What is an Energy Star rating and how can it save you money?


If you are shopping for one of best washing machines, best dishwashers or any other appliance, you will need to look for the Energy Star rating. And although we often come across these Energy Star stickers on home appliances, few people know what it actually means.

Plus, the skyrocketing cost of living means we’re all finding clever ways to save money. Whether watching 11 simple household tips to help you save money and fight inflation or tips for saving on energy bills, Energy Star ratings can have a huge impact on your household bills. So before you buy your brand new appliance, read our helpful guide to what an Energy Star rating is and how it can save you money.

What is an Energy Star rating?

Essentially, an Energy Star rating is a certification of energy efficiency. Such ratings indicate that a product meets strict federal guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To be successful, products must go through rigorous testing before being approved to meet energy efficiency criteria.

In addition to appliances, this stamp of approval can be obtained by factories and commercial buildings.

Typically, appliances that carry the Energy Star rating are 10% to 20% more energy efficient than non-rated models. You will usually find an Energy Star rating on most major appliances such as air conditioners, air purifiers, washing machines and refrigerators. If you wanted to be more energy efficient, check out one of the best smart air conditioners for your home.

Seller showing inside of fridge to woman in store

Seller showing inside of fridge to woman in store (Image credit: Shutterstock)

What makes a product Energy Star qualified?

With so many devices on the market, it can be difficult to know which model consumes the least energy. So how does a product qualify for a star rating? In short, the guidelines are high performance, functionality and significant energy reductions.

According to the Energy Star website, products like refrigerators should be at least 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard. Televisions are expected to draw 3 watts or less when turned off, compared to a standard television’s 6 watts, and any technological equipment would enter a low-power “sleep” mode after a period of non-use.

What is the Energy Guide label?

In addition to looking for the Energy Star rating on products, be sure to look for the Energy Guide label. This often comes with new major appliances and gives consumers a better look at that model’s estimated annual energy consumption under average conditions.

Energy guide ratings for appliances will show typical use under average conditions, in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The lower the energy number, the more economical a device is to operate, which will save you more money on your energy bills.

It should be noted that the power consumption of any appliance varies from household to household. Nevertheless, the Energy Guide is a good way to compare operating costs before buying a certain model.

How can Energy Star ratings save you money?

Energy Star certified appliances can significantly reduce energy consumption, which is equivalent to lower utility bills. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, certified appliances can reduce energy consumption by 10% to 50% in an average household.

For example, Energy Star rated clothes dryers can dry clothes much faster than standard models, while washing machines can reduce water usage. This means that households can do several loads of laundry per week without worrying about consuming a lot of energy. (If you want to be more energy efficient, now is the cheapest time to do your laundry.) Plus, these appliances will produce fewer harmful emissions from power plants, so you’re doing your part for the environment.

According to the Energy Star website, an average of 800,000 Energy Star certified products were sold every day in 2020. This means more homes are on a mission to save money and time.


Washer (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want more money saving tips, check out, 9 tips to make your food last longer and 15 water saving tips, to reduce your consumption. Also, here are 5 ways your smart home can save you money.


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