Green appliances:
Efficient, energy saving machines

The following article on energy efficient appliances was written by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit group that works to protect wildlife and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things (Cleveland native and a 2002 MacArthur Fellow David Goldstein is a scientist working for NRDC on these issues).

Efficient appliances save energyand moneyconsumers get lower utility bills, and we all get a cleaner environment.

The major appliances in your homerefrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashersaccount for a big chunk of your monthly utility bill. And if your refrigerator or washing machine is more than a decade old, you're spending a lot more on electricity than you need to.

Today's major appliances don't hog energy the way older models do because they must meet minimum federal energy efficiency standards. These standards have been tightened over the years, so any new appliance you buy today has to use less energy than the model you're replacing.

For instance, if you buy one of today's most energy-efficient refrigerators, it will use about half the energy of a model that's 10 years old or older (that's important because refrigerators typically account for about 20 percent of your monthly electric bil).l

Of course, efficient appliances don't just save you money, they're good for the environment. The less energy we all use, the lower our demand on power plants, which means less pollution. The trick is to figure out which models use the least energyhere are some resources that may help.


  • NRDC's "Guidelines on how to buy energy efficient appliances."
  • The EPA's Energy Star Ratings for appliances in 38 product categories
  • What makes a product Energy Star?
  • The Consortium on Energy Efficiencyinitiatives to make homes more energy efficient.

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If you buy one of today's most energy-efficient refrigerators, it will use about half the energy of a model that's 10 years old.



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