You have probably seen the blue ENERGY STAR label while shopping for a new appliance, new electronic device, or even new windows. The blue label can be easily overlooked when you’re focused on price or the latest features, but that label is worth your attention because it could save you money and conserve natural resources at the same time.

What is ENERGY STAR? ENERGY STAR is an EPA program responsible for identifying energy-efficient products available for consumers, and its label ensures that these products are truly energy efficient. Companies that meet the high energy-efficiency standards of the EPA can volunteer to have their products labeled with the ENERGY STAR logo. The ENERGY STAR logo is not exclusive to products—new homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants can also earn the energy-efficient label.

How do products earn the ENERGY STAR label? In order to earn an ENERGY STAR rating, companies must have their products tested at an approved laboratory and are subject to random testing of on-the-floor models. According to ENERGY STAR, qualified products must meet the following specifications:

Energy Star Block Quote

Benefits of using ENERGY STAR products. If a lower operating cost isn’t enough for you to make the leap, the government offers tax rebates as an incentive for buying certain ENERGY STAR-approved products. If you have purchased an ENERGY STAR product, check the ENERGY STAR website to see if you can receive a tax rebate. Also stayed tuned to the EBSCO Research blog to learn even more about “green” rebates and incentives.

Energy-efficient products not only help save you money in the long run, but they also help reduce energy waste, which helps to protect our environment. By purchasing energy-efficient products, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Since its start in 1992, the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has been able to triple the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

So, the next time you need to narrow down which of the various appliances on the market is the best one for you, add “must have an ENERGY STAR label” to your list of requirements. You’ll be making a wise decision for your wallet and for the planet.

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