What the Energy Star Rating Means and Why You Should Look for It!

Written By: Ryan Bowman
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Nowadays, appliances are a real investment, but their cost doesn’t end when you bring them home. If you are purchasing appliances in the near future, it is important to look for the Energy Star rating to save you money for the long term. But what is the Energy Star rating, and why should it matter? How does an appliance without an Energy Star rating compare to one with it? Before you research your next washer, dryer, or stove, make sure that you know what it is and why it is so important. These are tips from our electrician in Augusta that we recently shared with the audience of RedFin.

What Is an Energy Star Rating?

When you see the Energy Star rating, it means that a particular product adheres to federally mandated guidelines regarding how efficiently it works. Not all appliances come with an Energy Star rating, which is why it is important to know what it really means for you as the consumer, and why looking for it is a must for many reasons.

Is An Energy Star Rating Mandatory for All Appliances?

The Energy Star program is guided by the US Environmental Protection Agency and it is NOT mandatory for all appliances. It is a voluntary program for individuals and businesses that is meant to protect our environment and provide energy efficiency that will help to cut consumer costs. It was first developed in 1992 as a way to promote products that adhered strictly to energy-saving efforts.

What Types of Products Can Receive an Energy Star Rating?

The program started with the EPA, but there are other industry members who help to promote it and continue to expand its reach and effectiveness for our environment. Although not all major appliances include the Energy Star, most do. And most new homes and home components like HVACs, vacuum systems, and water heaters can be found with the Energy Star rating, so it is a very comprehensive program and one that is find and identify.

The Race to Lower Costs and Saving the Environment

Since 1992, many appliance manufacturers continue striving to cut costs and the consumer’s carbon footprint. It might not necessarily mean that every Energy Star rated appliance is the best in the industry, but it does mean that if it has the rating, the product adheres to the guidelines for energy efficiency. As a consumer, the Energy Star rating means that you can feel confident that you are doing your part to reduce pollution, and that you are saving money on energy costs throughout the lifespan of the appliance.

What is the Downside of the Energy Star Rating?

When it comes to energy efficiency, those appliances that are highly efficient can often lack internal space, with fewer cubic feet than the appliances that are not as energy-efficient. Also, when you purchase an appliance with an Energy Star rating, it will provide you with energy efficiency information, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the appliance is the best overall, meaning that the term is “vague” and can sometimes mislead the consumer.

What Does the Energy Star Rating Mean?

All appliances that carry the Energy Star rating need to prove that they are 10 to 20% more efficient than appliance models that are not in the Energy Star rating program. By purchasing an Energy Star rated appliance, you can significantly reduce your energy costs over time. For those who are interested in finding the most efficiency, the lowest rating will help to cut your energy costs from month to month. It also means that you are going green and doing what you can to limit your carbon footprint for future generations.

How Do You Read the Energy Star Rating Information?

Appliances that qualify for the Energy Star rating will have a bright yellow guide that outlines where an appliance stands energy-wise compared to other models. Although the output will vary according to usage, it provides consumers with an overall view of how efficient it is versus other products. The label shows energy output under average conditions expressed in kilowatt-hours annually. For consumers, the lower the rating and the higher the energy efficiency, the more savings monthly!

What is the CEE Tier?

Another rating that is important for consumers to pay attention to is the CEE or Consortium for Energy Efficiency Tier displayed on new dishwashers, washers, air conditioning units, or refrigerators. They are rated in a four-tier system with the highest tier number providing the most energy efficiency in the industry. The CEE Tier does not negate the Energy Star rating; it is just one more scale that consumers can use to ensure that they are getting the most for their energy savings purchase.

As we head into the summer, most households will have their air conditioners running at full speed. If you are looking to replace your old appliances, it is a good idea to pay attention to the Energy Star ratings, not only for cost savings but for future generations. At Morrison Electric, we are always finding new ways to educate and help our customers save money. Contact us today to discuss how we can lower your overall costs and learn tips to go household green!