Appliances make everyday living easier and more enjoyable, but they come at a cost. Non-energy efficient appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers account for approximately 12% of your household energy use. Choosing energy efficient models is an easy way to save money on your electricity bill.
Here are some things to consider when shopping for new appliances:
Size and design
The size, design, and features of an appliance can impact the amount of energy it uses.
Typically, the larger the appliance, the more energy it uses. You’ll want to consider the best size for your family and how your household needs might change over the next ten years (the approximate lifecycle of major appliances). Do you need a large chest deep freezer or would a compact freezer work?
There are also design components to consider. For example, when purchasing a refrigerator, you’ll want to choose a top or bottom-freezer model. Models with the fridge and freezer side-by-side use 10% to 25% more energy.
Many appliances have energy efficiency functions to help reduce electrical use. For example, clothes dryers may have sensors that automatically shut it off when the clothes are dry. Sensors save you money, as well as reducing wear and tear on your wardrobe. Look for appliances with built-in features that help minimize energy use.
Spending time looking at the size, design, and features of appliances can save you money long term.
Annual energy consumption
When buying appliances, you need to think about two price tags: the immediate purchase price and the long-term energy consumption price. Less energy efficient appliances cost a little less up front, but they generally cost more in the long run.
Check out our Home Efficiency Tool and click through to the Laundry room to learn more about how much money you can save with an energy efficient appliance.
When looking at appliances, you can also check out the EnerGuide label to find the annual energy consumption and select the one that uses the fewest kilowatt-hours per year. On the scale you want to have the arrow closest to the “uses the least energy” side on the left—this is the most energy-efficient model.
Most of us don’t do the math to find out how much it costs to run an appliance, but it could save you money if you do. To make it easy, try Natural Resources Canada’s energy cost calculator for new appliances to see the lifetime energy cost. It will help you better understand the cost of that appliance’s long-term energy consumption.
Energy efficiency ratings
ENERGY STAR® products and Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) also make it easier to find and buy energy efficient appliances.
ENERGY STAR® is well known for ranking appliances with the top 15% to 30% of its class for energy performance. But did you know that it also identifies the best of the best with its ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient Award? These products have superior energy efficiency performance to other products in their field. Check out list of the 2017 winners.
Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE)—a non-profit group—also ranks appliances. Tier 1 is similar to ENERGY STAR®’s basic ranking. They also have Tier 2 and Tier 3 rankings that indicate even better energy efficiency. Those are the ones you’ll want to buy if you want to save the most energy and money over the life of your appliance.
Looking to buy a refrigerator? Save $100 on qualifying Tier 3 refrigerators or $75 on qualifying Tier 2 refrigerators.
Looking for a new clothes washer? Save $100 on qualifying Tier 3 washers.
It’s worth spending a bit of extra time when shopping for new appliances. Consider the size, design and features you need, and which ones will help you save electricity. Remember to do the math and find out what the long-term energy consumption cost will be. Lastly, look for the ENERGY STAR logo or check the CEE list for Tier 2 or 3 appliances. It’s an easy way to find the most efficient products on the market.