July 15, 2011 by Steven Castle
If you’ve ever shopped for energy-efficient Energy Star-certified products, you may notice that there can be a lot of to choose from.
Now there’s a way to identify the most efficient Energy Star products.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which oversee the Energy Star program, are starting a pilot program to designate the “Most Efficient” products in their class. The new designation aims to provide all manufacturers with an incentive for greater product energy efficiency while providing consumers new information about the products that comprise the top tier in the categories.
“We know American consumers are eager to make purchases that save them money on their utility bills and reduce the pollution in the air we breathe, and these labels will help them identify the best ways to find those purchases,” says EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This new designation will help Americans save money and cut pollution by quickly pointing them to the best Energy Star products have to offer.”
The Most Efficient recognition will represent approximately the top 5 percent of models on the market in the following categories: clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers.
TVs listed as most efficient include models from Insignia, LG, Panasonic and Samsung, with nearly every size up to 55 inches included and comprising several LED-backlit models. Clothes washers and central air conditioning systems also have Most Efficient designations, with refrigerators on the way.
Later this year, the EPA will initiate a process to consider additional product categories for inclusion in 2012.
Consumers will be able to identify Most Efficient products on the Energy Star website and in stores by looking for the Most Efficient designation. In addition to meeting established performance requirements, products must also be Energy Star-qualified and certified by an EPA-recognized certification body. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit products that meet the requirements to EPA for recognition.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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