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Posted on November 10, 2010

Save Money and the Planet By Choosing From the TopTen

Saving money on your energy bills—and helping to save the planet—just got a lot easier with the launch of a new web site devoted to ranking the most energy efficient home appliances and consumer electronics goods.

As NEXT100 predicted last year, the PG&E-supported non-profit organization TopTen USA has finally gone live with its consumer-friendly web site. It lists the ten most efficient products in each of several energy-hungry categories: refrigerators, freezers, televisions, computers, vehicles, dishwashers, clothes washers, and monitors. It also provides information on pricing (with Pricegrabber), local and online retail outlets and rebates.

In addition, it offers tips on using even these products more efficiently. For example, switching your new TV out of dynamic, sports or vivid mode to standard, movie or cinema mode can slash power consumption 20% to 50%. Turning your background lights low will let you lower your TV’s illumination as well, saving energy. And shutting your TV off at the power strip will eliminate the “vampire” power that many electronics devices consume even when ostensibly off.

Of course, you could visit the excellent Energy Star web site and browse through dozens of models, but that’s more work. And many Energy Star-rated products are far from best-in-class performance. For example, TopTen says its most efficient mid-sized TV, a Samsung model, will save about 891 kilowatt hours over its lifetime compared to the average Energy Star product. That works out to a lifetime cost saving of around $70 to $170, depending on where you live. Just imagine how much you’ll save compared to the average energy hog who doesn’t even check the Energy Star rating.

Now imagine what would happen if everyone took advantage of such savings. “If all products used in the US were TopTen ranked, the country would save over 596 billion pounds of CO2 and more than $46 billion dollars in energy costs over those products’ lifetimes,” the organization notes.



Supporters of TopTen include World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Duane Larson, director of mass market energy solutions and service at PG&E, explained why the utility also got involved:


Both Pacific Gas and Electric Company and our customers recognize the value of having clear and timely information about the most energy-efficient products on the market. TopTen USA provides our customers with greater access to this information, so that they can save energy and money.

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