Purchasing a new home or household appliance can be an overwhelming task. But having a support system to help guide you through hard-to-understand jargon and ratings can make the search a more enjoyable and money-saving experience.
ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that sets the international standard for energy-efficient consumer products and practices, is there so you don't have to crack the book on energy codes by yourself. You can simply plan on improving your home's energy efficiency and lower operating costs by identifying products with the ENERGY STAR label.
Energy Star focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by the inefficient use of energy and helping consumers identify and purchase energy-efficient products. So do ENERGY STAR standards really save money and the environment?
"Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, have saved enough energy in a single year to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars — all while saving $16 billion on their utility bills." Energy Star
ENERGY STAR Label
Products that earn the infamous ENERGY STAR label are required to meet energy-efficiency requirements established by the EPA. Those specifications include products that generally use up to 30% less energy than required by federal standards and:
- Must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If it costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
You can find this label on devices such as computers, servers, appliances, heating and cooling systems, lighting, windows, doors and other products.NOTE: Some manufacturers can be tricky and use labels that don the "energy-efficient" stature but don't provide the standard value as an ENERGY STAR product. So skip through product options that don't meet the highest rating standards by focusing on an ENERGY STAR label.
Instead of wondering why you didn't opt for the higher standard windows when renovating your home, make a firm decision to avoid and ignore lack luster products and money draining upgrades that don't include the following:
- The NFRC label, which can be found on all ENERGY STAR qualified windows, provides performance ratings in a number of categories such as the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-Factor.
- The ENERGY STAR label, which lowers household energy bills by 7-15 percent.
NOTE: ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights can reduce your energy bills up to 15% while helping protect the environment.
As building codes and national standards increase due to a greater focus on sustainability, you can also exceed ENERGY STAR standards by looking for the Envirosealed Windows and Doors label.
So make life easier, and change the way you buy big-ticket items by researching its efficiency and effect on the environment. Tell us, do you look for the ENERGY STAR or Envirosealed Windows label?