Celebrating 20 Years of ENERGY STAR

Twenty years of partnership, promise, and progress


EPA launched the ENERGY STAR program with a small group of pioneering partners; by 2012, nearly 20,000 organizations across every sector of the economy have joined ENERGY STAR.


First ENERGY STAR qualified computers and monitors introduced; by 2012, more than 5 billion ENERGY STAR qualified products across more than 60 different categories have been purchased.


Executive Order 12845 signed by President Clinton requiring federal agencies to purchase ENERGY STAR products when buying new office equipment; just one year later, more than 2,000 ENERGY STAR qualified products were available and all major manufacturers were participating in the program.


ENERGY STAR launched in the commercial and industrial building markets leading to the first ENERGY STAR certified building in 1999; by 2012, tens of thousands of buildings and plants have earned EPA's ENERGY STAR by performing in the top 25% of facilities nationwide.


ENERGY STAR program expanded into labeling new homes; by 2011 the number of ENERGY STAR certified new homes climbed to more than 1.3 million.


First ENERGY STAR international agreement established between EPA and Japan; laid the foundation for future agreements with global economic leaders including the European Union and Canada and international harmonization of voluntary efficiency standards for globally traded products.


White goods become eligible for the ENERGY STAR label, drawing the attention of leading national retailers; by 2012, ENERGY STAR certified appliances have saved Americans about $1.5 billion a year in energy costs.


Department of Energy (DOE) and EPA ENERGY STAR partnership announced; leveraged longstanding DOE expertise in appliance and lighting technologies and testing as well as whole-home improvement.


ENERGY STAR program expanded into lighting, labeling products that were 75% more efficient than their incandescent counterparts; by 2012, ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) represent about a quarter of U.S. light bulb sales.


EPA's first 1-100 scale introduced that allowed for energy performance comparisons between similar facility types; by 2012, ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Scales/Indicators are the only national performance-based comparative metrics in the marketplace and are available for 25 different facility types.


First National Awareness Survey shows 40% of Americans recognize the ENERGY STAR label; by 2012, awareness has more than doubled to more than 80%.


ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager launched; by 2011, nearly 40% of commercial marketplace benchmarked in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, representing largest inventory of commercial building performance data worldwide.


First Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program launched; by 2012, more than 150,000 families have improved their homes using a comprehensive, whole-house approach to energy efficiency.


First ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day held nationwide; by 2012, nearly 3 million Americans have pledged to Change the World with ENERGY STAR.


ENERGY STAR @ home animated web tool debuted; together with other interactive tools from ENERGY STAR, such as the Home Energy Advisor and the Home Energy Yardstick, it helped empower millions of Americans with tips for saving energy at home, at work, and in their communities.


Energy information became transparent with the signing of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan by the Mayor of New York City requiring large buildings to track and report energy use with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager; by 2012, more than two dozen federal, state and local policies and campaigns use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.


New rigorous guidelines for ENERGY STAR certified homes announced; new requirements make certified homes at least 15% more efficient than those built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and include additional features to deliver a performance advantage of up to 30% compared to typical new homes.


New ENERGY STAR requirements for televisions took effect, projected sales reached approximately 40 million, and average screen size increased to 50 inches; despite dramatic growth, TV electricity use was 36 billion kWh/year less than it might have been without ENERGY STAR.


Over the past 20 years, Americans, with help from ENERGY STAR, have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from more than 350 million vehicles.
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ENERGY STAR products, celebrating 20 years.
ENERGY STAR Products Retrospective
PDF PDF (3.12MB) | Order Hard Copy


  • Calling All Climate Defenders

    For the past 20 years, simply by saving energy with EPA's ENERGY STAR® program, people across America have come together to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. How are you defending the climate?

    Check out our Climate Defenders Public Service Announcement (1.75MB, PDF)

  • Who Dared Imagine:
    2013 Partner of the Year
    Awards Video

    Little more than 20 years ago, who dared imagine that the ENERGY STAR mark could make a big difference in the fight against climate change? Our partners did. Check out our 20th Anniversary video from the Partner of the Year Awards ceremony — and dare to imagine what we can do together in the next 20 years.

    Watch the 2013 Partner of the Year Awards Video

  • ENERGY STAR 20th Anniversary Video

    In 2012, EPA began its 20th Anniversary celebration of the ENERGY STAR program. In our 20 years of service, ENERGY STAR has helped millions of Americans and thousands of businesses save energy, save money, and protect the climate.

    Watch ENERGY STAR 20th Anniversary Video
  • A Message from Lisa P. Jackson,
    Former EPA Administrator

    Twenty years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created a unique partnership to overcome market barriers to energy efficiency and create a healthier climate for all Americans. Today, we celebrate two decades of partnership, promise, and progress with the ENERGY STAR program.

    Together with the Department of Energy, we have seen the ENERGY STAR program grow to include nearly 20,000 organizations from every sector of the economy. More than 80 percent of Americans now recognize the ENERGY STAR label. American families and businesses have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, with help from ENERGY STAR.

    As we celebrate our past, we also look to the future. We remain committed to helping America embrace energy efficiency as one of the fastest and easiest ways to save money, prevent pollution, and create jobs. We look forward to continued partnership and enduring progress toward a healthy environment and a prosperous economy for our families and our future.

  • Celebrating a Decade of ENERGY STAR Buildings: 1999-2009

    The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the first ENERGY STAR® to a building in 1999, an innovation that has helped bring thousands of organizations in the commercial building marketplace to the forefront of energy efficiency and climate stewardship.

    Celebrate a Decade of ENERGY STAR buildings with this historical retrospective of how it all began, where we are today, and a glimpse of the exciting future that lies ahead.

  • Join Us in the Fight Against Climate Change

    Whether you're trying to make your home more comfortable, improve your company's bottom line, or make your school a greener place, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the tools and resources you need. Take a look inside and learn how you can save energy, save money, and help fight climate change. You can even use the last page to help track your accomplishments.

  • Join the Lorax and EPA in the Fight Against Climate Change

    To save the earth, the LORAX shows you
    That kids can help and it's easy to do.
    Just look for the ENERGY STAR
         - the best way to start.
    Let's show greedy Once-lers what is right
    Against climate change, join EPA in the fight!

    Download the Lorax Activity Book (1478KB, pdf)
    Download the Lorax Public Service Announcement (300KB, pdf)