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Spring 2007 ENERGY STAR News

Awareness of ENERGY STAR Now Over 65 Percent

Public awareness of the ENERGY STAR label is now over 65 percent of U.S. households, according to a recent nationwide survey. The report titled "National Awareness of ENERGY STAR for 2006" presents an analysis of a survey commissioned by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, a non-profit organization that promotes the manufacture and purchase of energy-efficient products and services.

According to the report, more than 30 percent of U.S. households knowingly purchased an ENERGY STAR qualified product or appliance in the past year, and more than 70 percent of these households reported they are likely to recommend ENERGY STAR qualified products to their friends.

Download the report: National Awareness of ENERGY STAR for 2006 PDF (3.2MB).

EPA Has Advice for Consumers on How to Stay Cool This Summer

ENERGY STAR @ home spring house

The average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that going toward heating and cooling. With a few steps, such as correct sizing, installation, and maintenance of energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment and properly sealed ducts, homeowners can save as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following to help you countdown to a cooler planet and a more energy-efficient home:

5. Find and seal air leaks that cause drafts and make your cooling system work overtime.

ENERGY STAR Home Sealing includes: sealing air leaks to stop drafts, adding insulation, and choosing ENERGY STAR qualified windows when replacing windows. Home sealing can help you save up to 10 percent on your energy bills each year.

4. Look for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing cooling products for your home.

You can find the ENERGY STAR on products in more than 50 product categories, including heating and cooling equipment, lighting, consumer electronics, and appliances. When you choose ENERGY STAR, you get a product that meets strict energy-efficiency criteria set by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

3. Schedule annual, pre-season maintenance checkups with a licensed contractor to ensure your cooling system is operating efficiently and safely.

Dirt and neglect are the leading causes of system failure. Get a cooling system checkup, and afterward be sure to clean or change your system's air filter according to the filter's instructions — generally once a month. Keep it clean to keep it efficient.

2. Install a programmable thermostat and use your ceiling fans wisely.

Save energy by taking advantage of periods in the day when your home doesn't need to be kept as cool. A programmable thermostat, set and used properly, can save up to $150 in energy costs each year. ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans can also cut home energy use - turn the thermostat up several degrees while using the fans to deliver the extra cooling comfort.

1. Learn what else you can do to make your home more energy-efficient by visiting ENERGY STAR @ home.

The average home can be responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as the average car. Learning how energy is used in your home is an important step toward cutting energy costs, improving your home's energy efficiency, and protecting the environment. ENERGY STAR @ home is an interactive tool that takes you on a room-by-room tour and offers energy saving tips and advice for your entire home.

Tell Us How You Save: In conjunction with advice to consumers this summer, EPA is featuring online testimonials from homeowners who have taken steps to make their homes more energy-efficient. The new testimonials give homeowners a chance to learn from other American families who have completed energy-efficient projects in their home. Viewers can read these energy efficiency testimonials, view photos, and read experience-based tips that will aid them in their own home projects.

ENERGY STAR @ home en Español: As an added component, ENERGY STAR @ home will now be featuring a Spanish language micro-site. Visit www.energystar.gov/sucasa to view energy-efficient home improvement stories and tips to help Hispanic consumers save energy, money, and help protect the environment.

Architecture and Engineering Firms Take the 2007 ENERGY STAR Challenge

In September 2006, EPA challenged architecture and engineering (A&E) firms to design buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR and will, in turn, help their clients reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty-three firms took the Challenge and submitted 32 projects that achieved "Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR" — EPA's distinction for superior energy efficiency in building design. On average these 32 projects are designed to emit 40 percent less carbon dioxide than average buildings, by including sustainable features such as passive solar, natural ventilation, daylighting, and renewable energy sources. Together, they are expected to prevent an estimated 40 million lbs of carbon dioxide annually while saving an estimated $1 million in energy costs.

The 23 firms that took the 2007 ENERGY STAR Challenge are:

Architecture West, LLC
Bergmann Associates
CDS Associates, Inc.
The Ellis Group
Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.
Gould Evans Associates, PL
H+L Architecture
Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc.
Holst Architecture
Leo A Daly
Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture
LS3P Associates LTD.
Mahlum Architects
Moseley Architects
RB+B Architects, Inc.
Richard L. Bowen + Associates Inc.
Schmidt Associates
Serena Sturm Architects, LTD.
SH Architecture
Siegel & Strain Architects

The 32 projects were showcased in a special gallery at the May 2007 American Institute of Architects National Convention in San Antonio. They are models of how all A&E firms can help protect the environment through superior energy design intent.

For more information on ENERGY STAR New Building Design, visit www.energystar.gov/newbuildingdesign.

If you have any questions about any of the stories in this newsletter, please email media@energystar.gov or call (202) 343-9451.