ENERGY STAR®: A voluntary, government-backed labeling program that promotes energy-efficient consumer products and homes. Developed in 1992, ENERGY STAR helps businesses and consumers easily identify energy-efficient homes, buildings and products such as major appliances, office-equipment, lighting and home electronics. (Yudelson)
Typically ENERGY STAR certified products use 20%-30% less energy than is mandated by federal standards.
Reviewed by the EPA, products that meet energy requirements based on the following principles are given the ENERGY STAR rating:
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide
- Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency
- If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers
Every few years, the selection criteria are updated as products, performance requirements and federal standards change.