Written by April Reinhardt (last updated March 9, 2022)
In an effort to promote and identify energy-efficient computers, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Energy Star program in 1992. Since then, the program has broadened and gives rating labels for over 40,000 products, including residential heating and cooling systems, major appliances, lighting, office equipment, home electronics, and even housing and office buildings.
Not all appliances labeled 'energy efficient' meet the Energy Star program criteria, however. Although the product might very well use less energy, it isn't qualified with an approved Energy Star label until it meets all of the requirements. In order to sport an Energy Star rating symbol, a manufacturer of the product must meet stringent energy efficiency guidelines set forth by the Energy Star program. So, what does all of this mean for the consumer? It means that when you buy a major appliance with a better energy rating, not only will you save money on energy costs when you use it, you will also help the environment since the appliance will emit less greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some common appliances a homeowner might buy, and why you might want to buy a model with an Energy Star rating:
The fine print of an Energy Star label shows the typical energy usage in kilowatt usage per year. The lower the number, the more efficient the appliance is to operate.
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