Surely you’ve noticed by now the little star emblem on many electronics and appliances. This emblem is the seal of the Energy Star program that promotes conservation and a healthy environment. The program is a federally run program by two agencies: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. The objective of the program is to help American consumers save money on their electric bills and protect the environment at the same time by promoting products that are energy efficient.
The Energy Star program has had tremendous success. According to energystar.gov, “Americans saved enough energy in 2008 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 29 million cars — all while saving $19 billion on their utility bills.” Due to the program’s great success, both federal agencies have continued to stay committed to the primary cause of reducing energy usage.
A brief history
The Energy Star program began in 1992 with the sole purpose of promoting products that are energy efficient to assist in reducing greenhouse gases. The program was fully voluntary and first targeted computers and monitors. As the program quickly caught on, the EPA extended the labeling to other office equipment and residential heating and cooling systems in 1995. Since its inception, the Energy Star logo has been found on virtually anything that uses electricity, including entire homes and buildings.
The program holds to very strict guidelines and standards to encourage manufacturers to strive for energy-efficient products. In order for a product to be awarded the Energy Star logo, the product has to prove its efficiency against the traditional product. If the product uses significantly less electricity, it is then considered by the EPA to bear its logo.
Effects on the home
People who choose to purchase electronics and appliances with the Energy Star logo are making a wise investment. When a family decides to purchase Energy Star products, they will typically save up to 33% off their electric bill. Most energy-efficient products are just as modern and stylish as those that are not. You don’t have sacrifice quality or comfort when it comes to choosing Energy Star.
Effects on business
Energy Star partners with businesses to help them save money and prevent over usage of electricity in the workplace. The EPA offers a partnership with businesses to help them assess the current amount of electricity being used and ways to effectively cut down. This energy management strategy is free of charge and helps measure current energy usage, set goals and track progress, and rewards the development of more efficient energy usage. If the EPA deems a business’ overall energy consumption as very conservative, it will award the business official Energy Star compliance for the entire building.
The Energy Star program has started a worldwide revolution by placing greater emphasis on purchasing products that will save the consumer money and have a direct effect on the environment. Manufacturers are attempting to make their products as energy efficient as possible in order to gain approval for the Energy Star seal. Consumers have become more aware of their choices in electronics and appliance selection, cutting costs and greenhouse gas emissions at an incredible rate.
To learn more about the Energy Star program, visit energystar.gov.