Media FAQs

General FAQS

What is the ENERGY STAR program?

ENERGY STAR is a joint voluntary program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that helps businesses and individuals save energy and fight climate change through energy efficient products, homes, and buildings.

How does a product, home, or building earn the ENERGY STAR?

For Products: In order to earn the label, ENERGY STAR products must be third-party certified based on testing in EPA-recognized laboratories. In addition to up-front testing, ENERGY STAR products are subject to "off–the–shelf" verification testing each year. The goal of this testing is to ensure that changes or variations in the manufacturing process do not undermine a product's qualification with ENERGY STAR requirements.

For New Homes: Verification of a home's energy efficiency by a third-party organization is mandatory for earning the ENERGY STAR label. There are two paths to certify a home to earn the ENERGY STAR. The Prescriptive Path is based on a predefined package of improvements, while the Performance Path is based on a customized package of upgrades. The National Program Requirements define the core energy efficiency specifications for both the Prescriptive and Performance Paths. See the National Program Requirements.

For Commercial Buildings: Buildings achieving a score of 75 or higher using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager must be verified by a Licensed Professional (Professional Engineer or Registered Architect) to be eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR. The Licensed Professional must verify that all energy use is accounted for accurately, that the building characteristics have been properly reported (including the square footage of the building), that the building is fully functional in accordance with industry standards, and that each of the indoor environment criteria has been met.

For Industrial Plants: A Professional Engineer must certify that the information used to calculate the plant's 75 or higher energy performance score is correct. In addition, the plant must satisfy EPA environmental compliance criteria.

The program's emphasis on testing, third–party review, and compliance screening bolsters its integrity and ensures that consumers can trust ENERGY STAR certified products, homes, and commercial facilities to deliver the energy savings promised by the label.

When was the program created?

The ENERGY STAR program was established by EPA in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act Section 103(g). Section103(g) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to "conduct a basic engineering research and technology program to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate non–regulatory strategies and technologies for reducing air pollution." In 2005, Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act. Section 131 of the Act amends Section 324 (42 USC 6294) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and "established at the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency a voluntary program to identify and promote 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." Take a tour through history: www.energystar.gov/about/history/major-milestones

What is the environmental significance of the program?

Under EPA’s leadership, American consumers, businesses, and organizations have made investments in energy efficiency that are transforming the market for efficient products and practices, creating jobs, and stimulating the economy. Now over 20 years old and helped by more than 18,000 partners, the ENERGY STAR program has boosted the adoption of energy efficient products, practices, and services through valuable partnerships, objective measurement tools, and consumer education. Significant opportunity for climate change mitigation exists from helping consumers and businesses save energy. Energy use in homes, buildings, and industry account for two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. For up-to-date detailed environmental achievements, see: www.energystar.gov/about/

Why do organizations become ENERGY STAR partners?

To join ENERGY STAR, an organization’s top-ranking official must make a public commitment to improve energy efficiency. That high-level, public commitment then becomes the catalyst for change. ENERGY STAR partners have access to partner-only informational seminars, networking events, marketing materials, and recognition for achievement.

How does ENERGY STAR determine which products to certify?

There are currently over 70 different product categories. Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY STAR product specifications. EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Qualified 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.

How does EPA decide when to revise specifications?

Generally, a market share of ENERGY STAR certified products in a particular category of 50 percent or higher will prompt consideration for a specification revision. However, there are other factors that weigh into the decision, such as:

  • A change in the Federal minimum efficiency standards.
  • Technological changes with advances in energy efficiency which allows a revised ENERGY STAR specification to capture additional savings.
  • Product availability
  • Significant issues with consumers realizing expected energy savings
  • Performance or quality issues
  • Issues with Test Procedures

Beyond ENERGY STAR products, how can I save energy at home?

Our website has many resources to help you, starting here: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_save_energy_at_home&s=mega

If you cannot find the information you are looking for, email us at media@energystar.gov, and we would be happy to put you on the line with an expert.

How can I save energy for my business?
Every building, from the smallest school to the tallest skyscraper, uses energy. This energy is mostly derived from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. These emissions contribute to climate change. In fact, the buildings we see in our communities every day — offices, hospitals, schools, supermarkets, factories, and more — account for nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy.

Out of all of that energy, often up to 30 percent or more is wasted through inefficiencies. Improving energy efficiency is the single largest way to eliminate this waste. Through ENERGY STAR, thousands of organizations nationwide are transforming the way they use energy every day. Learn more about how to put our buildings program to work for you at: www.energystar.gov/buildings/about-us

Media FAQs

May I copy and distribute materials from your website?

