ENERGY STAR is the simple choice for energy efficiency, making it easy for consumers and businesses to purchase products that save them money and protect the environment. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to meet strict standards for energy efficiency set by the EPA. It’s that integrity that led Americans to purchase more than 300 million ENERGY STAR certified products and more than 300 million ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs in 2018, with a market value of more than $100 billion. In fact, an average of 800,000 ENERGY STAR certified products was sold every day in 2018, bringing the total to more than 6 billion products sold since 1992.
The power of partnership
Consumers, utilities, and retailers all depend on the ENERGY STAR program to highlight products that deliver real consumer savings and give partners the tools they need to differentiate their efficient products. In 2019, approximately 2,000 manufacturers and 1,850 retailers partnered with ENERGY STAR to make and sell millions of ENERGY STAR certified products across more than 75 residential and commercial product categories. Utilities and retailers also teamed up with ENERGY STAR to coordinate on consumer education, leveraging ENERGY STAR materials to provide consistent information to consumers. This includes a focused effort in 2018 to raise awareness about more efficient refrigerators, air conditioners, laundry equipment, pool pumps, water heaters, smart thermostats and light bulbs.
Evolving with the market
As technology improves and markets change, ENERGY STAR evolves to deliver additional savings. For example, the ENERGY STAR® specification for refrigerators was established in 1996 and has been updated multiple times, helping to reduce the average energy consumption of refrigerators by 24% while the average volume increased 18% from 1996-2017. View refrigerators graph. The ENERGY STAR specification for clothes washers demonstrated a similar trend with an even greater drop of 30% in energy consumption while the average capacity increased 34% from 2004-2017. View clothes washers graph.
In 2019, EPA updated performance requirements for six product categories: displays, dehumidifiers, vending machines, room air cleaners, computers, and roof products (sunset). In 2019, EPA also added smart home energy management systems to the program. In 2020, EPA anticipates completing an additional seven revisions across all major product categories, including electronics, heating and cooling equipment, appliance, and commercial food service. In 2019, more than 3,000 product models from more than 180 manufacturers were recognized as “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient,” a distinction that recognizes products that deliver cutting-edge energy efficiency along with the latest in technological innovation. Room air conditioners were added as an ENERGY STAR Most Efficient product category eligible for recognition.
Ensuring program integrity
In 2019, EPA oversaw robust third-party certification of ENERGY STAR products, administered by more than 20 independent certification bodies and more than 500 labs. EPA also requires that a sample of products be tested directly off retailers’ shelves. In 2019, EPA-recognized certification bodies administered post-market verification testing on nearly 2,000 products, resulting in 126 unique disqualifications for a compliance rate of 94%. Learn more at energystar.gov/integrity.
In 2018, ENERGY STAR certified products helped consumers save 200 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid $20 billion in energy costs, and achieve 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.
Spotlight on: saving energy without sacrificing performance
The ENERGY STAR label is influential among consumers because the products that earn it deliver energy savings without compromising performance. When they initially arrived on the market, poor-quality CFL bulbs soured purchasers on energy-efficient lighting. These poor-quality CFLs led many consumers to believe that energy efficiency came at the expense of product performance, at least for CFL bulbs.
After many years and the introduction of a range of performance-related ENERGY STAR requirements (to address light quality, flicker, bulb longevity, light distribution, among other things), ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs emerged as the market winner. These bulbs delivered on both energy efficiency and performance, earning the trust of millions of consumers.
Dramatic increases in the efficiency of home appliances and electronics have required that the ENERGY STAR Program remain vigilant to the potential for trade-offs in performance. The ENERGY STAR Program took steps to ensure consumers did not have to sacrifice product performance when choosing certain ENERGY STAR certified appliances and electronics. In 2015, in the face of increasingly negative performance reviews for some of the most efficient dishwashers, the ENERGY STAR Program adopted a minimum cleaning performance metric for dishwashers earning the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient recognition. The Most Efficient designation is reserved for the highest levels of ENERGY STAR performance. As of early 2020, more than 70 models have differentiated themselves at an extremely high level of efficiency while demonstrating cleaning performance. In the 2019 ENERGY STAR Most Efficient criteria, the program added a similar minimum cleaning performance floor for clothes washers. More than 25 clothes washers have already earned this recognition.
For additional details about ENERGY STAR achievements see ENERGY STAR By the Numbers. For ENERGY STAR facts and figures broken down geographically by state, see ENERGY STAR State Fact Sheets. For achievements by ENERGY STAR Award Winners, see the ENERGY STAR Award Winners Page.