Like most people, you’ve probably seen the blue ENERGY STAR label on appliances in your local home improvement store. But what does the label mean? Why should you opt for an appliance with the ENERGY STAR label instead of a standard model? We’ve got the answers that’ll get you up to speed. Behind the ENERGY STAR Label The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assigns ENERGY STAR labels to products that fulfill strict requirements for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified appliances may cost more upfront than standard models, but they offer long-term energy savings that offset and exceed their in-store value. Simply put, they will save you more money in the long run because they use less energy. The Benefits of ENERGY STAR Appliances The energy savings that these appliances bring certainly make them more appealing. But various appliances offer their own specific returns on your investment. Clothes Washers The average U.S. family washes almost 300 loads of laundry each year. An ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses about 33% less water and about 25% less energy than a regular washer and can save you as much as $370 in energy and water over its lifespan. Clothes Dryers ENERGY STAR certified electric clothes dryers use approximately 20% less energy than standard models without sacrificing features or performance. More than 80% of U.S. homes have a clothes dryer. If all clothes dryers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, Americans could collectively save as much as $1.5 billion a year. Freezers ENERGY STAR certified freezers are at least 10% more energy efficient than the federal standard. Replacing your old freezer with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR could save you $175 over the next five years. Refrigerators On average, a 15-year-old refrigerator uses twice as much energy as a new ENERGY STAR certified model. By properly recycling your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified appliance, you could save more than $220 over the 12-year lifetime of the product. Room Air Conditioners New ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners come with better insulation materials to reduce air leaks and help you save on energy costs. They often also feature smart functionality that gives you more control over your savings. Today’s models cost less than $70 per year to run. How BGE Helps You Save Due to their energy-saving benefits and high performance, ENERGY STAR certified appliances are a better choice than standard models. When looking for an ENERGY STAR appliance at your local retailer, keep an eye out for BGE signs pointing you to energy-saving models. These appliances are ENERGY STAR certified and offer long-term savings that standard models don’t. Other select appliances even qualify for rebates available through BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program® and EmPOWER Maryland that can make choosing ENERGY STAR even more affordable. Air Purifiers ($40 instant discount) Dehumidifiers ($30 instant discount) Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters (up to $800 rebate) Want to find or learn more about ENERGY STAR certified appliances? Visit energystar.gov for information on specific models and ways you can save even more energy and money. Source: All efficiency and cost-saving data courtesy of energystar.gov.