Energy Star: Saving Money Through Energy Efficiency

If you've bought a major appliance in the U.S. during the past decade, you've probably noticed the government-issued Energy Star certification. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Their goal is to “help us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.”

But Energy Star goes beyond simply recommending energy-efficient washers and dryers. The web site offers a number of useful resources. Main sections include:

With tax season in full-swing, it's probably worthwhile to check the list of Federal tax credits for energy efficiency. Most of these expired at the end of 2007, but were valid for all of last year. Other resources include the news room, which contains information about the program, and — believe it or not — the Energy Star podcast.

More about...Home & Garden

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kyle
Kyle
12 years ago

Here’s a cheapskate tip: use cold wash and rinse. 90% of the energy used by your washing machine is simply heating the water. It really doesn’t make a difference in how clean your clothes come out, either.

Jeffeb3
Jeffeb3
12 years ago

Good tip. I’m going to try that next time.

Chris
Chris
12 years ago

Beyond federal credits, some enlightened utilities will offer rebates for energy efficient appliances. I think we got a $50 rebate for a dishwasher a few years ago and should be getting a $240 rebate on our new insulation soon from PG&E. http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/ You might also look into using a clothesline instead of a dryer, now that spring is almost here. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/garden/12clothesline.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Finally, there are a few energy meters that you can use to audit your household, such as the “Watts Up” and “Kill-a-Watt” meters. You plug the meter in and the device (refrigerator, computer, etc) into the meter and it’ll… Read more »

Red
Red
12 years ago

Blerg.

I live in a rental house, and I wish it made sense for me to invest in a new refrigerator/washer/dryer/heater/etc as my energy bill is monster. But I don’t know how long I’m going to be here and I have no urge to move all these shiny new appliances, so for the time being, that’s the price I pay.

Zyzzyx
Zyzzyx
12 years ago

Definitely a great way to save money. A couple months ago I took over my parents’ house as they went to work overseas. I immediately went on a conservation spree. Replaced the heavily used lights with CFLs, unplugged various things that had vampire electrical loads (30 watts for the stereo in the garage, 50 watts for the TV out there!). I’ve always been a bit nutso about turning lights off when not using them, so that was already a help. I’ve also always been very careful about water usage. I grew up in Southern CA with a drought and water… Read more »

RacerX
RacerX
12 years ago

Our new house is 100% Energy star. While it is twice as big as the old one, the bills are generally 10-15% higher.

green your apartment
green your apartment
12 years ago

Great little post here!

And who knew Energy Star had a podcast?

HollyP
HollyP
12 years ago

FYI, Consumer Reports published a DIY home energy conservation book that offers some of the standard tidbits (replacing bulbs, running dishwasher full) and some out-of-the-ordinary advice. Includes instructions for some of the projects. I recommend it for those interested in reducing conserving/reducing energy bills.

I second the whole-house fan. And insulated curtains help a lot in maintaining home temp in winter and summer.

Also, check your utility’s website regularly. They offer lots of goodies. I was able to get them to pay for 50% of the cost of blowing insulation into my home.

Daniel
Daniel
12 years ago

Our new house will be Energy Star when it is finished. I’m looking forward to moving into a house that is twice as big, and keeping our energy costs the same, if not lower!

-Daniel
http://www.youngandfrugal.com

Cheap Like Me
Cheap Like Me
12 years ago

Definitely use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer whenever possible. Consider that a regular light bulb might be 75 watts … and an electric dryer might be 4,500 watts! Running that thing 5 hours a week sucks up a lot of money.

Also, check with local utilities for rebates — our water-saving washing machine earned us a $200 rebate.

leigh
leigh
12 years ago

make sure your dryer vent tube is clear too… we just moved to a different apartment and our dryer takes 1/3 the time to dry clothes now. that’s 1/3 the energy used, and now the washer and dryer are done at the same time. all my work clothes are air dried. the cold wash/rinse is something i have been doing for years with no losses in clothing cleanliness. also turn off the shower when you’re lathering with soap. (got started on this because of severe drought, never stopped.) turn off your dishwasher’s heat dry setting- just pull the drawers out… Read more »

blog reader
blog reader
12 years ago

Hi! I read an article about Energy Star products in Smart Money magazine. I tried to find the article at their site before I posted this , but wasn’t able to & will be reposting the name&date of article later.The Energy Star labels aren’t all they are cracked up to be. There are appliances with the labels which , have no standards or even any testing, such as furnaces and dryers. How many dryers have you seen with the label on it? It means nothing , as they just put the labels on with no testing or efficiency tests.Using CLF’s… Read more »

shares