Saving Energy: How to Pick Energy Efficient Appliances

From The GOOD Guide to Saving Energy

Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter's issue is about energy, and we'll be rolling out a variety of stories all month. You can subscribe to GOOD here.


The true cost of a refrigerator, washing machine, car, or even a laptop isn’t reflected in the purchase price. That cost only becomes apparent when the energy used to power the appliance or device shows up on your electricity bill. So don’t be swayed by price alone: Do your research to find the most energy-efficient product and pay less over time to use it.

Do you really need that powerful computer, if all you’re going to use it for is web browsing and word processing? And think about it, do you really need a refrigerator with a built-in TV? And will it even fit in your kitchen?


First, figure out what you can accommodate and what you need. In some cases, this is obvious: If you have six people in your family, you’ll likely need to drive a large car or SUV. For other things, it’s a little trickier: Do you really need that powerful computer, if all you’re going to use it for is web browsing and word processing? And think about it, do you really need a refrigerator with a built-in TV? And will it even fit in your kitchen?

Go beyond Energy Star. A product with the Energy Star seal will help you take a step toward energy efficiency, but this quality-assurance program backed by the EPA and Department of Energy merely sets a baseline of efficiency and puts its seal on any products that meet or exceed its standard. Though they’re massive energy hogs, roughly 75 percent of televisions are Energy Star–certified, for example. So it’s worth checking out a new resource: TopTen USA, which aims to help consumers find the most efficient products and ranks products based purely on energy efficiency—except in the case of washing machines and dishwashers, where it also factors in water consumption. Replacing your current devices and appliances with Energy Star–certified products will save you roughly 37 percent on electricity costs; TopTen USA–certified products can save you 67 percent.

Comparison shop or wait for a deal. Especially in today’s climate of shaky consumer confidence, prices fluctuate constantly and there are deals to be had. So, if your appliance needs aren’t immediate, wait for a more energy-efficient model to come on sale. And don’t be swayed by name brands: One manufacturer may produce an $8,000 refrigerator as well as a $2,000 one under two different brand names.


We've all felt lonely at some point in our lives. It's a human experience as universal as happiness, sadness or even hunger. But there's been a growing trend of studies and other evidence suggesting that Americans, and people in general, are feeling more lonely than ever.

It's easy to blame technology and the way our increasingly online lives have further isolated us from "real" human interactions. The Internet once held seemingly limitless promise for bringing us together but seems to be doing just the opposite.

Except that's apparently not true at all. A major study from Cigna on loneliness found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise amongst Americans but the numbers are nearly identical amongst those who use social media and those who don't. Perhaps more importantly, the study found five common traits amongst those who don't feel lonely.

Keep Reading Show less

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less

Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

Keep Reading Show less