The first way to reduce the second price tag is to review the yellow and black EnergyGuide label containing specific data on each refrigerator that is under consideration. The top of the label will present product specifications to ensure that the comparison of relative energy consumption is being done with refrigerators that are similar in size and configuration. The center of the label reveals two vital pieces of information; the estimated cost of operation (the yearly amount of the second price tag) as well as where the product stands within its category with regard to the cost of operation versus similar refrigerators.
The second resource related to the cost of operation will be listed on the EnergyGuide label and will also have one of its own; the blue and white ENERGY STAR label. Certification from ENERGY STAR signifies that rated products consume at least 20 percent less energy than is mandated by federal standards, which virtually assures that rated products will be among the most energy efficient within each category.
With this data in hand, you can make informed decisions on both the purchase price as well as the cost of operation. In many cases, refrigerators that have a lower purchase price will have a higher yearly cost of operation which, over 15 to 20 years, can result in a substantially higher total price tag than more energy efficient products that are more expensive at the time of purchase. As an added reward, ENERGY STAR rated refrigerators often come with rebates paid by local utilities and/or government agencies, which should also be factored in to the calculation of the true cost of each product.