How does the energy guide on appliances help us choose better?


An independent study found the number of consumers who opt for brands with a commitment to environmental sustainability to be continuously increasing. This means that more people believe and become aware that society should be energy-conscious minded in order to save the earth for future generations. Having said that, consumers nowadays are also becoming more ecologically conscious and responsible when buying electric appliances. They want to live more sustainably. When buying appliances, it is important for one to know the energy guide meaning in order to buy the most energy-saving appliance, which will also save your money from high electricity costs.

What is Energy Guide seen on Appliances?

The energy guide tells you about the energy consumption of a particular model of the appliance as well as its Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) depending on the kind of appliance. Energy efficiency means the usage of much less energy in performing the same task, which ultimately eliminates energy waste according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). The energy guide Philippines can normally be seen on a bright yellow piece of paper in front of the appliance. The yellow label is also known either as the EEF Label or the EER Label. This serves as a label guide for you to easily compare how much energy an appliance uses and how it compares to similar models from different brands in the store. Moreover, it helps you to make informed decisions before buying a new appliance to add value to your home, keep your family comfortable, and able to save money on energy through these energy-efficient products.

Aside from the energy consumption, the energy guide also provides other data for the discerning buyer, such as the storage capacity for refrigerators, cooling capacity for aircons, the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS), and a guide on how to compute the operating cost of that unit and other safety marks. Through this, you can now estimate your daily and monthly savings from the appliance’s energy consumption guide.

Energy Guide Meaning–  Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) for Aircons

Understanding the energy guide meaning is one of the most important factors you should consider when buying a new appliance, especially a new refrigerator or air conditioner in order to reduce electricity bills from these appliances. When looking for a new air conditioner, always check the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) before you buy the unit. EER pertains to how efficient the cooling feature of an air conditioner is. The higher the energy efficiency rating it means that it has lower the energy consumption. However, not all model units from the air conditioner category have an energy guide label. Only those window air type conditioners are required to have a yellow label or EER. While the other types of aircon, such as split type aircon and portable air conditioners do not have the  EER label. Although the EER value could be a great help for you to know which model is more efficient compared to other models of the same category, it nevertheless does not tell you how much it costs to operate the model. You can compute the energy efficiency ratio, if there is none available displayed, by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity by its number of wattage.

Now, to get the operating cost, you have to multiply the energy consumption by the energy cost. The more specific computation is: (Power Consumption/1000) x Hours of use x Power Rate = Daily Operating Cost of the unit.

To illustrate, let us estimate that the electricity rate in your area is ₱10.00/kWh. Let us also say that you will use your aircon for 8 hours every day. Since the power consumption figure is in watts (W) but the electricity rate is in kilowatt per hour (kWh), dividing the power consumption (930W) by 1000 is needed. In this case, it’s 0.93 kWh. Now, let’s try to compute. Energy consumption is 0.93 kWH; Power Rate is PHP10.00/kWh; Hours of Use is 8; Cost Per Day is PHP 74.4. Keep in mind that this is only an estimation. There are other factors that can have an effect on your bill, such as the type of aircon or how you use it.

Energy Guide Meaning– Energy Efficiency Ratio (EEF) for Refrigerators

There’s really not much difference between  Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)  for air conditioners and Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) for refrigerators. They are both being used to know how much energy could one save from using such appliances. But EEF tells how much a refrigerator efficiently uses its power to cool its rated storage volume. Purchasing an energy-efficient appliance will definitely make a huge difference in your electricity cost and will also make a significant step in protecting the environment. Again, the same as the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), the higher the energy efficiency rating of the Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF), the lower the energy consumption leading to saving money on electric costs. However, they are computed differently. EEF is obtained by dividing the total storage capacity in liters by its energy consumption in kWh/24h. You may wonder why your calculated result is slightly different from the displayed EEF label, it is because the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) used the performance results of the model unit under a standard test condition. Nevertheless, this computation is helpful when EEF is not displayed or available for a particular category, for instance, high-capacity refrigerators or chest freezers. Same as with EER, the energy efficiency figure will only help you decide which model is more efficient but will not show you how much is the operating cost of the unit.

