Energy Saving Appliances, Are They Really Worth the Investment?

March 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Energy Efficiency

By now you’ve probably heard of energy saving appliances and their benefits. Manufacturers promise that you can cut your energy bills while saving the planet. Appliances are a big cost for the average family. Is it worth the money to shell out more for a high-end energy efficient model? Will you really save anything significant on energy costs? The answer is yes, but over the long term. And there are more returns to this investment than just financial gain.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average home can cut $75 per year off of its energy bills by using appliances that are more energy efficient. It might not seem like enough to justify the cost, but consider that for the lifetime of the appliance you can get back thousands of dollars. Some U.S. cities already offer significant tax breaks for installing energy efficient appliances, and in 2009 it may qualify you for a deduction on your federal tax return.

As much as anyone wants to save money, we all want to do our part to clean up the environment that we live in. As big a concern as water conservation is now, it only stands to become bigger in the future. Many communities in the U.S. already regulate water usage for things like watering lawns or washing cars during dry spells. In drought-prone areas, water saving appliances may someday become invaluable. Consider that energy saving washers and dishwashers use as much as 40% less water compared to standard models. That can translate to up to 7,000 gallons per year.

In addition to water conservation, energy-efficient washers save time and lengthen the life of your wardrobe. Since they function without needing a central agitator, you can run bigger loads each time and run it less. Who doesn’t want to spend less time doing the laundry? An added benefit of the absence of a central agitator is reduced wear and tear for your clothes. Your laundry time is shortened, and the lifetime of your clothes is lengthened. If that weren’t enough, many energy efficient washers have yet another big benefit. Many models are designed with a faster spin cycle. The more water that is removed during the spin cycle, the less time your clothes spend in the dryer. The end result is even more savings on energy bills and time.

In your kitchen, the biggest energy drain is your refrigerator/freezer. Energy efficient refrigerators have similar benefits to other eco-friendly appliances, in that they reduce pollution and save money on utility bills. They offer better temperature regulation, insulation, and defrosting abilities than standard models. Not only does this save electricity, but it preserves food longer that might be spoiled due to fluctuating temperatures or inefficient defrosting. So in addition to lower utility bills, you can save money at the grocery store.

Energy efficient appliances are greatly beneficial in terms of home energy savings and sustainable living for everyone. The returns don’t come all at once, but never stop coming over the appliance’s lifetime. Is the investment worth it? Only if you value savings in taxes, pollution, water usage, energy bills, time, wardrobe durability, and grocery bills. Then it’s a no-brainer.