VideoBlog: Our Next Contest Winner, Susan the Convection Connoisseur

As we recently reported, over a 10m time period convection bake and regular bake on a toaster oven use about the same amount of energy.  That means our winner came closest to guessing a difference between the two of 0%.  We got guesses all over the map – from convection saving energy on the magnitude of 50% to using more energy by 80%.  Susan came the closest and took home the prize of a brand new Savenia Labs rated Toaster Oven….from Strosniders of course!

Don’t forget to enter our newest contest: Of the 20 most popular 10-12 cup coffee makers sold in the US, how much of the MSRP does the average coffeemaker cost in energy usage over its 5 yr. lifetime?  If you guess right a Savenia Labs rated Coffeemaker could be in your future.

Coffee Maker Cash Contest!

Does it cost more to buy or run a coffee maker?

That’s the question we’re throwing to you.  Having tested the most popular 10-12 cup drip coffee makers sold in the United States, we know the energy costs to run them for the average consumer.  Having talked to hundreds of people who own coffee makers, we also know that most people plan to keep them for about 5 years.  So after 5 years of using your coffee maker and paying for electricity to power it, how much of the purchase price (MSRP) does your coffee maker’s energy bill make up? For example, if your coffeemaker costs $20 to run over 5 years and costs $100 to buy, you would guess 20%.

If you think you might know, then enter our contest on Facebook.  Like us and then tell us your guess.  Or you can tweet us @SaveniaLabs to enter.  The person who comes closest to the actual percentage for the average coffee maker among the top 20 sold in the US wins a Savenia Labs rated appliance. Be sure to follow Savenia Labs this fall as we introduce our revolutionary Energy Ratings.

Convection Bake: Does it Save Energy?

Our contest for the past two weeks tested our Facebook fans’ knowledge of the convection bake function on their toaster ovens.  Long touted by toaster oven manufacturers as a way to reduce cooking times and save energy, convection bake was put to the test.  We tested the difference between energy usage in a 10 minute period between convection bake and regular bake among the top 20 most popular toaster ovens sold in the US (note: not all of these top 20 had both options), and we asked you – was there a difference?

And the answer…. No.  Convection bake and regular bake use just about the same amount of energy within a 10 minute time period.  So whoever guessed closest to 0% is this week’s winner.  We’ll get in touch with the winner and let you know who that is soon.

But this still begs the question – does convection bake save energy?  We found that manufacturers either recommended reducing cooking times by 30% or reducing oven temperatures by 25 degrees.  If either of these recommendations result in a quality product – your oven should save energy…right?  Maybe.  Since toaster ovens use the vast majority of their energy over short cooking times to pre-heat the oven, small reductions in temperature or cooking time at the end of the cycle make little difference in the energy consumption.

After baking many batches of French Meadow Bakery Chocolate Chip cookies from MOM’s Organic Market, we can say with confidence that cookies baked using convection were “fluffier,” to use a technical term, and tastier in our view.    Every machine is different and we could find no standard time difference or temperature reduction.

We’d like to hear from you …have you used convection bake on your toaster oven and do you find it saves time?

Video Blog: Our First Contest Winner, Deborah The Vampire Power Slayer

Congratulations to our first contest winner Deborah who came closest to guessing that there is a 400% difference in the vampire power usage between the best and worst performing microwaves among the top 20 most popular sold in the United States.  For her winning entry, Deborah has taken home a new microwave, which she said she will give to one of her college age children.

Continue to keep an eye on our Contest homepage for more interesting research coming out of our labs and for a chance to win a Savenia Labs rated appliance.  Who knows, the next winner could be you!

Poll Result: 95% Looking for Appliance Energy Information

Do you look for energy info when shopping for appliances? Our Facebook followers do.  By a huge margin, too.  67% of respondents to our Facebook straw poll told us that they always look for energy usage information on the products they buy while 28% said they looked occasionally.  Only 5% said they never do.  We think awareness is growing nationwide about the importance of energy usage in lowering monthly utility bills and going easy on the environment.  A large part of that awareness was generated by the EPA Energy Star program, which sets efficiency guidelines for manufacturers that want to use the self- certification labels on their products in retail stores.  The impact has been enormous.  In 2010, Energy Star claims to have helped Americans save about $18 billion on utility bills.  That’s a huge number – and considering that the program only covers a fraction of the top selling electric appliance categories – imagine the impact of expanding energy information to the rest!

That’s what Savenia Labs is doing.  We’re imagining the impact on individuals and businesses of providing energy usage data for the next 100 or 1,000 product categories.  This Fall Savenia Labs is releasing our first set of product energy ratings, so make sure to check back here to find out how you can get the facts before you buy.  Also check out our facebook page to enter our newest contest and win a free lab tested appliance

New Contest: What’s with Convection Bake Anyway?

One Savenia Labs tested appliance won, several more to go.   This week we want to explore some of the interesting information we found from lab testing several toaster oven functions.  Many toaster oven models now come with a “convection bake” option.  How does convection bake compare to regular bake?  That’s our question this week:

Of the 20 most popular toaster ovens sold in the US, how much energy, more or less, does the convection bake function use vs. regular bake function over 10 minutes. (+%, -%)?

Again, remember that the answer is based on our independent lab testing available nowhere else.  So take your best guess and come back here to see who won and what the difference in energy is.

Good luck!

Announcing Our First Winner!

A Savenia Labs Rated GE Microwave for our winner

A Savenia Labs Rated GE Microwave for our winner

Savenia Labs is proud to announce the first winner of our Vampire Power Contest.  We asked if you could guess the difference in vampire power usage between the best and worst microwaves on the market in the US (among the top 20 most popular).  Guesses were all over the place – from as low as a few percent up to our winner’s guess of 72%.  And even that was quite short.  The actual answer?  A whopping 433%.

We reported a few weeks ago that the clock on your microwave could cost you $30 over the microwave’s lifetime.  By purchasing an energy efficient microwave you could cut that bill substantially.  Added together with all your household appliances, vampire energy costs the average Marylander almost $200 per year.  Make sure you check Savenia Labs’ Energy Ratings, available this fall, before you buy to know which microwaves and other appliances help you save money.

When our contest winner picks up her Savenia Labs rated microwave, we’ll tell you a little more about her.  We thank everyone who entered this week’s contest and hope you’ll all enter next week for a chance to win another Savenia Labs rated appliance.

How Not To Waste $185

$185 per year.  That’s the price tag every Maryland household pays each year to power their electronics when not in use.  Now a new tech startup in Montgomery County is helping tackle the problem.  Savenia Labs tests household electronics and provides information on each model’s energy usage – helping individuals and businesses cut back on their energy usage.

Leading up to their Fall 2011 launch, Savenia Labs is giving away a free Energy Rated appliance every week.  Learn how you can save money and energy by making smart shopping decisions on

Savenia Labs launches Vampire Power Contest

Giving Away 1 Lab Tested Appliance per week to Montgomery county residents

To countdown to our upcoming launch Savenia Labs is giving away a free Energy Rated appliance every week.  To win a free microwave, toaster oven, or coffeemaker, like us on Facebook and enter there.  At the end of each week we will announce a winner who can pick up his or her prize at the Bethesda Green office in Montgomery County, MD.

In the first week, win by coming closest to your guess of the percentage difference in energy usage between the most and least energy hungry microwaves among the top 20 sold in the US.