What is Energy Star®?
According to Energystar.gov, "Energy Star® is a joint program
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of
Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy
efficient products and practices."
Consumer electronics, refrigerators,
freezers, room and central
air conditioners, clothes
washers, and dishwashers
bearing the Energy Star® logo will all save an average 20-30% more
energy than the government requires. The same products also emit fewer
greenhouse gasses, while maintaining high quality and performance standards.
Why Energy Star®?
Energy Star® products can cut your yearly energy bill by a little
over one third. The average household spends $2,200, or more, annually
on home energy costs. By using Energy Star® qualified appliances and
electronics, it's possible to cut your bill by just over $700.
Using Energy Star® appliances and electronics reduces the amount
of greenhouse gasses emitted. Each year the average household emits twice
the amount of greenhouse gas as a vehicle.
The number of Energy Star®-qualified appliances and electronics is
consistently growing. Currently, there are over 60 categories of products
that meet Energy Star® standards. More than 40,000 products qualify
and the number is growing.
The collective impact of consumers using Energy Star® products is
proof that the more people using Energy Star® products, the smaller
the carbon footprint we will leave. To date, $525,437,738.00 has been
saved, 7,105,638,265 pounds of greenhouse gasses have NOT been released
into the environment, and 4,405,142,038 kilowatt hours of energy have
NOT been used.
How Much am I Spending?
According to energystar.gov, heating and cooling a home uses 46% of the
total energy expended in your home. Heating the water in your home increases
that number by another 15%. Appliances are responsible for 13% of the
energy use in a home and lighting is 12%. Electronics are responsible
for 15% of energy used. Energy Star® appliances and electronics are
available in all of those categories to alleviate the cost and make our
environment a better place.
Where Do I Start?
Take a look at your heating and cooling systems in your home. In a home
they are responsible for the most energy used. First check to see if you
have an Energy Star®-rated furnace and air conditioner. If you already
have them, you are on your way to reducing your costs, if not, you should
consider the savings by replacing them.
Heating and Cooling
Maintaining your heating and cooling systems are essential to reducing
energy costs and reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses your home releases.
Have regular check-ups on your furnace, boiler, and air conditioning
unit. A trained professional will be able to make sure that your heating
and cooling systems are properly sealed and in proper working order.
Change your filters regularly, lubricate moving parts, test system controls,
and check all connections regularly for optimal energy efficiency.
Replacing your old thermostat with one that can be programmed, for different
times of the day; it's a great way to lower energy use and cost. Keep
your thermostat programmed to reduce energy use while you are away at
work for the day and while you are sleeping. While using a programmable
thermostat can be a huge energy saver, there are a few variables which
come into play. What climate do you live in? Do you have pets? How energy
efficient are your windows and doors? Is your heating and cooling system
well-maintained and running at peak performance levels?
Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate both warm and cool air in the
home. Energy Star®-rated ceiling fans are more efficient than traditional
ceiling fan and lighting units; they're capable of saving over $170 over
the life of the fan. During the summer months, utilize a ceiling fan in
conjunction with your air conditioner; it is far more efficient than using
your air conditioner alone. Using your fan and air conditioner enables
you to only need to lower your thermostat by only a few degrees.
Air conditioners are rated by Energy Star® based on their Seasonal
Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER).
To work properly, an air conditioner will need a blower motor, typically
found on a furnace. For an air conditioner to run with maximum energy
efficiency, the furnace must be less than 15 years old and be energy efficient
Room Air Conditioners
Look for a room air conditioner with an Energy Star® rating. If all
air conditioners in use today were Energy Star® rated they would reduce
the amount of greenhouse gasses released by 800 million pounds yearly.
13% of the energy used in an average home, is used by appliances. Replacing
the old non- Energy Star®-qualified appliances in your home is a great
first step to transitioning your old appliances to new more efficient
Washing clothes is an inevitable task done many times a month. Every load
of wash done with a non-Energy Star®-rated washing machine costs more
money and releases more harmful greenhouse gas into the environment than
if done by an Energy Star®-qualified unit. Capacity on the Energy
Star® washing machines is usually larger, water consumption is reduced
by 50%, and energy use is reduced by 30%.
