Energy Star is a government and industry partnership that makes it easier for businesses and consumers to save money and protect the environment. In 1992, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Energy Star program as a voluntary labeling program that would identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA collaborated with the U. S. Department of Energy in 1996 to expand to additional areas such as new homes, residential heating and cooling equipment, lighting, and consumer electronics. Energy Star labeled products use less energy, save money on utility bills, and protect the environment. The labels not only inform but also serve as prompts that remind the consumer to be energy efficient. The Energy Star website provides a list of products available with their label and a store locator is provided to help consumers find these products. In addition to labeling products, the Energy Star program also offers voluntary partnerships that promote energy efficiency, reduce air pollution, and save money for businesses.
It has been estimated that the Energy Star program saves more than one billion dollars in energy costs each year in the U.S. The EPA claims that if all consumers, businesses, and organizations in the U.S. made energy efficient decisions through product choices and building improvements, over the next decade there would be more than a $200 billion reduction in the national average annual energy bill. This would also mean a huge reduction in air pollution. As the Energy Star label exclaims, "Money isn't all you're saving."
Prepared by, Pamela Doyle and Jennifer Parker