What Is ENERGY STAR and Why Is It Important?

Burkett Blog _ What is Energy Star and Why is it Important

Reasons for choosing ENERGY STAR is more than saving money, it’s better for our environment!  Each Earth Day there’s a large focus on how to protect our environment, prevent climate change and improve air quality, which ties in perfectly with the reason ENERGY STAR exists and why it’s important!

WHAT IS ENERGY STAR

Is ENERGY STAR still a thing? 
The short answer, yes!
According to ENERGY STAR, over 120,000 ENERGY STAR certified homes were built in 2020 alone, with over 2.2 million built since ENERGY STAR was first created in 1992.  Along with new constructions, ENERGY STAR puts a large focus on encouraging home and business owners to be mindful of the energy efficiency in their existing spaces.

So What is ENERGY STAR?
ENERGY STAR states that “ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.”   The program was first established in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and continues to operate under the Clean Air Act and Energy Policy Act.

What is an ENERGY STAR Label?
The ENERGY STAR Label exists to make it easier for customers to identify energy-efficient products.  Products with an ENERGY STAR Label tell the consumer that the product is going to offer them savings on energy bills without sacrifices on standard features and performance.

What is an ENERGY STAR Rating?
Products with an ENERGY STAR Rating mean that it meets the federal guidelines regarding energy efficiency that will aid in saving money and our environment!  These appliances will use less electricity than similar models but provide the same level of performance.  The higher the rating, the more money it will save you each year on your electric bill.

What makes a product ENERGY STAR?
For a product to have an ENERGY STAR label, the appliance must achieve a level of energy efficiency above the current industry’s standard along with meeting a select handful of other requirements that are different for each appliance class (listed below).  Typically, appliances are 10-20% more efficient than products without the ENERGY STAR label.

 

How Does EPA Choose which Products Earn the Label?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) follows a set of principles when deciding which appliances receive an ENERGY STAR Label.
According to ENERGY STAR, those principles are as follows:

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.

Is it Worth it to Buy ENERGY STAR Products?

When you notice there’s a higher price on energy-efficient products, you might find yourself asking if it’s worth it to buy energy-star-rated appliances. So the question is, do ENERGY STAR appliances eventually pay for themselves?  The short answer, yes!

In order for a product to be ENERGY STAR rated it must “allow purchasers to recover their investment through utility savings within a reasonable period of time.” – ENERGY STAR

What do the different ENERGY STAR Labels and Ratings Mean?

The Blue ENERGY STAR label can be found on certified energy-efficient products

The ENERGY STAR Partner label is used to show the organization or business’s partnership in the ENERGY STAR Program.

The Blue ENERGY STAR Most Efficient label indicates that the product is the best of the best for energy savings and innovation.

For more details on each ENERGY STAR Label, visit ENERGY STAR

The Yellow EnergyGuide label shows the estimated annual energy use, operating cost of the appliance, and also compares it to similar products.  EnergyGuide actually isn’t part of the ENERGY STAR program and is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the ENERGY STAR label is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What is the Difference between Energy Guide Label & ENERGY STAR label

Using this yellow EnergyGuide label in conjunction with the blue ENERGY STAR label will help you make smart choices in your appliance purchase.  First look for the blue ENERGY STAR label, then use the yellow EnergyGuide labels to compare your choices.


THE HISTORY OF ENERGY STAR

Highlighting the Commercial Kitchen & Restaurant Industry
from ENERGY STAR

  • 2012
    • ENERGY STAR Day, a first-ever nationwide celebration of energy efficiency accomplishments
  • 2011
    • ENERGY STAR industrial certification to first container glass plants and to the first cookie and cracker bakeries
    • Updates to the ENERGY STAR product requirements for eleven categories effective this year including commercial fryers
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2004
    • ENERGY STAR label extends to medical centers and university residence halls
  • 2003
  • 2002
    • More than 1,000 American commercial building properties certified as ENERGY STAR
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1996
    • EPA and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announce their ENERGY STAR partnership
  • 1995
    • Green Lights program merges with ENERGY STAR Buildings, a program designed to help businesses simultaneously improve their energy and financial performance
  • 1994
    • More than 2,000 ENERGY STAR qualified product models available for sale
  • 1992
    • EPA launch of the ENERGY STAR label for office products starting with computers and displays
  • 1991
    • EPA introduces Green Lights program, a partnership to promote efficient lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings (later integrated into ENERGY STAR)

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