The federal Energy Star program is a voluntary energy conservation program, and it’s been phenomenally successful: since 1992, it’s saved businesses, homeowners, and other entities a combined $362 billion on utility bills. Installing Energy Star-certified appliances in your home can net you some of these benefits, but what is it that gets an appliance certified?
There are a number of key guiding principles the EPA uses:
- The appliance must fall into a category with a nationwide potential for energy savings. These include common, energy-expensive items such as air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, chest freezers, washers and driers, air cleaners, lighting, and many others.
- Energy Star-certified products can’t save money by cutting essential features. If a feature is expected by the product’s market, it must be available (within reason) in the certified appliance. In addition, the energy savings cannot be created by reducing performance.
- If the certified appliance costs more than a conventional version of the same appliance, the consumer must be able to recoup the extra expense through ongoing savings in their energy bill.
- The energy savings of a certified appliance can’t come down to rare or proprietary technology: the technology much be broadly available, to more than one manufacturer.
- Energy savings and appliance performance must be verifiable through testing.
- Certification and labeling would effectively distinguish the appliance from other options on the market, and be visible to consumers considering a purchase.
What distinguishes an Energy Star-certified product from the conventional ones to which it’s compared? Generally, if more than 50 percent of the products on the market have an Energy Star certification, the EPA will revise its guidelines. Otherwise, it references the Federal minimum efficiency standards to determine what offers conventional energy use, and what’s worthy of a certification.
By using products which have been Energy Star certified, you can be part of a nationwide movement toward greater energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and reduced environmental impact! To learn more about the options available for your Coastal Bend home, contact CCAC today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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