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EnerGuide is a program of the Canadian government intended to educate consumers on their purchases. The EnerGuide program also references the ENERGY STAR program, and both are helpful.

The EnerGuide label is a tool that provides information about the amount of electricity an appliance uses every year. It also helps you compare the energy use of similar appliances. All new major appliances sold in Canada (except microwave ovens) must carry the EnerGuide label.

Some appliances have a wide range of energy consumption. In many cases, the more energy efficient appliance costs more - called the “first price tag”. What programs like EnerGuide try to teach consumers is that they should look to the lifetime cost of the appliance including the power consumption – called the “second price tag”.

Here is a typical EnerGuide label with a legend below explaining each of the areas.

1. The annual energy consumption of the appliance in kilowatt hours. The lower the number, the higher the savings. Use this to compare different models of appliances you are considering.

2. The energy consumption indicator shows you how this model compares to others in its class. The bar below the indicator gives the energy efficiency range for this class of appliance. The further the indicator is to the left end of the scale, the better.

3. This bar shows you the energy consumption of the most and least efficient appliances in this class. In this case, the most efficient comparable model consumes 564 kWh per year while the least efficient uses 972 kWh per year.

4. This is the classification for the appliance. It tells you the type and capacity range of similar models compared.