Energy Star Labels Woefully Inaccurate For NYC…Here’s How to Estimate Instead

Reducing energy consumption is a critical step that we all can take, to improve the environment while saving money and New Yorkers need to be given the information needed to make the best decisions. In the past few decades, household appliances have become much more efficient, so the decision to replace old but functional products might have a significant positive benefit.

T.V. Energy Star
For the large screen television, average annual energy costs is listed as $22.
Air Conditioner in PC Richards
The large print on the Energy Star sticker proclaims an annual energy cost of $90 for average use of this air conditioner.

While shopping for new appliances, two price labels are very important to consider. The first is provided by the retailer and states how much it will cost to buy the product. The second label is yellow in all stores as the information is certified by the federal government funded Energy Star program. This information is intended to display the operational costs of the product.

Energy Star Sticker T.V.
The Energy Star label on a similar T.V. uses the same energy costs rate to estimate operational costs.
The energy star label for the same air conditioner uses a cost of energy rating that is less than half of what Con Edison charges, in its estimate.

New York City has a high cost of living compared to most of the United States, and electricity is no exception. Most of the city is served by Con Edison with rates for residential customers typically ranging from $.25-.30/kWh (twenty-five to thirty  cents per kilowatt hour) more than double rate Energy Star uses to calculate.

In the example Con Edison charges almost 2.5 times what Energy Star estimates!
Con Ed bill example
Example bill. One floor of a brownstone building in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

In most of New York City the air conditioner pictured actually costs over $200/year to operate it for the same number of hours that Energy Star estimated would cost $90/year. In less than two summers somebody using the air conditioner in the city will have spent more on for the energy than they did to acquire the product. 

New Yorkers should look at their Con Edison bill take the price and divide by the kilowatt hours to determine their appropriate rate. They can then multiple that number by 100 and divide by twelve to see what they should multiply the bold printed energy price on the yellow sticker. 

A simpler estimate can be found by for New York City consumers by multiplying the bold energy price by 2.5 (two and a half). If a consumer knows they will use the product a lot more or less than the hours per year estimated on the label they will need to consider that as well. 

Please contact us for any additional questions on the savings reasonably achievable, while upgrading appliances.