Whether you’re trying to keep the heat in during the winter or the
heat out during the summer, home heating and cooling uses
a lot of energy. Add to that tasks such as doing laundry and leisure activities
such as watching TV, and you might be shocked when you open up the bill from
the electric company each month. Modifying your habits is a good start on the
goal of energy conservation. But if you’re really looking for energy savings,
then investing in some Energy Star-rated products might be to your advantage.
Here’s what you should know about choosing more efficient appliances:
The Concept of Energy Efficiency
First, it helps to think a bit more about the concept of energy
efficiency and the impact it can have on how we think about power generation
and use. Coming up with better ways to generate power through renewable energy
sources and lowering the overall costs of power through policies such as energy
deregulation are important, but all too often people assume that power
consumption must automatically rise as we add more and more conveniences to our
lives. The flaw in this model is that we can also engineer the things we use to
give the same or better performance even while using less energy. That’s what
energy efficiency means: using less energy to do the same work. For example,
the average fridge sold today in the U.S. uses only about three-fourths of the
energy one sold in 1975 did, even though it is about a fifth bigger and costs
The Energy Star Certification Program
One of the ways energy efficiency can have a big impact is in home
appliances. While all modern appliances tend to be much more efficient than
their earlier counterparts, Energy Star appliances are held to much stricter
efficiency guidelines. The Energy Star program was started by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy in 1992, and has
now spread around the world. You can buy Energy Star heat pumps and water
heaters (something to think about, since water heating is one of the largest
expenses in a typical home, accounting for 14% to 18% of utility bills), Energy
Star refrigerators and dishwashers, and even Energy Star washers and dryers. In
fact, the very first Energy Star-certified dryers just recently went on sale.
Most major brands make appliances that are Energy Star rated.
Calculating Return on Investment
To figure out whether you’ll save enough money on your utility
bills to justify new appliances, you can look at the guidelines for the
appliance you’re considering. Energy Star dryers, for example, must use at
least 20% less energy than industry standard dryers. If all new dryers sold in
the U.S. were Energy Star certified, Americans would save a collective $1.5
billion annually on utility costs. And if energy savings weren’t enough for
you, those dryers would also prevent the emission of the same amount of
greenhouse gasses put into the atmosphere by about 2 million vehicles. That
makes replacing old appliances with new, efficient ones both a short-term and
long-term investment in your pocketbook and the future of the planet.
About Starion Energy:
Starion is a licensed electricity and gas supplier in the deregulated energy market since September 2009. Energy deregulation gives consumers the choice of an alternative electric supplier and determines the rates and terms at which they purchase electric generation services. Starion services markets in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Starion is strategically positioned for continued growth in new markets for years to come.
For more information about Starion Energy, Inc., visit www.starionenergy.com