energy star http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12073/all en-US Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_refrigerator_000076458411.jpg" alt="Woman learning if green appliances actually save her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, there's a lot of discussion about energy usage and the environment. And if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, there's a push to use more energy efficient appliances.</p> <p>Most household appliances now come with models that are &quot;Energy Star&quot; certified, meaning that they've met energy efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In general, Energy Star appliances may cost a bit more up front, but could save you money over time through reduced electricity and water usage. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-green-products-that-arent">8 Green Products That Aren't</a>)</p> <p>Here's a look at some common appliances and the possible cost savings associated with each one. Keep in mind that savings will vary depending on electricity rates where you live.</p> <h2>1. Refrigerator</h2> <p>Your fridge uses a <em>ton </em>of electricity, so it's logical to think you'd save money by switching to a more energy efficient model. But the actual cost savings is only significant if your current fridge is very old. The EPA has a handy calculator to help consumers determine potential cost savings. If you have an average-sized fridge acquired between 2001 and 2008, your cost savings by switching to an Energy Star certified model are estimated to be about $15 per year, based on the average national electricity rate. But if you're replacing a fridge from the 1980s, the savings jumps to $145 annually. Your savings may be more or less depending on the electricity rates where you live.</p> <h2>2. Freezer</h2> <p>If you have a standalone freezer, you may save a few bucks by switching to an energy efficient model. Most new freezers use about 10% less energy than older freezers, and the savings grows when compared to freezers that are more than 10 years old. Nearly half of the 36 million freezers in use in the U.S are older than 10 years, according to the EPA &mdash; and this is costing Americans $990 million annually.</p> <h2>3. Washing Machine</h2> <p>Another energy hog that uses up not only electricity, but water wobbles in your laundry room or garage. If you get an Energy Star certified model, you'll decrease water usage per load from 25 gallons down to 13. To put that in context, a typical family uses 400 gallons of water every day. New washers also cut down on electricity usage by 25%, resulting in a savings of $180 a year, according to the EPA. You will have a bigger impact on your utility bills by washing in only cold water &mdash; a cold rinse costs about 60% less than a warm one, according to Silicon Valley Power.</p> <h2>4. Dishwashers</h2> <p>The biggest cost savings from energy efficient dishwashers comes if you switch from a model made prior to 1994, according to the EPA. Those older models waste 10 gallons of water per cycle and use more electricity, costing you as much as $35 per year on your utility bills.</p> <h2>5. Dehumidifiers</h2> <p>The EPA says newer models of dehumidifiers are 15% more efficient than older ones. But even if you have the appliance on 10 hours a day for an entire year, you're only going to spend roughly $150. So it's not a level of savings that will impact your wallet all that much.</p> <h2>6. Air Purifiers</h2> <p>These machines that remove fine particles in the air can use more energy than you think. In fact, some suck more electricity than your fridge. But you can save as much as 40%, or 225 kilowatt hours per year. That results in a $25 savings annually, or about $215 over the life of a unit.</p> <h2>7. Hot Water Heaters</h2> <p>Nothing in your home uses more energy, except for lighting. And if you switch to an Energy Star water heater, you could save big bucks. In some states, you may even <em>get </em>cash to buy one. The federal government reports that a family of four will spend about $300 a year on electricity from an Energy Star heat pump water heater. That's less than half of the cost of an old standard electric heat resistance pump, and a projected savings of more than $3,000 over the life of the heater. Seven states offer incentives to buy an energy efficient heater; New Hampshire tops the list with a $1,000 rebate.</p> <h2>8. Televisions</h2> <p>Televisions are growing in size and resolution, but are also getting more energy efficient overall. And that's good, because Energy Star models are reportedly 25% more efficient than older televisions. Your overall savings, however, isn't massive. Even if your audio system and Blu-ray player are Energy Star compliant, your overall saving is about $200 over the life of the equipment.</p> <h2>9. Pool Pumps</h2> <p>Owning a pool doesn't make a lot of financial sense, but you can cut down on the cost by getting an energy efficient pump. Newer pumps are two-speed or variable-speed model, which can reduce the amount of electricity used by as much as 70%. This could translate into $280 to $340 saved annually, according to the government. There may also be rebates, depending on the state where you live.</p> <h2>10. Water Coolers</h2> <p>If you like to have bottled water dispensed from a cooler in your home, you might save a few dollars by getting an energy efficient model. The savings is relatively modest, at roughly $70 over the life of a unit. For the most savings, look for units with on-demand hot and cold capability.