ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including nearly 40% of the Fortune 500®—partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions that protect the climate while improving air quality and protecting public health. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped American families and businesses save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid more than $450 billion in energy costs, and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. Over the lifetime of the program, every dollar EPA has spent on ENERGY STAR resulted in $350 in energy cost savings for American business and households. In 2019 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs.
ENERGY STAR products
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. EPA ensures that each product that earns the label is independently certified to deliver the efficiency performance and savings that consumers have come to expect. It’s that integrity that led Americans to purchase more than 300 million ENERGY STAR certified products in 2019 and more than 300 million ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs, 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 2019, bringing the total to more than 7 billion products sold since 1992. Learn more about ENERGY STAR products.
ENERGY STAR for buildings and plants
ENERGY STAR tools and resources help businesses identify cost-effective approaches to managing energy use in their buildings and plants—enabling the private sector to save energy, increase profits, and strengthen their competitiveness. From commercial properties such as hospitals, schools, and offices and tenant spaces, to industrial facilities such as cookie and cracker bakeries and integrated steel mills, thousands of businesses and organizations look to ENERGY STAR for guidance on strategic energy management.
The program’s popular online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, was used in 2020 to measure and track the energy, water, and/or waste and materials of more than 270,000 commercial properties, comprising more than 25 billion square feet of floorspace, across the nation. For eligible buildings, the tool calculates a 1–100 ENERGY STAR score, which has become the industry standard for rating a facility’s energy performance. EPA’s ENERGY STAR tools for industrial plants include industry-specific Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs), which provide companies with the information they need to make smart investment decisions. ENERGY STAR Tenant Space is a new EPA recognition to reduce utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions in leased spaces.
ENERGY STAR for the residential sector
ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are at least 10% more energy efficient than those built to code and achieve a 20% improvement on average while providing homeowners and residents with better quality, performance, and comfort. More than three thousand builders, developers, and manufactured housing plants are ENERGY STAR partners, including all of the nation’s twenty largest home builders. Over 2.2 million ENERGY STAR certified homes have been built to date, including more than 120,000 in 2020 alone. EPA also provides trusted guidance and online tools to help homeowners make smart decisions about improving the energy efficiency of their existing homes. In addition, more than 70,000 homeowners retrofitted their homes through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program in 2020, for a total of nearly 950,000 to date. Learn more about ENERGY STAR for the residential sector.
Utilities and local governments rely on ENERGY STAR
Nationwide, utilities invested $8.4 billion in energy efficiency programs in 2019. With hundreds of different utilities scattered around the country, EPA plays a critical unifying role to guide their energy efficiency programs. EPA enables utilities to leverage ENERGY STAR as a common national platform, avoiding the creation of hundreds of independent utility programs across the nation, which could fragment the market and stall innovation. More than 840 utilities, state and local governments, and nonprofits leverage ENERGY STAR in their efficiency programs, reaching roughly 97% of households in all 50 states.
Additionally, as of the end of 2020, 34 local governments, three states, and one Canadian province rely on EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® tool as the foundation for their energy benchmarking and transparency policies and/or building performance standards, creating uniformity for businesses and reducing transaction and implementation costs.
ENERGY STAR, jobs, and the economy
ENERGY STAR supports the transition to a clean energy economy by fostering jobs and economic development, greater competitiveness, and a healthy environment. ENERGY STAR certified products, homes, buildings, and plants helped save Americans families and businesses nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs in 2019 alone. The ENERGY STAR Program leverages significant private investment – over the life of the program, every dollar EPA has spent on ENERGY STAR resulted in $250 invested by American businesses and households in energy efficient infrastructure and services.
Additionally, according to the U.S. Energy and Employment Report, over 800,000 Americans are employed in manufacturing or installing ENERGY STAR certified appliances, including heating and cooling equipment -- roughly 35% of an estimated 2.4 million U.S. energy efficiency jobs in 2019. Moreover, by increasing energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR is supporting U.S. energy security and helping improve the reliability of the electricity grid.
ENERGY STAR and the environment
ENERGY STAR is an important tool in fighting climate change, improving air quality, and protecting public health. By reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, ENERGY STAR also provides states and local governments with more flexibility and reduced costs towards meeting their climate, air quality, and public health goals. In 2019 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs. These savings resulted in associated emission reductions of nearly 390 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, roughly equivalent to 5% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions. These savings also led to reductions of 220,000 short tons of sulfur dioxide, 220,000 short tons of nitrogen oxides, and 27,000 short tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The avoided air pollution due to ENERGY STAR was responsible for an estimated $7 – 17 billion in public health benefits in 2019 alone. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR has helped reduce 4 billion metric tons in greenhouse gas reductions. Over the lifetime of the program, for every dollar of EPA investment, 3 metrics tons of GHGs have been reduced.
ENERGY STAR and equity
Beyond the emissions reductions benefits noted above, ENERGY STAR relies on several pathways to help disadvantaged consumers access the program and save money. For example, ENERGY STAR prioritizes outreach to low-income populations on products that have the greatest opportunity to save energy and dollars. And for products that may be cost-prohibitive, such as replacement windows, the ENERGY STAR program looks for alternatives. In the case of windows, EPA recently added storm windows as a new ENERGY STAR product category, giving consumers a lower-cost option that is easier to install. Paired with carefully researched bilingual messaging, utility-sponsored rebates, and geo-targeted advertising to encourage purchases, ENERGY STAR certified products can deliver significant cost savings for low-income families.
ENERGY STAR is also focused on increasing the energy efficiency of affordable homes across all sectors. Roughly 20% of ENERGY STAR builder partners work in the affordable housing space, including 550 Habitat for Humanity affiliates who have constructed more than 18,000 ENERGY STAR certified homes. ENERGY STAR also partners with 100 manufactured housing plants that have built more than 114,000 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 30 state government housing finance programs that provide low-income housing tax credits.
For additional details about ENERGY STAR achievements see ENERGY STAR Impacts. 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.