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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Save Money, Save Energy and Protect the Climate this Holiday Season

EPA Unveils Energy Efficient Gift Ideas

The 2013 holiday shopping season is in full swing, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program is announcing its top gift ideas for 2013. From the latest in televisions, soundbars, Blu-ray players and more, electronics often find their way to the top of the holiday gift list. By choosing ENERGY STAR certified home entertainment products, you can give the gift that keeps on giving, long after the holidays. Let the experts at EPA show you how to give the gift of innovation and energy efficiency by looking for the ENERGY STAR this holiday season.

COOL FACT: A home equipped with TVs, set-top boxes, a Blu-ray player and a home-theatre-in-a-box that have earned the ENERGY STAR, can save more than $330 over the life of the products. If each TV, DVD player, and home theatre system purchased in the U.S. this year earned the ENERGY STAR, we would prevent more than 2.2 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year, equal to the emissions from more than 200,000 cars.

ENERGY STAR’s Top Gift Ideas for 2013

Televisions: TVs are at the top of many holiday wish lists, and this year there are more reasons than ever to look for the trusted blue label when shopping. Televisions that have earned the ENERGY STAR are on average 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional models, and offer the full range of technologies you might be looking for this holiday season, including LED-backlit TVs and the much anticipated OLED TV. The label can be found on TVs of every size, with features like 3D, streaming capability, and internet connectivity. 

Audio: Is your loved one asking for a soundbar or new speakers this year? According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), home audio sales are expected to grow at double-digit percentage rates in 2013. Make sure that you help your loved one save energy, save money and protect the environment by looking for audio equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR. AV equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR is up to 60 percent more efficient than conventional models.

Blu-ray Players: According to CEA, 2013 is expected to be the first year in which Blu-rays outsell DVD players. If this gift is on your list, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR. Certified Blu-ray players are on average 45% more efficient than conventional models.

Computers: Does someone on your list want a new computer for the holidays? Look for the ENERGY STAR and help your loved one save energy and the environment every time they log on. An ENERGY STAR certified computer will use between 30 - 65 percent less energy than a standard model on average. Enable your computer’s power management feature and save up to $90 a year!

ENERGY STAR Battery Chargers: You can also look for the ENERGY STAR on battery-powered tools and appliances. Products ranging from cordless drills to electric lawnmowers and shavers come with chargers that carry the ENERGY STAR. On average, ENERGY STAR certified battery chargers use about 30 percent less energy than conventional models.

Game Consoles: Gaming systems are always huge sellers during the holidays. Save energy this season by using them only for game play—not for streaming content or playing videos. These uses could cause you to use 7-10 times more energy than needed. Instead, try the following less energy intensive options:

  • Stream from a Wi-fi connected TV
  • Use a streaming media player or device
  • Play videos on an ENERGY STAR certified DVD or Blu-ray player

ENERGY STAR Light Bulbs: A perfect stocking stuffer, ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs, deliver leading-edge energy efficiency and can have a lifespan of over 20 years. A single light bulb that has earned the ENERGY STAR can save $95 in electricity costs over its lifetime.

ENERGY STAR 2013 Holiday Tips

With all the feasting, traveling, and shopping that accompany the holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year is more wasteful than we would like. You can cut back your household energy waste and help fight climate change with these energy-saving holiday tips from ENERGY STAR:

Save Energy Festively with ENERGY STAR Certified Decorative Light Strings: Holiday lights that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 50 percent less electricity than conventional incandescent light strings, are more durable than other light strings, and are cooler to the touch for little fingers. They’re available in a variety of colors and sizes.

An Easy Step to Save More Energy: With all of these holiday ideas, remember that unplugging electronics once they are charged, as well as turning them off when they are not in use, will deliver energy savings. Plugging electronics into a power strip makes this easy. More advanced power strips even let you designate "always on" status for products that need to maintain a network connection (like your modem/router or pay TV set-top box), while powering off other products, so you only use the power you need.

Recycle Old Electronics: If you bought a family member that new game console, phone, or Blu-ray player they’ve been pining for, make sure to reuse or recycle your old device. For more information on how to safely recycle electronics, including cellphones, computers, and TVs, visit

Support Energy-Efficient Travel: If you are traveling for the holidays, you can book your lodging with help from TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program developed in partnership with ENERGY STAR. Qualifying hotels have been evaluated on eco-friendly practices including energy efficiency, linen and towel re-use, recycling and composting, solar panels, electric car charging stations, and green roofs.

Wrap Sustainably: Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper, newspapers or magazines.

Get the latest in consumer electronics news from the brand-new EPA podcast “Plugged-in with ENERGY STAR.” Need more gift ideas? Check out the ENERGY STAR Product Finder to find the most efficient products.

Products, homes and buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR label prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. EPA. In 2012 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $24 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 41 million vehicles. From the first ENERGY STAR qualified computer in 1992, the ENERGY STAR label can now be found on products in more than 70 different categories, with more than 4.5 billion sold over the past 20 years. Over 1.4 million new homes and 20,000 office buildings, schools and hospitals have earned the ENERGY STAR label.