What is an Energy Star Rating?

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 19, 2016)

2

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:

  • Refrigerators. All Energy Star qualified refrigerators are at least twenty percent more energy efficient than those not labeled with an Energy Star. They are designed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted over the course of a lifetime. They are also less expensive to operate. Annual operating expenses for a refrigerator purchased before 1993 are estimated at $90, where a model currently with an Energy Star rating operates at about $56 annually.
  • Clothes washers. All Energy Star qualified washing machines provide over forty percent water savings and twenty-five percent energy savings compared to non-qualified, conventional, top-load washing machines. Some use as little as sixteen gallons of water to wash a load of clothes, compared with the forty gallons of water used in older models.
  • Dishwashers. All Energy Star dishwashers must be at least forty-one percent more energy efficient than the current standard, and saves an average of $160 over the life of the product. They also can conserve about four hundred gallons of water annually.

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.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 3?

2013-05-10 08:31:47

awyatt

Sorry about that, Mark. It was a glitch in the publishing system. The article is corrected now.

-Allen


2013-05-10 08:22:39

Mark

A pretty poor explanation of what an Energy Star Rating is...

You should rename this article "Tips on how to install an insulated window".


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