Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don’t Believe the Hype

I may not be very popular for saying this but anyone in the market for a new appliance needs to know this; ENERGY STAR appliances are not always the most energy efficient, nor are they always the most cost effective. Last year the following articles came across my desk and I would like to share them with you. This is stuff you should know if you are shopping for a new appliance.

ENERGY STAR has lost some luster

Energy Star Appliances May Not All Be Efficient, Audit Finds

Although ENERGY STAR is an honorable concept, the execution of the program has been less than ideal. I first became suspicious a few years ago when my mother went to replace her old 16 cubic foot refrigerator. She visited several stores hoping to purchase an ENERGY STAR fridge of the same size; however, as she found out, 16 cubic foot ENERGY STAR refrigerators are either not made or extremely hard to find. Her dilemma was to either purchase a larger appliance (18 cu.ft.) than she needed just because it was energy efficient or purchase a 16 cu.ft. non-ENERGY STAR model because that was the correct size for her kitchen and her needs. She went with the 16 cu.ft. model and when she compared the efficiency of both, the 16 cu.ft. model used less energy and was priced less. So basically, the moral of the story is to do your homework before you step into the store. Also, if you're in the market for an energy efficient fridge, never purchase a side-by-side or a bottom freezer, they may have the ENERGY STAR seal of approval but they are 10 to 25% less efficient than a top mounted freezer. These configurations are only considered energy efficient when compared with fridges of the same configuration.

If you do happen to find the ENERGY STAR appliance of your dreams, the New York Appliance Swap Out is still going on. Click here for more information. This program has seen its fair share of disorganization but hopefully, since this has been going on since February, the kinks have been ironed out of the rebate process.

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