The Energy Guide Label

This is your guide to the yellow Energy Guide Label and how it helps us choose the right new green energy efficient appliance that also meets our families running requirements.

They are bright yellow making it easier for us to spot which appliances carry the all important information as we search the storeroom for the right model for our budget, our families needs and the size of our home. This label is full of appliance information home energy saving tips.

So many more manufacturers now produce appliances that carry these approved performance information labels that give us an estimate of how much energy each labeled brand and model is going to consume once you get it home and running.

What is also important to us is that the label also gives us an idea of how energy efficient the appliance will be so that we know as we choose and as we buy new items if we are going to save in the long run and also help reduce our homes carbon footprint.

graphic explaining the energy guide label



Energy Guide Label - Kwh over Dollars

Thank goodness the labels are clear, heavens knows we don't have time to work out any awkward calculations - the label shows us an estimate of yearly operating cost by using a scale which shows that chosen models yearly cost in dollars and also gives us a figure for similar models of the least yearly operating cost and also similar models which are the most yearly operating cost.

Now to reinforce this information the energy guide label also gives an estimate of yearly electricity usage, and it really is just an estimate... (the label also reminds us that everyones actual operating costs will of course differ from the estimate depending on how high or low our local utility rates are and of course how often we actually use the product.)

(Worth Noting: When the yellow energy guide labels first came out (now, was back in 2005!) the scale in the middle of the label showed the estimated consumption and below that was the estimated yearly running cost.

This was switched around with a new design (late summer 2007) to show the yearly running cost on the scale and then below the the estimated Kwh estimated yearly electicity use - important to be aware just incase you run into any models with the older labels alongside models which carry the new.)

graphic showing different energy guide label examples


  • Which products are likely to carry this information?
     that would be:- dishwashers and clothes washers, refrigerators and freezers, water heaters, heat pumps and pool heaters, central air conditioners, window air conditioners as well as boilers and furnaces.

  • Which products do not as yet have the energy label?
     that would be:- ovens and ranges, dehumidifiers and humidifiers as well as clothes dryers and televisions.


Energy Guide Labels love Energy Efficient Appliances

Taking into consideration that if we choose an appliance that uses more energy to operate, it's a given that it will cost more to run! meaning higher yearly utility bills than we might expect to pay for a similar model that uses less energy each time we switch it on.

This means that at the moment when we are making our choice of which size and color and appliance capacity will best fit into the space in our home, we can also compare all energy guide label appliances and find out which are the highest energy guzzlers and which will be the most energy efficient similar appliance models.

Comparing purchase price and being able to compare estimates on consumption and efficiency which can give us a better idea of future running costs which will help show us the difference between similar models.

Its also worth taking into account that the calculations for the national average of utility rates and product usage that is used on the yellow labels are updated every 5 years, which also reinforces to us that the figures given on the energy labels are really just estimates, perhaps they should update more frequently but I guess its a really big task getting estimates and updating labels!.

But without a doubt these estimates are very useful to us when product shopping and perhaps it will show us that it will pay to spend a little more on the purchase cost for an appliance that will be more cost efective to run.


Can't find the Energy Guide Label!

I guess that once we get used to reading and comparing each Energy Guide Label to help us decide it can be a real disappointment when you find an appliance that is not labeled and as such will not deserve a second glance from us.

If you can see the cyan blue of the all important Energy Star Label the bright yellow guide should be near by... (sometimes the label can be found hanging inside a product, worth asking the retailer.)

Its a big thanks to the Federal Trade Commission for developing standards that protect Americas consumers with labels that destinguish more energy efficient appliances and so its a definite green thumbs up to the bright yellow Energy Guide Label.


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You can get more information on the Energy Guide and the Energy Star program at Energy Star and Energy Guidance