In an effort to promote energy conservation, the Environmental Protection Agency started the Energy Star program in 1992.

The Energy Star program helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.

Orignally the program only focused on the energy drain from computers, but over the years has grown to over 50 product categories.

The program has evolved, of course, but the purpose remains the same: to conserve energy through innovations in technology.

Nationwide, utilities invested $7.7 billion in energy efficiency programs in 2015. With hundreds of disparate utilities scattered around the country, EPA plays a critical unifying role to guide their energy efficiency programs. EPA enables utilities to leverage ENERGY STAR as a common national platform, avoiding the creation of hundreds of independent utility programs across the nation, which could fragment the market and stall innovation. More than 700 utilities, state and local governments, and nonprofits leverage ENERGY STAR in their efficiency programs, reaching roughly 95% of households in all 50 states. EnergyStar.gov

Energy Star Appliances

As a consumer you can purchase Energy Star efficent appliances, simply look for the Energy Star logo.

Some states will give a rebate if you replace old products with new Energy Star certified products.

If you're looking to both save money and help the enviroment you may want to replace non-efficent items first such as:

  • Appliances: clothes washers / dryer, dishwashers, refrigerators
  • 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

How Can Energy Star Save Me Money?

When buying a new appliance it's common to only think about the intial cost.

What can actually cost consumers even more money is how much energy the appliances uses per year.

Purchasing an Energy Star efficient appliance, even if the intial cost is more, may save a consumer hundreds or even thousands in energy costs over the life-time of the appliance.

"You have to consider how much it costs to run your appliances, not just how much they cost," says Dave Borowski, a spokesperson for Direct Energy.

The next time you're shopping for a new appliance, be sure to use the yellow tagged EnergyGuide if avaliable.

The EnergyGuide will tell you how much energy an appliances uses and makes it easier to compare the energy usage of similar models.

More energy efficient appliances will lower your utility bill by costing less to run.

Not only will you save money, but using less energy is good for the environment.

Energy guide ratings for appliances will show their typical usage in kWhs per year — the lower the energy number, the more cost efficient it is to run, says Borowski. If you're purchasing appliances, be sure to look for the Energy Star rating and energy guides. An appliance labeled 'Energy Efficient' may be low energy rated, but may not meet the standards to be an Energy Star product.