What’s the real cost?
When you’re shopping for appliances, you can think of two price tags. The first one covers the purchase price-think of it as a down payment. The second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You’ll be paying on that second price tag every month with your utility bill for the next 10 – 20 years, depending on the appliance.
When you do go shopping for new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy have recognized Energy Star appliances as being the most efficient products in their class. They usually exceed the minimum federal standard by substantial amount.
To help you figure out whether an appliance is energy efficient, the federal government requires most appliances to display the bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label. Although these labels will not tell you which appliance is the most efficient, they will tell you the annual energy consumption and operating costs for each appliance so you can compare them yourself.