On February 5, EPA announced a revised ENERGY STAR specification for televisions. Effective November 1, 2008, TVs that carry the ENERGY STAR label will be up to 30 percent more efficient than conventional models and will save energy while they are on and when they are off. The new modifications are expected to prevent greenhouse gas emissions while offering U.S. consumers the very best in terms of feature-rich, high-quality TVs.
"ENERGY STAR's new specifications for televisions are turning the channel on energy guzzling sets - making them go the way of rabbit-ears and the black and white TV," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
After the new specification goes into effect, if all TVs sold in the United States meet the ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs will grow to about $1 billion annually and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by the equivalent of about 1 million cars.
According to recent market research, North American shipments of TVs will top 36 million units in 2008. These TVs will typically be larger, in use more hours a day, and offer more vibrant pictures and other great features than their predecessors. However, these enhancements can come with a hefty energy price tag.
Televisions first earned the ENERGY STAR label in 1998 and ever since, TV manufacturers and EPA have worked together on efficiency improvements. The United States now has more than 275 million TVs in use; they consume over 50 billion kWh per year.
For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/pdtv.
With Earth Day only a couple of months away, EPA offers these tips to help Americans fight global warming with the help of ENERGY STAR.
Change your lights: ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light, but uses at least 2/3 less energy than standard lighting, generates 70 percent less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. To save the most energy and money, replace your highest used fixtures or the light bulbs in them with energy-efficient models. If every household in the United States replaced their five most frequently used lights, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from nearly 10 million cars.
Green your home: The first step to a green home is using energy efficiently The energy we use in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and global warming. So the less energy we use in our homes, the less greenhouse gases we create. Check out ENERGY STAR @ home and the ENERGY STAR Home Advisor for tips on how to seal up your home, heat and cool your home efficiently, and use programmable thermostats to save energy. And while on the ENERGY STAR Web site, enter your utility bills into the Home Energy Yardstick to see how your home's efficiency "measures up" to others in your area.
Use green power: Green power is environmentally friendly electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun. By choosing green power, you're supporting the development of renewable energy sources, which reduces the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas that produce greenhouse gas emissions. Visit www.epa.gov/greenpower for more information.
Look for the ENERGY STAR where you work, play, shop and learn: Products in more than 50 categories, from refrigerators to DVD players, qualify for the ENERGY STAR. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. ENERGY STAR qualified products incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50 percent less energy and water than standard models.
Building across the country from supermarkets, schools, hotels, hospitals, and office buildings can also earn the government's ENERGY STAR. These buildings are the best in the nation for energy performance and use, on average, 35 percent less energy than other buildings. Look for the ENERGY STAR in your community. Learn more at www.energystar.gov/buildings.
Know your carbon footprint: We all contribute to global warming every day. Calculating your personal output of greenhouse gas emissions is the first step toward making improvements. You may be surprised to see how leaving the lights on affects your carbon footprint. Even if you can't carpool every day, you can still cut your carbon footprint by making improvements around your home, since the average home contributes twice the amount of greenhouse gases to the environment as the average car. Visit www.epa.gov/climatechange to get started.
EPA has developed a new tool to help homeowners save energy and money. The average family spends $1,900 per year on energy bills. By making the improvements recommended by the ENERGY STAR Home Advisor, homeowners can reduce their energy bills up to 25 percent.
To use the tool, homeowners simply enter their zip codes and basic information about the types of fuel used to heat and cool their homes. The ENERGY STAR Home Advisor in turn provides recommendations specific to their location about home improvement projects to increase energy efficiency and comfort. For example, EPA estimates that homeowners can save up to 10 percent on their annual energy bill simply by sealing air leaks and adding insulation.
Other recommendations include sealing ducts; installing a programmable thermostat; replacing older heating, cooling, and water heating equipment with more efficient units; as well as changing lighting, appliances, and windows to ENERGY STAR qualified models.
For more information visit the ENERGY STAR Home Advisor.
Americans are more than making good on their pledges to help fight climate change by replacing their lights with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). EPA estimates that ENERGY STAR CFL sales for 2007 were nearly double those in 2006, accounting for approximately 20 percent of the light bulb market in the United States.
According to market data, sales of ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs have risen dramatically over the last two years. In 2006, it is estimated that the market share jumped to about 11 percent, compared to a market share consistently under 5 percent in the early part of the decade. Sales in 2007 totaled approximately 290 million bulbs. ENERGY STAR retail partners such as Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Costco, Menards, Ace Hardware, and Sams Club have played an important role in educating consumers about the importance of saving energy and the value of these products.
ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. It is important for consumers to look for CFLs that have earned the government's ENERGY STAR label in order to ensure the best performance. ENERGY STAR qualified models have a minimum lifetime of 6,000 hours, maintain their light output over time, and are more energy efficient than standard CFLs.
One ENERGY STAR qualified bulb can save about $30 or more in energy costs over its lifetime. The average home has approximately 30 light fixtures. If every U.S. household replaced just one light bulb or fixture with an ENERGY STAR, Americans would save more than $600 million each year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars.
The annual energy bill to run America's primary and secondary schools is a staggering $6 billion - more than is spent on textbooks and computers combined. America's school districts are leading the fight against rising energy costs and global warming, with help from EPA's ENERGY STAR program.
EPA's list of ENERGY STAR Leaders has now grown to more than 50 organizations, almost two-thirds of which are school districts. Over the past year, 16 organizations have achieved recognition as ENERGY STAR Leaders, including 15 school districts serving children in kindergarten through 12th grade in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, North Carolina, Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
ENERGY STAR Leaders are an elite group of organizations that manage energy strategically across an entire portfolio of buildings using Portfolio Manager, EPA's standardized measurement tool for tracking building energy use. These select organizations are recognized by the agency for improving the energy performance of their portfolio by 10 percent or more. In addition to schools, ENERGY STAR Leaders include hospitals, supermarkets, commercial real estate businesses, and hospitality companies. Combined, each year ENERGY STAR Leaders have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from more than 30,000 U.S. homes.
School districts partnering with ENERGY STAR and earning the ENERGY STAR Leaders designation recognize the value of strategic energy management and have demonstrated a commitment to saving money on energy costs and protecting the environment for future generations.
For more information, visit the ENERGY STAR Leaders Web page.
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