Do you know the hidden costs of making breakfast at home?

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – You probably think you save money by making coffee at home.

Are you sure?

Some countertop appliances cost more to operate than to buy, according to the man whose Bethesda, Md., company provides the first independent analysis of what it will cost to operate the product over the life of the appliance.

“We produce those rating labels that tell you how much a product is going to cost to run, not just how much it’s going to cost to buy,” says John Jabara, founder of Savenia Labs.

“In the 10- to 12-cup coffeemaker category, the most energy-hungry product used about $200 of electricity over its five-year lifetime, where the most energy- efficient used closer to $30,” says Jabara.

“Every bell and whistle costs money on these (appliances),” Jabara says.

The Savenia Labs rating labels are currently displayed at 13 Ace Hardware Stores in the metropolitan Washington area. Strosniders in Bethesda also has them on display.

“Some of the things on coffeemakers that use a lot of energy are 24-hour, 365-day- a-year heating of the water, keeping it hot all the time, that uses a lot of energy.

“Things that use less energy are thermal carafes, with a thermos at the bottom, rather than just a glass carafe. The machine can turn itself off and the thermos keeps the water hot,” says Jabara.

Savenia Labs works with University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering in product testing.

Jabara says the labels provide consumers with a fuller understanding of the costs associated with the product while still in the store.

“If you want a really cool-looking blue light with a clock that lights up your toaster, 24-7, 365, you’re probably paying all the time,” says Jabara.

Follow @AugensteinWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up