Utility Watchdog in San Diego

Appliances Exposed - the True Cost of Operation

Posted March 3rd, 2011

The California Energy Commission (CEC), the Golden State’s energy policy agency, has a great section on its website called the Consumer Energy Center. Not only is it a great source for information on energy related topics for your home and car, but it also has an entire section devoted to appliances.

Now appliances aren’t the most exciting things. On a website that features electric vehicles and solar schools, a clothes dryer doesn’t stand a chance. Or does it?

According to the CEC, your clothes dryer could cost up to $85 to operate. That’s equivalent to a nice dinner and movie date, a new cell phone, or a couple of gallons of gas. This seemingly innocent piece of machinery, the one that so lovingly provides you with a warm towel on a cold winter morning, is the second most expensive appliance in your home.

Fortunately, the CEC’s website provides helpful tips on how to reduce your cost (and reliance) on your dryer. The quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to do it? Use a solar clothes dryer. Some are made out of nylon and are relatively cheap, but use no electricity or gas to dry your clothes. Instead, it harnesses the awesome power of the sun to blast all the water from your soaking garments. It’s also known as a clothes line to non-dramatic people, but is simple to use. Even better, you reap the benefits of a clothes line instantly. Since you aren't using any power, you don't have to pay SDG&E any money to dry your clothes.

From water heaters to aquariums, the CEC’s appliance website is a fantastic resource to use to find out the just how much those appliances--large and small--cost you to run. I encourage you to take a look around the site and learn how you can save some money in this chilly San Diego climate.

About UCAN

UCAN has represented the interests of San Diego County utility customers since 1983. UCAN focuses its efforts on the rates and services of San Diego Gas and Electric Company, telecommunications utilities and the City of San Diego Water Department.