Here’s an interesting article from USA Today about how people buying energy efficient appliances are actually not saving any money. That’s because people are using their appliances more and in inefficient ways. This whole phenomenon is called the “Snackwell Effect.”
“Just as dieters might binge on Snackwell’s low-calorie cookies, people who buy energy-efficient items for their homes sabotage their efforts to save power – often by using the appliances more heavily, studies have shown.”
Read the rest of the story here: “Consumers can sabotage their energy conservation efforts.”
The article does offer a suggestion: “One solution: Devices that tell people how much electricity they use hour-by-hour, so they know the power consumed by a particular appliance.”
That could be helpful if it makes people develop new habits that help them save energy. Obviously, buying energy-efficient appliances and products, is not enough in itself, people need to develop new habits and practices in order to save energy and money.
- Always wash a full load of laundry and/or dishes. Exclusions to this rule are heavily soiled items of laundry or clothing you think might “bleed” and delicate items of clothing. For your dishwasher, wash fine china, delicate glassware, or hand-painted items by hand.
- Wash items in cold water, it often gets your laundry just as clean.
- If your clothes dryer has drying detecting sensors, use them. They are more reliable on detecting when your laundry is dry, than set time limits on your clothes dryer’s timer.
- To avoid unnecessary ironing, remove clothes from the dryer right away.
- If you live in a warm climate or if it’s summer, hang a clothes line and let your clothes line-dry.
- If you are preparing small meals or snacks, see if you can microwave the food rather than popping it in the oven.
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
- Maintain and clean your appliances. If appliance parts are cracked or broken, you could be losing money by having your appliance work harder to maintain proper temperatures, such is the case with the refrigerator.
Get the most out of your energy-efficient appliances and make sure you are using them in a way that saves you money.