Have you ever noticed the blue Energy Star label on some HVAC equipment and other home appliances and upgrades? That little label could make a big difference in how much you spend on utility bills each month. Learn what the Energy Star program is and how it works.
What Is Energy Star?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started this program in 1992 with the goal of promoting energy conservation and making consumers aware of which electronics and appliances are more efficient. The program originally certified energy-efficient computers, but now more than 50 product categories can meet certain requirements and qualify for the Energy Star logo.
What Does It Take to Earn the Energy Star Label?
The EPA establishes product specifications for each category that appliances must meet or exceed in order to qualify. A set of guiding principles dictates the guidelines for each category:
- The product must contribute significant energy savings compared to baseline models.
- Features and performance must meet or exceed customer expectations.
- Any additional cost required upfront must be recouped through energy savings within a reasonable time period.
- The technology enabling advanced energy efficiency must be widely available from multiple manufacturers.
- Specific energy consumption must be measured and verified.
When Are Energy Star Guidelines Revised?
A lot has changed since the program started in 1992. In that time, the EPA has had to make calculated changes to Energy Star requirements. The following circumstances spurred change:
- Half or more of the products in a single category qualified for the Energy Star.
- The federal government changed minimum efficiency standards.
- Advances in technology made greater efficiency possible.
- Test procedure issues resulted in false expectations.
- Equipment suffered performance or quality issues and needed to be reevaluated.
The cost of innovation is often passed on to the buyer, but the extra investment required to purchase an Energy Star-rated appliance results in money-saving energy efficiency. By choosing Energy Star-qualified products, Americans save about $6 billion in energy costs every year through conserving enough energy to power 10 million homes.
For more information about the Energy Star logo, please contact us at Aqua Plumbing & Air, proudly serving the Sarasota and Bradenton area since 1974.
Written by John Miller
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