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Energy Star

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Energy Star is a joint program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program promotes energy efficiency in the home and at businesses by placing a recognizable star on products, including homes, that meet the program's energy efficiency standards. Energy Star also maintains a rating system for the energy efficiency of over 30,000 commercial buildings across the US. While the program is meant to reduce US consumption of energy, it attempts to appeal to a wider audience by emphasizing the financial savings that can come from using less energy (#About Energy Star).


About


The EPA began the Energy Star program in 1992 by selectively labeling computers with the program's star logo. In 1995, labeling grew to include home heating and cooling systems and office equipment. A year later, the EPA began its administration partnership with the DOE, again expanding the Energy Star program.

Energy Star has continued to expand, today partnering with over 9,000 organizations and saving Americans a program-estimated $14 billion in energy costs in 2006 (#History of Energy Star).

 

The Energy Policy Act of 2005


The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created many ways in which further money could be saved by choosing to live a more energy efficient lifestyle. While stipulations and restrictions do exist, the Act created tax credits for consumers who make selected home improvements, buy efficient cars, use solar energy and/or fuel cells, and build energy efficient homes. The Act also provides tax credits for manufacturers of Energy Star clothes and dishwashers, and owners or designers of energy efficient commercial buildings (#Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency).

 

Energy Star New Homes


Energy Star's expansion led to a program that has the ability to symbolically place the Energy Star on new homes. Homes must meet the EPA's strict guidelines for energy efficiency, which require the homes to be at least 15% more efficient than homes meeting the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC).

Energy Star homes employ a variety of energy saving techniques, such as high performance windows, effective insulation, effiecient heating and cooling equipment, tight construction and ducts, and Energy Star lighting and appliances (#About Energy Star New Homes). Many states, cities, and regions offer websites listing new Energy Star homes, builders, and contracters. If not in the market for new homes, Energy Star encourages consumers to make similar energy saving remodels to their current homes, offering many instructions and suggestions on their website.

 

Regional Energy Star Homes


 

Regional/National Energy Star Sites


 

Current Events


 


 

References



Energy Star. About Energy Star. Accessed 07/11/07.


Energy Star. About Energy Star New Homes. Accessed 07/13/07.


Energy Star. Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency. Accessed 07/11/07.


Energy Star. History of Energy Star. Accessed 07/11/07.


Holzman, David C. Spheres of Influence. "Driving up the Cost of Clean Air". Environmental Health Perspectives. Volume 113, Number 4. (April 2005). pp. A246-A249. Accessed 07/13/07.

 

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