Archive for September, 2009

Appliance Rebates

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Tips For Improving Energy Efficiency In The Kitchen

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Many have wondered if using small appliances as opposed to bigger kitchen appliances will save energy in the kitchen. A few calculations and a little planning can help you determine the best path to having an energy efficient kitchen.

 

The electric range, dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator are the primary electricity consumers in most kitchens. In many cases using smaller countertop kitchen appliances can result in less electricity usage but not always.

 

Many factors including the time of year, and the heating and air conditioning systems will determine your overall electricity usage. For example if you use your kitchen range during the winter all the electricity used for cooking ends up heating your home, and reducing your furnace from cycling on and off. The drawback is the heat from the range is basically resistance heating which is more expensive. Heat produced from a gas or oil furnace is much less expensive.

 

During the summertime the process works exactly the opposite. If you air condition your home cooking will make the air conditioner run longer so the cost of cooking has basically increased. The moisture given off by the cooking creates humidity which creates load on the air conditioner, and causes it to run longer.

 

There is an easy way to determine how much energy an electric appliance costs to use. The appliance nameplate lists the amperage or wattage. Multiply the wattage by the amount of time (number of hours the appliance is used) and divide this by 1000. This gives you the kilowatt-hours used. Multiply this number by your electric rate in dollars per kilowatt hour. If the nameplate lists amperage, multiply it by 120 to get watts.

 

A good rule of thumb is to use the smallest cooking appliance possible for the amount of food. For just cooking a couple of hamburgers, a countertop toaster oven is ideal. If the quantity of burgers requires you to cook them several at a time choose the range oven.

 

Another consideration is how many consecutive items you have to cook. If you are going to bake a cake, roast meat and then bake potatoes, use the large range oven. The mass of the oven holds heat from on food item to the next. This eliminates the preheat cycle and provides even cooking. Using a high quality slow cooker, such as a crock pot can also be and energy saver. For fast cooking a pressure cooker dramatically reduces cooking time. A small countertop convection oven has small fan to circulate the heated air around the food faster. Reducing cooking time reduces the total kilowatt-hours consumed and the generated in your kitchen. Some foods cook better without the convection air, but they will take longer. Of course using a microwave oven saves electricity because the cooking times for small quantities are very short.

 

There are a number of ways to acheive energy efficiency in the kitchen, and at the end of the day saving energy in the kitchen can be achieved by matching the amount of food you are cooking to the appropriate sized kitchen appliance, and purchasing appliances that have energy star ratings. 

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Energy Star Appliance Rebates

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

 

 

Did you know that the average home spends about $2,200 on energy bills every year? Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR, and you can save $75 a year in energy costs, while saving the environment.

Until recent news of an upcoming government appliance rebate program (dubbed “Cash for Appliances” or “Cash for Refrigerators”), many Americans had heard of Energy Star appliances, but didn’t really know much about them other than they cost more than average appliances.

What is Energy Star?

Many are unaware that, Energy Star is not a company; it’s a federal government label indicating energy efficiency. The Energy Star program is a joint venture between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy (DOE); it certifies products as energy efficient as a service to American consumers.

How Will the Government Appliance Rebate Program Work?

Each participating state is currently crafting a unique plan to distribute the government appliance rebate program funds to consumers who purchase energy efficient home appliances.

Consumers should expect every participating state to publish separate program rules following each state’s plan approval by the Department of Energy.

U.S. Department of Energy Recommended List of Qualifying Energy Star Home Appliances

In the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program funding opportunity announcement, the Department of Energy provided guidelines for states to consider as they craft incentive programs. Included in that guidance is a list of suggested appliances. If states follow these guidelines, consumers should expect to see the following categories of appliances covered by state appliance rebate programs:

·        Boilers

·        Central air conditioners

·        Clothes washers

·        Dishwashers

·        Freezers

·        Furnaces (gas and oil)

·        Heat pumps (air source and geothermal)

·        Refrigerators

·        Room air conditioners

·        Water heaters

The Bottom Line – Save Energy, Save Money!

 

When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money you save on your utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive but more efficient ENERGY STAR model, and with the government appliance rebate in place the playing field has been leveled.

For top performance, premium features, and energy savings, look for energy-efficient clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers that have earned the ENERGY STAR. This mark may appear on the appliance, the packaging or the EnergyGuide label.

 

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