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Energy Star® was formed in 1992 as a joint venture between the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Energy. Their goal was to create a way to promote energy efficient products. Since then, they have saved United States consumers millions of dollars, and have helped to greatly reduce energy consumption.
Before a product can be certified by Energy Star®, it must first go through a rigorous testing phase. Technicians measure the amount of energy a product requires. Then they make suggestions on how to make the product require less energy while still being cost effective for the customer. If the manufacturer can meet the minimum requirements set by Energy Star®, they can advertise their product as being an Energy Star® product.
Energy Star®’s energy efficient rating system is based on the average amount of energy consumed by a type of product. For example, an Energy Star® dishwasher needs to use 41% less energy than average non-energy efficient models. A washing machine needs to use 20% less. Energy Star® products usually cost a little more than regular products, but they save consumers money on their electric bills.
There are a wide variety of available Energy Star® products. Computer products were the first to be certified by Energy Star®. Heating and cooling appliances were added in 1995. New homes could also be certified by Energy Star at that time. Since then, Energy Star® has certified home appliances, office equipment, electronics, and more. As of 2006, there were more than 40,000 Energy Star® products available. There are rebates, through both stores and through government programs, to encourage consumers to purchase Energy Star® certified products.
Energy Star® is making a huge difference, in both the consumption of energy in the United States and in the cost of electric bills. It is estimated that in 2007 alone, homes and businesses saved over $16 billion US dollars (USD). The avoided greenhouse gases for the same year equaled the emissions put out by twenty seven million cars.
Since 1992, Energy Star® has been encouraging consumers to do their part to protect the world by reducing the amount of energy used. Conserving energy cuts down on the greenhouse gases produced, which slows the rate of the global warming. In a society that is increasingly worried over their effect on the environment, Energy Star® has given consumers a way to do their part in preserving our planet.