Energy Efficient AppliancesThere is an urgent need to conserve energy. The world is faced with a fast-changing climate attributed to the shifting of the polar caps. Earth's natural resources is being depleted at an alarming rate that measures to save the natural resources is being done. In support for a greener earth there is an ongoing thrust to develop earth's renewable resources like the sun, wind, geothermal energy, and water to eventually "power" our homes.
There have been a number of small and great undertakings to use these renewable resources. The means is not only achieved by contraptions like solar panels, windmills and the likes, but a move to construct "green" homes. Slowly, the earth's populace is learning the importance of cutting energy consumption to contribute to saving the earth's natural resources.
Everyone can do his part in preserving the earth's renewable resources. A way of contributing to this endeavour is to use energy efficient appliances.
Energy Star and Energy Saving Recommended Logo
In the 1990s the United States Environmental Protection Agency created the Energy Star program in its effort to propel the reduction of energy consumption and the greenhouse gas emitted by power plants. The program encourages manufacturers to identify and label their products' energy efficiency. The Energy Star was primarily used to label computer products but later expanded to home appliances. The Energy Star is no longer confined to the United States for the rest of the world has adopted the program. Presently there are more than 40,000 kitchen appliances, computer products and accessories, buildings and other products use less than 20% to 30% than standards. The blue logo of Energy Star is seen on products that have passed the stringent screening of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Energy.
In Europe, the TCO is the standards set forth by the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees. The standards apply mostly to computer products with emphases on emission, energy consumption, ergonomics and ecology. The rest of Euro-targeted home appliances and cars are under the EU Energy Level.
Energy Efficient Appliances
The Energy Star logo and its Euro counterpart the Energy Saving Recommended logo and their other counterparts worldwide have definitely made choosing an energy efficient appliance easy. All you need to do is look for the Logo attached to the appliance, read its specifications and other pertinent data to determine how much energy you will be able to save if you buy the appliance.
If you choose an Energy Star rated appliance you are sure to save money in terms of electric bills. Energy Star rated appliances has lesser CO2 emissions too. The logo is a certification that the appliance has the capability to save you from 10% to 50% of energy. In this regard "energy" does not directly translate to electricity consumption per se but could be also applied to water usage and carbon emissions. Some states in the US are issuing out sales tax exemption and rebates to encourage consumers to buy appliances with the Energy Star logo. In the UK Pacific Gas and Electric is actually giving rebates and cash incentives to those who bought energy efficient appliances.
Buying an Energy Efficient Appliance
Not all appliances have the Energy Star label but all appliances are mandated to display the yellow and black Energy Guide label to guide consumers about the energy efficiency of appliances. This tag is mandatory for washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers, furnaces, water heaters, boilers, air conditioners, pool heaters and heat pumps. The counterpart of the U.S. Energy Guide in the UK and other European countries is the EU Energy Level.
The Energy Guide label specifically details the following:
- the capacity of the appliance
- the estimated annual energy consumption of appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers and water heaters
- the energy efficiency of air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, pool heaters and boilers
- The capacity, energy consumption and efficiency of similar appliances.
EU Energy rates appliances from A to G with G rating being the least efficient. Refrigerator products are rated up to A++. The ratings are coloured coded too with A as green and G as red.
It is the law in the United States that all appliances should meet the conservation standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy. The movement is encompassing as other brands not U.S.-based have followed suit. The quest for a greener earth in terms of energy efficient appliances is in progress. Bear in mind that the more energy efficient an appliance is the less electricity it will consume, the less you have to pay in utility bills. Using less energy translate to less pollution as there would be less carbon emissions.
When buying appliances you should compare the energy efficiency and annual electric consumption of different brands. More often than not, the more expensive an appliance, the more energy effective it is. Try to weigh your options when faced with this dilemma. If the difference is minimal, go for the more expensive brand. If the difference is way beyond your budget, weigh the pros and cons.
Choose wisely when buying appliances. If your appliance is more than 10 years old, the unit could be using 50% more energy than its new counterpart. If might be wiser to dispose of the old unit as its not only costing you more to operate it but generally contributing to the pollution by the unit's carbon emission.
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