In our day-to-day lives, we use a number of different appliances—some to help us store and cook food like refrigerators and microwaves, while others entertain and inform us, like televisions and computers. But do you ever stop to think about how much energy these devices are using?
Well, according the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American household’s energy bill is over $2,000 in a given year. But there is good news! By using more energy efficient appliances you can save money and reduce your energy bills, all while continuing to enjoy all of the amenities modern day life. Energy efficient appliances are not only good for your wallet; they also benefit our environment by helping to cut down on carbon pollution.
The changes are simple, but they’ll have a big impact. The Department of Energy recognizes the benefits that come from using energy efficient appliances, which is why they recently announced that in 2016, new energy efficiency standards for microwave ovens will go into effect that will save consumers a combined $3.4 billion by 2030. These standards will help to drastically reduce carbon pollution—they will have the impact of removing 12 million new cars from the road for an entire year. They’re also helping to meet the goal President Obama outlined in his State of the Union of cutting in half our energy waste over the next 20 years.
Along with the new energy efficiency standards, the Obama administration announced an updated calculation for the social cost of carbon, which uses the best available science to determine the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Incorporating these updated social cost of carbon values, the total net benefits of the new standards for microwaves is $4.6 billion over the next 30 years.
The benefits that the new microwave oven standards will bring us are extraordinary. But in the meantime, there are already a wide variety of energy efficient appliances available to consumers, ranging from refrigerators to computers. Making the switch to energy efficient products is a small change that will be very beneficial for your pocketbook as well as the environment. For more information on the different energy efficient products that are available click here.
(Photograph taken by Amy Palko)