Energy Star: A Leading Label in Voluntary Energy Conservation

EmmamHowe

Marketing/Green Policy Development
Nov 07, 2016
Green Building Service Provider - Energy Star: A Leading Label in Voluntary Energy Conservation

Long popular, Energy Star has increasingly become a top symbol for energy conservation and going green, helping save families and businesses $300 billion on utility bills while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions by two billion metric tons. Energy Star not only promotes energy efficient household appliances like light bulbs, ovens, and refrigerators, but the labeling program also focuses on helping residents and businesses “go green.” Did you know that Energy Star addresses electronic devices such as laptops, and even entire houses? The label has been helping to identify top performing, cost-effective products, homes, and buildings across the US ever since 1992.

The Energy Star program was initially enacted as a part of the U.S. strategy to address global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was first cited in President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 Climate Action Plan, and thereafter in the Clinton Administration’s 1994 and 1997 Climate Action Plans. Both administrations advocated the Energy Star program to create incentives for the private industry, nudging them to voluntarily undertake emission reduction initiatives. These incentives have been used to foster market choices in order to increase the US’s overall energy efficiency. Energy Star has has helped create a greener public-private partnership, and since it’s a voluntary program, American businesses and consumers are the ones driving its success. Energy Star will go down in history as being one of the the most successful voluntary energy conservation movements ever established. 

How does Energy Star Work?

Specific Energy Star product categories include:
- Appliances: clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and room air conditioners
- Heating and cooling: central air conditioners, furnaces and programmable thermostats
- Home envelope: windows, roofing materials and insulation
- Home electronics: televisions, VCRs, DVD players and home audio systems
- Office equipment: computers, monitors, photocopiers, notebook computers and printers
- Lighting: fixtures and bulbs
- ­Commercial products: exit signs, vending machines and water coolers (see sidebar)

Home Performance with Energy Star:

- The Home Performance with Energy Star program combines the residential energy use research of the Department of Energy with Energy Star’s outreach capabilities to promote energy-efficient home retrofits
Energy Star certified new homes are designed to deliver energy efficiency savings of up to 30% compared with that of typical new homes
- A new home that has earned the Energy Star label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Included in the home inspection/analysis: 
- Effective insulation
- High-performance windows
- Tight construction and ducts
- Efficient heating and cooling equipment
- Lighting and appliances

Energy Star’s Commercial Building Score:

- The goal of Energy Star’s Commercial Building Energy Asset Score is to develop a commercial building energy asset rating program, allowing building owners, managers, and operators to more accurately assess building energy performance
- To be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification, a building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, indicating that it performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide
- Through Portfolio Manager, EPA delivers 1 – 100 Energy Star scores for many types of buildings
- The Energy Star score accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other important considerations

The Energy Star program functions for many segments by lowering the cost of production for energy-efficient goods to make them more affordable and cost-effective. The Energy Star label makes a product more attractive to consumers, serving as an incentive for manufacturers to become more energy-efficient. Thus, “Energy Star is basically an economics lesson for environmentalists.” Energy Star also helps everyone who buys a more efficient appliance save money through lower energy consumption. So there is a savings and environmental contribution even if someone is not particularly eager to go green. In this sense, the program cr

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EmmamHowe // Marketing/Green Policy Development

I am highly motivated college student with strong leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills. I am very interested in political science, economics, and language and cultural studies, and I intend on pursuing each of these throughout my college experience. My goal is to finish out my undergraduate years with degrees in both international studies and economics with a minor in political science. I hope to work my way up through state government and then onto the national government to promote an environmental economic agenda that will bring the US closer to reaching its climate goals.

 
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01 - of - 01 Comments

The Alliance to Save Energy has a petition everyone can sign in support of the EPA's EnergyStar program.

It can be difficult to sign some petitions at times due to not agreeing with all the positions or the extreme language that is often used, but this is very reasonable and I encourage you to read it and sign if you can support the statement.

From the petition:

"Eliminating ENERGY STAR would be a devastating setback for energy efficiency. With more than 18,000 private and public participants, it is the most successful public-private partnership in the world. It has cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2.7 billion metric tons since its inception in 1992 while saving American consumers $430 billion on utility bills.

Please take just a few minutes to complete the form below and submit a letter to your Congressional delegation in support of ENERGY STAR.

As an energy efficiency advocate, you know that efficiency is the single best tool we have for reducing carbon emissions and other pollution. There has never been a more important time to get involved and help advance this important mission."


To sign the petition: http://www.ase.org/advocacy/energy-star-chopping-block

By Allison Friedman I Mar 19, 2017