The energy cost shown on the label is based on a national average price for electricity and is updated every 5 years. Your actual annual electricity cost will be higher or lower, depending on how you use the appliance. The label includes:
· The make, model, and size – so you know exactly what product a label describes.
· A list of key features – for appliances you’re looking at and similar models that make up the cost range shown.
· The cost range of competitors – to helps you evaluate the energy use of comparable models by showing you the range of operating costs for models with similar features.
Not all appliances have EnergyGuide labels, including ranges, ovens, clothes dryers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. However, you should find an EnergyGuide label on all of these appliances: clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, televisions, water heaters, window air conditioners, central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and pool heaters. If the label is missing and the retailer can’t help you, check the manufacturer’s website.
In addition, you may see two different types of EnergyGuide labels. The new version with all yellow numbers (at left in photo, above) is being used for appliances rated by updated energy efficiency tests. Make sure the models you’re comparing have EnergyGuide labels with either all yellow numbers or all black numbers; you can’t compare appliances with different style labels.
Also note that EnergyGuide labels are appliance-specific. For example, furnace labels don't have operating costs, while dishwasher labels have two costs – one for people who use electric water heaters, and another for people who use gas water heaters. Still, all EnergyGuide labels give you a way to compare the energy use of similar appliances.
Finally, look for an Energy Star logo, which signifies that an appliance meets the strict energy efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Energy Star standards significantly exceed the minimums required by federal energy-efficiency standards.
For the latest information on Energy Star qualified appliances, including updates in qualification standards and a list of products by manufacturer), go to www.energystar.gov.