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Guide: Energy Star / High-Efficiency Appliances

Steps to get it done:

Check out this guide, and get motivated
Appliances and lights account for about a quarter of your monthly electric bill. Getting high efficiency, and specifically Energy Star rated appliances, will reduce this and your total energy consumption.
Step 1: Get a watt-meter or figure out what model your appliances are
This will be important to figure out how much energy your devices use. Knowing what model your appliances are will allow you to look up stated power draws, while the watt-meter will allow you to find actual draws. Doing both steps would be nice, but either will work.
Step 2: Figure out how much energy your appliances pull
Either use the watt-meter or look up the power draws of your major appliances. Here's a list of the ones we recommend you look at:
  • Washing Machine

  • Dryer

  • Refrigerator

  • Dishwasher

  • Microwave

  • Toaster Oven

  • Stove/Oven (if electric)

  • Coffee Maker

  • Television

  • Entertainment Equipment

  • Computer

  • Monitors

Step 3: Compare your appliances to Energy Star rated or other high efficiency appliances
Look online for the most appliances that use the least amount of energy you can find (for a reasonable price). The Energy Star website is a great place to start.
Step 4: Figure out how much extra money you are spending on your current appliances
Look at how often you have these devices on and the difference in energy usage between the high efficiency devices and those you own. If you try to figure out how many extra watts you are using, you can use your electricity rate to figure out how much that is costing you.
Step 5: Replace the most inefficient appliances with high efficiency ones as they age
As your appliances age, replace them with energy star or other highly efficient appliances. Target your most inefficient and high use appliances first. This step is going to take a while, and that's okay. As things age, continue to replace them with more efficient device. If you have all energy star or other high efficiency appliances, you are done with this guide.
Start this Guide!


Sam Fladung May 28, 2009
A couple comments.

I can see the watt meter technique working for refrigerators, but most other appliances will have major complications (either gas lines or 220V power). I haven't seen a gas power meter that can be user installed (would be cool though).

Also, can I just trust the values on the little pieces of paper that came with the appliances? If so can I skip steps?

Jeff Gunther May 28, 2009
This will soon be edited to "know how much your appliances are consuming", this can mean watt meter or stated from manufacturer (even if those numbers aren't always great). The idea is to get a general idea of where you are so you know how to improve your efficiency.
Sam Fladung June 1, 2009
You might also want to add a list of appliances. I assume the common list is something like below, but I am probably missing some.

Air conditioner

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