Energy Star

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It’s most familiar to consumers because of its star logo which, affixed to a product, indicates that the product meets strict energy efficiency standards established by the program.

ENERGY STAR also certifies new homes and industrial and commercial buildings, and recommends best practices for improving the energy efficiency of existing homes.

EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 as a voluntary labeling initiative; computers and monitors were the first products to be certified. The partnership with DOE was established in 1995. Today the label can be found on more than 60 product categories, and thousands of models. ENERGY STAR has also approved appliance rebate programs in 45 states, so that consumers can save money on greater energy efficiency and get cash back in a mail-in rebate. The next rebate cycle begins April 19, 2010, and runs until the state funds are depleted. New Hampshire has set aside $1,262,000 for this cycle.