New Consumer Guide Launches in US to Help Consumers Save by Making Smart Choices on Appliances, Electronics, and Vehicles

Choosing the Most Energy-Efficient Products Reduces Energy Cost and Consumption by 67%

Nov 10, 2010, 08:00 ET from TopTen USA

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- TopTen USA, a new non-profit organization, announced the launch of its free, web-based rankings of the 10 most energy-efficient products in a wide range of categories: refrigerators, freezers, televisions, computers, vehicles, dishwashers, clothes washers, and monitors.

On, visitors will find lists of the 10 best choices for each product category, along with pricing, specifications, local and online retail options, and personalized rebate information.

"We want to make it easy for consumers to find, choose, and buy the most efficient products on the market," said Norman L. Dean, President of TopTen USA. "We're spurring an upward spiral toward efficiency—the more consumers demand it, the more emphasis manufacturers will place on efficiency. Rather than copying technology to meet a standard, manufacturers will be innovating to be the best."

In offering an unbiased, independent ranking of the 10 most energy-efficient products in a wide range of categories, TopTen USA brings a valuable new addition to the information supplied by the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, whose familiar blue labels on products that clear the program's baselines have long been consumers' primary clue to energy savings.

"TopTen does not set baselines," says Dean. "Instead, we serve as a real-time market monitor, providing simple, clear, up-to-date lists of the very best. American consumers can achieve very real cost and energy savings by going beyond the baseline and purchasing the most efficient products."

A consumer using older models of these products—those near the end of their common lifespans of 6-12 years—uses 3,666 kWh per year to run them. At the national average for electricity costs, that consumer spends about $440 per year for the privilege, and closer to $650 in states with high energy costs, such as Connecticut, New York, California, and Maryland. If that consumer replaced each of those products with baseline Energy Star products, they would reduce those expenditures by about 37%.  However, if they instead replaced their old, inefficient products with comparable TopTen models, they would save 67% of that money and energy.  Likewise, by trading in an average U.S. passenger car for one on the TopTen list, consumers would save about 130 gallons of gasoline—8-10 trips to the pump—per year. And in many cases, the products on TopTen USA's lists cost no more than less-efficient models. While the large appliances that offer the most savings require some upfront investment, most of the high-efficiency electronics are priced right around the median cost-level for their categories.

For the country as a whole, energy-efficient products offer one of the quickest and easiest routes to significant greenhouse gas reductions. Even a modest consumer shift—10 percent of current sales—to the most energy efficient products could have a considerable impact on climate change, eliminating the release of nearly 3.5 million tons of carbon-equivalent gases each year. If all products used in the US were TopTen ranked, the country would save over 596 billion pounds of CO2 and more than $46 billion dollars in energy costs over those products' lifetimes.

Part of an international alliance of TopTen organizations now in 16 countries including most of Europe and China, TopTen USA has begun to form alliances with utilities that are looking to meet internal or regulatory demand-side management goals.

"Both Pacific Gas and Electric Company and our customers recognize the value of having clear and timely information about the most energy-efficient products on the market," said Duane Larson, director of mass market energy solutions and service at PG&E. "TopTen USA provides our customers with greater access to this information, so that they can save energy and money."

TopTen USA has also received endorsement and promotion from some of the nation's largest environmental organizations, including World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Using energy more wisely is fundamental to cutting carbon and other pollution that threatens people, species and ecosystems around the world. TopTen empowers consumers to make smart energy choices that save money, save energy and help protect our planet," said Lou Leonard, Managing Director of the Climate Change Program at WWF.

According to Noah Horowitz, Senior Scientist for NRDC, "Top Ten USA provides consumers with a simple, bulletproof way to find the most truly efficient household products.  We are delighted by its arrival in the US and expect it to be a great success."