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BVI FACT FILE

Compliant Appliances – The British Virgin Islands real-estate market is growing.  If BVIslanders, residents and vacation home owners aren’t building new homes, many homeowners are actually upgrading their properties.  Flick through this magazine and you’ll find a number of articles offering helpful hints on how to do this to maximum effect. When you begin to do that remodelling or redecorating, don’t leave helping to save the planet on your lists of things to get done.

A simple and cost-effective way you can begin to conserve the energy used at home is through replacing old appliances with new, Energy Star approved appliances.   Typically, older appliances demand more energy to run efficiently.  While shopping at any local appliance store (Varieties and Electronics or OneMart Superstore have comprehensive appliances sections) look for appliances with the world-renowned Energy Star logo.

The BVI electrical system adheres to US standards.  Launched in 1992, the Energy Star programme is a joint effort of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, established to help consumers save on the energy used for operating electrical devices.  Appliances for the home such as dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, battery charges, windows, ceiling fans and a host of other devices have been tested and rated.  Those proving to utilise better technologies to save on energy used are give the Energy Star seal.  For the office, computers, printers, scanners and other workplace machines can also be Energy Star compliant.

The best part about helping to save the planet is it actually benefits you as well.  Energy Star products in today’s market are usually in a similar price range to unrated appliances, but you’ll see the benefits on your energy bill.  In the 2007 March edition of the magazine, Atlanta, it was reported that Energy Star appliances are 10 to 50 percent more energy efficient than unrated products and could reduce your electricity bill accordingly.

Energy Star reports that the amount of green house gases reduced by Americans using Energy Star products in 2006 was the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road while saving $14 billion on utility bills.  For some, that could mean more money to spend on other aspects of your home to improve its property value.  If all BVI households use Energy Star products, the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off the road.  That’s nearly all of them!

Don’t worry about the look of products.  Energy Star products look the same as any other washing machine, printer or toaster.  The difference however, is in the savings, to the planet and in your pocket.  For more interesting information on Energy Star products and other ways you can help save the planet while saving yourself a few dollars visit www.energystar.gov. 

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