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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1098

Check the energy guide label before buying appliance

(related column topic links - (660, 651, 703, 823)

When you buy any electric appliance, large or small, you should consider how much it will cost to operate. Major appliances have Energy Guide labels that estimate the kilowatt-hours of electricity used per year. For small appliances, you have to check the label, usually on the bottom, for the electricity consumption. It will be listed in watts or amps. You will be surprised at how inexpensive some appliances are to use and how very expensive others are. Appliances that use any heating often use the most electricity.

It is easy to convert these numbers into the actual costs. Here is how to do it. If the appliance is rated in watts, just multiply the "watts" x "how long you use it in hours" x "your local electric rate in $ per kilowatt-hour" and then divide this number by 1,000. This will give you the cost in dollars per use.

If the appliance is rated in amps, first multiply the "amps rating" x "120 volts". This gives you the "watts" usage. Once you have calculated the "watts", use the equation above to determine the operating costs.


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