</p> <p><em>How efficient are your appliances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living appliances eco-friendly energy efficient energy star epa Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1646410 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5301593772_e3ba5eb9fc_z.jpg" alt="energy star" title="energy star" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last week, we wrote about the <a title="Energy Hogs Hiding in Your Home" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-deadly-energy-sinners-the-energy-hogs-hiding-in-your-home">power hogs that hide in your home</a>, trampling all over your wallet while making your carbon footprint way too fat. This week we'll concentrate on how, going forward, you can combat your energy costs by purchasing Energy Star products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon" title="5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon">5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon</a>)</p> <p>While energy-efficient <a title="appliance deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c304/Home-Garden/Appliances?eref=wisebread">appliances</a> can save you money through usage, few people realize that you can get a tidy refund via a tax credit (after the proper IRS paperwork), too! And though it's too late to claim such a credit on last year's taxes, you can start planning for a payoff on this year's, by purchasing an Energy Star appliance. Here is what you need to know about the savings can you expect when it comes to Energy Star products.</p> <h3>What Is Energy Star?</h3> <p>A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, <a title="About Energy Star" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index">Energy Star designates energy efficient products and practices</a>. Besides household products and appliances, Energy Star extends its designations into home construction itself, meaning that a new home can earn an Energy Star seal. Thanks to Energy Star, Americans saved enough power in 2010 to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars &mdash; all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.</p> <h3>How Much Money Will Energy Star Appliances Save Me?</h3> <p>The operating costs of many Energy Star appliances are printed on their labels, though it helps to know how much your old appliances used in order to gain a proper perspective. As mentioned last week, old refrigerators are often the biggest energy offenders, wasting up to three times as much energy as new ones. (You can calculate your savings with this <a title="refrigerator retirement savings calculator" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.calculator">refrigerator retirement savings calculator</a>). Of course, Energy Star appliances run the gamut from air conditioners to lawn care tools. There are, of course, <a title="Energy Star products" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_find_es_products">general guidelines for how much an Energy Star product can save your household</a>, as compared to a non-Energy Star model.</p> <p>For perspective, here are some <a title="pros and cons of Energy Star products" href="http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Pros-Costs-and-Cons-Energy-Star-Appliances.16819.html">figures from the National Resource Defense Council</a>, courtesy of servicemagic.com. Replacing a 1980s model refrigerator with, perhaps, this <a title="Whirlpool refrigerator" href="http://dealnews.com/prices.html?avux=2018447&amp;a=558643&amp;k=WyJTaG9wcGluZ0NvbSIsIjk1MDQ3MDQ1IiwiOTA0NSIsIjE4ODkiXQ%3D%3D">Whirlpool 21.9-Cubic Foot Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator</a> from Abt Electronics can save you $100 a year in total energy costs. Replacing a pre-1994 clothes washer will save you as much as $110 a year; and a new, Energy Star dishwasher &mdash; like the <a title="Whirlpool dishwasher" href="http://www.pcrichard.com/catalog/product.jsp?modelNo=DU1055XTVS" class="image_link">Whirlpool Super Capacity Tall Tub Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher</a> &mdash; will save you about $25 per year. Multiply those savings over an appliance's 20-year lifetime, and you're talking thousands of dollars of potential cost reduction.</p> <h3>How Do Energy Star Tax Credits Work?</h3> <p>Tax credits are still available for consumers who purchased home improvement items in 2011, so if you splurged on some new windows or an air conditioner for the holidays, you're in luck. These tax-deductible goods include biomass stoves; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning; insulation; roofs (Metal &amp; Asphalt); water heaters (non-solar); and windows and doors. The tax credit for these items is, on average, 10% of cost, and up to a cumulative deduction of $500. The tax credit applies only to an existing home or your principal residence; new construction and rentals do not qualify. To apply for the tax credits for 2011 purchases, you'll need to file <a title="IRS Form 5695" href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf">IRS Form 5695</a> for Residential Energy Credits, a five-page attachment that your accountant or tax preparer can fill out easily with the proper receipts and documentation.</p> <h3>What's Changing for the 2012 Tax Year?</h3> <p>Unfortunately, some of the best Energy Star tax credits expired on January 1, 2012, including those that allowed folks to claim up to 30% of improvements like a new roof or hot water heater. However, through December 31, 2016, you'll be able to claim 30% of your costs (with no upper limit) on geothermal heat pumps, small, residential wind turbines, and solar energy systems. Existing homes and new construction qualify, as do principal residences and second homes, though rentals do not. What's more, homeowners can also earn a credit of up to <a title="energy efficiency tax credits" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index">30% of the cost of residential fuel cells</a> (up to $500 per .5kW of power capacity), through the end of 2016.</p> <p>If you want to know how much a solar or wind system might cost to install, check out the handy cost estimator at <a title="SolarEstimate.org" href="http://www.find-solar.org/index.php">SolarEstimate.org</a>. Entering my ZIP code in Cook County, IL, along with some basic information on my electric bill, I learned that a solar system would be a &quot;good&quot; bet based on my area's solar rating, and that the total cost of a system would run about $17,700, after the $7,590 tax credit is applied. That's a large up-front cost, but long-term energy savings can be substantial; with a handy graphic it's estimated that I'd break even in 12 years &mdash; and be $20,000 <em>ahead</em> in 24 years.</p> <h3>What's the Bottom Line on Energy Star?