What is Energy Star and Why Does it Matter?

What is Energy Star and Why Does it Matter?Choosing appliances that have the ENERGY STAR label is an easy way to identify models that are energy efficient. Doing so is great for lowering your energy costs and for reducing greenhouse gases in the environment.


Energy Star and the Energy Star label were created as part of the federal Clean Air Act in 1992. The voluntary program is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It helps consumers save money and reduce negative environmental impacts by choosing products with the greatest efficiency. The overall goal is to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security and reduce pollution.

What does the ENERGY STAR label mean?

The Energy Star label effectively identifies the Energy Star rating on appliances and other products that participate in the program, in order to easily differentiate them for consumers. The ratings are product specific and follow guidelines that adhere to a number of principles set forth by the EPA.

How does a product earn the ENERGY STAR label?

Products must meet the energy efficiency requirements in accordance with theses Energy Star product guidelines:

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the certified 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.

What products can earn the ENERGY STAR label?

In order to receive the Energy Star label, a product must meet the same or better standards than typical products and use less energy. Standards are product specific. Some examples include:

  • Qualified refrigerators are at least 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard.
  • Qualified TVs consume 3 watts or less when switched off, compared to a standard TV, which consumes almost 6 watts on average.
  • Office equipment that qualifies automatically enters a low-power “sleep” mode after a period of inactivity.
  • Qualified light bulbs (CFLs) use two-thirds less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and must meet additional operating and reliability guidelines.
  • Qualified furnaces offer a rating of 90% AFUE or greater, which is about 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard.

How does the ENERGY STAR program impact the environment?

Energy Star contributes to improved environmental quality and public health by making it easy for consumers to choose energy efficient products and by encouraging manufacturers to qualify for the designation. The program helps state and local governments reduce the costs of meeting their air quality requirements and goals.

Talk to the HVAC professionals at ABE Heating and Cooling about ENERGY STAR equipment and how to choose the right system for your home. We are located in Brighton and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.