Reading Energy Efficiency Labels And Smart Buying Tips

energy efficiency

If we have any appliance at home that sports an energy efficiency tag, it makes us feel quite happy, knowing we’re doing something good for the earth (and for our pockets), such as saving on electricity (and money).

But how do we understand the red and yellow BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) labels with 5 stars? What parts of the labelling will work best for our consumption needs and what is actually useful? There’s a wide variety of parameters on the labels, so without getting confused, here are a few easy ways that can help to understand what it all really means.

1. What are the Stars on the BEE power savings guide label? It’s simple – the more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient it is. It means that it will use up lesser energy to run and will also cost less. The Star rating sticker has 5 stars, where one colored star means the least efficient and five colored stars mean the most efficient. Most of the following appliances have the label on them – TV, fan, tube light, LED bulbs, water heater, refrigerator, computer monitor, ACs, washing machine, dishwasher and a few more. A 5 star rated fan would consume around 50 watts, while a 2 star rated one would consume 75 watts while delivering the same amount of air.

2. The BEE star energy efficiency labels also come with details like power consumption and estimated savings per year, to let us know approximately how much energy will be consumed by the product in a year (for refrigerators, water heaters), energy efficiency ratios (in case of ACs), and how much it can cost us. Here is how the label provides an estimate based on the running estimate – TV and computer monitor (in use 10 hours a day and on standby mode for 14 hours), washing machine (in use for 7 loads a week), refrigerator (in use 24 hours a day), dishwasher (in use for 7 loads a week on normal setting), inverter ac (1600 hours a year at certain condition).

3. While comparing two or more models to find out which one is more energy efficient, make sure you choose models that are same in their capacity. For instance, if you are looking to buy a refrigerator, make sure the models you are comparing are of the same capacity.

4. Check the rating year on the BEE power consumption label. Efficiency standards are revised after a year or so. A 5 star 2013 AC will be 4 star rated in 2015.

5. If you’re planning to buy a dishwasher that is also efficient in its electricity usage, go for one that has the option of choosing different wash cycles. Also look for an option of choosing between heat drying and air drying modes, as the former will use more energy while the latter will save on energy. Dishwashers come in standard capacity and compact capacity. The latter uses less energy but keep in mind that it will be able to hold lesser number of dishes. So, if you have more dishes and need to operate the appliance multiple times a day, it could actually use up more energy.

6. While buying a refrigerator, check the BEE label for the number of stars and the ‘Electricity consumption in units per year.’ The number of units multiplied by the per unit cost (average 6 rupees) of your electricity utility will give you the cost per year. Apart from 5 stars, an inverter driven (variable speed) compressor will save more energy and have a higher life too. Look for one with a heavy door hinge, as it will keep the door properly sealed and keep the air inside cool. If you want a model with a freezer on top, buy one with an energy saver switch to reduce your energy usage by about five to ten percent. While a smaller fridge will use less energy, if you have a bigger requirement, go for a larger refrigerator instead of two smaller ones, to make the most of energy consumption.

7. In general, more the stars, more is the price. But they are usually a better option as an investment – you often recover your money by saving energy in a year or two. You also help save the environment. So if you can afford it, go for appliances with 5 stars.

The next time you’re out buying appliances, see how many of the above you can implement and tell us about it. We’d also love to hear how you’re taking care of the planet and what you’re doing at home to reduce your electricity consumption.

Image source: Pexels

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