- Clothes Dryers
- Energy Guide Label
- ENERGY STAR
- Ranges & Ovens
- Small Appliances
- Water Heaters
Energy Guide Label
The distinctive yellow and black EnergyGuide labels appear on most of the energy-using products that are subject to minimum efficiency standards set by the federal government. Consumers will find them on refrigerator-freezers and freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, microwaves, water heaters, pool heaters, room air conditioners, central air conditioners and heat pumps, furnaces and boilers, and fluorescent lamp ballasts. (Although televisions, clothes dryers, ranges and ovens, and space heaters have to meet federal minimum efficiency standards, they were exempted from the EnergyGuide program. That's because the amount of energy the products use does not vary substantially from model to model.)
How To Read Them
EnergyGuide labels come in slightly different formats for different appliances, but they're all easy to understand. The information they contain will help you make the wisest purchase.
On the left under the headline EnergyGuide, the label describes the type of appliance it is -- in this case, a refrigerator-freezer. It offers a brief description and the capacity (the size) of this particular appliance. On the right, it lists the manufacturer and the model numbers that fit this description. In the box, the estimated amount of energy this model refrigerator will use in a year is spelled out -- in this case, 691 kilowatt-hours a year. Below that is a line scale showing the range of energy use in models of comparable size and type. Of those refrigerators being compared, the scale shows the least amount of energy used -- in this case, 518 kilowatt-hours -- and the most amount of energy used -- 697 kilowatt-hours. A caret points out where this particular appliance falls along the range of energy costs.
A paragraph indicates the range of model sizes being compared. Finally, the label tells you how much you can expect to spend each year in electricity costs, given the estimated kilowatt-hours this refrigerator uses and the suggested cost of electricity. It also assumes this refrigerator will be operated under normal conditions. (Running it in a closed, unventilated garage in the middle of the Mojave Desert in the summer will obviously run up your electric bill.) The EnergyGuide label is a valuable tool for comparison -- but beware of some limitations!