energy wise ■ The biggest USER

How to estimate your home appliance energy use

BY JOHN DRAKE COOPERATIVE ENERGY AUDITOR

For starters, that old fridge can have a big impact on your monthly electric bill. Replacing a refrigerator made before 1993 with an ENERGY STAR- rated model could knock \$65 to \$100 off your power costs each year.

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If you’re curious which of your old appliances uses the most energy, use this formula from the U.S. Department of Energy. (Remember: 1,000 watts equals one kilowatt.)

Wattage of appliance × Hours used per day × Days used per year ÷ 1,000 = Annual kilowatt-hour (kwh) used

Most appliances stamp their wattage use on the bottom or back of the appliance or on its nameplate. The wattage shows the maximum power drawn by the appliance. Because some appliances have a range of settings—just like the volume on a radio—the actual

ou’ve had your fridge forever, it’s in pretty good shape and keeps your food cold. Why worry about saving money for a new one?

Visit www.TogetherWeSave. com to see how small changes can lead to big energy savings. Under ‘Add Up Your Savings,’ you can walk through a typical home’s kitchen, living room and other areas, and upgrade appliances and make other energy-smart choices in each room. Each time you make a change, you’re shown how much money you could save on your annual electric bill.

amount of power consumed depends on the setting used at any one time.

Here are examples of the range of wattages for common household appliances:

Clothes washer: 350–500 Watts Clothes dryer: 1800–5000 Watts Dishwasher: 1200–2400 Watts (heat drying feature increases energy use) Hair dryer: 1200–1875 Watts Microwave oven: 750–1100 Watts Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet): 725 Watts

ENERGY EFFICIENCY Tip of the Month

Appliances account for about 13 percent of your home’s energy use. If they have energy- saving settings, use them! If they’re nearing voting age, considering replacing them with a new, energy-efficient model. And remember to try smart power strips for smaller appliances and electronics that continue to draw power even when turned off. For more tips, visit EnergySavers.gov.

—US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Once you calculate how much money you spend to run your older home appliances, compare this to what it would cost to use the newer, more efficient models. There are other benefits, too. For example, not only have clothes washers become 64 percent more energy efficient since 2000, but the tub size has increased by nine percent. With a new model you can wash more clothes for less money every month.

If you’re worried about the upfront cost of a new appliance, remember that Choctaw Electric offers low interest loans to members for both small and large appliances. This makes it easier for you to purchase more efficient appliances, and pay it out in a series of monthly payments that fit your budget. Find details about our loans online at www. choctawelectric.coop, or contact Brad Kendrick at 800-780-6486, ext. 248. ■

Mark Zachary at 800-780-6486, ext. 231.

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