</h3> <p>Appliances that earn an Energy Star rating may cost a bit more upfront, but in an overwhelming majority of cases, their operating costs yield big savings over the lifetimes of the products. And while you can't bank on the government bringing back the now-expired 2011 tax credits, anything is possible in an election year, especially when energy costs are an important voter issue. Regardless, the facts show that Energy Star is working for the betterment of the environment while simultaneously lowering electric bills. Even in our fractured political climate, that's a platform everyone can agree upon &mdash; and incentive enough for all of us to make some major changes around the house not just in 2012, but also in the years to come as well.</p> <p>This is a guest post by <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/How-Much-Money-Will-You-Save-With-Energy-Star-Appliances-/558643.html">Dealnews</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> While it might seem smarter to stick with older appliances, stocking your home with Energy Star appliances can save you major cash in the long run. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient">8 Simple Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last">This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks">Make Your Dishwasher Last (Almost) Forever With These 6 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home appliances dishwasher energy star refrigerator saving energy tax credits Mon, 19 Mar 2012 09:48:19 +0000 Dealnews 911581 at http://www.wisebread.com The Low-Flow Shower Head: Get 640% ROI in One Year http://www.wisebread.com/the-low-flow-shower-head-get-640-roi-in-one-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-low-flow-shower-head-get-640-roi-in-one-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/low flow showerhead.jpg" alt="low flow showerhead" title="low flow showerhead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bold statement alert: The best money saving device that you may <em>ever</em> purchase in terms of return-on-investment is a low-flow shower head.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Why Use a Low-Flow Shower Head?</h3> <p>One 10-minute shower with an inefficient showerhead uses 55 gallons of water (5.5 gallons per minute, or gpm) on average, while an <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/">Energy Star</a> model uses less than half that at 2.5 gpm. Most showerheads made before 1992 have a 5.5 gpm flow.</p> <p>I specifically purchased an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00112S1T8?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=20somethi-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00112S1T8">Alsons low-flow shower head</a> on sale for $35, but any Energy Star shower head will do.</p> <p>Your mileage may vary, but making the switch could save a family of four 27,500 gallons of water and about $260 in <a href="http://www.nppd.com/My_Home/Services/Additional_Files/waterheater_calculator.asp">energy costs to heat water per year</a>, not to mention saving&nbsp;<a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/bottled-water-versus-tap-water/">water</a>, which is relatively small in terms of cost but has huge environmental implications.</p> <p>That's right: A $35 investment would save you $225 in year one and $260 every year thereafter. Where else can you get a 640% return on investment within just one year while helping to preserve the environment?</p> <h3>Not Sure If You Have a Low-Flow Shower Head?</h3> <p>Take a bucket with gallon measurements and hold it up to your showerhead. Turn on the shower and measure out how many buckets you fill in one minute. Many newer showerheads will actually have their GPM listed on them, while older ones typically do not.</p> <h3>How to Replace Your Shower Head</h3> <p>Swapping shower heads is very easy. Simply take a standard set of pliers and turn the fastener counter-clockwise to remove the old shower head. Next, turn the fastener on the new shower head clockwise to fasten. If you're concerned about leaks, apply a little plumbing tape to the inside of the new showerhead before fastening.</p> <p>It's literally a two-minute job! If you live in an apartment, simply take off your standard shower head, put on your Energy Star shower head, and when you move, swap again.</p> <p>What's great about the Alsons shower head that I purchased is, among other things, that it has a switch to flip between 1.85 gpm and 2.5 gpm. I use the 1.85 gpm setting, and it makes for a great shower. My guests are welcome to use the higher setting if they choose. Contrary to popular belief, I don't miss the energy-, money-, and water-wasting old shower head at all. This shower head has a special high-volume spray design that makes for a satisfying shower. Money well spent.</p> <p><em>Note: This post contains an affiliate link.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-low-flow-shower-head-get-640-roi-in-one-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home energy star low flow showerheads save water shower showerheads Fri, 26 Nov 2010 14:00:12 +0000 G.E. Miller 322574 at http://www.wisebread.com Energy Star Office Equipment for Your Small Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/energy-star-office-equipm...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006184314XSmall.jpg" alt="Energy efficient equipment" title="Energy efficient equipment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Energy Star-rated appliances are popular for homes because they can offer significantly more energy efficiency than the alternatives. You can get similar benefits for the office by choosing office equipment that has earned approval from Energy Star. Energy Star options are available for many common pieces of office equipment, from computers to copiers.</p> <h3>What the Energy Star Rating Means</h3> <p>While purchasing energy efficient office equipment sounds like a good idea on the surface, you can run into a dilemma when you actually start shopping: many companies describe their products as energy efficient, especially when they're marketed to offices. The Energy Star rating is intended to eliminate confusion about just how efficient printers, scanners, and other office equipment actually are. In order to receive an Energy Star rating, a piece of office equipment must use at least 30 percent less electricity than standard equipment. That includes accessories, such as power adapters.