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Home Page > Consumer Assistance > Consumer Tips > Tip of the Week

Consumer Tip Monday, March 18, 2013


Did you know that March 3- 9 this year, is National Consumer Protection Week?  

National Consumer Protection Week is a campaign to encourage and educate consumers nationwide of their consumer rights and how to make better-informed decisions in their purchases.  This includes, making sure YOU as a consumer, can make your home as energy efficient as possible, which can help save on your utility bill. 

According to the ENERGY STAR website, appliances account for nearly 20 PERCENT of the average household’s energy use.  One way that consumers can make their home more energy-efficient, is by purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances. So how do you know if an appliance is ENERGY STAR certified, and what exactly does that mean? 

Appliances with the ENERGY STAR label meet strict energy-efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  ENERGY STAR appliances are identified by a blue label.  The ENERGY STAR Logo is found on all qualified products that meet specific standards for energy-efficiency.  ENERGY STAR appliances are designed to help you save energy by operating more efficiently than standard models. 

According to the US Department of Energy’s Guide to Kitchen Appliances, compared to standard models, ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use 20 percent less energy, and ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use 10 percent less energy and 18 percent less water. 

While looking for the ENERGY STAR logo, you might also see a yellow Energy Guide label.   Manufactures are required to place this label on all appliances.  It provides information about the appliance’s energy consumption when compared to similar models. These numbers are usually averages, and actual costs will differ depending on how you use your appliance.

An Energy Guide label has five parts. The first part is the identity of the appliance.  The maker, model number, and size of the appliance can be found in the top right corner.  The second part, is the estimated yearly operating costs and range of operating costs for similar models.  Again, this is based on a national average. The estimated yearly consumption can be found right underneath, in the middle lower section.

In the top left corner, are the key features of the appliance and similar models that make up the cost comparison range. And lastly, if your appliance qualifies, in the bottom right corner you can find the ENERGY STAR logo, indicating that this is a qualified product and meets the strict requirements for energy efficiency.

Here in Tallahassee, the City of Tallahassee is doubling its existing rebates on certain ENERGY STAR appliances purchased locally.  This incentive applies to qualifying purchases between February 14 and April 30.  Check with your local utility provider to see if you qualify for any rebates or special offers.

While it still helps to unplug your appliances when not using them, and to be conscious of your energy usage, especially during peak hours, making the switch to smart appliances can also play a major role in helping you save on your utility bill. 

For more information on energy conservation and to learn how you can save on your utility bill, visit: ConsumerAssistance/ConsumerTips.


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