20100416 energy guide label 98071059 18
An Energy Star label displayed on the inside of a brand new refrigerator at a Best Buy store in Marin City, Calif. - 


Bill Radke: The Federal Trade Commission meets today to ask: should consumer electronics carry energy labels? Shoppers for computers and TVs often have to guess which gadgets guzzle electricity. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Caitlan Carroll reports.

Caitlan Carroll: Most consumers shopping for a new fridge might not notice the little yellow sticker on the side. That Energy Guide label breaks out the average cost of running that home appliance for a year. But TVs and computers don't sport those labels. That's because in the past, differences between models were slight.

Jennifer Amann is with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. She says times have changed:

Jennifer Amann: You have products on the market today that for the same size television you could have the least efficient product using four times the energy consumption of the most efficient product.

Dmitriy Molchanov is an analyst with the Yankee Group. He says these days, energy efficiency is a top priority for consumers:

Dmitriy Molchanov: It's a difficult economy at this point and I think consumers are realizing that energy-efficient appliances will save them money in the long term.

Utilities could also offer rebates to consumers for buying more energy-efficient models.

I'm Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.