ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings

Updated on December 3, 2010

Whether or not you are concerned about the environment or about our diminishing supplies of natural resources, we can all agree on the concept of saving money. When shopping for new appliances, I am sure that you have seen the Energy Star efficiency ratings posted on products, but do you know what they really mean?

Energy Star ratings are a good basis for understanding energy efficiency, but they are based upon model type.

The first thing that you need to know about Energy Star ratings is that they are based upon an average rating for the product type. A Federal Standard Kilowatt per Year in energy usage is determined for the product type and for the different sizes and styles of the products. For example, all toaster ovens are compared and the average power consumption becomes the base line for the ovens on a whole. Products that are more than 10% to 20% more energy efficient than the Federal Standard for energy usage get an Energy Star rating.

The second and most important thing that you need to understand about Energy Star ratings is that they are based upon similar models, not products on a whole. Refrigerators are a good example of this. You must compare the Energy Star ratings of similar models. Side-by-Side fridges are the least efficient of all fridge models with an average Federal Standard k/Wh/Year rating around 725. The average Federal Standard k/Wh/Year for bottom freezer models is around 689. For standard top freezer models the Federal Standard is 466. I arrived at these numbers by averaging 10 different models of each type from the data on the Energy Star website.

If you go shopping for a new fridge and want to buy the most efficient model, you must realize that buying a Side-by-Side that is Energy Star rated as being 20% more efficient is actually going to consume more power than a top freezer model that is not Energy Star rated. An Energy Star rated top freezer refrigerator can actually consume around half of the energy per year of a standard rated Side-by-Side and about a quarter less than an Energy Star rated Side-by-Side.

Energy Star ratings are submitted by the companies that produce the items. This may make you question there validity. However, the requirements for getting an Energy Star rating require that the results must be easily validated and repeated. Many different consumer advocate groups follow up the reported results with their own independent tests.

Energy Star ratings are a good start for any consumer wanting to reduce energy consumption or costs, but you must do a little research and understand the different model types that are being compared. Check out other consumer websites that can provide actual user feedback on the different models.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)