Energy Efficient Homes
Energy Star history
The Energy Star program was created in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission by power plants. The program was developed by John S Hoffman, inventor of the Green Programs at US EPA, and implemented by Cathy Zoi and Brian Johnson. The program was intended to be part of a series of voluntary programs, such as Green Lights and the Methane Programs, that would demonstrate the potential for profit in reducing greenhouse gases and facilitate further steps to reducing global warming gases.
It began as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy efficient products, and computer products were the first to be labeled. It has since expanded to major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and more. The label can also be found on some new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
The EPA estimates that it saved about $12 billion in energy costs in 2005 alone. Energy Star has been a driving force behind the more widespread use of LED traffic lights, efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems for office equipment, and low standby energy use.
Energy Star products
Features of an Energy Star qualified home
- Effective Insulation- Properly installed, climate-appropriate insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, less energy consumption, and increased comfort.
- High-Performance windows- Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frame assemblies, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.
- Tight Construction and Ducts- Sealing holes and cracks in the homes envelope and in duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills.
- Effective Heating and Cooling Equipment- In addition to using less energy to operate, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home. Typically, energy-efficient equipment is also more durable and requires less maintenance than standard models.
- Lighting and Appliances- ENERGY STAR qualified homes may also be equipped with ENERGY STAR qualified products lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances, such as refrigerators, dish washers, and washing machines. These ENERGY STAR qualified products provide additional energy savings to the owner.
- Third Party Verification- With the help of independent Home Energy Raters, ENERGY STAR builder partners choose the most appropriate energy-saving features for their homes. Additionally, raters conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify that the homes qualify as ENERGY STAR.
Energy Star Appliances
- Battery Chargers
- Clothes Washers
- Refridgerators & Freezers
- Room AC
- Room Air Cleaners
- Water Coolers
Heating and Cooling
- Air-source Heat Pumps
- Central AC
- Ceiling Fans
- Geothermal Heat Pumps
- Home Sealing (Insulation)
- Light Commerical
- Programmable Thermostats
- Room AC
- Ventilating Fans
- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
- Residential Light Fixtures
- Commercial Solid Door Refridgerators & Freezers
- Commercial Steam Cookers