Definition of Energy Star

What Is the Energy Star rating and logo?

You’ve likely seen the distinctive blue ENERY STAR logo on electronics and appliances as you’ve shopped, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What is ENERGY STAR?” and what does it stand for? Let’s discover the basics.

Started originally in 1992 in the US as a joint program between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE), its aim was to provide consumers an easy way to identify energy efficient products. Though the program has grown and expanded considerably since it was first founded, the main purpose of ENERGY STAR remains the same today.

Devices such as electronics and appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR logo are tested to use 20% to 30% less energy than standards set out by the federal government, making them more cost-effective over their life span. Where applicable, ENERGY STAR products also save water, such as with washing machines and dishwashers, save paper, such as with photocopiers and printers, and other natural resources. Today, ENERGY STAR has expanded the program to include:

  • Major appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves
  • Small appliances including dehumidifiers and toaster ovens
  • Residential heating and cooling equipment
  • Office electronics such as copiers, printers, fax machines, and reproduction machines
  • Servers for large-scale IT operations
  • Consumer electronics like cordless phones, battery chargers, cell phones, and external power adaptors
  • Home electronics, including computers, monitors, laptops, VCRs, DVD players, televisions, game systems, and speaker systems
  • Lighting including both light fixtures and light bulbs
  • Homes and commercial buildings as well as industrial facilities

Estimated energy savings for 2009 from ENERGY STAR products and buildings are close to $17 billion in the US alone.

Today, the ENERGY STAR logo is recognized in many countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union.

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