This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 29, 2007

Trade Commission Launches New EnergyGuide Label for Appliances

The EnergyGuide label for a refrigerator and freezer features a large central box that says 'Estimated Yearly Operating Cost' with a dollar figure and a pointer showing where that cost lands on a scale that runs from the cheapest to the most expensive operating cost. Below that is a smaller box with the estimated yearly electricity use, followed by a disclaimer that your actual costs will depend on your utility rates and your use of the product.

The new EnergyGuide label places its emphasis on operating cost.
Credit: FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in early August that it has finalized its revisions to the EnergyGuide label, which helps U.S. consumers compare the energy performance of many appliances. The new EnergyGuide label will still be a familiar yellow color, but will feature a streamlined look that prominently displays the estimated annual operating cost for most appliances.

Providing energy use data in terms of cost—rather than kilowatt-hours of electricity or British thermal units of natural gas—provides a clear context for consumers to compare different models. It also allows for a more informed decision when consumers trade off the up-front cost of an appliance with its annual operating cost. See the FTC press release.