Energy Star

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2010 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars — all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.

For Home
Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort. ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice.

  • If looking for new household products, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.
  • If looking for a new home, look for one that has earned the ENERGY STAR.
  • If looking to make larger improvements to your home, EPA offers tools and resources to help you plan and undertake projects to reduce your energy bills and improve home comfort.

For Business
Because a strategic approach to energy management can produce twice the savings — for the bottom line and the environment — as typical approaches, EPA’s ENERGY STAR partnership offers a proven energy management strategy that helps in measuring current energy performance, setting goals, tracking savings, and rewarding improvements. EPA provides an innovative energy performance rating system which businesses have already used for more than 200,000 buildings across the country. EPA also recognizes top performing buildings with the ENERGY STAR.

Visit the ENERGY STAR Products Website to Learn More

Appliances

When facility operators think of energy consumption, they naturally focus on building operations (such as lighting and air-conditioning) and its shell components, but not necessarily on the energy consuming office equipment and appliances contained within.

As the nation transitions to a more service focused economy, a large portion of which are small businesses, the amount of energy consuming office equipment will also increase. Inefficient office equipment not only draws power, but also emits heat that can contribute to higher cooling bills. Fortunately, to address this issue there are a variety of ENERGY STAR qualified products that can help you save money and energy. If you are replacing or purchasing equipment such as computers, monitors, and copiers always consider ENERGY STAR qualified products.

Building Products

Building shell improvements are one of the first places you should focus on when upgrading your existing facility. Start with the low cost/no cost opportunities. Like the lighting system, these factors are key to properly sizing the heating and cooling system during new construction or major upgrades.

These elements of the building are a major investment that should be purchased on a "life-cycle costing" or return-on-investment basis, rather than lowest initial cost. Over the life of the building, the operating savings in energy alone will far outweigh the initial cost of these items. Plus, in the case of new construction, it will be less costly to "do it right the first time," than to make even more costly upgrades to insulation, windows, walls or roofing material later.

Commercial Food Service Equipment

When you think of commercial food service equipment (CFSE), you probably think of restaurants. However, CFSE is present in a variety of other facilities as well. If you operate a facility that serves food, there may be opportunities for saving energy and money from efficient CFSE equipment. CFSE is often the source of considerable energy and water consumption in a facility. ENERGY STAR has developed qualifications that identify some of the most efficient commercial food service equipment. ENERGY STAR qualified CFSE includes gas and electric deep fryers, hot food holding cabinets, gas and electric steam cookers, and commercial refrigerators and freezers.

ENERGY STAR has developed a Commercial Food Service Equipment Incentive Finder. This tool provides information about rebates for ENERGY STAR qualified CFSE that are available from utilities and other energy-efficiency program sponsors.

To learn about CFSE and other product energy-efficiency opportunities, Click Here.

Computers

The ENERGY STAR mark indicates the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances and equipment.

Tips: Turn office equipment off at night. Check to see if your computer already has power management software installed. If so, activate it. Print double sided per page; much more energy is used in the manufacturing and distributing of paper than the actual printing at your office.

Electronics

The ENERGY STAR mark indicates the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances and equipment.

Tips: Turn office equipment off at night. Check to see if your computer already has power management software installed. If so, activate it. Print double sided per page; much more energy is used in the manufacturing and distributing of paper than the actual printing at your office.

Battery Chargers

The ENERGY STAR mark indicates the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances and equipment.

Heating & Cooling

Proper heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (known in the trade as HVAC) are key to maintaining a comfortable, healthy and productive work environment. Collectively, these systems account for approximately 40 % of the electricity used in commercial buildings. Improved heating and cooling performance along with substantial energy savings can be achieved by implementing energy-efficiency measures.

Heating and cooling systems are critical to most businesses, but also represent a large component of many facilities' utility expenses. Cooling systems, in particular, are typically very energy intensive and are almost always fueled by electricity. Their operation typically coincides with periods that are subject to peak and time of use charges.

Heating and cooling systems have advanced significantly in design and efficiency. For example, today's air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% on your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

Lighting and Fans

Depending on the type of operation, lighting accounts for 20% to 50% of electricity consumption. This means that significant cost savings can be achieved with energy-efficiency improvements, and due to continually improving equipment, lighting usually provides the highest return-on-investment of major upgrades.

Turn off lights (and other equipment) when not in use. High utility costs often include paying for energy that is completely wasted.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), wherever appropriate. CFLs cost about 75% less to operate, and last about 10 times longer.

Install switch plate occupancy sensors in proper locations to automatically turn off lighting when no one is present, and back on when people return. Even good equipment can be installed wrong, so don't install the sensor behind a coat rack, door, bookcase, etc. It must be able to “see” an approaching person’s motion to turn on the light before, or as they enter an unlit area.

Adjust lighting to your actual needs; use free "daylighting."

To prevent glare, eyestrain, and headaches, do not "over-light." Too much light can be as bad for visual quality as too little light — and it costs a lot more.

Install ENERGY STAR qualified exit signs. These exit signs can dramatically reduce maintenance by eliminating lamp replacement and can save up to $10 dollars per sign annually in electricity costs while preventing up to 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

Consider upgrading to T8 (1" diameter) fluorescent lamp tubes with solid-state electronic ballasts that are more efficient than older T12 (1.5" diameter) tubes with magnetic ballasts.

Plumbing

Repair leaking pipes, fixtures and seals. Install water-efficient appliances where applicable. Install efficient showerheads and faucets. Install controls that turn faucets off automatically. Put in high-efficiency toilets and urinals. Depending on your type of business, use horizontal axis washing machines.

Practice green landscaping (greenscaping or xeriscaping) to preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution. Install an insulation blanket on water heaters seven years of age or older, and insulate the first 3 feet of the heated water "out" pipe from your water heater.

Install an energy-efficient electric (ENERGY STAR) or gas (ENERGY STAR) water heater. In areas of infrequent water use, consider "tankless" water heaters to reduce "standby" storage costs and waste.

Last Modified: 08 October 2013 at 14:09