Green Blizzard is all about sharing ways that help average consumers reduce their carbon footprints. In keeping with our mission, we want to let you know about a free new service that will assist you with your next major appliance purchase.
In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, another effective way to reduce your greenhouse gas footprint is to vote with your purchasing dollars, euros, pounds or yen. When it’s time to replace that old refrigerator or dishwasher, or upgrade your entertainment system, you have the perfect opportunity to make a radical reduction in the amount of energy consumed by such everyday appliances and reduce your long term carbon footprint.
But many consumers find that adding the energy consumption factor into the decision-making process just muddies the waters. Fortunately, helpful green advice on energy-efficient appliances is now available for free online.
Top Ten USA has done the legwork for environmentally-conscious consumers who are seeking to minimize the long-term energy cost of operating common household appliances and want to buy from the most energy-efficient options.
TopTen USA is a nonprofit organization that identifies and publicizes the most energy-efficient products on the market to make it easy for consumers to find the most energy- and cost-saving models. This in turn fuels further manufacturing innovations and introduces even more new energy-efficient products into the U.S. marketplace. Modeled after similar organizations across Europe, TopTen USA intends to transform the American market from one of excessive energy consumption to one with the highest possible practical energy efficiency. By doing so, TopTen USA is helping tackle important issues such as climate change, enviromental pollution, the national security threat from our dependence on foreign oil and unnecessarily high energy bills. What a noble mission!
Products rated by Top Ten USA are more energy efficient than even those rated by Energy Star. In terms of the more likely candidate to provide this energy rating service, Consumer Reports apparently missed the boat on including this important feature in its evaluations.
The EPA Climate Change site reports that…
“TopTen USA is an unbiased, fully-independent service that helps consumers find the most efficient products on the market – products which on average use half the energy of a standard model. TopTen USA evaluates, identifies and publicizes the most energy-efficient products on the market. In order to slow climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. Reducing energy use is a fundamental part of curbing emissions, since much of it comes from burning fossil fuels, the primary source of emissions in the U.S. — accounting for 86 percent of total CO2 emissions in 2008.
While climate changes on a global scale, individuals can make a difference through their decisions in the marketplace. Today, TopTen USA announced the launch of its free web-based rankings of the 10 most energy-efficient products in a wide range of categories: refrigerators, freezers, televisions, computers, vehicles, dishwashers, clothes washers and monitors. The TopTen USA site lists the 10 best choices for each product category, along with pricing, specifications, local and online retail options, and personalized rebate information.
Through its web site, TopTen helps consumers make informed decisions on household products that can help fight climate change by reducing energy consumption, while saving money on electricity and gas bills!
Since energy efficiency is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest routes to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one of TopTen’s goals is to generate greater demand for efficient products, helping to catalyze a market shift toward more climate-friendly products.
Even small shifts in the products that consumers buy and use every day can produce a considerable impact: just a 10 percent shift in current sales to the most energy-efficient products could eliminate the release of nearly 3.5 million metric tons of carbon-equivalent gases each year, which is like taking 600,000 cars off the road. If all products used in the U.S. were TopTen ranked, the country would save over 270 million metric tons of CO2 and more than $46 billion dollars in energy costs over the product lifetimes. That would be like taking all the automobiles off the road in California, Florida, New York and Texas.”
The TopTen USA Top Ten Press Release reports that:
“A consumer using older models of these products—those near the end of their common lifespans of 6-12 years—uses 3,666 kWh per year to run them. At the national average for electricity costs, that consumer spends about $440 per year for the privilege, and closer to $650 in states with high energy costs, such as Connecticut, New York, California and Maryland. If that consumer replaced each of those items with baseline Energy Star products, they would reduce those expenditures by about 37 percent. However, if they instead replaced their old, inefficient products with comparable TopTen models, they would save 67 percent of that money and energy. Likewise, by trading in an average U.S. passenger car for one on the TopTen list, consumers would save about 130 gallons of gasoline—8-10 trips to the pump—per year. And in many cases, the products on TopTen USA’s lists cost no more than the less-efficient models. While the large appliances that offer the most savings require some upfront investment, most of the high-efficiency electronics are priced right around the median cost-level for their categories.”
Use this great resource for all your future major appliance purchases, and share it with your friends, families and neighbors. Check out these related Green Blizzard articles: Seafood Watch, Are We Eating Fish Into Extinction, Carbon Impact of Meats, Local Produce, Sun Tea, or Growing Basil.