Energy efficiency will be essential in making the clean energy transition affordable, inclusive, and achievable at the scale required to address climate change. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program is committed to promoting broader access to energy-saving products and home improvements among disadvantaged households. Below are some of the ways that EPA is working to advance energy equity through the ENERGY STAR program.
Financing Energy Efficiency Upgrades
A key focus of the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade—a carefully crafted set of six high-impact, energy efficiency improvements for your home—is to facilitate innovative financing approaches designed to address barriers faced by the most energy burdened. A new web resource educates potential utility investors on one such approach—Inclusive Utility Investment—as an equitable and mutually beneficial method for deploying energy efficient home upgrades.
Highlighting Affordable ENERGY STAR Certified Products
ENERGY STAR also prioritizes outreach to low-income populations on products that have the greatest opportunity to save energy and dollars, such as lighting, refrigerators, and room air conditioners. The ENERGY STAR Best Value Finder tool helps consumers find these ENERGY STAR products at the best price. And for products that may be cost-prohibitive, the ENERGY STAR program looks for alternatives such as storm windows as a more affordable alternative to replacement windows. Paired with utility-sponsored rebates and tailored educational messaging, ENERGY STAR certified products can deliver significant cost savings for low-income families.
Building Energy Efficiency into Affordable Housing
ENERGY STAR is also focused on increasing the energy efficiency of newly constructed affordable homes. Roughly 25% of active ENERGY STAR builder partners work in the affordable housing space, including 675 Habitat for Humanity affiliates who have constructed more than 19,500 ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments. ENERGY STAR also partners with over 150 manufactured housing plants that have built more than 155,000 ENERGY STAR certified manufactured homes. Within the multifamily sector, more than 75 percent of ENERGY STAR multifamily high-rise projects are identified as affordable housing. In addition, ENERGY STAR home certification is used as criteria by more than 20 state government housing finance programs that provide low-income housing tax credits.
Find the lowest prices on ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners, refrigerators, and light bulbs.