The operating cost of a refrigerator could be computed in two ways using the energy guide Philippines label. You can either use the kWh/24h figure given in the EEF label or use the Rated Power Input figure to calculate the kWh/24h value. Keep in mind that your actual electricity cost is affected by your usage habits, so any estimate computation you might get might not be the same as your actual electric bill. For instance, putting your refrigerator near a heat source may be a factor that can increase your electric consumption because all of the extra heat will cause it to run more frequently. That’s why avoid putting your refrigerator near the oven, gas stove, or even window with direct sunlight. Read more from this BRIA Homes article: Energy and Money Saving Tips for Your Refrigerator

Energy guide labels could also be found on fluorescent lamps. The higher the lumens mean more light output. Same as EER and EEF that the higher the efficacy rating, the lower the energy consumption. The energy guide meaning for fluorescent lamps indicates the light output in lumens, power consumption, lamp efficacy, and average life.

There is also a technology that has been in the market for years already but is still unappreciated, this is inverter technology. Inver technology is commonly applied to refrigerators, air-cons, washing machines, and other similar large appliances. This is a good technological innovation directed at saving more electricity consumption because the aforementioned appliances use the most electricity in an average Filipino household. Furthermore, another good feature of this innovation is that it lets you control the frequency of incoming electrical to the appliance so it only allows the right amount of electricity that it needs.

It is only a wise decision for someone to invest in an energy-efficient appliance, aside from it helping from cutting your electricity costs, it is good for the environment as well. No one wants their eclectic bill to rise and become an additional financial burden, especially if you’re living in a rent-to-own condominium or rent-to-own house and lot. But bear in mind that the energy guide is only there to serve you as a guide on what best efficient appliance you should purchase but ultimately your electricity cost will still depend on your usage and care of your appliances to maintain their efficiency.

Tips on how to save more on electricity costs

  1. Clean your refrigerator regularly.

A refrigerator is one of the largest energy-consuming appliances that can be found in your home. That’s why it is important that every member of your household is aware and energy-conscious when using it to avoid any additional electricity costs.

Defrost your refrigerator once or twice a week or if there is more than one-fourth of an inch of ice in the freezer to improve its efficiency. Also, refrain from opening your refrigerator from time to time or for a long period of time because refrigerator door opening accounts for at least seven percent (7%) of the energy consumption assuming you open the fridge door at least 40 times a day.

Moreover, you must buy a refrigerator that is just the right size for your need. Because if it is too large for your needs, it will also have too much storage that will not allow the cooled air to circulate properly, leading to more energy consumption. If there’s too much storage, the refrigerator will also start to generate more cold air. It’s also alright if you have a large refrigerator, just make sure to fill it with the right amount of content to reduce the amount of energy to keep things cold.

Lastly, avoid placing your refrigerator from the wall, or keep distance an inch or two away from it so as not to overwork its motor and let it have more room for ventilation. In a similar way, do not place the refrigerator near a window where there is direct sunlight or even beside a stove or oven.

  1. Regularly clean air-conditioners.

Aside from maintaining your refrigerators, it is also important to regularly clean your air conditioners, as it is also among those appliances that have large energy consumption. You can have your air conditioner cleaned monthly but this is ideal only for filters. The most important parts that should be cleaned are the filters and condensers of a one-horsepower conventional aircon unit. By doing this, you can save as much as PHP100 monthly on electricity costs and prolong the life of your unit. Moreover, before turning the air conditioner on, make sure that all windows and doors are closed and check for any small spaces and corners that could cause the cooled air to seep out of the room.

  1. Conserving light energy.

Perhaps, it’s time for you to go change your light bulb into LED one. It is more long-lasting and energy efficient compared to regular light bulbs. LED lights consume only a very small amount of electricity and their luminous efficiency is more economical, which makes a huge difference in the overall energy efficiency of the lights. Up to 90% of savings could be obtained by using LED lights.

One of the simplest ways to conserve energy is by turning off the lights when not needed. Maximize your windows during day time and let in the natural light to illuminate your house. But if you want a more private setting, you can try using light-colored curtains. Turning off one light bulb for about six hours a day is said to be an effective way to save electricity costs by at least  PHP25 a month.

Most importantly, unplug your appliances that are not used and make it a habit for your family to not use all your appliances all at once. Most appliances that run on electricity generate heat when using them that’s why it is important not to use them all at once to avoid electricity overloading. Fire occurrences at home often start with electricity overloading. Many households use extension cords to use several devices at the same time. But this practice should not be adopted and conversely, should be avoided as this practice may cause  the sockets to overheat and possibly cause a fire. Big appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners should also have their own designated outlet as they consume the most energy. Regularly discuss with your family members different ways on how you can all conserve energy to save money from eclectic costs and how to contribute to a greener and cleaner environment while keeping everyone safe at home.