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Understanding the EnergyGuide label

No-cost and Low-cost, Seasonal Updated: August 4, 2022

Everything you need to know about the black and yellow appliance label

Shopping for a new home appliance or product can be overwhelming when you’re trying to save money and energy. Thankfully, the EnergyGuide label can help. Created by the Department of Energy and managed by the Federal Trade Commission, the black and yellow EnergyGuide label is a manufacturer-required label that helps shoppers compare appliances by providing an estimated yearly energy use and operating costs, along with additional information that may be helpful to the consumer. You can find the label attached to a wide variety of home appliances, including dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, water heaters, furnaces, window air conditioners and other electronic appliances.

Let’s break down the label to better understand the information.

EnergyGuide sticker

  1. This section lists features of the appliance. When comparing appliances, make sure the features section is similar on both stickers to ensure you are getting an accurate comparison of the appliances.
  2. This section states the make, model and size of the appliance. You should verify that this information matches the information of the appliance you are viewing.
  3. This section gives you an estimate of how much it will cost per year to run your appliance. The higher the number, the more expensive it is to run the appliance. The cost amount is based on energy use and the national average cost of energy, which you can find on your utility bill. You can also calculate your estimated annual energy by using an appliance and electronic energy use calculator from
  4. This section gives you the estimated yearly energy use. The higher the number, the more expensive it is to run the appliance.
  5. The EnergyGuide label may or may not have an ENERGY STAR® label. The ENERGY STAR label is not required but can inform you that the appliance has met more stringent efficiency criteria and is more energy efficient than standard models.

Final thoughts

Now that you understand the EnergyGuide label, you can make informed decisions before purchasing new energy-efficient appliances for your home, to help reduce energy consumption and lower your energy bills. Learn more about incentives that can help with replacing your old equipment with energy-efficient options.

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