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Follow the Energy Star to savings!

April 28, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use


When you go shopping for a major appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, washer or TV, or an even bigger purchase such as a heat pump, do you take the extra step to make sure they’re Energy Star qualified?

If you do, you’re among the millions of people who have embraced this federal program instituted in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-qualified appliances use electricity more efficiently, saving you money on your power bill. Even if the Energy Star product costs a little more up front, it will typically pay for itself over time, often with dramatic results. Check out

Energy Star has an impressive track record. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from the time Energy Star came on the national scene, “...families and businesses have realized savings of more than $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades.” That’s impressive.

A few years back, Energy Star took some criticism for branding products certified when their real-world performance was less than stellar. So, EPA addressed that shortcoming and has implemented third-party certification requirements and testing. That’s reassuring. Today, you can buy Energy Star products with greater confidence that you will realize real savings.

Since the early 1990s, the word has gotten around about Energy Star. In 2015, more than 45 percent of U.S. households reported purchasing an Energy Star-certified product, according to a survey by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency. Moreover, 88 percent of households recognize the label and 77 percent indicated the label was “influential” in their purchasing decision, while 52 percent reported it was “very influential.”

Energy Star is voluntary government program with an impressive track record that saves consumers money and provides tremendous environmental benefits. So, whether you’re in the store or online, look for the Energy Star for your next big purchase. And don’t forget, Santee Cooper has rebates available for qualifying upgrades through our Reduce The Use program

Also, take minute or two to study that yellow and black energy card that should be displayed with the appliance. It will show you how much the product will cost you to operate. That small piece of paper, good for comparison shopping, is your key to a wise purchase---and will likely result in a lower power bill.