energy efficiency rating tiers

Energy Efficiency Rating Tiers and Energy-Efficient Appliances

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The Energy Efficient Tier Rating is used to rate modern appliances.

It is set by the association that governs gas and electric product development and availability in the United States and Canada.

Not only does it provide more access to quality energy-efficient appliances, but it also helps curb energy footprint growth as a whole.

Today, we’ll give you a rundown of the different Energy Efficiency Rating Tiers and the products that qualify for each tier.

Energy Efficiency Rating Tiers

The Energy Efficiency Rating or EER is an energy program set in place in 1975 to measure and rate electric appliances according to the amount of energy needed to run them.

To compute for EER, you divide the BTU by the number of hours, divided by the number of watts used.

The lower the result, the more energy efficient the product is.

The system also categorizes results into four tiers, along with an additional advanced tier for products with exceptional energy efficiency.

Tier 1

Tier 1 is an entry-level tier representing products that are energy efficient but don’t offer maximum energy savings. These are often the cheapest energy-efficient products.

Ties 2 Through 4

These represent the more energy-efficient modern appliances. The higher the rating a product belongs to, the more efficient it is in using up energy.

In particular, products belonging to Tiers 3 and 4 are some of the best when it comes to energy performance.

CEE Advanced Tier

The highest possible rating a product can acquire is the CEE Advanced Tier. These are the top-performing and usually the most expensive products on the market today.

That said, the money you put into buying them usually comes back tenfold in the form of energy savings.

Naturally, you want the best products for your home, so what else is there to know about this tier?

CEE Energy Rating

Even if you are someone who knows little about appliances, you may have probably heard of the Energy Star rating.

You might also know that an appliance with such a rating is considered top-of-the-line.

CEE was how they used to classify many electronic appliances rated as Energy Star today, though a lot of brands still subscribe to the CEE classification.

In fact, many of the leading brands use both the CEE Energy Rating and Energy Star to rate their products and ensure the utmost transparency for consumers.

Brands That Recognize and Use the CEE Tier Today

A lot of refrigerator and washing machine manufacturers still use CEE to rate their products.

Brands don’t usually score more than one or two on the CEE scale, with the exception of the following that have Tier 3 and above products:

  • LG
  • Whirlpool
  • Samsung
  • Kenmore
  • Maytag
home energy efficiency rating tiers

How To Tell if an Appliance Is Energy Efficient?

Every air conditioner sold in the United States tends to fall within the Department of Energy’s standard range for water and energy conservation.

However, many of them likely only meet the minimum energy standards.

An Energy Star appliance hits optimal energy standards, meaning they take the least amount of energy to run. They are also some of the most expensive appliances on the market.

Is it worth buying Energy Star appliances? The answer to that is a resounding yes—if these appliances are running efficiently.

You can track these appliances’ energy usage and see how much they factor into your utility bills by plugging them into the power usage monitor. Do this daily, weekly, or monthly.

You can also have a digital power meter installed by your electric company, which sends energy usage data for them to monitor. 

Either way, you should find it easier to track power surges and take the appropriate courses of action to address them before you waste too much electricity. 

What Do You Get From Buying a High-Tier Product?

The upfront cost of buying a high-tier appliance can be quite considerable.

However, one of the best things about putting money into products designed for energy efficiency is the rebates from energy companies.

The cash rebates offered to buyers of products with higher energy ratings are often higher and more varied.

You can consult your local energy providers to know whether or not you’re qualified for any rebates. 

Other benefits from energy-efficient appliances you can enjoy are:

  • High durability
  • High performance
  • Relatively energy bills
  • Less noise
  • Reduced carbon footprint

Not to mention, you get all these benefits easily.

If the product’s specs indicate that it is a high-tier item, then these aforementioned benefits are a given.

How To Achieve More Energy-Efficient Home

Being energy efficient means finding ways to use the least amount of energy to accomplish tasks.

In doing so, you help reduce your household’s energy consumption and put more into energy savings as a result.

That said, creating a home that is energy efficient takes more than merely using less energy. It requires you to be knowledgeable of the ways energy is used.

In that way, you become more aware of the activities that lead to energy wasting and take steps to effectively mitigate such an occurrence.

