The Energy Story

  Energy Is Born
  Energy Types
  Energy Changes
  Energy Generation

The Energy Problem

  Conservation of Energy
  Aging of Energy
  Finite Resources
  The Oil "Crisis"
  Energy Pollution
  Discussion Topics

The Energy Solution

  Conserving Electricity
  Appliance Efficiency
  Heating Conservation
  Renewable Energy

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Teacher Guide

About the Author

Secret Lives Title - The Energy Solution

Appliance Efficiency

In general, from year to year, new home appliances have become more energy efficient. The amount of energy it takes an air conditioner or dishwasher to do its job today is a lot less than one that was bought 10 years ago. This increase in efficiency is sometimes so great that we can actually save money by replacing an older appliance with a new one, even if the old one is still working fine. The cost of the new appliance is more than made up by the cost savings in the use of less energy.

Part of the reason for this increasing energy efficiency is the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA), which was adopted by the United States congress in 1987. As part of this agreement, energy standards are continually set to improve the energy efficiency of major appliances, especially large energy use appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and clothes dryers.

When you go shopping for a new appliance, there may be a tremendous difference in the energy efficiency between competing brands and models. It is usually true that the more energy efficient models do cost more, but again, you get the savings back by using less energy.

The Trade Commission has an appliance labeling rule that requires appliance manufacturers to put labels on many home appliances. A sample of one of these labels is shown below:

energy guide label graphic
From the website
produced in cooperatation with the US Department of Energy
(see How to Buy below)

Energy Star is a program run in association with the United States Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. They label products, appliances, and homes that are especially energy efficient.

For more information on how to make the most energy efficient purchase, check out the websites below.
How to buy an energy efficient home appliance.
Energy codes and standards worldwide.
Why buy energy efficient appliances?
Energy Star Energy Star site for home, business, school, and kids.