Yes - all the information on the ENERGY STAR website is considered public information and may be freely distributed or copied. We only ask that you reference our website as your source. The proper sourcing is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR program. The U.S. Government retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce these documents, or allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes. These documents may be freely distributed and used for non-commercial, scientific and educational purposes. Commercial use of the documents available from ENERGY STAR may be protected under U.S. and Foreign Copyright Laws. Individual documents may have different copyright conditions, and that will be noted in those documents.

Proper use of the ENERGY STAR logo is strictly enforced, and use of the logos must be in compliance with the ENERGY STAR Brand Book. Anyone educating consumers about ENERGY STAR (such as the media, environmental organizations, or writers) may obtain permission to use the ENERGY STAR logo as long as it is in the context of "Look for this label, it means the product/home/building is energy efficient." E-mail us at media@energystar.gov to request such permission.

How do I cite the ENERGY STAR web site as a source for a report?

The author should be "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy." The site is updated daily, so the date to use would be the date you found the information. You should also include the exact URL of the information you are citing.

For example: ENERGY STAR®. [Today's Date]. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy.  www.energystar.gov

The ENERGY STAR name should always appear in capital letters. The registration symbol should be used the first time the words "ENERGY STAR" appear in material.

What versions of the logo are available? Can the logo be obtained in color and black/white? How can I get the logo?

The ENERGY STAR logo is available in multiple file formats and in cyan and black and white. 100% cyan is the preferred color. Members of the media can contact media@energystar.gov to ask for the logo. Please provide a mockup of how you plan to use the ENERGY STAR logo. We will review your request and provide a response within 1-3 days. Partners can download the logos here, using the user name and password provided with your partnership acceptance packet. If you've forgotten your username and/or password, please contact the ENERGY STAR Hotline at 1-888-STAR-YES for assistance or use the form on the Logo Download page.

What is the procedure to get approval of news releases that use the ENERGY STAR name/logo?

Please forward a mockup of how you plan to use the ENERGY STAR name and logo to media@energystar.gov. We will review your request and provide a response within 1-3 days

Are ENERGY STAR products that use water WaterSense products too, and vice versa?

The ENERGY STAR program certifies products for energy efficiency, while the WaterSense program certifies products for water efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified products are not necessarily also certified by WaterSense. However, it is possible that a product is certified by both ENERGY STAR and Water Sense. Please contact watersense@epa.gov to request information about WaterSense.

Does ENERGY STAR have any statistics and or tips that we can provide to our readers?

The ENERGY STAR website (energystar.gov) has many statistics, tips, and reports that can be referenced for publications. If you cannot find the information you are looking for by searching energystar.gov, please contact media@energystar.gov.  We also have many publications for your perusal at: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=publications.showPublications&CFID=8326717&CFTOKEN=25224e7b1a4f9592-6CFFE114-E185-5BF0-05F9A712D41A3F34

How can I get permission to use a figure from an ENERGY STAR report?

For all requests to use a figure from an ENERGY STAR report, please send a mockup of the proposed use to the ENERGY STAR media line (media@energystar.gov) for review. We will review your request and provide a response within 1-3 days

How can I get permission to use an image from the ENERGY STAR website?

To request access to images used on the ENERGY STAR web site, please contact media@energystar.gov. We will review your request and provide a response within 1-3 days.

How can I get permission to use a Public Service Announcement (PSA) in a publication?

If you’d like to include one of the ENERGY STAR PSAs in a magazine or newspaper, high–resolution versions are available for download in a variety of designs and sizes at www.energystarpsas.com. For additional sizes and designs, please e–mail media@energystar.gov.

Can the ENERGY STAR name be used as part of a campaign name?

It is possible to use the ENERGY STAR name as part of a campaign name. Please send a description of the campaign to media@energystar.gov for review and approval.

Can I interview someone at EPA ENERGY STAR?

Yes. Please contact media@energystar.gov with your request. We will review your request and provide a response within 1-3 days. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work through our press office to set up interviews.

Who can I talk to about selling advertising to ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR, as a federal program, is prohibited from purchasing advertising or financial sponsorship, even from worthy outlets or programming. We produce public service announcements only. Many of our private manufacturing, retail and utility partners, however, do purchase ads or provide sponsorship support. You may contact them individually, if you wish. Visit the ENERGY STAR Partner List for a complete listing.