Did You Know?
According to estimates by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), energy efficiency standards have already helped American homeowners save about $200 billion till date, or about $2,000 per household.
It is estimated that about one-fifth of the total energy consumption in an average American household is due to the use of electrical appliances. This means that, using energy-efficient appliances can help us all cut down on our energy consumption significantly. To promote this move, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have joined hands with manufacturers of household appliances, to give us Energy Star® appliances with lower energy requirements. These appliances have certain features that facilitate lower energy consumption as compared to their older counterparts. However, these appliances come with a high initial cost.
Advantages of Using Energy-Efficient Appliances
With almost every home appliance possessing the Energy Star® label, it's time we really consider whether energy-efficient appliances can really help us. Here, we shall look at the benefits of bringing these appliances into our homes.
1. Saves on Energy Costs
The use of energy-efficient appliances leads to lesser consumption of energy, which automatically translates to savings on electricity bills. Using appliances that consume less electricity can help save hundreds of dollars every year. An Energy Star® appliance, on an average, saves 30% on electricity costs. To begin with, you can replace your fluorescent bulbs with energy-saving alternatives, and use energy-efficient appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.
2. Earns You Energy Tax Credits
Energy tax credit is a tax break given to homeowners who have taken significant steps to save energy, such as switching to energy-efficient appliances, installing insulation, etc. According to the Federal Tax Credit laws for the year 2013, one can receive a tax credit of 10% on a total bill amount of up to $500, or a specific amount from $50 - $300. Note that this is only applicable for your principal residence, and not on rentals or new constructions.
3. Benefits the Environment
This is perhaps the most important benefit of using energy-efficient appliances, because energy or the electricity that is supplied to our homes is generated at power plants, which run on fossil fuels. So, greater the consumption of energy, more the depletion of fossil fuels. Also, energy efficiency reduces the emission of harmful gases into the environment, which is the cause of the greenhouse effect. What's more, energy-efficient appliances also consume less water. If we wish to protect our environment and check global warming and ozone depletion, embracing energy-efficient appliances is a small, but necessary step.
4. Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in a year, directly or indirectly, by an individual. Since energy-efficient appliances have lower emissions of these harmful gases into the environment, they can play a significant role in reducing your carbon footprint, making you more environment-friendly.
5. Enhances Quality of Life
Using energy-efficient appliances is more convenient, and hence, can make life easier for you. Also, it is a fact that, such appliances require lesser maintenance and replacement, as compared to their older counterparts. So, you may observe that an energy-efficient bulb lasts a lot longer than your ordinary fluorescent bulb. Also, the fact that energy efficiency has positive effects on the environment, means that we get cleaner air to breathe, which would make us healthier and happier.
6. Improves the Economy
In the long term basis, energy efficiency can have a positive impact on the economy too. This is because, the cumulative savings of homeowners translates to huge savings, amounting to billions of dollars on a national level. Obviously, this is beneficial for the nation, as a whole.
As we have seen, there are quite a few advantages of going the energy-efficient way. So why not make a conscious effort to contribute towards saving the environment, and end up slashing some amount from your energy bills too!