energy_star_logoYou’ve likely seen the labels on appliances, but you may be wondering what ENERGY STAR actually is and how it benefits individuals, businesses, and the planet.

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to encourage manufacturers to adapt the highest standards of energy efficiency for their products. It is also a way for consumers to identify which products are the most energy efficient. The program encompasses energy standards for products, new homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants.

More than 16,000 partners from all sectors of the economy drive the program’s success. ENERGY STAR represents products in over 70 categories (more than 4.8 billion sold since its start in 1992). Over 1.5 million new homes, and 22,000 facilities carry ENERGY STAR certification. As of the end of 2013, ENERGY STAR has resulted in families and businesses saving an estimated $295 billion in utility costs and preventing more than 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

ENERGY STAR has a positive, real-world, environmental impact through implementation of its standardized measuring system based on actual energy use and through its innovative performance benchmarks. The program continues to raise the bar by introducing increasingly stringent performance specifications. To put that into perspective, an ENERGY STAR washing
machine today uses approximately 70% less energy and 75% less water than a standard washer used 20 years ago.

Maintaining integrity is another key to the program’s success. EPA has instituted third-party certification requirements, testing, review, and compliance screening of all certified products, homes, and commercial facilities. Consumers can trust that they will realize the energy savings promised on the label.

The ENERGY STAR designation is recognized by 85% of Americans, and factors heavily into purchasing decisions. It is tied with Good Housekeeping in terms of brand influence, making it highly sought after by businesses seeking to stay competitive.

Do you have questions about ENERGY STAR ratings and how they may affect your heating or cooling system purchase? Indoor Air Quality is happy to help you understand your options, which may include rebates and tax credits. Contact us today to learn more.