You are milling around your favorite electronics outlet, wondering to yourself about what features to consider as you ponder a purchase of that flat panel television or dryer. Your main concern, apart from price, is how energy efficient the product is, which is beneficial for both you and the environment. You ask a sales representative passing by the best way to consider an energy efficient purchase and she says “have you heard of Energy Star?”
Energy Star is perhaps one of the greatest tools developed by the federal government in recent years to help consumers make informed decisions about purchasing select categories of energy efficient products at retail. The program, started in 1992 by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), lets you better understand the energy output products like appliances and home electronics produce, challenging manufacturers to build more energy-efficient products in order to earn the Energy Star logo.
Energy Star, according to the EPA, is a voluntary labeling program encompassing over 60 product categories. The program is done in conjunction with over 15,000 organizations in both public and private circles. Each year it normally adds up to millions and millions in energy and cost savings to all those, consumers or otherwise, who participate in it.
Energy Star consists of a number of sub-programs, including rating consumer products for energy efficiency as well as evaluating buildings for energy efficiency practices. For purposes of this article, we will take a look at consumer products to see what exactly makes them Energy Star certified.