Energy Guide Labels
One way to save energy and money is to purchase energy-efficient appliances, and paying attention to EnergyGuide Labels can help you do that. There are three types of these yellow and black EnergyGuide Labels: the energy use label, the seasonal energy-efficiency rating (SEER) label and a generic label.
For more tips, please email or call the OPPD Energy Advisor at 402-636-3850; outside the Omaha metro area at 1-800-648-2658.
Energy Use Label:
This label provides the estimated annual electricity consumed by a particular model of an appliance, and shows the least and greatest amount of energy used by comparable models. The label also lists the unit's estimated annual operating cost, based on the national average cost of electricity.
Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Rating (SEER) Label:
This label is used on air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the figure on this label, the better. To figure average annual operating costs, use the table at the bottom of the label to locate your electricity rate (OPPD's average residential cost is about 6.58 cents per kilowatt-hour) and estimated hours of operation.
This label is used on furnaces and central air conditioning units. It gives information on energy conservation and suggests getting the energy fact sheet for each model from your dealer or heating contractor.
Tips for Energy Use
You can get a lot of use from your appliances and save energy, too, by following a few simple tips around your home.
- Turn electric surface units (except on induction ranges) off a few minutes before food is completely done.
- Stored heat will finish the cooking. Use pans that fit the surface unit to avoid wasting heat or prolonging cooking time. Pans should have straight sides, tight-fitting lids and flat bottoms so that the heat goes directly into them.
- Don't be an oven-peeper. Each time you open the door, you lose 20 percent of your heat and risk improper browning or even baking failure.
- Set your freezer temperature no lower than 0° and your refrigerator no lower than 40°.
- Open refrigerator doors only when necessary and avoid prolonged openings. It takes about 30 minutes for a refrigerator to cool down to its normal temperature after being opened for 30 seconds.
- Always wash full loads in your dishwasher. It takes just as much energy to wash a few dishes as it does to do a full load, unless your dishwasher has a partial-load cycle.
- Ninety percent of the cost of washing clothes is for heating water. Use cold or warm water for most loads, and always use a cold water rinse, since the temperature of the rinse water doesn't affect the cleanliness of the clothes.
- Dry loads consecutively when possible. An already-warm dryer shortens drying time and saves money.
- Clean the lint trap after each load to maximize drying efficiency.