GE Breaks Down Energy Cost of Home Appliances

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Coming in at No. 13 on the list, a toaster uses 1,100 watts. Photo: Flickr/mkudel

Ever wonder which costs more to operate, a microwave or an oven? How about what product uses more energy, a computer or a laptop? A new website created by GE answers your questions about 53 electrical products in your home.

The premise of the website is pretty simple. You select which appliances and electronics you have and then choose what information you want.

Available statistics include how many watts of energy it takes to power them, the daily/monthly/yearly cost to operate them in all 50 states and how long you could operate them on 1 kWh.

The website shows that most energy-draining appliances are not always the most expensive to operate. For instance, the aquarium ranks No. 42 in energy use, with 30 watts, but it jumps to No. 13 when it comes to energy costs, at $3.07 per month in California. That same aquarium can go a 33 hours on just 1 kWh of energy, which ranks No. 12.

Of the top 20 highest energy using products, only seven are listed as having Energy Star-certified alternatives. Energy Star products can use up to 50 percent less energy than their counterparts, depending on the product. But according to GE you can only take advantage of these savings on 24 of the 53 products listed.

One aspect of energy use not addressed on GE’s site is the effect of vampire power, or the amount of energy used while a device is plugged in but not in use. According to the Department of Energy, this amounts to 40 percent of residential energy consumption, but there are ways to slay those vampires.

If you’re thinking about upgrading an appliance for optimized energy use, don’t forget the “Cash for Appliances” program that offers rebates on energy-efficient purchases.

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger

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