As energy costs rise, consumers are naturally interested in using more energy-efficient products. Lack of knowledge about energy usage and opportunities for efficiency, however, may reduce the likelihood that consumers will purchase devices that save them money in the long run. The purpose of consumer education programs is to help consumers make smart decisions about the products they buy.
ENERGY STAR is perhaps the most widely recognized energy efficiency label, with more than 80% of U.S. households correctly identifying the Energy Star label as a symbol of energy savings, according to its 20-year Anniversary Report.
A partnership between the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 1992, the program collaborates with more than 1,200 product manufacturers and 2,500 retailers to certify and promote products meeting strict energy efficiency criteria. The brand promotes energy-efficient products offering reasonable paybacks without sacrificing performance.
The Energy Star program currently addresses more than 40 household product categories, with several more in development. The Energy Star program is widely considered the most successful labeling program in the world, with estimates of bill savings through Energy Star products exceeding $50 million through 2015.