How Energy Star Appliances Can Save You Money

By Vernon Trollinger, September 12, 2011, Energy Efficiency, Save Money

One of the complaints I hear from some folks thinking about a new appliance is that Energy Star certified appliances are too expensive and don’t really save you a lot of money. Well, Energy Star certified appliances are more expensive because they are more energy efficient but the truth is they DO save you money off your Texas energy rates.

When it comes to Energy Star compliance, refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, washing machines, and water heaters and the ones that make the biggest difference right off.  Take for example water heaters.  Water heating can account for 14%–25% of the energy used in your home. The Department of Energy estimates that in 2009 most residential water in Texas is heated in a water tank heater that is 5-9 years old and does not even have a heater blanket. The cost for a 50-gallon standard electric tank water heater costing about $200 rated at 0.86 to 0.95 efficiency can use $370 to $410 per year.

Energy Star water heaters will cut your yearly bill in half. Let’s look at the costs this way:

Standard electric tank heater: ($400/year) x 10 years + $200 (initial cost) = $4200
Energy Star rated heat pump heater: ($200/year) x 10 years + $500 (initial cost) = $2500 (savings = $1700).

What’s with the 10 years?  Most tank heaters will last about 10 to 12 years depending on the water.  Like it or not, the tank will eventually rust out and leak.  The best way to beat this is by using a whole-house tank-less on-demand system.  By heating water only when it’s needed, gas tankless water heaters cut water heating expenses by 30% to 60%, while also providing continuous hot water delivery. The drawback is they cost about on average 5 times more (about $1000; not including labor and additonal parts). Lifetime averages are 20 years. If you go the tankless route, you can also eliminate the expense of replacement every ten years and save even more on electricity in Texas.

Either way, you DO save money with Energy Star appliances and add value to your home.

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