es_can_he_v_bil_e_colWhat is EnergyStar? In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a new labeling program to help consumers identify and purchase energy-efficient products in 1992: the Energy Star program. Under the program, products that meet specific energy efficiency standards are awarded a distinctive Energy Star label that assures consumers that the product uses significantly less energy than required by federal regulations.

The first products to be Energy Star certified were computers and monitors. Home heating and cooling equipment followed soon after. Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the program was expanded in 1996 to include EnergyStar appliances, residential electronics and lighting. In the United States, the program has been largely successful in saving consumers money. In 2010 alone, the program saved home and business owners around $18 billion.

The Energy Star program is now the international standard for Canada and for many other countries world, including Australia, Japan, Taiwan and the European Union. More than 40,000 EnergyStar appliances and products are available. The program has served as an incentive for manufacturers to develop a number of innovative technologies, including power managements systems, low-energy standby settings and energy-efficient fluorescent lighting.

Home heating appliances, in particular, have become far more energy efficient over the last decade. The EPA estimates that if every gas furnace purchased in the U.S. met Energy Star requirements, around $171 million would be saved each year and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equal to taking around 177,000 cars off the road. Energy Star heat pumps, furnaces and boilers are available throughout Canada.

Energy Star qualifying criteria varies according to the type of heating system. Gas furnaces, for example, must have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 90 percent. Oil furnaces must have an AFUE rating of at least 85 percent. To make it easier for consumers to calculate potential savings, many heating appliances are marked with an Energy Guide that illustrates the product’s annual operating costs in comparison with non-certified models.

What is EnergyStar? The Energy Star label is an assurance for consumers that the product consumes less energy than a non-certified product without compromising performance. Consumers can choose Energy Star certified heating appliances with confidence, knowing that they’ll save both energy and money with their purchases. The Energy Star program offers opportunities to save money while helping to protect the environment. For more information on how EnergyStar heating equipment can save your family money this winter, contact Langton Heating and Air Conditioning in Hamilton at (905) 312-9644