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Your Guide To Energy Star Labels: What They Mean And What You Need To Know

4-Minute Read
Published on May 4, 2021

If you’ve ever shopped for home appliances, then you’ve probably come across the Energy Star label. If you’re not already familiar with what this logo means, it’s a widely recognized symbol indicating that the appliance is energy-efficient. 

Regardless of the type of appliance you’re looking to purchase, keeping an eye out for the Energy Star label can help you save money in the long run. When you buy a product with the Energy Star logo, you’re helping your budget and the environment at the same time.

Let’s look more closely at what this label is and what it means for your appliances. We’ll also discuss how buying  Energy Star products could improve the resale value of your home.

What Is Energy Star?

You’ve probably seen products with the Energy Star label on them. But what does the logo mean? And how will it help you reduce your energy costs?

In 1992, the Energy Star program was created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The goal was to provide an easy way for businesses and consumers to purchase eco-friendly products.

In the beginning, the program focused on printers and computers but later expanded to include electronics, appliances and even buildings. Since then, the label has become a symbol for energy efficiency and helps consumers and businesses make informed decisions about the products they want to buy.

What Does The Energy Star Label Signify?

If you see the Energy Star label on a product or appliance, that means it meets the EPA’s standard for energy-efficiency. The product has been shown to reduce energy dependence and can help you save money on energy bills over time.

However, it’s not entirely clear how much money you’ll save or how much the products will help reduce your energy dependence. According to the Energy Star website, the label is given to products that have been shown to reduce energy consumption costs by at least 30%.

The label is typically given to products like HVAC systems, office equipment, washers/dryers, dishwashers and lightbulbs.

What Is A CEE Tier Rating?

Energy-efficiency program administrators from North America formed the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). If you’re interested in purchasing energy-efficient products, then you’ll also want to pay close attention to the CEE tier rating. The CEE tier often appears on appliances like dishwashers, air conditioners, and refrigerators.

The CEE tier is similar to the Energy Star label in that it signifies a product is energy efficient. The CEE tier 1 rating is considered to be the equivalent of an Energy Star label.

However, there are also CEE tier 2, 3, and 4, and the higher the numbers, the better the energy savings will be. The CEE advanced tier is the highest rating available and indicates optimal energy savings for the consumer. 

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Energy Star Label Requirements

To receive an Energy Star label, your product must meet the following requirements:

  • The product meets the energy-efficiency benchmarks established by the EPA
  • Consumers can clearly identify the label
  • The product has been proven to decrease energy dependency while still meeting the needs of consumers
  • The item advances energy savings nationwide
  • The product helps consumers save money on energy bills over time

Is It Worthwhile To Invest In Energy Star Appliances?

Now that you understand what the label means, you may be wondering if it’s worth your while to only buy products with the Energy Star label. For the most part, buying products with the Energy Star label is a good choice.

Many companies will make claims about their products being “energy-efficient.” But to include the Energy Star label, companies must meet the strict requirements set forth by the EPA.

Most products with the Energy Star label have been proven to reduce energy costs by at least 10%-20%. That means you’ll be saving money on your energy costs and helping the environment at the same time.

Plus, buying Energy Star appliances could have a positive impact on the value of your home. You could be able to sell your home at a higher price point in the future because you can prove your appliances are energy-efficient.

Where To Find Energy Star Appliances

You should be able to find certified Energy Star products and appliances at most major retailers. But if you want to save yourself some time, the Energy Star website provides a guide to buying Energy Star appliances, office equipment, lighting, and more.

The Bottom Line

The EPA established the Energy Star label to make it easier for consumers to buy energy-efficient products for their homes and offices. To pass the Energy Star label requirements, these products must meet a strict set of criteria.

Obviously, you are free to buy the products that work well for your home and budget. But by choosing appliances with the Energy Star label, you could be saving money and helping the environment. And it could even raise the resale value of your home in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to lower your energy costs, be sure to check out this blog post on other eco-friendly features home buyers should look for.

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Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about a variety of personal finance topics, including loans, building credit, and paying down debt. She currently writes for clients like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Insider, and Bankrate.