What is Energy Star?

Energy Star (trademarked ENERGY STAR) is a program that promotes energy efficiency. It provides information on the energy consumption of products and devices using different standardized methods. The Energy Star label is found on more than 75 different certified product categories, homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants.

Elements of the Energy Star Program have been adopted in the European Single Market as well as Energy Star Canada, Japan, and Taiwan. In the United States, the Energy Star label is also shown on the Energy Guide appliance label of qualifying products.

The Energy Star program was established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 and operates under the authority of the Clean Air Act, section 103(g), and the 2005 Energy Policy Act, section 131 (which amended the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, section 324). Since 1992, Energy Star and its partners have reduced various energy bills by at least $430 billion.

The EPA manages Energy Star products, homes, and commercial/industrial programs. The EPA develops and manages Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an online energy tracking and benchmarking tool for commercial buildings. The DOE manages Home Performance with Energy Star and provides technical support, including test procedure development for products and some verification testing of products.

Initiated as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy efficient products, Energy Star began with labels for computer and printer products. In 1995 the program was significantly expanded, introducing labels for residential heating and cooling systems and new homes. In 2000, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency was directed by members to begin an annual survey of Energy Star impact.

According to the U.S. Energy and Employment Report for 2016, 290,000 American workers are involved in the manufacture of Energy Star certified products and building materials. The report also projects that employment in energy efficiency will grow much faster than other areas of the energy sector—9 percent in 2017 vs. average projected growth of 5 percent across all of the energy sector—and Energy Star is an integral part of that market.