Energy StarAppliances and other products have Energy Star rating labels. Using these Energy Star rated products saves energy, reduces our costs, and helps to fight against climate change and sustain our planet’s resources. What does the Energy Star rating really mean?

The Energy Star rating system is a government backed method of rating the energy efficiency of a product within its product category. The Energy Star label is earned by how well a product meets the following guidelines:

  • The product must contribute significant energy savings while still providing the performance and features desired by consumers.
  • If the energy efficient product now costs more to produce and these costs are passed on to the consumer, the purchaser must be able to recover the increased cost through lower utility bill savings within a reasonable time period.
  • The energy savings and product performance is measured and verified by testing.
  • The Energy Star label will clearly differentiate products for consumers.

Energy GuideAfter testing, manufacturers print the results on yellow Energy Guide labels which are displayed on the product. They are particularly useful on appliances. The label shows an estimate of the amount on energy it uses and compares that to similar products. It also displays an approximation of annual operating costs.

Want to know what the ratings are before shopping online or in the stores? Check the Energy Star Product List. Products are grouped by category such as Appliances, Heating & Cooling, Computers & Electronics. As an example, under Appliances, click on Clothes Washers. This page provides lots of information on selecting a new washer. I particularly like the Buying Guidelines section which tells you what to look for. I find their are always new features to consider when upgrading my appliances.

Here’s a question and response from the FAQ section.

My new ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer runs much longer than my old clothes washer. How is that saving energy?

Though it seems counter-intuitive, the reason that today’s clothes washers have longer cycle times is because they are more energy efficient. Older clothes washers use larger amounts of hot water, and larger amounts of water overall. Today’s clothes washers use smaller amounts, saving both energy and water. However, longer cycle times are often needed to clean the clothes effectively.

Over on the right is a section titled Clothes Washers Resources. Here, both Excel and PDF versions of the list of qualified Energy Star washers are available. There is a search function available for finding a model, finding a store, recycling your old machine and a savings calculator. There is also a link to the Most Efficient washers. This shows images of the washers, a description, model numbers, and provides average costs and savings.Get Involved

Now you know what the Energy Star rating means and where to find product rating lists.

Filed under: Going Green