Energy Star is a symbol created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) & the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), & means that a product meets or exceeds efficiency standards set by the federal governement.
Currently 40 categories of products are qualified for Energy Star including:
Clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, ceiling fans, boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, television, dvd & home audio, computers, laptops, printers, programmable thermostats, transformers, compact flourescent light bulbs & fixtures, roof products, windows, doors, & skylights.
Compact, flourescent light bulbs provide bright, warm light but use about 75% less energy than standard (incandescent) lighting. CFLs also produce 75% less heat & last up to 10 times longer. They are available in a variety of shapes & styles, including spirals, mini-spirals, A-lamps, globes, 3-way bulbs, dimmable bulbs, reflectors, & flood lamps.
LED Lights (light emitting diodes) are semiconductors which convert electricity into light. An LED is small, but if you put a lot of them together, they can produce quite a bit of light. LED lighting uses 96% less energy than standard lights. They create less heat & have no glass bulbs to replace or break.
Cold cathode light bulbs are tubular lights that work by passing an electrical current through a gas or vapor, much like neon lighting. They don’t get hot. They are up to 5 times brighter than neon lighting. They last about 50,000 hours.
Clothes washers: Energy Star clothes washers are available in both front & top load models. Compare the Modified Energy Factor (MEF) to measure the amount of electricity used to operate the washer, how much hot water it uses, & the remaining moisture content of the clothes. The higher the MEF, the more efficient the clothes washer.
Room air conditioners: Energy Star room air conditioners use at least 10% less energy than non-Energy Star units. Choose a properly sized unit for the room size to be most efficient.
Refrigerators: Energy Star rated refrigerators use high-efficiency compressors, improved insulation, & more accurate temperature & defrost mechanisms to use less electricity.
Dishwashers: Using a dishwasher uses less hot water than washing dishes by hand, & using an Energy Star dishwasher uses at least 41% less energy than a conventional model.
TV: Energy Star rated TVs use 30% less energy when they are turned off than non-qualified units.
Cordless telephones: Energy Star phones use 1/3 the energy of non-qualified units.
Battery chargers: Conventional battery chargers use 5-20 times more energy than what is stored in the battery! Energy Star battery chargers use 35% less energy than conventional models.