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Does Energy Star Really Save Money?
The appliances in your home are responsible for about 10-20% of your energy bill so making sure that your appliances are Energy Star rated is an easy way to cut back on energy cost or is it?
If you’ve been shopping around for appliances you’ve probably seen those big yellow labels that have the energy star logo on them.
That means that appliance is supposed to save you money on your electric bill but do they?
Well, you might not be saving as much as you think.
In this article, we’ll share with you what we were able to uncover about Energy Star appliances.
If you’ve walked by an appliance in a store, you’ve seen them, It’s a big, bright yellow label like the one pictured below.
They are slapped onto appliances that underwent government testing but is it really saving you money?
Let’s assume for a moment that you are the ultimate penny pincher who is looking to save money on your electric bill.
So when you went shopping for your new energy-efficient appliance you looked for the trusted government-backed Energy Star logo.
The government claims that Energy Star labeled appliances use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models.
You can find these labels on more than 60 types of products and even some homes now are being sold as Energy Star Rated.
Well, if your experience is anything like many other homeowners who after purchasing their energy star appliances were more than disappointed.
They discovered that even after having energy-efficient appliances for their TV, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, lights and air conditioner that their energy bill did not come down.
There had been absolutely not change. They found out that their bill remained the same even after having these so-called energy-saving appliances installed for well over a year.
Meters were even hooked up to the appliances to measure how much energy their new appliances were using.
What was the result? There were no drastic changes in energy usage and their bill didn’t go down.
Your thinking is probably going something like this.
“What if we get this new appliance, we know that we will have some hard cost up front because we have to buy the appliance but we’ll immediately start to see some savings.”
You may have even thought that you’d be helping the environment as well as saving on your electricity bill.
But the actual experience of homeowners we found seems to prove otherwise.
Some mothers, who run a tight ship at home, trying to cut household expenses are lured into buying these appliances after having an energy audit performed on their home.
The auditors insist, after the audit of course, that you these moms invest in new “energy efficient” appliances so they “woman-up” and end up spending more than they normally would have yet don’t see any savings whatsoever.
Also, people who are living on fixed incomes also pony up the money to invest in an energy star appliance hoping to save a few bucks.
Most of the time the energy star ratings alone is what draws unsuspecting homeowners to these appliances.
The homeowners spend the money, they do what the Energy Star wants them to do but they still don’t see any savings.
They buy these appliances because they see big bold numbers on the energy guide for the estimated yearly operating cost.
The problem, the labels are misleading according to Economics professor Lucas Davis. Lucas conducted a two-year study on energy star labeling and products.
He found out that the government’s labeling is flawed.
After his study, he recommended that the state shows specific energy rates for appliances but he went on to say the government is not budging.
Plus, the cost to change the labeling is too expensive for the government.
Until the government makes changes to their energy star labeling policies Lucas recommends that when you walk into a store and see those yellow labels know that those numbers are wrong because they are based on national average prices.
An Energy Star spokesperson maintains that the Energy Star labeling for specific savings doesn’t come from them, it comes from the Federal Trade Commission.
From our research,the Energy Star labels did not accurately identify the top energy performers.
Does energy star really save money? We don’t believe the labeling is the key to finding the most efficient models of furnaces, dishwashers, washing machines, fridges or even water heaters.
The label may say that these appliances are the most efficient in their category but the Energuide label is quite misleading.