</p> <p>The Energy Star system is not perfect and relies on manufacturers to offer up information of their own accord; however, it remains one of the most reliable labeling systems used for products in the U.S. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union have also adopted the system. Some European-manufactured products may alternatively bear a TCO Certification, which is a combined energy usage and ergonomics rating.</p> <h3>Purchasing Energy Star Office Equipment</h3> <p>Looking for the Energy Star label on office equipment can help you quickly narrow down your choices for servers, copiers and other equipment. The <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_find_es_products">Energy Star</a> website maintains information about purchasing a variety of types of office equipment, but you generally do not need to go through the Energy Star program to find specific products. Many online retailers allow you to easily search specifically for various types of office equipment with Energy Star ratings and if you're looking at stores, you can find labels right on the boxes of the products. Among the office equipment that can qualify for Energy Star ratings are the following:</p> <ul> <li>Computers</li> <li>Monitors</li> <li>Servers</li> <li>External power adapters</li> <li>Battery chargers</li> <li>Copiers</li> <li>Fax machines</li> <li>Printers</li> <li>Scanners</li> <li>All-in-one imaging devices</li> <li>Mailing machines</li> </ul> <p>The Energy Star program is also working on specifications that will allow them to rate a variety of products in the future, including data center storage, uninterruptable power supplies, and other equipment useful in an office setting.</p> <p>Equipment that stays on for long periods of time can provide the most significant change in your energy usage when you replace them. Copiers and computer monitors are just two examples that most workers prefer to leave on throughout the work day. Most of the energy savings for more efficient office products comes from the time that the equipment spends in a rest or low-power mode, between uses. Many monitors can power down over a timed period so that they don't waste power, but they also don't affect your ability to get back to work quickly.</p> <h3>Finding the Right Price</h3> <p>Depending on the office equipment you're purchasing, you may notice that prices are higher than their-less-efficient counterparts. The general assumption is that the reduced electricity bill that comes with making the switch to more efficient equipment covers the added expense. But since an Energy Star label simply states that a product is more efficient and does not necessarily guarantee that it will make a significant difference in your monthly bill, it is important that you carefully compare products before making a purchase.</p> <p><strong>1. Consider the reviews of the product's overall performance.</strong> Make sure that it meets your business needs</p> <p><strong>2. Look for estimates of the product's expected lifespan.</strong> A scanner might be expected to save you $7 per year in energy costs, but may only have an expected lifespan of a few years with heavy use. If the price of a particular scanner is more than the <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218395199;41474888;e?http://www.plumcard.com/?eep=17460">savings</a> you can expect over the course of its lifetime, it may not be the right scanner for your business.</p> <p><strong>3. Check what practices will get the best results with the equipment you're considering</strong>. Some are more efficient in sleep mode, but you may be required to turn some products off entirely to get the best results.</p> <p><strong>4. Consider benefits beyond efficiency. </strong>Products with Energy Star approvals tend to produce less heat, which reduces heat-related equipment failures as well as reducing air-conditioning costs in offices.</p> <p><strong>5. Check how new products will work with your current office equipment. </strong>For instance, if you use a Local Area Network (LAN), you may need to check that your new computer's power management feature is compatible with your existing network system.</p> <p><strong>6. Check the Energy Star website for information on the particular type of equipment you're purchasing.</strong> Energy Star lists details like how much money you can expect to save over the lifetime of a product, as well as the specs that a piece of equipment must meet to receive the Energy Star ratings, including details like power management features.</p> <p>Unlike some upgrades that you can make to increase energy efficiency, there is no tax incentive associated with purchasing office equipment that meets the standards of the Energy Star program. However, your purchase is still a business expense and that fact should be taken into account when choosing a product, especially if you're purchasing a large piece of equipment that you will depreciate.</p> <h3>Beyond Office Equipment</h3> <p>Depending on your business, you may be able to consider a wider variety of equipment that Energy Star has approved as particularly energy efficient. Such equipment includes a variety of commercial food service equipment, as well as materials for upgrading your office space as a whole. From windows to plumbing fixtures, you can make your office as energy efficient as possible. You don't even need to do major renovations to improve the energy efficiency of your office. Even changing out your light bulbs can make a major difference.</p> <p>You can even find vending machines and water coolers that have Energy Star ratings if you're ready to make your break room more energy efficient, along with changing out refrigerators and other appliances for more efficient models. Energy Star offers options far beyond new printers and computers.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "plum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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