Federal law requires that EnergyGuide labels be placed on all new refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and boilers. These labels are bright yellow with black lettering and identify energy consumption characteristics of household appliances.
Although these labels will not tell you which appliance is the most efficient, they will tell you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself.
EnergyGuide labels show the estimated yearly electricity consumption to operate the product, along with a scale for comparison among similar products. The comparison scale shows the least and most energy used by comparable models. The labeled model is represented by an arrow pointing to its relative position on that scale. This allows consumers to compare the labeled model with other similar models.
The consumption figure printed on EnergyGuide labels, in therms for natural gas appliances, is based on average usage assumptions and your actual energy consumption may vary depending on the appliance usage.
EnergyGuide labels are not required on kitchen ranges, microwave ovens, clothes dryers, on-demand water heaters, portable space heaters, and lights.
Reading EnergyGuide labels
Below is a sample of a typical EnergyGuide label. The red numerals mark areas of importance. Explanations for each marked area are provided below.
- Type of appliance and capacity.
- Manufacturer and model number.
- Energy-efficiency rating information and estimate of energy used.
- Estimated yearly cost to operate appliance and how estimate was derived.
It is important to note when reading EnergyGuide labels that your cost will vary depending on your local energy rate and how you use the product.
The U.S. Department of Energy Website is an excellent resource if you would like to research the energy efficiency of common household appliances.