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Fall 2005 ENERGY STAR Newsletter

Energy efficiency is top of mind for most Americans these days. This edition of the ENERGY STAR newsletter highlights some of the latest activities and advice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make our homes and businesses more energy efficient, while saving money on energy bills and helping to protect our environment.

ENERGY STAR is the national symbol of energy efficiency, recognized by more than 60 percent of the American public. Last year alone, Americans with the help of ENERGY STAR saved about $10 billion on their energy bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 20 million cars. ENERGY STAR is administered by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Make a Pledge to Change a Light, Change the World

This fall, EPA and DOE are encouraging Americans to change one light in their homes to an ENERGY STAR. With energy costs at an all time high, lighting is a great place to start making our homes more efficient. The federal government is encouraging consumers to take a pledge to change the lights in their home. This two-month effort starts on October 5 – ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day. Lighting offers all of us an opportunity to save energy, money, and reduce greenhouse emissions through a pledge to change one light at home to an energy-efficient model. EPA is working in partnership with 15 governors, hundreds of retail stores, lighting manufacturers, energy-efficient organizations and utilities to make this action even easier.

If every American home were to replace one incandescent light bulb with one that has earned the government’s ENERGY STAR, Americans could save $3 billion on their energy bills and avoid the production of 35 billion kWh of energy and prevent the emissions equivalent to those of one million cars.

EPA is encouraging everyone to Take the ENERGY STAR Change a Light Pledge and convince others to do the same! It demonstrates how a small step, when taken together, can help preserve our energy resources and environment.

Stay Warm This Winter with ENERGY STAR

As Americans welcome the cooler days of fall and prepare for the chilly days of winter, EPA offers ways you can save money and stay warm and comfortable in your home. Considering the average American home is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the average car, it’s important we seek ways to conserve energy at home, without sacrificing comfort.

EPA offers the following winter tips for homeowners:

  1. Properly maintain your heating system to prevent problems and ensure that your system is running efficiently.
  2. Take advantage of ENERGY STAR Home Sealing information to seal your home “envelope” – outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors.
  3. Use a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature when you’re home or away. They are more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and are better for the environment. Through proper use, they can save you about $100 per year in energy costs.
  4. Get a free copy of the Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling on ENERGY STAR’s Web site at www.energystar.gov/hvacguide PDF (2.6MB) en espanol Guía para la Eficiencia de Energía en la Calefacción y el Aire Acondicionado PDF (2.5MB).

The average annual home energy bill is $1,500, with nearly half going towards heating and cooling. In addition to increasing your comfort at home and helping protect our environment, by following these simple steps, you can save as much as 20 percent annually.

More Than 25 Building Owners Take the ENERGY STAR Challenge

In March 2005, EPA announced the ENERGY STAR Challenge – Build a Better World 10 Percent at a Time. The ENERGY STAR Challenge encourages building owners across the country to improve the efficiency of their buildings by 10 percent or more and to capitalize on the resulting environmental benefits and cost savings.

In support of this national effort to improve energy efficiency, almost 30 associations and states have accepted the challenge. More than 25 organizations and businesses across the country already have shown that energy use in buildings can be reduced by 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent and even more with proven practices and technologies that pay off financially and for our environment.

EPA estimates that if each building owner accepted this challenge, by 2015 Americans would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE), equivalent to the emissions from 15 million vehicles, while saving about $10 billion!

EPA looks forward to recognizing the efforts of these associations, states, and organizations during Energy Awareness month in October. Visit www.energystar.gov/challenge to learn more about the challenge and the participants who are working to protect our environment through energy efficiency, while reducing operating costs.

ENERGY STAR and Other Voluntary Programs – Results for 2004

EPA’s climate protection programs exceeded their goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 and are on target to provide significant greenhouse gas reductions required to meet the President’s 18 percent greenhouse gas intensity improvement goal by 2012. According to the annual report, ENERGY STAR and other EPA voluntary programs prevented more than 57 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (MMTCE) in 2004 – up from 48 million in 2003.

Highlights from the 2004 annual report include:

  • Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 20 million automobiles – up from 18 million in 2003 – while saving about $10 billion on their energy bills.
  • Over 1.5 billion ENERGY STAR qualified products have been purchased to date.
  • More than 2,500 builders have constructed over 360,000 ENERGY STAR qualified new homes, locking in financial savings for homeowners that exceed $200 million annually.
  • Close to 12,000 homes have been improved through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, which continues to grow with the addition of DOE sponsored pilot programs in a number of cities.

Copies of the 2004 annual report, Investing in Our Future: ENERGY STAR and Other Voluntary Programs, are available by calling the ENERGY STAR Hotline at 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937) or at www.epa.gov/cppd Exit ENERGY STAR.


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Thank you!

Sincerely,
Maria Vargas, EPA
hotline@energystar.gov