Energy Costs Around Your House

Heating is still No. 1, but new devices add to electric bills.

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Home Heating
The big-ticket item on the electric bill, especially in cold climates, for the 30 percent of U.S. households with electric heat.
Average cost per year: $817

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Refrigerators
Today's most efficient models use half the power of units made before 1993.
So the cost could triple if you plug in the old icebox in the basement.
Average cost per year: $113 

Plasma-Screen TV
Energy use rises and falls with the intensity of screen images, but the popular 42-inch-screen TVs with plasma technology can burn three

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times the power of old cathode-ray tube sets.
Average cost per year: $50 - ­$60

LCD TV
The 42-inch LCD TVs use less juice than plasma but twice the power of an old tube TV. In November, new Energy Star standards should help consumers seek efficient models.
Average cost per year: $38 - ­$40

Set-Top Box

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The cable or satellite converter box adds to the energy cost of TV viewing by sucking electricity at the same rate whether turned on or off.
Average cost per year: $27

Digital Photo Frame
Like many new gadgets, this adds just a little to each electric bill, but

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policymakers worry about the cumulative impact once the frames saturate the market.
Average cost per year: $9

Sources: Electric Power Research Institute, Energy Information Administration, Tacoma Power

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personal finance
energy