When buying a new home or shopping for new appliances, homeowners are always hearing the phrase “Energy Star Appliance.” Rather than being a marketing strategy to get people to purchase new appliances, the Energy Star Rating and program was created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The voluntary Energy Star program helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate by, “identifying and promoting energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduced pollution through voluntary labeling or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards.” 
Under the guidance of the EPA, the Energy Star program has not only transformed the market to make way for energy efficient products, but also has lead to a significant overall reduction in energy use.
How does an Appliance Qualify as an Energy Star Appliance?
To qualify as an Energy Star Appliance, the device must incorporate new technology and use 10 to 50 percent less energy than the standard version of the appliance. Before being sold in stores, any Energy Star Appliance must also be evaluated by a third-party in an EPA-recognized laboratory. All products after receiving their Energy Star Rating also are subject to additional testing after becoming available for purchase. This additional testing procedure ensures that any changes in the manufacturing process do not inadvertently disqualify a product as an energy star appliance after becoming available in stores.
What Are the Benefits of an Energy Star Appliance?
- Lower Utility and Energy Bills. Since appliances account for nearly 25% of the average household energy usage, using an Energy Star appliances can save a family significantly over time.
- Improved Durability and Quality. Often Energy Star appliances contain higher quality components than found in standard appliances. This results in longer equipment life with fewer mechanical problems.
- Enhanced Performance. With improved design and use of advanced technologies, Energy Star Appliances often perform better than their standard counterparts by running smoother and quieter.