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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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E-News Sidebar > Green Building Hotline: Home Appliance Savvy

Each winter, over 30 percent of the typical home energy bill is space heating. The next highest energy cost is pie chartappliances. Consider increasing your appliances’ energy efficiency in addition to adopting conservation habits. Over half of the energy in our region is generated from fossil fuels, with electricity from coal generation at the top. Each watt of electricity saved by efficient appliances and conservation means less carbon dioxide particles (a combustion product) released. Following tank-type water heaters, fridges are the energy hogs. Next in line are the clothes washer and dryer, the range, then the dishwasher. Consider replacing appliances over ten years old.                                          
•    When buying a new appliance ask about incentives from the vendor.
•    Look for the yellow EnergyGuide tag showing electricity use and estimated cost to run.
•    Quieter front-loading clothes washers use less water and energy, and are gentler on clothes.
•    Side-by-side refrigerators use more energy than top or bottom freezers.
•    Select a dishwasher with an Energy Factor (EF) of 0.65 (40% better than the federal standard).
•    Track your electricity bill and watch your usage and bills decrease as you upgrade your appliances or make changes in the way you use energy.
•    Locate your fridge away from direct sunlight and the range.
•    Cool food completely before refrigerating.
•    Cook with the toaster oven, crock pot or microwave in lieu of the range.
•    Unplug countertop appliances not in use.
•    Use a “smart” power strip.
•    Use your dishwasher’s “energy saver/air dry” setting.
•    Wash and rinse laundry in cold water (except for bedding to kill dust mites).

Questions?  Contact the Regional Green Building Hotline at 503-823-5431 or