The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that they’ll be taking steps to strengthen the popular Energy Star certification program for electronics and appliances. Citing this as a critical time for American consumers struggling with energy bills, the new stronger, Energy Star standards are aimed at increasing residential energy efficiency.
In addition to the third-party testing process for electronics and appliances that has already begun, the EPA and DOE have introduced a new two-step process that will expand testing of Energy Star qualified products, starting with some of the most commonly used appliances (accounting for more than 25 percent of a household’s energy bill). Which means that soon, a manufacturer’s word won’t cut the mustard as far as energy efficiency goes–each and every Energy Star certified product you find on the shelf will have been independently tested and verified.
“Energy efficiency is more important than ever to American families,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, in a statement. “As our economy gets back on its feet, Energy Star is an easy way for consumers to save money and help fight climate change.” The EPA and DOE claim that in 2009 alone, the Energy Star label has helped Americans save $17 billion on their utility bills while cutting carbon emissions equivalent to 30 million cars.
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