By Ishita Yadav, AAE Intern
As residential electricity bills increase, conducting energy efficiency improvements on your home will help protect you from the financial impact of the unpredictable increases that will impact ratepayers. The savings you achieve from a single energy-efficient appliance may seem small on its own, but in most cases, the premium price you pay will be more than offset by your energy savings in the long-run.
Moreover, if you're planning to install a renewable energy system, such as a rooftop solar system, reducing the amount of electricity your house uses may allow you to purchase a smaller and less expensive system.
So, what's the catch? ENERGY STAR-certified appliances often come at a high price, leaving many customers wondering if energy-efficient appliances are worth the premium price. But, the good news is there are rebate and incentive programs that can help you cover the up-front costs of energy efficient home upgrades. Income-qualified residents can even get free upgrades like duct sealing, air sealing, and attic insulation. Eligible households in New Orleans can sign up for an Energy Smart appointment: call 504-229-6868 or click here to see if you qualify.
Here is a list of some of the most worthwhile energy efficient appliance upgrades:
By switching to an energy-efficient washing machine you’ll see savings on both your electric and water bill. An ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 40 to 50% less energy and about 55% less water than standard washers. Replacing your conventional washing machine with an energy-efficient model will save you approximately $50 per year on utility and water bills. In addition, energy-efficient front-loading washers also require less laundry detergent than top-loading washers, so you save more money week to week. While these savings may seem small, trust us, they add up in the long run.
There has been transformative advancement in refrigerator technology over the past fifteen years and, as such, a majority of U.S. homes currently house old and extremely inefficient refrigerators. Current ENERGY STAR refrigerators use up to 40% less energy than the conventional models sold before 2001. Looking to get rid of an outdated refrigerator or freezer? Energy Smart, an Entergy New Orleans program, will give you $50 to haul away your working fridge or freezer plus a $50 rebate on a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator.
While not working as continuously as refrigerators, the electricity and water used in each dishwasher run add up. ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers are use 12% less energy and and 30% less water than the non-certified models currently for sale. Installing an energy-efficient dishwasher can save you around $25 a year.