NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Appliances for sale at stores come with yellow energy-saving tags which give shoppers an idea of how much it will cost to run the appliance.

But CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco found it could cost much more depending on what state you live in.

“The labels are wrong,” economics professor Lucas Davis said.

Davis has spent the last two years studying the federally-mandated energy guide labels and says don’t count on them to be accurate.

“They show information based on national average electricity prices,” he said.

But in the Tri-State area, energy prices are up to two times more than the national average.

“The problem is, people have no idea how much they spend for electricity so they have no idea how to make that conversion,” Davis said.

But Davis points out, accurate or not, labels do serve a good purpose. Side-by-side, they can help you decide which appliances save the most energy and money, even if you’re not saving as much as the label would have you believe.

“We found people who saw better labels, made better decisions and they saved money—a lot of money,” Davis said.

The FTC examined the idea of state-specific labels and liked them, but found them too expensive to implement.

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