Through the ENERGY STAR program, EPA helps U.S. businesses and consumers save money and reduce GHG emissions by labeling energy-efficient products, raising the bar of energy efficiency in new home construction, and encouraging superior energy management practices in commercial and industrial sectors. ENERGY STAR approaches for measuring program benefits use consistent key assumptions and sources across these strategies wherever possible. Consistent national carbon dioxide emissions factors, energy prices, and discount rates are used. Program benefits methodologies vary by strategy in order to reflect each strategy’s unique characteristics. Certified products and new homes use standard, commonly-used approaches to measuring program benefits. To calculate energy savings, total annual sales are multiplied by energy savings specific to each type of product or home. The methodology assumes only the minimum energy savings that is required to achieve ENERGY STAR certification, even though there are some products and homes that exceed ENERGY STAR thresholds. The savings level attributed to ENERGY STAR are the savings achieved above existing efficiency building codes and standards or, where standards do not exist, the average energy use of available products prior to the introduction of the ENERGY STAR specification.

For superior energy management practices in the commercial and industrial sectors, energy savings are estimated based on peer-reviewed methodologies which use econometric models of energy consumption, controlling for market factors such as energy prices, and non-market factors such as increases in energy efficiency due to ENERGY STAR products in the commercial sector and public-program subsidized energy efficiency capital investments in the industrial sector. The industrial sector benefits also account for additional market factors, including permanent shift in the energy consumption trend and temporary shock due to the recent business cycle. Once the net change in national energy consumption is calculated, ENERGY STAR accomplishments are differentiated from the savings reported for other federal programs, demand-side management and public benefits charge programs, and building codes and standards initiatives.

For more details on the methodologies for calculating ENERGY STAR benefits, see the "Demonstrating Progress" chapter in the 2011 Annual Report PDF (6MB).