Energy-efficient appliances are not a new trend – in fact, the Energy Star program began in 1992 as a way to effectively identify computers and monitors that were more efficient than their peers. These days, the energy-efficient buzz centers mostly on home heating and cooling, and appliances, which make up around 75% of your home’s energy consumption. However, are energy-efficient appliances worth it?
Consider these questions when determining whether you’ll see a cost savings from energy-efficient appliances.
Are You Replacing Outdated Appliances?
Compared to pre-1992 appliances, today’s appliances have reduced energy consumption by approximately 60%. This represents a potential for large savings in energy costs compared to that of older, less efficient appliances – as much as $100 for refrigerators and washer/dryers. In addition, consider that savings over the lifetime of the appliance and the numbers quickly add up. If you’re replacing older appliances with efficient ones, the cost savings should be noticeable.
Are You Comparing Current Efficient and Non-Efficient Models?
Perhaps you’re wondering if replacing an older refrigerator with a new, non-efficient model would still provide a boost in efficiency without the extra cost premium of an Energy Star model. Currently, energy-efficient models of common major appliances cost anywhere from $50 to $200 more than their non-efficient peers. With energy savings of $30 per year or more, you could make up the difference in as little as two years.
Are You Shopping for High-End Appliances?
Though they may come with all the bells and whistles you’ve been dreaming of, high-end appliances with popular convenience features are not necessarily any more energy-efficient than their mid-range cousins. In fact, some can be a little less energy-efficient due to those same features. High-end appliances still represent an energy savings as compared to non-efficient ones, but the premium you will pay for the extra features will likely negate any energy savings you experience.
Are energy-efficient appliances worth the cost? Yes, especially compared to your old, inefficient appliances. Just be wary of any cost premiums associated with extra features that may eat into your energy cost savings. For more information and cost calculators, visit the Energy Star website.