Who would have known back in 1992 that Energy Star, a joint initiative of the US Department of Energy and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) would have become such a major heavy hitter in the world of energy efficiency for the 21st century?, in fact so ingrained in our culture are they that 70% of all Americans recognize that Energy Star is synonymous with energy saving, with over one billion products being sold with the Energy Star logo to date.
Before the Kyoto Protocol as we know it came to be, most of the world was in blissful slumber in regards to the issue of global warming, most people had no idea what that even was. You can say that in terms of global action, we are like a 50,000 ton megaship that only now is finally, yet ever so slowly, turning its rudder in a direction for the positive, but like with big ships as in our consuming habits as a nation, it takes time to change.
With environmental lobbyists rallying to raise awareness of the reality of global warming we have been able to take stock of the situation and make changes in our own lives that can help make a difference. This is the key if we are to turn the situation around for the better.
One such program that has had its finger on the pulse long before most people were even aware of the environment was Energy Star. Their objective was to save money and the environment by way of energy efficient practices and products.
With its humble beginnings, Energy Star has gone from strength to strength and has become a frontrunner in energy efficiency. It began with the Energy Star label on a handful of appliances starting with computers and monitors until in 1995 that range grew to include office equipment and heating and cooling systems for residential properties.
So prolific is Energy Star that it now encompasses over 60 different products ranging from refrigerators to microwaves ovens, televisions, sound systems, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, home electronics and lighting to name a few with the more recent expansion of the EPA to now include energy efficient solutions for both residential home and commercial buildings.
Each passing year has seen Energy Star’s global reach extend even further with its joint venture alliances with over 15,000 private and public organizations while providing options to consumers to make better informed decisions when choosing energy efficient solutions. Customers can rest assured in the knowledge that their product will in the long term save money by using less energy and emitting fewer greenhouse gases than some of their less efficient market equivalents.
2008 alone saw Energy Star save nearly 20 billion dollars through reduced energy usage from their inventory of approved products carrying the Energy Star logo.
In April of 2009, the EPA launched their campaign “Change The World – Start With Energy Star” encouraging consumers to join the fight against climate change through small changes in their daily energy using habits and by replacing older, energy wasting appliances with Energy Star recommended products.
By 2012 Energy Star predicts a reduction of around 50 MMTEC of greenhouse gases released into the earth’s atmosphere as a direct result of its initiatives. This total saving is equal to the output from more than 30 million vehicles while saving over 15 billion dollars annually in energy bills alone.
So how do we make this life changing global impact for energy conservation?, simple, just by one energy compliant appliance at a time.