There are several ways to save money and energy around the house. You already know about, , and . But what about the appliances that are meant to be energy-saving?
You’ve probably seen the Energy Star logo at least once if you’ve been shopping for electronics in recent decades. It is a simple, blue symbol that indicates that a product or device is energy efficient.
But what does it do mean?
Sure, you can take the sticker for face value, but it’s good to know exactly what you’re getting. Is it worth buying an Energy Star certified product? How much more energy efficient will the product be compared to non-certified products? Who decides which products become certified? All of these issues are important to keep in mind when deciding how to spend your hard earned money. Let’s take a closer look at the Energy Star label and what it means.
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a government-funded program to identify products and appliances that meet certain energy efficiency standards. It was established in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a way to market products designed to use less energy and hopefully reduce costs for consumers.
What does the Energy Star designation really mean?
The EPA and the Department of Energy define the products that receive the Energy Star designation and the agencies’ products in more than 75 different categories, with the standards varying depending on the specific device.
As a general rule, the EPA uses some guiding principles to determine which products receive the Energy Star label. These principles are:
- Products must be in a category that could contribute significant energy savings.
- The products must have the properties and performance that consumers prefer, as well as provide energy efficiency.
- Certified products that cost more than less efficient alternatives must provide savings in energy costs within a reasonable time.
- Energy efficient technology can be achieved by other manufacturers and not through their own solutions.
- Energy savings can be confirmed in tests.
How this determination is made is different for each category. For example, refrigerators must be at least 15% more efficient than the lowest federal efficiency standard. TVs must consume 3 watts or less when turned off – about 50% less than an average TV. Light bulbs must use two thirds less energy than a standard light bulb.
What types of devices are eligible for Energy Star ratings?
The EPA and the Department of Energy have designated 75 categories of products that are eligible for certification. Some of these categories include appliances such as washers, dryers, air conditioners and refrigerators. Computer monitors and televisions also receive ratings, as do ceiling fans, pool pumps and a range of other products.
A complete list of products that Energy Star will certify can be found on the Energy Star website.
Are there different levels of Energy Star ratings?
Energy Star does not create different levels of energy efficiency. It applies certification to all qualified products. However, it maintains a list of the most effective products in each category. Products that earn this achievement receive an Energy Star label indicating that the product is considered the most effective in its category for a given year. A complete list of Energy Star’s most effective products is available on the Energy Star website.
Energy Star also offers scores for commercial buildings, from 1 to 100. This is based on comparisons with other buildings with similar primary use that have been rated on energy efficiency. But for consumer products, either you qualify or you do not.
If you are looking for a way to determine the energy efficiency of a particular Energy Star product, check its EnergyGuide label. This label, required by the US Federal Trade Commission, tells consumers how much energy a product consumes and how it compares to other products in the same category. This label usually appears in yellow on a product or online on the company’s product page.
Can Energy Star Devices Really Save Money?
There are a number of ways that Energy Star products can save money. The first way is through energy efficiency. Products that are more energy efficient tend to save money in the long run because they lower your energy bill. Energy Star certification is given to products that save consumers money compared to less efficient alternatives by reducing energy costs.
It is worth noting that the effect of an Energy Star product will vary depending on your overall usage. In addition, suppliers in some regions charge more for energy consumed during rush hour. If your electricity company uses a system for usage time, you may end up paying more to use your appliances at times when the energy requirement is higher. Energy Star products will still work more efficiently and consume less energy, but the savings may not be as much as you expect.
The second way Energy Star products can save money is through tax breaks. Some cities, states, and even the federal government have incentive programs to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient products. This makes it more affordable to choose products that are energy efficient, although they may cost more in advance than less efficient alternatives.
The Energy Star label is an important tool for consumers who are in the market for any number of new products and devices. By looking for the Energy Star label, you can ensure that the product you ultimately buy is more energy efficient than most alternatives. This will save you money and help reduce your impact on the environment.