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Higher Standards Of Energy Efficiency with ENERGY STAR
Energy Star was initially rolled out as a voluntary program to promote energy efficient computers and printers in the United States. After its initial success, the Energy Star program expanded to include labeling for quality energy efficient heating and cooling systems and residential appliances. The Energy Star program was created by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the Department of Energy in 1992, and grew to become a guide for international standards to regulate energy efficient consumer products. In 2006, the program began including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Over the last couple of decades, versions of the Energy Star program for energy efficiency in appliances and buildings has been adopted by a few countries around the world; including Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan.
In short, energy efficient appliances or buildings that require less expense (lower energy consumption & lower energy bills) when compared to their traditional counterparts receive an Energy Star rating; indicating to the consumer that the item in question will be more energy efficient when compared to items not carrying the label. Encompassing over 40,000 different consumer products, Energy Star certified products follow these guidelines (broad, general guidelines for Energy Star lighting, and few household appliances, as examples of how consumer products qualify for an Energy Star certification in the United States, are summarized below)>>>
Standard Guidelines for Energy Star Goods:
- Lighting: CFLs or LEDs that use up to 75% less energy than traditional sources qualify for Energy Star certification, as well as last at least 35% longer; traditional sources are generally agreed to be incandescent light bulbs.
- Refrigerators: Save at least 20% in energy consumption compared to the minimum efficiency standards set forth by the US DOE.
- Dishwashers: Save at least 40% in energy consumption.
- Heating and Cooling Systems: Utilize less energy than the standard, typically by at least 10%.
- Televisions: Utilize at least 30% less energy than average and feature a standby power option.
Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY STAR product specifications. EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the certified product 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.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers. FROM - energystar.gov/products/how-product-earns-energy-star-label
Since 2006, Energy Star ratings have also been given to qualifying green buildings. Energy Star green buildings' energy efficiency ratings are based on: construction materials used, building methods used, consumer products contained inside - including water heaters, central air systems, other major building appliances, etc... Performance ratings are given to residential, industrial, and commercial buildings. Rated on a scale of 1 to 100, with higher numbers being better, the rating given is based on energy consumption, and the buildings' standards given the specific use of the property.
Overall, the Energy Star program provides a comprehensive set of energy efficiency benchmarks that enable consumers to make wise purchasing decisions, and provides companies, builders, and homeowners with an easy-to-understand means of reducing their energy consumption and energy bills.