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Monday, April 27, 2009

Look for the ENERGY STAR Label

Buying a new appliance, furnace or air conditioner? Use this governmental "seal of approval" as your guide to finding high-energy efficiency equipment.

Lowering utility bills while living comfortably is the goal of all consumers.

When buying gasoline, we use the published prices of service stations as our guide for identifying the best deals. We can do the same for electricity and gas purchases, thanks to the U.S. government.

In the 1980s, the U.S. Department of Energy started to look for ways to help consumers identify the estimated electricity or natural gas usage of a particular appliance. They created an EnergyGuide label that estimated how much energy an appliance uses, compared the use of similar products, and listed approximate annual operating costs.

Later, this evolved into a system whereby specific high energy efficiency standards were developed, and appliances that met or exceeded those standards were identified and given a special recognition: The ENERGY STAR designation.

The government now has a dedicated ENERGY STAR website (http://www.energystar.gov/).

ENERGY STAR covers everything from home design to appliances. Here's what the government says about appliance energy usage and cost for the average citizen of the United states:
Did you know that the average home spends about $2,000 on energy bills every year? Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR, and you can save $75 a year in energy costs, while saving the environment.
In addition, the government has used the website to help you identify rebates from your state or your local utility. This is a simple-to-use web-based appliance rebate locator tool.

I encourage you to use it!

I replaced a clothes washer and dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher, and collected $125 in rebates from electric and water utilities. That's on top of increasing my energy efficiency and lowering my utility bills.

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