That’s the amount of money Americans saved by using Energy Star® appliances, lights, and windows in 2013, saving the energy equivalent to 277 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Bet you want in on this, huh? We’re happy to hear that! But we also understand that it isn’t always easy to be green and choose the best appliances for your home. Sometimes, it can be really hard to keep up between wanting to be an eco-friendly homeowner and just being so busy you aren’t always following through. You probably don’t pay constant, careful attention to how much water you might be wasting, how much energy you are using, or simply which bin takes plastic or paper. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to be eco-friendly without having to think about it?
Nowadays, there is a way. At our disposal are some modern, innovative home appliances that brands you recognize are currently selling and/or developing, and guess what? They’re green - and we don’t mean the color. These companies give us the option of making our home eco-friendly every single day starting with the appliances we have working in our homes.
The Energy Star® Stamp
Energy Star® is a program that was first developed in the early 1990’s by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a method to identify and promote products that are energy efficient. Products carrying this symbol provide a way for businesses and consumers to save money and protect our environment at the same time.
A major appliance which sports the Energy Star® label, is not necessarily a better product than a comparable model, but in order to be rated Energy Star®, it must meet very strict energy efficiency guidelines as set out by that program.
Appliances carrying the Energy Star® rating typically are 10 to 20% more energy efficient than non-rated models. This means you'll not only save money, but help your environment as well.
Here are a few of our picks for today’s Energy Star® rated and innovative appliances for your home:
The Bosch B11CB50SSS/01 500 series fridge ($2,399 MSRP) was awarded a spot on the list for Energy Star®’s Most Efficient 2014. Its specifically engineered hidden hinge and reversible doors allow for a next-to-wall placement. The LED lighting shines remarkably bright and saves you energy while the HydroFresh drawer keeps fruit and vegetables fresh for a lot longer.
This fridge is perfect for small and/or compact kitchen layouts in the city, and Houston definitely fits the bill. It is a bit pricey, but worth the energy and money savings in the long run.
Kenmore 417.4112 Large Washing Machine
This front-load washer ($899 MSRP) costs about $74 to $79 a year to run and offers innovative technology to meet your needs. It provides powerful but gentle Smart Motion technology to get your clothes clean, uses Kenmore's Vibration Guard™, which keeps even super large loads balanced for smooth and practically silent operation. The Stain Boost option adds on time for clothes to soak so stains like ground-in mud, blood and grass stains can be removed easily and thoroughly. Lastly, this washer has five temperatures and five spin speeds so you can use the best and most efficient option for each load, and three soil sensors that can test exactly how dirty your clothes are so it uses minimal water and energy.
One reason to choose this machine is because it is Energy Star® rated and on the Most Efficient 2014 list as well. Energy Star® washers on average use 20% less energy and 35% less water than basic models of new washers on the market today, and those savings can add up. An Energy Star® washer saves about 284 kWh more of electricity and 3,385 more gallons of water a year than a non-Energy Star® model. According to the National Resources Defense Council, that translates into savings of $60 on utility bills for the average person. Further, you reduce emissions by approximately 437 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. That’s the same amount of emissions you could save by not driving your car for two weeks.
Kenmore Elite Side-by-Side Refrigerator
The Elite side-by-side fridge by Kenmore ($1,799 MSRP) is Energy Star® rated and refrigerators are the second-biggest users of energy in the house after your heating and cooling system. If you find yourself replacing one you’ve had for years, remember that size matters. Don’t buy a bigger fridge than you really need, and don’t get one too small that you stuff things inside. If you buy a refrigerator too small for your needs and keep it packed full, the refrigerator will have to work harder and use extra energy. Similarly, oversize refrigerators keep unnecessary space cool, which wastes energy.
Bosch SHE8ER5#UC and SHX8ER5#UC Dishwashers
According to Greenrealestateinvestingnews.com, these Energy Star® rated 1.9 gallon dishwashers, starting at around $1,288, use on average 180 kWh per year and have the potential to save up to $311 in energy costs over the first 12 years. The super eco and efficient washing machines have a half-load option for when you only have a few things to throw in and provide water savings of almost 500 gallons annually. Some of the most high-tech and innovative features include a water-softening feature that reduces spotting and scratching on glass dishware, and insulation that makes it one of the quietest dishwashers of them all.
If you have a dishwasher that you got before 1994, the fact is that you're paying an extra $40 a year on your utility bills and wasting 10 gallons of water per cycle compared to owning a new, Energy Star® qualified model. What about an Energy Star® model? It’ll save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over its lifetime.
Why It Matters
Using eco-friendly and energy efficient appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines will significantly reduce waste and keep more money in your pocket for other important things you need (like vacation!). This is why Energy Star® is what homeowners need to look for when choosing an appliance for their home. Being green isn’t always easy, but buying and using appliances that are green themselves is one way to do it. Energy Star® certified appliances use less energy than conventional ones, which helps reduce air pollution and combat global climate change. They also use less water, and by reducing water consumption, using Energy Star® rated appliances also helps protect our lakes, streams, and oceans.
No matter your budget, choosing eco-friendliness and energy efficiency for your home’s appliances is something all responsible homeowners should consider for long-term savings. Remember, being green every single day isn’t easy, but it doesn’t always have to be hard if you start with the home appliances you use every day.