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How to Read the EnergyGuide Label

Energy Smart Shopping

ENERGY STAR label

The ENERGY STAR® Label

When you shop for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR products usually exceed minimum federal standards by a substantial amount.

The ENERGY STAR logo is on all qualified products that meet specific standards for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR-qualified products exceed the federal minimum standards for efficiency and quality -- sometimes significantly. Look for the label on appliances, electronics, water heaters, windows, and other products that consume energy in your home.

The ENERGYGUIDE Label

To help you figure out whether an appliance is energy efficient, the federal government requires most appliances to display the bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label. Although these labels will not show you which appliance is the most efficient on the market, they will show you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself.

Example of an ENERGYGUIDE label with markers

How to Read the ENERGYGUIDE Label

The EnergyGuide label is required to be placed on all appliances by the manufacturers. The label provides information about energy consumption, and shows you how much energy an appliance uses compared with similar models. Keep in mind that the numbers are averages: actual costs will differ somewhat depending on how you use them. The label shows the following:

  1. Maker, model number, and size of the appliance.
  2. Estimated yearly operating cost (based on the national average cost of electricity), and the range of operating costs for similar models.
  3. The ENERGY STAR® logo indicates that this model meets strict criteria for energy efficiency.
  4. Estimated yearly electricity consumption.
  5. Key features of the appliance and the similar models that make up the cost comparison range.

U.S. Department of Energy
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