Energy Star: What Is It And Why Should I Care?

Energy Star is a government-backed organization that issues ratings on energy efficiency. Energy Star was created to help consumerS find energy-efficient products so they can save on their utility bills. Energy Star products can be identified by a symbol on packaging shown on the right.energy star

Why Are Some Products Rated And Others Are Not?

Products must earn the Energy Star label by conforming to energy efficient requirements established by Energy Star specifications. Some of the requirements are listed below:

  • Product categories must offer significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Features and performance cannot be compromised in favor of increased energy efficiency.
  • If the products costs more than non-energy efficient counterparts, consumers must be able to recover the extra cost in a reasonable time through energy savings.
  • Energy efficiency must be based on non-proprietary technologies.

Which Products Should Be Replaced With Energy Star Alternatives?

Refrigerators are often one of the best appliances to replace to save on your utility bills. The older your refrigerator, the more you will save. There is a convenient savings calculator here. Appliances are a great choice to replace since they often compose a great amount of your energy bill.

Another important category to look at is your lights and ceiling fans. You can already save money by using ceiling fans, but you can save even more by purchasing an energy efficient model. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs is a good idea, but you can save even more money if you install Energy Star light fixtures inside and outside of your home.

How Much Can I Really Save?

First you should look at your last electric bill to see how much you pay for electricity. You can also check here for state averages. You will recover your costs much faster in some states. 35-40% of the an average home’s electric bill goes toward lighting alone. If you electric bill was $200, that is $70-$80 a month for lighting.┬áLet’s assume you switch from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs which use about 1/5 as much electricity. You would save between $14 and $16 a month. If you installed Energy Star light fixtures in addition to LED bulbs you could save significantly more.

Next week we will have a full list of items you can replace with Energy Star products to save money in your home.

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