Always Look for the Energy Star
Energy Star is a program backed by the federal government that is designed to enable individuals and businesses to protect the environment by increasing energy efficiency.
The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) first introduced Energy Star in 1992 to identify and promote energy-efficient computers and monitors. Today, the Energy Star label is on a wide array of major appliances, office equipment, lighting, electronics, heating and cooling equipment, windows, motors, pumps, and many other items. The Energy Star certification is now even being applied to new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
Products that earn the Energy Star label must meet strict criteria, including using less energy than standard products without sacrificing features, style, or comfort.
While it is true that many Energy Star products initially cost more than the standard items, the value of the energy saved over the life of the product must exceed the extra initial cost of the Energy Star product.
In other words, the product with an Energy Star label must be cost effective. When we are using less energy with our Energy Star products, then less energy needs to be generated at the power plants with correspondingly less pollution created. Realistically, homeowners and businesses can reduce their energy expenditures by 20 to 30 percent through increasing energy efficiency and at the same time improve the environmental quality of our air. Consider a few examples:
- Energy Star refrigerators must be at least 10 percent more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard for refrigerators.
- Energy Star televisions must consume 3 watts or less of electricity when turned off, compared to a standard television that consumes nearly 6 watts on average when off.
- Energy Star furnaces must have an efficiency of at least 90 percent, whereas the minimum federal efficiency standard for furnaces is 75 percent.
- Energy Star light bulbs must use no more than one-third the amount of electricity used by a standard incandescent bulb and must also meet criteria for useful life and reliability.
When you purchase and use an Energy Star product, you will be saving energy, improving the environment for this generation and the following generations, and saving money. That's a winning combination!