More and more, particularly in the case of new home construction, we hear the term ENERGY STAR. However, what is it? What does it mean, precisely? Let’s take an in-depth look at this eco-friendly term, what it is, and its significance in today’s world.
What Is ENERGY STAR?
Technically, the term refers to an EPA run voluntary federal program. It is part of the Clean Air Act and was established in 1992. It is meant to assist in the learning about and implementing of ways in which people can not only reduce environmental degradation but save money through improved energy efficiency. This program specifies and promotes buildings and products considered to be energy efficient.
Why Was ENERGY STAR Formed?
When referring to pollution, the formation of greenhouse gases is one of the primary sources. Energy use in industry, buildings, and homes is responsible for some two-thirds of the GHG (greenhouse gas) emitted in the United States. Through the use of the ENERGY STAR rating system, those greenhouse gases will be lowered.
What Are the Results of The Energy Star Program?
However, does it work?
Yes. Over the years, GHG has been significantly reduced thanks, in large part, to this innovative program. Additionally, billions of dollars in energy costs have been saved, as well.
Where Did All of This Begin?
One of the first devices to be ENERGY STAR rated were computers. There are two ways to reduce energy consumption in a computer – modulate energy consumption through power management software and through components that need less power with which to function. Today, gaming consoles, workstations, laptops, and desktop computers (and more) all are available with ENERGY STAR ratings.
What Role Does Energy Star Play in New Home Construction?
Commercial Businesses and Homes
The ENERGY STAR label has its place in businesses, existing homes, and new homes. Right from the beginning of the build, ENERGY STAR rated new dwellings have followed specific criteria involving energy efficient, energy saving standards. To achieve an Energy Star rating, the house must meet strict federal requirements. To qualify for this certification, verification must be made through testing and inspections. When compared to homes built without this certification, these new homes typically use up to 30% less energy.
Already existing homes can, of course, be converted through the use of more modern, energy-saving appliances, windows, insulation, etc. As an example, depending on the year of a specific apparatus, washing machines and dishwashers could cost a homeowner some $300 less in energy costs (on an annual basis) by switching to an ENERGY STAR rated model.
Even businesses can adapt to more energy efficient computers, equipment, buildings, etc.
How Can You Help?
It is a personal choice. The implications of such go far beyond the walls of your business or your home. However, just so you know, if every United States purchased appliance this year received the ENERGY STAR rating, this is what it would mean:
• Per year, over 25 billion gallons of water would be saved
• In annual energy costs, $580 million would be saved
• Approximately 3 billion kWh/yr. of electricity would be saved
• GHG emissions equaling that of roughly 420,000 cars could be prevented
The choice should be easy.
For those wanting to shrink their carbon footprint and lower energy costs, one of the best ways to incorporate both goals into one quick and easy step is through the use of ENERGY STAR products. Through this program, we can all help reduce pollution, improve energy security, and lessen overall energy consumption.
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