Are you familiar with Energy Star? You should be, considering Energy Star has a brand awareness of 87%!
A voluntary program operated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy Star is intended to help consumers and businesses save on energy costs by selecting energy efficient products. Only products that meet certain energy-saving standards bear the easy-to-identify blue Energy Star label. The idea behind energy conservation in the United States began in 1975, when Congress passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. EPA took it a step further in 1992 by establishing the Energy Star program
The program was designed to entice manufacturers to produce computers and monitors that consumed less energy when the big tech boom was just beginning. A few years later, the program was expanded to cover a wider range of products, including air conditioning units, heating systems, and more.
As Energy Star increased in popularity and consumer awareness grew, many manufacturers started following energy-efficient guidelines because the consumers were opting for Energy Star products. In 2006, EPA estimated that the Energy Star program saved approximately $12 billion in energy costs and more than 40,000 products were part of the program. Consumers found it easy to identify Energy Star products because of the blue logo. These products also often feature a yellow Energy Guide tag that shows energy consumption compared to similar products.
Energy Star product categories include commercial products, lighting, home electronics, office equipment, home envelope (windows, roofing, insulation, etc.), appliances, and heating and cooling. EPA qualifies a product only if it will save a minimum of 15%, and for many products the savings are double or triple that, or even more.
How does a product earn the Energy Star label? All Energy Star products must be independently tested to ensure they meet the standards set by EPA, and EPA requires that all laboratories performing the tests required for Energy Star qualification be accredited. A third-party accreditor such as ANAB evaluates laboratory operations, which must meet the requirements of ISO 17025 accreditation to perform Energy Star product testing. The accreditation process adds an important level of oversight and helps ensure consumers can make the best decisions when looking for energy-efficient products.