Indy residents save with eco-friendly appliances

Indy residents save with eco-friendly appliances

Energy efficiency in appliances continues to improve, driven by regulation, more stringent voluntary standards and consumer demand to save money and the planet.

“They’re using less electricity, less water,” says Bill Krier, owner of highly rated Broad Ripple Appliance on East 56th Street. “It’s great for the consumer.” New washers clean faster and spin out more water than they used to, reducing the energy needed to dry clothes, Krier says. Better insulation in refrigerators and smaller, more efficient compressors mean newer larger models still use less energy than older smaller ones. The numbers project the future holds more of the same — using less energy:

2 percent — Amount Indiana electric utilities aim to reduce energy demand, including through energy-efficient appliances in homes, between 2010 and 2019.

14 percent — The annual reduction in electricity usage projected nationwide for 2035, based on energy efficiency standards. Regulations continue to demand increased efficiency, but experts say manufacturers manage to stay ahead of the curve.

10,000 gallons — Current approximate water use annually for a standard-sized top-loading washing machine, compared with nearly 14,000 gallons five years ago.

1,941 — Average kilowatt hours of energy used by the average household refrigerator in 1972, costing about $1,250 in today’s dollars, compared with less than 500 kilowatt hours projected for 2012, costing about $550.

$10.5 billion — Annual net savings for U.S. consumers in 2012 from minimum energy-efficiency standards set for home appliances. This accounts for costs associated with purchasing more energy-efficient appliances from central air conditioners to ranges.

3.5 cubic feet — Standard washer size today, up from 2.5 cubic feet in 1980. Even as appliances have increased in energy efficiency and reduced water usage, they’ve grown in size for convenience.

20 percent — Potential projected annual savings on annual heating and cooling costs using a high-efficiency unit with an Energy Star label. Energy Star’s voluntary standards are more stringent than federal minimum requirements for appliance energy consumption.

2010 — Year Indiana’s Energy Star Appliance Rebate program began, providing up to $500 for purchasing a furnace or HVAC system rated by federally-backed Energy Star, which promotes energy-efficient products.

$8,430 — Projected total savings for a typical household over a 15-year period because of energy efficiency standards affecting appliances.

Sources: Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Appliance Standards Awareness Project, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, The Office of Energy Development, Texas Uglified Extension Service

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