Walk into any home appliance store and you are immediately bombarded with information about why a product is superior to it's competitor. "This refrigerator can hold 8 sheet size cakes at once!" "This washing machine’s spin cycle is so fast you will never spend hours changing loads again!" You see brands like SubZero (tres chic) and Samsung (don’t they make cell phones?), then you see a blue star with the words “Energy Star” and you think to yourself, "is that like getting a gold star for being the best refrigerator ever?"
The answer to your question is yes! An Energy Star certified appliance is very much so like getting a gold star in elementary school. Since 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy have worked together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy. Energy Star is designed to promote energy-saving innovations by providing consumers with objective information about products. The voluntary program started out as a way to cut down the energy drain coming from computers and printers, now it covers more than 50 products.
So what does a product need to earn this coveted titled? First, the product energy consumption and performance has to be measured and verified with testing to determine whether it will contribute significant energy savings nationwide. To qualify, the product must still deliver the features and performances demanded by consumeres while increasing energy efficiency.
One of the most notable qualifications to be deemed an “Energy Star” product is that if the product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, the purchaser must be able to recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time. All certified products’ energy consumption and performance has to be measured and verified with testing in order to demonstrate that it will indeed save the consumer money and help reduce a carbon footprint.
Written By Caroline Egan