Energy Efficiency Tier Rating: Everything You Need To Know For 2022

Updated February 9, 2021

Sustainable 9

It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

We hear so much about energy efficiency these days, but what does it really mean, and why does it matter? Today we’re going to break down everything you need to know about energy efficiency tier ratings. We hope this helps you the next time that you need to pick out a new appliance, AC unit, heater, or other addition to your home.

At Sustainable 9, we see the value of installing energy-efficient products in your home. Not only will they make a huge difference in your energy efficiency rating for your home, but they’ll also help you save money on your electricity bill.

Not every home builder cares about you saving money on your electric bills, but they should! You don’t need to be spending a premium to power your appliances, so check out these tips.

energy efficient appliances; energy efficiency tier rating

What is Energy Efficiency Tier Rating?

The Energy Efficiency Rating was first enacted in 1975. The program, commonly referred to as EER, was developed to help measure and rate different electric appliances based on the amount of electricity they pull when running.

The formula used to determine what units are more efficient than others is quite extensive. The formula is EER = BTU divided by how many hours, divided by wattage used, or EER = BTU/Hr/wattage usage. The lower the number, the better. The system is then set up into Tiers one through four and one advanced tier for exceptional products.

Tier One

Tier one is just the entry-level. It represents efficient products, but they don’t offer maximum energy savings. These products will often be cheaper in price.

Tier Two, Three, and Four

Representing the next level up from tier one. Tiers two, three, and four are each ranging higher and higher in their performance ratings—the higher the tier, the better the efficiency rating. Tier three and above are some of the most efficient appliances and systems on the market today.

Midwest Home Magaaine | Luxury Home Tour | Sustainable 9 + Builder Package - 12497 Ethan Ave N, Hugo, MN 55110; energy efficiency tier rating

CEE Advanced Tier

CEE Advanced Tier is the highest possible ranking that any product can be given. These products will be the best of the best and likely the most expensive. But, what you spend upfront should save you money on electric bills in the long run.

CEE Energy Rating

An energy rating that you’ve likely heard of is the Energy Star rating. Energy Star was the predecessor to the CEE energy rating but is still used by many companies today. In fact, some of the most forward-thinking brands actually include both the energy star and the CEE energy rating on their appliances so that consumers have the most transparency possible.

Brands that Use and Acknowledge CEE

Many brands that make refrigerators and washing machines use the CEE system to grade their products. It can be difficult to find brands that receive rankings higher than one or two on the CEE scale. The below brands produce products that exceed tier two and rank at least on tier three of the CEE energy efficiency scale.

  • Kenmore
  • Maytag
  • LG
  • Whirlpool
  • Samsung

Advantages to Buying a High-Tier Product

The cost associated with buying a high-tier product can be substantial. One of the known advantages of spending more money on energy efficiency is the rebates from energy companies. There are often a lot of rebates offered for homeowners that choose higher energy ratings for their appliances. Check with your local energy providers on whether or not they’re currently offering rebates.

Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Appliances

laundry room in Scandinavian modern home built in Minnesota; energy efficiency tier rating

Here are a few tips that you should always keep in mind if you’re looking to save money and spend less on electricity.

  • Unplug appliances or invest in a smart plug that will limit the amount of electricity that appliances pull when they aren’t being used.
  • Always use the appropriate laundry load cycle. This will help to conserve water and electricity.
  • Use the right size burner on the stove for the size pot you have.
  • Clean your appliance regularly to ensure they can run correctly.
  • Remove lint from your washer and dryer after every cycle.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water to reduce the need for heating your water.
  • Perform annual appliance maintenance checks. There’s a lot that can go wrong with appliances; ensuring they’re running smoothly is always going to save you money.

We’d Love To Help With Your Next Project!

While there are other ways to ensure that your appliances continue running well, we’ve found these are some of the best ways. If you’re looking to build a sustainable home, we’d love to help you out! Sustainable 9 is a premier home builder that specializes in sustainable home building. We believe that everyone deserves a sustainable well-built home, efficient appliances are a big part of that, but your home’s construction and design are also important. Reach out to us or check out our website to learn more about what we do here at Sustainable 9.


A custom-built home means you don’t have to sacrifice the details that make your home one-of-a-kind. View our award-winning work and get inspired.

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Sustainable 9

It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

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1 year ago

Thank you, this was very helpful. I was able to spot a company marketing itself as if a “Tier 1” efficiency rating was the best available. Your post saved us a lot! Both in up front and long term costs.

9 months ago

You have enlisted outstanding points regarding energy efficiency in this weblog. By applying energy-saving techniques we can contribute our best part to energy conservation. Technology can help prevent or reduce energy waste, so we can still turn on the lights, drive, or wash our clothes while using less energy. It’s really all about using energy wisely. As a result of lowering the energy required for certain tasks, energy efficiency benefits the planet as well. It can reduce air and water pollution caused by certain types of energy generation and prevent negative impacts on critical ecosystems. Many thanks for sharing such… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Indra


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More energy efficient than a standard new construction home* *based on HERS ratings


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