05 February 2011


No exactly sexy reading.

I found this site http://www.toptenusa.org/, which gives the top ten energy saving appliances in the US. I also found this site http://www.topten.info/, which gives the top ten energy saving appliances in Europe. What a difference.

1. The ranking is based on energy use per unit of volume. This is not necessarily the best ranking. The least consuming refrigerators should be placed first, regardless of size. A very large refrigerator might out perform a smaller one based on the kWh/volume ranking, but a smaller fridge uses less energy overall. The former ranking encourages a larger-than-needed appliance.

2. The best US refrigerators use 335 kWh/year. The best performing EU refrigerators use at most 211 kWh/year for their largest units. They determine that fridges that use more than 296 kWh/year are inefficient.

Why don't we see European models being mimicked here in the US?

In general, EU fridges are smaller than US fridges. There are also much higher performing units at the smaller end of the size range. Unit efficiency in the US declines with size; rather than remaining equivalent total energy use often increases.

It is hard to make specific comparisons because the EU uses a different method of calculating volume than the US. Overall exterior dimensions that are comparable have a significantly different interior volume - the US interior volume apparently far larger. I need to do more research on this disparity.

Long and short of it: our appliances are as fat as our population and consume typically twice as much as our EU cousins.

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