What It Means When Appliances are Energy Star Certified
“Energy Star Certified”: A term you’ve probably come across while shopping for appliances. But what does it actually mean? And how will it affect your household when you bring a new appliance home?
In short, it’s a mark of energy efficiency that can be earned by buildings, commercial plants, and yes, appliances. Televisions, dishwashers, refrigerators, and even coffee makers can get certified for Energy Star, but they’re required to pass a rigorous set of qualifications before they get the stamp of approval. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that every Energy Star product be certified by approved laboratories and certification groups, and continue to prove their energy efficiency. The EPA revises their requirements regularly, to keep companies striving for better standards of efficiency and offering more options to energy-minded consumers.
Every type of appliance has a separate set of standards it has to meet—those standards are all listed on Energy Star’s website—but the basic guidelines include high standards of function and performance as well as significant contributions to energy savings across the country. For example, Energy Star certified light bulbs use two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, qualified televisions consume about half the energy of standard TVs when switched off, and Starred dishwashers include high-tech sensors to minimize water waste.
Using Energy Star appliances at home has been shown to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption across the country. But besides being an environmentally friendly choice, owning Energy Star appliances can also make your life easier. Certified appliances can cut way down on your energy costs. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Energy Star appliances can help reduce your household’s energy usage by 10 to 50 percent. No household is exactly the same, but some estimates say Energy Star appliances have saved American homeowners somewhere around $200 billion. That comes out to about $2,000 per household.
Energy Star products can also make your day-to-day life more convenient. More efficient energy use often translates to better product performance. Certified washers have been shown to effectively wash more clothes in a single load, which means you’ll have to do fewer loads of laundry. Energy Star dryers dry clothes faster than most standard models, and their advanced sensor technology prevents clothes from staying in the dryer too long, which can save your clothes from unnecessary wear and tear. Because Energy Star appliances use the latest technology to improve efficiency and meet rigorous EPA standards, they often include high-tech conveniences you can’t easily find in other products. Many Energy Starred air conditioning units have smart controls, allowing you to turn the system on and off remotely using a smartphone or computer.
With options for Energy Starred appliances growing every day, there’s no reason not to get a certified appliance next time you’re revamping your kitchen. These appliances might have a slightly steeper price tag than other devices, but with all the money you’ll save on energy costs, you can make the money back in no time.