What is Energy Star?
ENERGY STAR is not just about making buildings more energy efficient; it’s also about saving money for homes and industries and offering best-practice solutions to make homes more comfortable, create better buildings and protect the environment. It’s a government-backed program—Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – that helps businesses and individuals do just that.
Initially, the EPA program was directed at cutting down on the energy drain from computers, but now it includes more than 50 products under the energy star label. The program has evolved since 1992 but the basic premise—energy savings through innovation and technology—remains unchanged. EPA has extended the Energy Star label to cover new homes, industries and buildings too.
Since 1992, EPA has worked with many organizations to help them make their buildings more energy efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also save money in the process. Going a step further, the EPA recognizes energy-efficient performances by assigning to them the ENERGY STAR logo.
That’s why, regardless of whether you’re looking to buy a new house or a new kitchen appliance, it makes sense to look for the ENERGY STAR label.
Such homes and gadgets meet EPA’s strict guidelines for energy efficiency. They not only use less energy for heating and cooling by using effective insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and tight ducts and energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, but also save money on utility bills. Generally such homes use 20–30 less energy than required by federal standards.
Energy Star appliances have specifications that they need to cater to and these have apparently been updated in 2013. This means that these gadgets use less energy than other products in the same category.
Although this standard was created for products originating in the United States, many other countries have also adopted the program. Devices there carry the Energy Star service mark and the energy star label. In order to get that label, the product, building or home must meet certain specific criteria for that particular category with respect to reduction in energy consumption, annual operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Department of Energy, “Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved enough energy to power 10 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions from 12 million cars- while saving $6 billion”. Although products can be converted to become Energy Star products through green remodeling, the cost is high at the outset, but over time, with tax breaks and lower utility bills, it evens out.
Its 23 years since the ENERGY STAR program was started and it claims to have “boosted the adoption of energy efficient products, practices, and services by entering into valuable
partnerships, using new measurement tools and increasing consumer awareness through education.
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