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Winter 2005 ENERGY STAR News

This edition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR newsletter provides you with timely story ideas aimed at both educating and inspiring your readers to be more environmentally-friendly and cost efficient this season and for many more to come. As you’ll notice, we made some changes to the format based on your suggestions. Please take a look and feel free to direct any additional feedback to vargas.maria@epa.gov.

With public awareness on the rise, EPA — through ENERGY STAR — continues to demonstrate easy ways for Americans to save energy, money and the environment, while improving the comfort of their homes and businesses. This month’s top stories include:

EPA Goes Greener on Computer Monitors

Effective January 1, 2005, computer monitors must meet more energy-efficient requirements to qualify for the ENERGY STAR label. For the first time, the specification addresses energy consumption while monitors are in use, as well as while they are idle.

By 2010, EPA estimates that the new requirements will result in carbon emission savings of almost five million metric tons (carbon equivalent), or the equivalent of taking more than three million cars off the road.

For more information on this and other product updates, visit www.energystar.gov.

Learn How to Seal and Insulate Your Home with a New Guide from ENERGY STAR

Just in time for the chilly winter season, EPA has created an easy-to-use guide for homeowners to consult when sealing and insulating their homes. Homeowners can use this guide to:

  1. Learn how to find and seal hidden attic and basement air leaks
  2. Determine if their attic insulation is adequate, and learn how to add more
  3. Make sure their improvements are done safely and result in a healthier home
  4. Reduce energy bills and help protect the environment

As a cost effective way to keep out the cold this winter, ENERGY STAR Home Sealing delivers greater comfort, improved durability and up to a 20 percent drop in heating and cooling costs. This new guide will make it even easier for homeowners to do it themselves. For the complete guide, visit ENERGY STAR Home Sealing.

Energy-Efficient External Power Adapters Can Now Earn the ENERGY STAR

EPA recently announced the availability of the ENERGY STAR specification for external power adapters that meet EPA’s newly established energy efficiency guidelines.

Power adapters, also known as external power supplies, are used to power many electronic products such as cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, routers and other electronics/appliances. Crucial to the operation of virtually all small electronic devices, as many as 1.5 billion power adapters are in use in the U.S. – five for every person.

Unfortunately, these products tend to be very inefficient. Left unchecked, the energy use from consumer electronics and small appliances could account for almost 30 percent of a typical home’s electricity bill by 2010. In the United States alone, total electricity flowing through all types of power supplies is about 207 billion kWh/year, equal to about $17 billion a year, or six percent of the national electric bill.

The new guidelines for power adapters will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the potential to prevent the release of more than four million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States alone – the equivalent to taking 800 million cars off the road.

For more information on this and other product updates, visit www.energystar.gov.

Five Simple Steps Can Make a Big Difference

Remember, there are simple things we can all do to protect our environment. EPA is encouraging Americans to protect the environment for future generations by taking five simple steps in their own homes to improve energy efficiency.

  1. Change five lights. Replace your five most frequently used lights or the bulbs in them with ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR.
  2. Look for ENERGY STAR labeled products. Available in more than 40 product categories, including lighting and home appliances.
  3. Heat and cool smartly. Have your heating and cooling equipment serviced annually and remember to replace air filters regularly. Use a programmable thermostat, and when it’s time to replace old equipment, choose an ENERGY STAR qualified model.
  4. Seal up your home. Seal air leaks, add insulation and choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows.
  5. Tell family and friends. We’re asking you to help spread the word that energy efficiency is good for your home and good for our environment. Start by e-mailing this page to a friend.

Further information, including what consumers can do in their homes and cars, can be found at www.energystar.gov.

Habitat for Humanity Sees Value in ENERGY STAR

Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit organization building new homes for low-income families, has found great value in partnering with ENERGY STAR. Many Habitat divisions are finding that the energy and cost savings associated with an ENERGY STAR certified home is a strong message among low-income homeowners. To date, there are 80 Habitat for Humanity divisions building ENERGY STAR homes. Visit Habitat for Humanity Exit ENERGY STAR to identify a Habitat for Humanity division near you.

Coming Soon…

The Spring 2005 edition of the ENERGY STAR newsletter will be out before you know it. Items to watch out for include:

  • Announcement of the 2005 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award winners
  • Launch of ENERGY STAR Cool Your World 2005, an annual campaign aimed at educating consumers about energy-efficient choices
  • Public Awareness of ENERGY STAR is on the Rise

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If you’d like to know more about ENERGY STAR visit www.energystar.gov

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Maria Vargas, EPA
hotline@energystar.gov

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