Making Energy Efficiency Part of the Appliance Purchasing Equation

When consumers shop for appliances, how do they choose from the vast array of models? Most people may focus on purchase price, while never considering what it costs to actually use the appliance over years.

Enervee is trying to change that. The company’s software platform compiles data to make energy efficiency choices simple, clear and engaging. They have partnered with utilities and retailers to make the research and shopping experience integrated.

Anne Arquit Niederberger, Enervee’s vice president of government affairs, said their research reveals that when an energy score is shown to consumers, people choose appliances that have double digit savings over appliances that have no score listed.

“When you give people the information in easy to understand ways, they know how to use it,” Niederberger said at an Aug. 2 talk at the California Energy Commission.

“Fortunately, research results suggest that making efficiency visible and interjecting this information into the modern –increasingly digital—shopping journey can empower us to make energy-smart purchasing decisions,” Niederberger said.

Consumers can shop for products through a site hosted by their utility, which uses the Enervee platform. Shoppers will discover an easy to understand energy efficiency score for an appliance and compare it to similar available models. It also shows the price, reviews, which stores have the item in stock and links to any applicable rebates. The energy bill savings calculator can even be personalized to create realistic figures for consumers.

“The key to becoming more energy efficient is helping people understand how making the initial investment benefits them,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the lead on energy efficiency. “Plug loads are a key area where we lack solutions. A marketplace, like Enervee, can provide data on what influences consumer’s shopping choices.”

An integrated online shopping experience can simplify the consumer experience while creating a comparison among all models of products. The Enervee online experience is one example of how people can use their purchasing power to change which products are available in the market.

The Energy Commission’s 2016 Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan Update states this type of market transformation as important to saving energy in existing buildings.

Marketplaces hosted by California utilities include Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. If you are served by a different utility, visit to search by zip code to see energy savings based on electricity rates.

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Energy Efficiency

California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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