When you’re shopping for a new appliance for your home, you may notice the Energy Star sticker on appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. Do you really know what an Energy Star appliance is, though? How do you know if it’s right for you? Some people may be scared away from an Energy Star product because of the higher-than-normal price tag. What these devices save you in your utility bills, though, may be well worth it.
History of Energy Star
In 1992, the Energy Star standard was formed. It was created by both the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy. The two U.S. departments wanted to promote products and appliances that were energy efficient. Since the formation of Energy Star, not only has the program saved Americans millions of dollars, but they’ve also seriously decreased energy consumption and helped to protect the environment.
Process of Certifying Products
Not any old appliance can be Energy Star certified. First, the appliance has to go through a lot of testing for technicians to measure how much energy the appliance uses. Then, the technicians make recommendations that will help the appliance be even more energy-efficient while still being affordable for consumers. Tweaks are made to the product, and then testing resumes until the product is finalized. In order for a product to be certified, it has to meet Energy Star requirements.
Energy Star Requirements and Ratings
The Energy Star rating system for efficiency is based on how much energy a product consumes. Each type of appliance has to meet its own specific requirements. For example, in order to be certified by Energy Star, dishwashers have to use 41% less energy than other dishwashers that aren’t deemed energy-efficient. Washing machines have to use 20% less energy than non-efficient models.
Cost of Energy Star Appliances
Since Energy Star appliances have been tested and worked on to be as energy-efficient as possible, the cost for these products is generally higher than non-certified appliances. However, consumers end up saving much more money in the long run by purchasing an Energy Star product. Simply comparing the different in your utility bill to the cost for the appliance will show you how quickly you’ll see a return on your investment.
Types of Products
There are many types of Energy Star products, and not all of them are household appliances. The very first products to be certified by Energy Star were computers. In 1995, heating and cooling appliances started to become certified as well. Also, an entire home can even be certified by Energy Star. Today, over 40,000 products are Energy Star certified, from office equipment and electronics to household appliances. Many of these products also come with rebates, with helps encourage consumers to purchase Energy Star items by lowering their final price.
Benefits of Energy Star Products
Energy Star products save consumers money on their electric bills while limiting how much energy is consumed on a regular basis. In 2010, homes and businesses were estimated to have saved $18 billion thanks to Energy Star products. The amount of greenhouse gases that were not emitted was the equivalent of the amount of emissions that would be put out by 33 million cars.
Pat Eastman is a freelance technology blogger. He contributed this post on behalf of Batteryplex, who offer a comprehensive line of Universal Battery and energy saving products.