While shopping for appliances, you’ve likely come across Energy Star products, but do you know how to save money with their items? The white star and writing on a blue background often catch people’s eyes, but what does Energy Star mean, and should you care about it? 

Below we will answer questions such as:

What is Energy Star? What does the designation mean? How an appliance qualifies, and more! Let’s understand how much it will save you in energy use and money. 

Here’s everything to know about how to save money with energy star appliances-

What is Energy Star? 

Established in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star is a government-backed program for identifying products and devices that meet energy efficiency standards. 

Energy Star applies to many products, from light bulbs to computers, windows, buildings, and everyday appliances. It is typically seen as a number that lets consumers know how much energy and money can be saved.  

What does the Energy Star designation mean? 

The Energy Protection Agency (EPA) works with the Department of Energy to determine which products receive an Energy Star designation. Products and appliances are graded across 75 categories and must meet some guiding principles.  

  • Products must be in a classification that could contribute to substantial energy savings. 
  • They must meet the features and performance that consumers are looking for. 
  • Energy-efficiency technology must be able to be achieved by competing manufacturers.
  • Savings need to be able to be confirmed through testing.
  • Certified products that cost more than less efficient alternatives must provide savings in energy costs within a reasonable period of time. 

The qualifications vary for each category.

For example, refrigerators must be at least 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard. Office equipment must automatically enter a low-power sleep mode after a period of inactivity. TVs should consume 3 watts or less when switched off, which is about 50% less than a standard TV (yes, electronics still pull energy when turned off).

What types of appliances are eligible to receive an Energy Star rating? 

A wide range of appliances and products can receive an Energy Star Rating. Some examples are:

  • Air Purifiers
  • Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures
  • Pool Pumps
  • Storm Windows
  • Televisions
  • Vending Machines
  • Washers and Dryers

To see a complete list of products, visit the Energy Star Website.

When determining the energy efficiency of a product, check the EnergyGuide label. The tag tells buyers how much energy the item consumes and how it compares to other products in the same category. 

Before going shopping, check out Energy Star’s most efficient list. This distinction recognizes products that deliver cutting-edge energy and the latest technological innovation.

How can Energy Star Appliances save money?

Energy-efficient items save consumers money over the long run by lowering their bills. Energy Star products and appliances may cost more upon purchase, but long term, they should save money and lower the carbon footprint.

On average major home appliances such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, etc., account for 20% of your home’s total electric bill. These items typically last an average of 10-20 years, which means energy costs can add up over time. Energy Star-certified items use anywhere from 10-50 percent less energy each year than non-certified items. 

Tip: Some regions charge more money for energy consumed during peak hours. If your utility company operates on a “time of use system,” you may pay more for your appliances when energy demand is higher. 

How does Energy Star help save money with taxes?

Cities, states, and the federal government offer tax incentives to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient products. 

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August of 2022, is aimed to help reduce the country’s carbon emissions. The Act seeks to cut the cost of home energy use through energy-efficient appliances and winterizing upgrades. 

Providing up to $14,000 for homeowners who make improvements to their houses by replacing windows, upgrading appliances, and upgrading to solar, the Act aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. 

How do you find out what rebates are available?

Once you’ve determined that an Energy Star appliance or product is right for you, the next step will be to visit the Rebate Finder.

How to use the Rebate Finder:

Enter your zip code, and any federal government offers in your area will pull up, listing the rebate details. To apply for a tax credit, you’ll need to claim using specific forms (found here) and submit them with your IRS tax return.  

Energy Star Appliances: Pros

There is a lot of hype around Energy Star appliances, with good reason. Saving homeowners billions of dollars and reducing fossil fuel emissions makes it a worthy cause for most.

Here are some pros of installing an Energy Star appliance in your home-

  • Reduced Energy Costs – Energy Star appliances can reduce usage by as much as 50%. The National Resource Defense Council estimates that energy efficiency standards have saved homeowners about $2,000 per household. 
  • Environmentally Friendly – Energy Star appliances are an excellent option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and our reliance on fossil fuel resources and foreign oil. 
  • Convenience – Purchasing an Energy Star washer and dryer usually means you can wash more laundry per load and dry clothes more quickly! Who doesn’t want to save time? 

Energy Star Appliances: Cons

One con of Energy Star appliances is the initial investment is higher than a standard product. That said, in the long term, consumers will experience lower utility bills. 

Does a tiny home automatically mean energy efficient? 

Simply purchasing a tiny home does not mean it will be energy efficient.

One area that a shopper will want to ask questions to their builder when buying a tiny house. There should be agreement on what appliances get installed in the home, along with lighting and heating.

Overall, it is worth the money to invest a little more when purchasing an appliance for long-term savings. Turn Key Fabrication knows it is crucial to create the most energy-efficient, climate-friendly homes on the market. Contact us today, and let’s make your dream home with the most negligible environmental impact possible!

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