Created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 as a voluntary program, Energy Star now sets international efficiency standards for consumer products in a variety of categories. This extremely successful program has been adopted by the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand as well as the United States. Its goal is to help consumers save money while protecting the environment through energy conservation.
What an Energy Star Label Means
An Energy Star label on a product means that the product meets or exceeds minimum government standards for energy efficiency. In fact, most Energy Star products actually exceed federal efficiency standards by 20 to 30 percent. This often translates to significant savings on utility expenses for consumers.
In addition to being energy efficient, a product bearing the Energy Star label must meet general performance standards and provide customers with all expected features for a product in its category. Also, if the product is more expensive than comparable products that are not as efficient, the presence of the Energy Star label means that the buyer will recoup the price difference in the form of savings on his or her energy bills within a reasonable time period.
Types of Energy Star Products
The Energy Star program focuses on product categories that have the potential to contribute to significant energy savings for residential and commercial customers throughout the nation. Current product categories for which Energy Star specifications exist include the following:
- Furnaces and air conditioners
- Computer Servers
- Windows, doors, insulation and other building products
- Office equipment
- Pool pumps
- Battery chargers
- Power tools
- Furnaces, air conditioners and other heating and cooling products
- Water heaters
- Commercial equipment
- Residential and commercial buildings
Earning an Energy Star Label
The Energy Star program emphasizes consistent efficiency standards for products. Because compliance with these standards must be verified by a neutral third party, the presence of the Energy Star symbol on a product label or building inspires consumer confidence.
Products earn the Energy Star label by passing rigorous tests conducted in laboratories certified by the EPA. In addition, all labeled products are subject to yearly verification tests. These tests use representative products from store shelves rather than dedicated manufacturer samples to ensure consistent quality as well as compliance with efficiency standards.
Interested in Energy Star Appliances?
If you care about saving energy and decreasing your energy bills, you should always look for products that carry the Energy Star seal. Contact us today to explore your options of air conditioners and furnaces that are certified.