Two contractors carry an older freezer out of a home.

Appliances

EnerGuide is the official mark of the Government of Canada.

EnergyGuide

  • The EnerGuide label allows you to quickly compare the energy efficiency of one appliance with another.
  • An EnerGuide label does not mean the appliance is energy efficient – it only indicates where the appliance falls on an energy-efficiency scale.
  • Many appliances have EnerGuide labels, but some are more energy efficient than others. Be sure to carefully check its efficiency level.
  • Shows the annual energy consumption of the appliance in kilowatt hours. Look for the lowest number possible.
  • The energy consumption indicator lets you know how this model compares to others in its class. The bar below the indicator gives the energy efficiency range for this class of appliance. The further the indicator is to the left end of the scale, the better.
  • This bar shows you the energy consumption of the most and least efficient appliances in this class. In this case, the most efficient comparable model consumes 564 kWh per year while the least efficient uses 972 kWh per year.
  • The type and capacity range of similar models are compared.

EnergyStar

Consider an ENERGY STAR appliance when shopping for something new.

The ENERGY STAR symbol indicates that a product meets or exceeds high efficiency standards.

ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict technical specifications for energy performance—tested and certified.

They save energy without compromising performance in any way. Typically, an ENERGY STAR qualified product is in the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance. 

To learn more about EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, visit Natural Resources Canada.

Dishwashers

  • Use your dishwasher at night or on weekends when demand for electricity is low.
  • Run your dishwasher only when full.
  • Use the air-dry setting or leave the door open to naturally dry dishes. Letting your dishes air-dry instead of using the heat-dry option will save you up to 50% of your dishwasher’s energy consumption.
  • When buying a new dishwasher look for:
    • ENERGY STAR label
    • A delayed start feature, so you can wash dishes during off-peak hours.
    • Short-cycle or econowash features.  An economy cycle feature uses less hot water – about 85% of a dishwasher's electricity is used just to heat the water.

Dryers

  • Use your dryer at night or on weekends when demand for electricity is low.
  • A “perma press” cycle tumbles clothes in cooler air for the last few minutes, to reduce wrinkling and save energy.
  • A time control helps avoid over-drying and energy waste.
  • An electronic moisture or temperature sensor will automatically shut the dryer off when clothes are dry – a great energy saver!
  • Be sure to keep the lint filter clean to improve efficiency and for safety.
  • Vacuum the dryer exhaust hose once a year.
  • Use an outdoor clothesline during summer to save electricity.

Washers

  • Cold water washes and rinses save a tremendous amount of electricity – 85 to 90% of energy used is to heat water. Look for cold water detergent.
  • Use your washing machine in the evening or on weekends when demand for electricity is low.
  • When buying a new model, look for an ENERGY STAR qualified front-load model to reduce water use by almost 45% and energy use by about 65%.
  • Do laundry only when you have a full load.

Ovens/Stoves

  • Self-cleaning ovens can be up to 25% more efficient because they are usually better insulated than other models. When it comes to normal usage, the heat is distributed more evenly so less energy is consumed.
  • Check to see that the oven door is well insulated and fits tightly. An oven window lets you check on food cooking without opening the door and letting heat escape.
  • Use pots that properly match the stovetop’s elements in size.
  • Preheat only for a minimum amount of time. It is only really necessary for baking.
  • Use the self-cleaning feature on an oven immediately after cooking so it will use less electricity.
  • Use the oven window to check food as it cooks. Opening the door releases heat.
  • Instead of using your oven to reheat food, use a toaster or microwave oven to save energy.

Refrigerators

  • Refrigerators are one of the biggest electricity users in the home, so it pays to consider an ENERGY STAR qualified model and select the right size for your needs:
    • For 1 to 2 people, about 340 litres (12 cu. ft.).
    • For 3 to 4 people, 395 to 480 litres (14 to 17 cu. ft.).
    • For each additional person, add about 55 litres (2 cu. ft.).
  • In your home allow for 25mm (1″) of space on all sides so heat can move away from the compressor and condensing coil.
  • When considering the various makes and models, choose a refrigerator with an energy-saver switch.
  • Consider a smaller fridge with fewer features. Larger sized fridges consume more electricity than smaller fridges. Accessories like butter warmers and ice-makers consumer more electricity.
  • A side-by-side refrigerator/freezer uses more electricity than conventional ones with the freezer at the top.
  • Ensure the condenser coils are clean.
  • Replace the door gasket if necessary in order to keep the cold air in and reduce energy waste. To test for this, close the fridge door on a piece of paper – if you can pull it out easily, it may be time to replace it.

Freezers

  • Chest freezers are more energy-efficient than uprights and give you more usable space.
  • Allow for about 85 to 140 litres (3 to 5 cu. ft.) per person.
  • Keep your freezer at -18°C. Setting your freezer colder than that will use more electricity.
  • A full freezer operates more efficiently than an empty one.
  • Ensure the door seal is tight and secure.
  • Keep the back and underneath dust-free with regular vacuuming.
  • Maintain a space of 5cm around your freezer so heat will be able to circulate away from the compressor and condensing coil.
  • When buying a new freezer, look for a smaller chest freezer or an ENERGY STAR qualified model.

Microwave / Toaster Oven

  • Microwaves use up to 50% less electricity than an electric stove.
  • Use a microwave instead of an oven to warm leftovers, especially during summer.

Electric Kettles

  • The most energy-efficient way to boil water is with an electric kettle.
  • Keep your kettle free of mineral deposits with regular cleanings.
  • Make sure your kettle has an auto shut-off.

**Keep other small kitchen appliances unplugged when not in use to reduce electricity referred to as “phantom power” or “standby power”.