As industry and technology have greatly advanced throughout history, concerns about energy consumption and the effect on the planet have grown. Individuals, companies, and organizations began to voice their desires to reduce their impact on the environment. In 1992, the ENERGY STAR program was established by the Environmental Protection Agency as a voluntary program that identifies and promotes “energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards.” The Energy Star program has reduced energy use and helped businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate.
Homeowners want products that last, that do their job well, and that operate on the least amount of energy possible. Thanks to third-party certification requirements and testing, homeowners can rest easy knowing that Energy Star products adhere to rigorous standards. Energy Star standards also cover the energy efficiency of new homes, which must meet National Program Requirements including four checklists: Thermal Enclosure System Rater, HVAC System Quality Installation Rater, HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor, and Water Management System Builder. These checklists promote improved comfort, indoor air quality and durability.
The stringency of Energy Star performance specifications continues to increase. An Energy Star clothes washer today uses 70 percent less energy and 75 percent less water than a standard washer in 1996. Homes with Energy Star certification are at least 15% more efficient than those built in 2009 under the energy-saving standards, and are up to 30% more efficient than typical new homes.
Current homeowners can make great strides in reducing their energy consumption and costs. When it is time to upgrade or replace an appliance, check to see if it meets the standards of the Energy Star Program. Most appliances can be replaced with a more efficient model. The specifications and savings for each type of appliance can be found at https://www.energystar.gov. Doors, windows, and skylights can also be certified as Energy Star products, as they serve the important function maintaining inside temperature.
As an Ameren Platinum Trade Ally, Branham Electric works extensively with businesses to reduce energy consumption. During a remodel or new construction, Branham brings their expertise to help homeowners save as well.