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Energy Consumption of Major Household Appliances Shipped in Canada – Trends for 1990–2005


7.1   Total Energy Savings

Annual energy consumption for all major household appliances during the study period was significantly reduced, most likely due to the following factors: the significant research and development activities carried out by appliance manufacturers, improvements to the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), the EnerGuide for Equipment program, the ENERGY STAR® Initiative and various incentives and rebates offered by the federal, provincial and municipal governments and utilities. Figure 7.1 shows the estimated annual energy consumption of major appliances between 1992 and 2005 without these factors as well as how much energy was actually consumed by major appliances during this period.

The gap between the two lines in Figure 7.1 represents incremental annual energy savings. Energy efficiency began to improve almost immediately after the Energy Efficiency Act came into force in 1992, thanks to market forces, such as the regulations expected from the Act and United States regulations.

Annual Energy Savings for All Major Household Appliances, 1992-2005.

* For more information, see Table D.41 in Appendix D, "Detailed Tables."

The average annual energy savings for major appliances were estimated to be 2.34 petajoules (PJ) between 1993 and 2005. (No energy savings had been expected in 1992.) This indicates that, on average, major appliances consumed about 2.34 PJ less per year than they would have without the contributing factors.

The largest annual energy savings occurred in 2005, when major appliances consumed about 5.60 PJ less than they would have otherwise. Cumulative energy savings for major appliances are shown in Figure 7.2 and Table D.41 (in Appendix D, "Detailed Tables"). Because the energy saved in any given year accrues over time, cumulative energy savings grew steadily between 1992 and 2005. They reached a total savings of 30.48 PJ (8.47 billion kilowatt hours [kWh]) in 2005 (taking into account the life expectancy factor of the various appliances). That is the equivalent of a year's energy for about 274 000 households. It is estimated that these energy savings resulted in consumers saving approximately $779 million (or $60-$70 2005 dollars per household), calculated at 9.2 cents/kWh.36

Cumulative Energy Savings for All Major Household Appliances, 1992-2005.

Table 7.1 provides an overview of the average annual unit energy consumption for the six major household appliances for six years during the study period. It demonstrates a significant improvement in energy efficiency as evidenced throughout this report.

Average Annual Unit Energy Consumption of All Major Household Appliances, 1990-2005

Appliance 1990 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005
Type 3 (16.5–18.4 cu. ft.) Refrigerators 947 635 636 544 461 454
ENERGY STAR Qualified Type 3
(16.5–18.4 cu. ft.) Refrigerators
440 435 408
Total Refrigerators 956 657 646 559 487 469
Total ENERGY STAR Qualified Refrigerators 495 481 469
Total Freezers 714 377 383 384 369 386
Standard Dishwashers 1026 649 640 634 524 396
ENERGY STAR Qualified Dishwashers 534 452 379
Electric Ranges  
Self-Cleaning Electric Ranges 727 759 742 741 691 558
Non-Self-Cleaning Electric Ranges 786 780 770 786 732 593
Clothes Washers  
Front-Loading Clothes Washers 287 275 219
Top-Loading Clothes Washers 905 827 609
ENERGY STAR Qualified Front-Loading Clothes Washers 302 275 217
ENERGY STAR Qualified Top-Loading Clothes Washers 304 337 317
Total Clothes Washers 1218 930 860 810 708 444
Electric Clothes Dryers  
Total Electric Clothes Dryers 1103 887 908 916 914 904

36 Source: Energy Use Data Handbook table, which can be found on the OEE Web site at Note that this is a national average.