Another look at ENERGY STAR

When it comes to consumer technology, innovation not only can mean more and better features, it can also mean more efficient energy use designed to save money. That’s been the goal of the government-backed ENERGY STAR program since 1992.

“When it comes to heating and cooling costs, savings are driven by local climate conditions,” said Maureen McNamara, a utility partnership manager with the ENERGY STAR program. “That’s why we’re constantly looking at products in the marketplace to determine which ones best meet consumer needs.”

That means many products that now carry the ENERGY STAR label are much more efficient than similar devices were a decade ago.

Replacing older heating and cooling equipment with a properly sized and installed ENERGY STAR-certified heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can save the average consumer about $160 per year on utility costs.

ENERGY STAR-rated smart thermostats can add another 8 percent to your annual savings, and a heat pump water heater rated under the program can potentially shave $330 from annual utility costs.

“Consumers need to consider two price tags: the price to buy a product and the price to operate it,” said McNamara.

With consumers taking a more active role in controlling their energy costs, ENERGY STAR has added more online tools and provides useful information on various categories of appliances, home entertainment and communication devices. Visit and click the “save at home” tab for more information about ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and electronics.

Source: Derrill Holly, NRECA