This past month Consumer Reports published their reviews of home appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and washing machines, including a good amount of information about Energy Star along the way. One of the articles points out that appliance energy guides and ratings often over-promise the product's efficiency (like in this Frigidaire ad from 1933?). Currently there is no third party certification for Energy Star claims, but I've heard that this will soon change: sorry, no more gas-powered alarm clocks! In the meantime, take any appliance's energy guide numbers with a grain of salt. Whether the Energy Star rating on my new Maytag fridge is accurate or not, I'll definitely use fewer kWh than the ~1000 per year my 20+ year old Whirlpool was burning.
If you're in the market for a new appliance, cash in on these rebates offered by BGE's Smart Energy Savers program:
Get $50 rebate for buying an Energy Star appliance
Get $50 for recycling your old refrigerator
The main Energy Star website is here: www.energystar.gov
Did you know that clothes dryers are not rated by Energy Star? here's why
Calculate how much you could save by recycling your old refrigerator and getting a new Energy Star model here
When it comes to modern refrigeration, we've come a long way, baby... here's an interesting article from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers about the history of refrigeration and cooling.
Thanks to Liza at Pine Street Art Works for the Frigidaire ad image and ASME article used in this post. Check out her lovely blog here http://seesaw.typepad.com/blog/2008/05/frigidaire-ge-the-thirties.html