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What is Energy Star?

When shopping for new appliances or electronics, you might see this logo on the box:

Energy Star

But what does the Energy Star certification actually mean?

A little background:  Energy Star was created by the EPA in 1992.  Since then, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union also have the Energy Star certification.  The EPA now estimates that it saved about $19 billion in energy costs in 2008 alone due to Energy Star products AND avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 29 million cars. WOW!  That is impressive! 

From computers to refrigerators, you can get all sorts of Energy Star electronics.   An Energy Star product will also help keep your electric bills down.  When we replaced our old fridge that was already in the house we bought (the fridge wasn't quite of the avocado green era, but the handles did have fake wood paneling!) our electric bill went down significantly on a monthly basis. 

Usually, when you shop for an Energy Star product, they'll have one of those yellow tags on it telling you how much money you can save by using an Energy Star product.

What kinds of products can receive Energy Star certification?

Computers: The new specification became effective this month, requiring the use of 80 Plus Bronze Level http://www.80plus.org/ or higher. 

Refrigerators: They need at least 20% savings over the minimum standard.

Dishwashers: They need at least 41% savings over the minimum standard.

Air Conditioners: Room AC units must be at least 10% more energy efficient than the minimum standard.

Televisions: They need to use 30% less energy than average TVs.

Houses: Yes, that's right!  For new homes, you can actually get an Energy Star certification!  Learn more. In 2008, Energy Star homes were nearly 17% of the Market Share!!

Things like servers, furnaces, LEDs, and more can also be Energy Star certified.  You can find out all about Energy Star here: EnergyStar.gov.

If you have Energy Star products, you may even be elligible for a tax credit!

So, when it's time to replace YOUR fridge with the fake wood paneling, check out a fridge with the Energy Star certification!