Below is a compilation of useful tips for saving energy at home or in your place of business:

Tip #1: Behave With Energy Efficiency in Mind

Change starts with you. Do a self-evaluation to identify any of your habits that could be considered energy-wasting. There are bound to be a lot, so address each carefully.

That’s not to say you should go all out and change yourself completely.

Take it a few steps at a time, starting with the habits you are willing to compromise on, and move forward from there.

Whether or not you have a solid plan for energy efficiency in place, you can start purchasing energy-efficient products to lower your household’s energy usage and put more money into your energy savings.

So, even if you are still trying to figure things out, you should already start feeling the benefits of living in a more energy-efficient home.

Reduce your energy bills and increase your savings one appliance at a time.

Energy-efficient appliances, particularly those with higher tier ratings, are expensive, so shop only what your budget allows.

If your budget doesn’t allow for high-tiered products yet, you can start your energy conservation efforts simply by shifting to a more energy-saving mindset.

Switch off the lights when you leave the room. Also, opt to perform tasks manually when you can. That way, you not only save energy but also get your daily dose of exercise.

Tip #2: LED Lighting Trumps Incandescent Lighting

Incandescent lighting consumes a lot of electricity. On top of that, it also needs to be replaced quite often. So, why do so many go for them?

Aside from the fact that most of us have gotten used to these bulbs, they are also cheaper (upfront, at least).

If a more energy-efficient home is what you are after, lighting is perhaps the easiest way to start the shift.

LED light bulbs are only slightly more expensive than traditional ones and are way more affordable than an Energy Star appliance.

Plus, they don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as incandescent lighting. It is an easy decision to make.

Tip #3: Smart Power Strips Are Key

Ever heard of vampire appliances? They are electronics that consume energy and slowly suck your wallet dry even while on standby mode.

The easy remedy for this would be to unplug the appliance, but that slips our minds more often than not.

Plus, it can be a hassle to have to unplug appliances individually, especially when you have other more important things to do.

Good news comes in the form of smart power strips.

Preset the device to power off at assigned times, and then plug in your intensive-energy-consuming appliances or gadgets in it.

That way, none of them goes into standby mode at any given time.

Tip #4: Use a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can be pre-adjusted to power off and on or increase or decrease the temperature setting at specific times of the day.

It helps reduce energy wasting from HVAC use without you having to upgrade your heating and cooling systems. 

There are different models of programmable thermostats, one of the most popular being the smart thermostat.

You can take energy-saving to another level with this upgraded version, as it allows you to manage settings from anywhere in the world.

Smart thermostats have additional features, including indicators for when parts need to be replaced, which greatly contribute to the energy efficiency of your HVAC systems.

Tip #5: Use Energy Efficient Appliances

On average, lighting and household appliances account for 33 percent of a U.S. household’s total energy consumption.

This number shows the importance of paying attention to the initial purchase and yearly operating cost of an appliance.

Consider buying appliances with the Energy Star rating to create a more energy-efficient home.

Even when on standby mode, these high-tiered products won’t let you fall victim to phantom loading

Tip #6: Pay Attention to Your Water Heaters

Did you know that water heating is responsible for 14 percent of your total utility bills?

Other than choosing an energy-efficient heater, there are other ways to bring down expenses from water heating, namely:

  • Not using hot water as frequently
  • Insulating the water heater and the first six feet of both hot and cold pipes
  • Turning down the temperature setting on your water heater’s thermostat

If your current water heater is an inefficient model, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient one.

Make sure to keep these two factors in mind when you do so:

  • Water heater type
  • Fuel your water heater runs on

For instance, tankless water heaters score high for energy efficiency, but they are not the best for large families that use up a lot of hot water.

That’s because their capacity for simultaneous water heating is limited. 

And That’s a Wrap!

The knowledge of Energy Efficiency Rating tiers can go a long way to helping you better manage your home’s energy consumption.

It can help you choose energy-efficient products that suit your needs and budget.

Combine this knowledge with the tips we listed, and you should be on your way to living a more sustainable, energy-efficient lifestyle.

You don’t have to go all-in from the start, as this could be a major change for you that requires time.

Instead, you can start small, like choosing more energy-efficient lighting in the form of LED light bulbs and being more conscious about your behavior.

From there, you can move forward and start choosing appliances with energy efficiency ratings until you complete the Energy Star set that would solidify your total shift to sustainable living.

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