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The third largest energy user in a home is the refrigerator/freezer. To cut down on costs:

  • Avoid using multiple refrigerators or freezers. An extra refrigerator that is hardly used can cost up to $100 a year.
  • Keep your freezer full. Food catches and stores cold air, reducing the workload of your freezer.
  • Reduce the amount of escaping cold air by opening the door once to get all your items.

Buying a new, energy-efficient refrigerator can save a lot of energy and money. When shopping for a new one:

  • Select the right size. Larger refrigerators may cost more to run.
  • Compare features and energy use. Side-by-side models use more energy than top and bottom models.
  • Compare operating costs using the EnergyGuide label.


A dishwasher consumes one-third less hot water than hand washing so using the dishwasher saves you money. Additional ways to save are:

  • Avoid pre-rinsing dishes in hot water. Use the rinse cycle until it's time to clean a full load.
  • Use the energy-saving cycle to shorten the run time and save gallons of water.
  • Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air dry option, if available.

When buying a new dishwasher:

  • Compare features. Look for models that are ENERGY STAR® compliant and offer energy-saving features.
  • Compare operating costs using the EnergyGuide label.
  • Consider water use. More than 80% of the energy used by dishwashers is for heating the water, so look for models that use less water.

Stovetop and Oven

Energy use and efficiency are determined by your cooking habits. When shopping for a new stove or oven, buy the model that best suits you. Here are some general tips:

  • Cook with a toaster oven or microwave. They use less energy than the oven, and add less heat to your kitchen.
  • Use the self-cleaning cycle on your oven for major cleaning jobs only and start it when the oven is already hot.
  • Plan out your cooking so that several items can cook in the oven at the same time.
  • Lower the heat on your stovetop after food reaches a boil.