The EPA Energy Star label first began appearing on a few computer monitors back in 1992. Today the Energy Star -- a certification of money-saving energy efficiency and earth-saving environmental "greenness" -- can be found on over 50 different kinds of consumer products, including new homes and office buildings.
I know that Star!
One of the most widely accepted programs ever launched by the federal government, over 68 percent of American households were aware of the Energy Star label, according to the results of an EPA nationwide survey (.pdf) conducted in April 2007. In many areas where Energy Star is used by businesses to promote energy efficiency to their customers, public awareness of Energy Star is even greater, averaging 76 percent.
"We are thrilled that awareness of Energy Star continues to grow," said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation in a press release. "More than ever, Americans are making a clear choice to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
Additional results from the EPA's survey showed that:
- More than 60 percent of households reported being favorably influenced by the Energy Star label;
- More than 30 percent of U.S. households knowingly purchased an Energy Star qualifying product or appliance in the past year; and
- More than 70 percent of these households reported they are likely to recommend Energy Star products to their friends, with 29 percent of households reporting they are "extremely likely" to recommend Energy Star.
Saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
EPA started the Energy Star, product rating program in 1992 as a voluntary, government-marketplace partnership with the goals of helping consumers save money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Then as now, shoppers can be assured that products displaying the EPA Energy Star will use less energy annually and be easier on the environment than similar non-Star rated products. In 2006 alone, reports the EPA, Energy Star buyers saved about $14 billion on their energy bills. In addition, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the use of Energy Star products during 2006 was equivalent to taking 25 million fossil-fuel powered vehicles off the road.