Ways to Save: What is ENERGY STAR?
When shopping for new appliance, you may have noticed an ENERGY STAR label on products. But, what does that label really mean?
WHAT IS ENERGY STAR®?
Most consumers recognize ENERGY STAR’s product label which is a government-backed standard for energy efficiency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures that each product that earns the label is independently certified to deliver quality, performance and savings.
HOW DOES A PRODUCT EARN AN ENERGY STAR LABEL?
Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label are more energy efficient than standard products. For example, qualified refrigerators are at least 15 percent more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard.
Prior to 2011, ENERGY STAR products were self-certified by its partners, such as retailers and manufacturers. However, the EPA now oversees third-party certification of products, which include testing in an EPA-recognized lab and review by an EPA-recognized certification board. Plus, the EPA takes some products straight from store shelves to test for performance.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED?
Clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers are some of the most well-known ENERGY STAR certified products. There are also product categories for heat pumps, TVs and computers. ENERGY STAR recently added new product categories for electric vehicle chargers and smart thermostats.
HOW MUCH IN SAVINGS CAN I EXPECT WITH ENERGY STAR PRODUCTS?
According to ENERGY STAR, a certified full-sized electric dryer will save you $200 in energy bills over the life of the product. For a household of four, an ENERGY STAR certified water heater could save you approximately $330 a year on electric bills. Savings by products vary, so check ENERGY STAR’s website for details.
WHERE DO I GET DETAILS ABOUT PRODUCTS?
ENERGY STAR’s website (energystar.gov) has overviews, buying guidance and energy efficiency tips for each product category. Before buying, visit ENERGY STAR’s website and get familiar with the information about its certified products.
In addition, all major home appliances must display a yellow EnergyGuide label, which tells you how much energy an appliance uses and how its energy usage compares to similar models. Appliances that are also ENERGY STAR qualified are noted on the EnergyGuide label.