There are two good reasons to use high-efficiency appliances. The obvious reason is to save a bundle on your bills. While energy-efficient models may be a bit pricier than comparable models with average efficiency, your reduced energy bills will put that money back into your bank account. But this is only half of the reason to say goodbye to that energy-guzzling, mauve-colored monster in your kitchen.
Choosing energy-efficient appliances is also a way to reduce your contribution to global climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary gas affecting global warming, and virtually all energy-using equipment results in CO2 emissions either directly or indirectly. Since burning oil or gas in your furnace creates CO2 directly, choosing a more efficient furnace will reduce this pollutant right from your home. Furthermore, coal or gas is burned in most power plants to create electricity and this produces emissions.
By replacing a 20-year-old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient model, not only will you save about 800 kWh per year, you will also reduce your home's CO2 contribution by about one ton per year.