On Memorial Day Weekend, Texans can save even more money on Energy Star-rated green equipment and appliances with a tax-free weekend at the end of May.

Savings On Top of Savings

Green, in regards to sustainability, and the green in your wallet, go hand in hand. Green cars, green appliances, and green homes work within the same long-term savings business model that has defined the sustainable movement – pay a bit more now, save a lot more later. By in-building certain lifetime cost-reducing features, whether by design or in the process of making, the idea is that reductions in waste and other hidden costs eventually outweigh what initial saving can be had with conventional products. The slow-drip accruement of savings afforded by green products can become a torrent over time. For example, by investing in energy-efficient appliances for your home, customers experience exponential energy savings over time as the cost of energy, especially electricity, continues to climb. Duty-free sales days for greener products and other green initiatives aimed at customer’s wallets make buying green even more of a no brainer.

The Costs That Matter

For many Americans avidly watching their bottom line, buying green products can sometimes be a tough sell. Green products have proven to save money in the long term, but as a general rule, consumers will often choose conventional products even if the immediate savings are small or negligible.

While the financial bottom line can be sorted out with some simple arithmetic, the hidden costs of conventional products are often overlooked by consumers and glossed over by sellers. The truth is, cheaper conventional products are cheaper for reasons that are not always apparent in the bottom line prices shown to consumers. When it comes to appliances, the hidden costs often revolve around actual life-time costs. Life-time cost, or the cost to the consumer for owning the appliance for its entire life, is a better indicator of true costs. However, even life-time costs do not take into account, for instance, costs to human health, productivity, and quality of life. Products that run on, or are derived from fossil fuels come with dire costs to the planet, and are ultimately paid for with taxpayer money for health programs, environmental cleanup, and other means of mitigating damage.

Practical Buys Every Homeowner Should Look Out For

The most direct connection from home appliances and equipment to the degradation of the environment is through the wall plug. 70 percent of the electricity generated in the United States is made through the consumption of fossil fuels.

Some of the worst energy hogs in our homes are precisely the beastly machines that make modern living possible. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be replaced or upgraded with more eco-friendly models that qualify for the Energy Star tax holiday.

Big offenders include refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, space heaters, swimming pool pumps, and especially, air conditioning. Furthermore, the older these household necessities are, the more gluttonously they consume precious energy. Families and homeowners looking to cash in late May should seriously consider replacing old and aging equipment. For instance, refrigerators made a decade ago consume nearly double the amount of energy as typical refrigerators made today, let alone high-efficient Energy Star refrigerators. Likewise, dryers are particularly thirsty for power, consuming between 1800 and 5000 watts of power. Clotheslines and drying racks work just as well, though perhaps not as quickly, and extend the life of clothing which saves even more money in the long run.

Other key practical areas of concern for homeowners looking into improving their green credentials, revolve around the home. In many ways, today’s home is itself a piece of equipment for living in, a microcosm of whirring machinery, plumbing, and ductwork. Energy Star air conditioners, which are 10 percent more efficient than industry standard, can result in big savings for warmer regions of the United States. Likewise, improvements in plumbing, wall insulation, and windows can all be economically upgraded to save energy or conserve water. More advanced systems, such as geothermal ground source heat pumps, could save even more with a pricetag that is not necessarily much more after federal and state-level rebates and tax incentives.

The truth is, for the discerning homeowner, there are innumerable ways to improve and streamline the efficiency of a home, and save money in the process. The Energy Star program and Energy Star-certified products are only one such standard of many that exist to help consumers make more informed decisions. With a tax-free holiday on such products in Texas fast approaching, the end of this month may be the cost-effective time to go green.

For more information on the Texas Energy Star Tax Holiday, please visit the following website: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx96_1331/

Bottom Line: The 2013 ENERGY STAR sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. (after midnight) on Saturday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day). Qualifying products include: air conditioners ($6000 or less), refrigerators ($2000 or less), ceiling fans, light bulbs, washers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and programmable thermostats.