With so much concern lately about becoming more energy efficient in an effort to both benefit the environment as well as to save money, there can sometimes be some confusion about the best ways to accomplish both.
That’s where ENERGY STAR comes in. You’ve probably noticed the ENERGY STAR logo on everything from appliances to light bulbs, and heard of ENERGY STAR approvals, operational ratings, and possibly even the big money savings in switching to apparatus they‘ve approved. But exactly who or what is ENERGY STAR, and how did they get so smart?
A cooperative program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR’s goal is two-fold. They test products and announce their findings to help Americans save money while protecting their environment by defining the best energy efficient products and methods of use. The EPA created ENERGY STAR in 1992 to identify and encourage the use of the products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they soon expanded into office equipment products and home heating and cooling equipment.
By 1996, they partnered with the Department of Energy and today you can find that familiar ENERGY STAR mark on all sorts of compliant items including major appliances, lighting, electronics, and office equipment. Ever expanding, ENERGY STAR now also rates equipment for new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
ENERGY STAR reports success in their efforts — in 2010 Americans saved enough energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to the amount from 33 million cars. That’s the environmentally friendly part. They also saved $18 billion on their utility bills. That’s the money-savings part.
So who benefits from ENERGY STAR? We all do — you can save money on your bills, and the world moves closer towards being more environmentally friendly. It’s a no-lose situation!
For more information on ENERGY STAR, log on to their website at www.energystar.gov