On Friday, shoppers across the country will flock to stores and retailers seeking the best bargains of the holiday season. Many will scour newspapers and online coupon sites seeking the deepest discounts and greatest deals. In case you’ll be among these millions of consumers, don’t forget buying energy efficient products will bring you savings all year ’round.

When it comes to shopping for and comparing energy-efficient appliances and home electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR labels appear on appliances and home electronics that meet strict energy efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Image showing Energy Star and Energyguide labels.

The Federal Trade Commission requires EnergyGuide labels on most home appliances, which provide an estimate of the product's energy consumption or energy efficiency. They also show the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiency estimates of similar appliance models. Appliance manufacturers must produce products that either meet minimum federal energy efficiency standards or that consume no more than the amount of energy than federal standards allow.

Appliances and other products covered by these standards include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Room air conditioners
  • Clothes dryers
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen ranges and ovens
  • Pool heaters
  • Water heaters
  • Fluorescent lamp ballasts
  • Incandescent reflector lamps

Also, if you're trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you'd like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate your appliance and home electronic energy use.

No matter your budget or wish list, the Energy Savers website includes tips and lots more information on saving money and energy all year ’round.

Chris Stewart is a senior project leader at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its websites.