Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Skate by winter bills

Nobody wants to pour extra money into winter electric bills. However, with cold winter months ahead, we will be giving our home- heating equipment and appliances a serious workout.

That's a good reason to look for the Energy StarĈ label when you are shopping for your appliances. You'll not only save yourself some money, you'll help save our planet for many years to come.

The average U.S. home is responsible for more air pollution than the average car. When you switch on a light or a TV, a power plant is burning fossil fuels to generate that energy. This, in turn, creates air pollution.

By equipping a home with energy-efficient products, you reduce household energy use as well as air pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star-labeled products can save consumers about 30 percent on gas and electric bills.

Since the average U.S. household spends $1,300 annually on energy bills, this adds up to about a $400 savings per household. There are two price tags associated with heating your home and operating your appliances.

One is the operating cost, and the other is the actual appliance sticker price. The Energy Star label is designed to help consumers identify new, smarter and more efficient products that save on operating costs and have long-term environmental benefits.

Consider Energy Star when purchasing a TV, VCR or stereo for watching your favorite movie or listening to that special song this winter. Most people don't realize that these products continue to use energy even when turned off. Some of that energy is used to power features such as remote controls and channel and clock settings, but much of it is wasted. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it's costing you money!

Americans spend nearly $1 billion each year to power their TVs and VCRs when they are switched off. The same is true for computers and home office equipment. Energy Star-compliant computers and office equipment are equipped with a “sleep mode” that shuts down the machine after a period of inactivity, saving you money on your electric bill.

Entertaining friends and family at home can result in heavy use of household appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers. Consider updating your old electricity guzzler with a new Energy Star-labeled refrigerator. Manufacturers now use improved technology, better insulation and defrost mechanisms.

Similarly, Energy Star labeled dishwashers use improved technologies and less hot water than conventional models. These efficient technologies allow consumers to recognize significant savings from lower energy and water bills. Fill your home with Energy Star-labeled products this winter and watch your electric bill melt away. For more information about the Energy Star and efficient energy use, please call 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937) and visit the Energy Star Web site at

[North American Precis Syndicate]

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