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Fall 2003 ENERGY STAR Online Newsletter

Americans require efficiency – in both their personal and professional lives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the ENERGY STAR program, is helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR provides consumers with energy-efficient practices and choices for more than 50 product categories for home and work. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy to power 15 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 15 million cars – all while saving $7 billion in energy costs.

This newsletter brings news about ENERGY STAR and provides you with story ideas that will both educate and help your readers.

Top Stories — Fall 2003

Homeowners are fighting the frost this fall with ENERGY STAR

Americans are gearing up — and in some regions, already facing — what the Farmer’s Almanac predicts to be the coldest winter in years. What’s the secret to keeping warm this winter? It’s not cranking up the dial on your electric blanket. This heating season the EPA is helping homeowners reduce high home energy bills by offering sound advice for consumers.

By looking for the ENERGY STAR, consumers can help improve their home’s comfort while protecting the environment and saving money. The average family spends $1,500 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient winter practices and products such as heating and cooling equipment can save homeowners as much as 20 percent on their annual energy costs.

The EPA estimates that if just one household in 10 used ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling products, the change would keep 17 billion pounds of pollution out of the air.

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Changing a light can change the world

Look around your home and consider how often you use your lights. How long do your kitchen and family room lights burn each day? Simply changing these lights to ENERGY STAR-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can mean money in your pocket and costs shaved from your bills!

This season the EPA and DOE are encouraging Americans to replace their highest-use light bulbs and fixtures with those that have earned the ENERGY STAR. Working with hundreds of partner manufacturers, retailers, state governments, and utilities, ENERGY STAR makes it easy for consumers to help the environment by simply changing a light.

If every U.S. household replaced the five fixtures they use most at home (or the light bulbs in them) to ENERGY STAR qualified models, each household would save more than $60 each year in energy costs. Collectively, these savings would conserve the amount of energy equivalent to the annual output of more than 20 power plants and keep more than 1 trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of our air.

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Home electronics are always a hit at the holidays, and some help save the environment

Home electronics, including DVD players, televisions and stereos, top many Americans’ holiday wish lists. This holiday season, shoppers can give the gifts on their loved ones’ lists as well as help save energy and the environment. Energy-efficient home electronics products that have earned the ENERGY STAR use as much as 50 percent less energy, while providing the same performance at the same price as less-efficient models. And there is a bonus gift: less energy means your loved ones pay less on their energy bills.

Simple actions can make a big difference. If just half of all home electronic products sold in the U.S. each year were ENERGY STAR qualified, it would be equivalent to taking about 1 million cars off the road.

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EPA Voluntary Programs Report Remarkable Environmental Gains in 2002

EPA recently released the report: Change for the Better: ENERGY STAR and Other Voluntary Programs, 2002 Annual Report. This report demonstrates that EPA’s voluntary climate programs continue to achieve sizeable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic growth. Highlights from the report include:

  • More than one billion ENERGY STAR labeled products have been purchased to date.
  • ENERGY STAR has developed strong partnerships with 1,250 manufacturers labeling more than 18,000 products in over 50 product categories.
  • More than 3,000 builder partners constructed over 110,000 ENERGY STAR certified homes to date, locking in financial savings for homeowners of more than $26 million dollars annually.
  • EPA’s national energy performance rating system has been used to evaluate and benchmark the energy efficiency of more than 15,000 buildings so far. Of the 15,000 buildings evaluated, 1,100 buildings earned the ENERGY STAR in 2002. By square footage, 16 percent of office building space, 13 percent of schools, 20 percent of supermarkets, 21 percent of hospitals and 5 percent of hotels have been benchmarked by EPA.

Copies of the 2002 annual report, Change for the Better: ENERGY STAR and Other Voluntary Programs, are available at Climate Protection Partnerships Annual Reports.

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