses compared with similar models. Keep in mind that the numbers are averages; actual costs will differ somewhat depending on how you use them.