Do: Buy Energy Star Appliances, and Use them Wisely
Refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens can be among the biggest energy hogs in the house, costing you every time they're in use. When the time comes to replace older appliances, choose Energy Star-labeled options so you know that you're buying a product that uses relatively little energy and costs you relatively little to run. (When facing a big purchase, we tend to be good at comparing sticker prices, but bad at considering the long-term costs of ownership.) When using kitchen appliances, use them wisely:
- Use the smallest cooking device for the job: A microwave is the most energy-efficient cooking option, for instance, and a toaster oven is more efficient than an oven.
- Don't run your dishwasher unless it's full, and choose the economy setting to reduce its water and energy use.
- Particularly if it's the height of summer, run appliances at night when demand for electricity is lower and power plants have excess capacity.