If you live in a household that uses a dishwasher to clean dishes, there
are a few things to keep in mind. First, Energy Star®-rated dishwashers
are 10% more efficient than non- Energy Star® dishwashers. Second,
if you use the dry setting on the dishwasher, try to use the air dry setting
and not heated dry. The air dry setting uses far less energy. Lastly,
if your dishwasher is more than 10 years old, replace it with a newer
Energy Star®-rated model.
Room Air Cleaners
Room air cleaners use a surprising amount of energy. On average, they
use more energy than a refrigerator, if operated continuously over the
course of a year, equivalent to 835 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Lighting products make up 12% of the energy used in a home. Using Energy
Star®-rated light fixtures and bulbs can impact your wallet and the
environment in an astonishing way. If all the homes in America switched
their most used bulbs and light fixtures with Energy Star®-rated products,
energy costs would be reduced by 9 billion dollars annually.
A little known Energy Star®-rated item, light fixtures, can impact
the environment and save money too. Energy Star®-qualifying light
fixtures produce 75% less energy than the typical light fixture.
Changing light bulbs is a hassle; Energy Star®-rated CFL bulbs have
a two-year lifespan, and warranty to back them up. On top of lasting longer
than a traditional light bulb, the CFL bulbs use 75% less energy than
a typical incandescent bulb. The energy savings from just one bulb is
$30 for the life of the bulb.
Holiday or Celebratory Light Strings
Similar to light bulbs, when using an Energy Star®-rated light string,
it will conserve 75% more energy than a traditional string of lights.
That is equivalent to $300 million in savings each year if all Americans
would switch to Energy Star®-rated lights.
equipment, DVD players,
Blu-ray players, digital
converter boxes, battery chargers, power strips, computers,
and virtually all electronics can be purchased with an Energy Star®
rating. Imagine the savings and environmental impact if you switched all
the electronics plugged in, at your home, to those that were energy efficient.
Homes typically have TVs,
alarm clocks, DVD
or Blu-ray players, computers,
printers, and really,
an almost endless amount of electronics. If all the electronics in your
home were Energy Star®-rated it could save more than $200 over the
lives of the products. If all the homes in America did the same it could
save more than 200 billion dollars and over 320 billion pounds of greenhouse
TVs, VCRs, DVD
Players, Blu-ray Players,
and Home Theater Equipment
Televisions with an Energy Star® rating can be up to 30% more effective
than traditional TVs. They use 10% of the energy consumed in a home. That's
10% of your electricity bill. DVD players, TVs, and home theater equipment
release 3 billion pounds of greenhouse gasses each year.
Digital converters are a necessity for some to receive digital cable signals,
but only some are environmentally friendly, bearing the Energy Star®
logo. If all the digital converters were Energy Star®-rated, 90 million
dollars each year could be saved. It would also reduce the amount of greenhouse
gasses equivalent to what 100,000 cars would release.
The energy cost associated with non-Energy Star® battery chargers
is more than $100 million dollars each year. By using an Energy Star®-rated
battery charger you will save 30-35% more energy.
If power strips were all Energy Star® rated they could potentially
save Americans 2 billion dollars each year and reduce greenhouse gasses
by 20 billion pounds.
Desktop and Laptop Computers
By using Energy Star®-qualified computers and laptops the savings
could add up to 2 billion dollars annually and reduce the greenhouse gasses
released equivalent to that of 3 million cars. Computers and laptops that
qualify as Energy Star® products also have power-save settings allowing
for even more energy savings.
Energy Star®-qualified computer imaging equipment can be up to 15%
more efficient than conventional printers and scanners. If all the printers
and scanners met Energy Star® requirements it would save up to 3 million
metric tons of greenhouse gas from being released into the atmosphere.
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