ENERGY STAR is a technical assistance and recognition program that focuses on improving energy performance in residential and industrial buildings as a method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR’s impact also extends to products such as, but not limited to, computers, home appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling systems. While ENERGY STAR does not offer a partnership program for contractors, they provide educational resources to help to detail the benefits of services such as HVAC quality installation and maintenance, air sealing, duct sealing, and adding insulation.
- Certified Products – In order to earn an ENERGY STAR label, products must show a commitment to the following criteria: the products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency; if the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time; energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer; product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing; labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
- Certified New Homes – To earn an Energy Star certification, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes. Energy Star certified homes usually include properly installed insulation, high performance windows, tight construction and ducts, energy efficient cooling and heating systems, and Energy Star qualified appliances, lighting, and water heaters.
To learn more about Energy Star visit http://www.energystar.gov/