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What is Energy Star?

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Question: What is Energy Star?
What does the Energy Star symbol mean, and what makes the appliances that have this symbol more efficient than other appliances?
Answer: Energy Star ® is a program that was first developed in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a method to identify and promote products that are energy efficient.

Products carrying this symbol provide a way for businesses and consumers to save money, while at the same time, protect our environment. Since its initial onset, the government has partnered with other industry members, to promote and expand the scope of this project to include, not only major appliances, but also new homes and buildings.

There have also been many major advances in technologies, leading to such energy savers as LCD lighting and 'stand-by' product features. Research and development is still on-going, as manufacturers strive to deliver low cost energy products.

A major appliance which sports the Energy Star® label, is not necessarily a better product than a comparable model, but in order to be rated Energy Star, it must meet very strict energy efficiency guidelines as set out by that program.

When purchasing appliances, watch for the Energy Star rating and energy guides. An appliance labeled 'Energy Efficient' may be low energy rated, but may not meet the standards to be an Energy Star product.

Energy guide ratings for appliances will show their typical usage in kWhs per year - the lower the energy number, the more cost efficient it is to run.

Appliances carrying the Energy Star ® rating typically are 10 to 20% more energy efficient than non-rated models. This means, you'll not only save money, but help your environment as well.

There is another rating that consumers should pay attention to. The CEE tier I, II or III rating shown on new washers, dishwashers, refrigerators or air conditioners means that the appliance is even more efficient. While the CEE rating does not replace an Energy Star rating, it complements it and denotes an appliance that is super efficient.

Check out the links below for more information about the Energy Star Program, and for other Energy Saving Tips.

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