Getting to Know Energy Star

If you’ve shopped for a fridge or other large appliance in the last twenty years, you’ve probably seen the ENERGY STAR label.

ENERGY STAR cell-phone charger
It’s a fairly trustworthy label! Here’s what it means:

This post is part of our Explaining Eco-Logos series. Click to view the whole series.

ENERGY STAR is a program launched under the Clinton Administration in 1992. You’ll find it on computers, air conditioners, refrigerators, TVs, cell-phone chargers, and more. Recently, Energy Star started certifying new homes.

There’s a different standard that applies for each type of appliance. But generally it means that the product is at least 20% more efficient with electricity than products without the label. And for consumers, that’s a good thing – we’re saving money, and we’re helping drive the whole market to produce more efficient stuff.

Now, is it automatically a license to leave your appliances on all day, resting on your do-gooder laurels? No, of course not. But if you’re buying a big appliance, look for ENERGY STAR. It’s a good way to make a small impact to reduce energy use.

Photo credit: Handolio, via flickr.

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