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Home Comfort & Convenience

The typical Minnesota household uses about 209 million BTUs of energy every year to operate a home - for heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, and powering devices and equipment. About 70% of this energy use is related to heating, cooling, or water heating; the balance (30%) is for appliances, lighting, and electronics.

Aside from gas cook stoves and ovens, most of the energy used by appliances, lighting, and electronics is in the form of electricity. Because the majority of electricity consumed in this state comes from carbonintensive coal-fired power plants, reducing our electrical consumption will also reduce the potential emissions from these sources.


Energy Use - In Minnesota, about 30% of the energy use in a typical household goes toward operating appliances, lighting, and electronics.

Along with lowered energy use, maintaining existing equipment and upgrading to more efficient models can provide further benefits: 

  • Comfort and convenience. As manufacturers design and build new devices and equipment for our homes, they often add new functions and capabilities. These features frequently make it easier to use the product properly, increasing the benefits of energy savings, comfort, and convenience.
  • Safety. Appliances, lighting, and other devices that are properly operating are less likely to fail or become a hazard. Newer equipment frequently includes safety components (like timers or automatic shutoffs) that were unavailable in older models.
  • Reduced operating costs. When periodically maintained and repaired, many appliances and devices will deliver ongoing energy savings and lower energy bills. When products reach the end of their useful life (because of expensive repair costs or advances in new technologies), replacement with high efficiency models will increase the cost savings.


ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that helps save money and protect the environment through energy- efficient products and practices.

Many appliances, lighting products, and electronics can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting these energy-efficiency requirements:

  • Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, lessefficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.

When shopping for appliances, lighting, and electronics, always look for the ENERGY STAR label. To find qualifying products or to compare performance of several products that are ENERGY STAR labeled, go to