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ENERGY STAR – An Overview

If you’ve ever noticed an ENERGY STAR label on your electrical products, you might wonder what this means.  ENERGY STAR is a government-backed symbol that lets consumers know that this product is designed to save money and to protect the environment.

The ENERGY STAR label was originally created to help with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that are caused by electrical equipment that is inefficient. It was also created to help consumers to identify energy-efficient products that will help them to save on their energy bills without sacrificing performance and great features.

Certainly, many companies such as IDT Energy recognize the merits of the ENERGY STAR label and recommend their use to help cut down costs and environmental issues.

New York State offers its residents a great program designed to help them save money while saving energy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses which are released into the environment.

The program is called Home Performance, and together with Energy Star the goal is to help New Yorker’s save as much as 40% of their energy costs during the winter months. The program is sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, (NYSERDA), which hopes to improve the energy efficiency of any style or size homes and save homeowners as much as $600 per year.

The program works by sending out a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Accredited Home Performance contractor who will assess the efficiency of the home by checking and measuring all aspects of its energy use, such as insulation, air infiltration levels, heating/cooling systems, appliances and lighting. The specialists will also check ovens, water heaters, and other devices and equipment to make sure that there are no dangerous leaks of carbon monoxide into the house.

At the completion of the assessment the BPI contractor will describe what improvements can be made, how much those improvements will cost, and what kinds of financial incentives exist and can be made available to homeowners to make those changes. Incentives might include low-interest financing and other means by which the needed improvements can be made without the homeowner incurring and undue burden.

“There’s no better time than now to change the way we use energy in our homes,” says Peter R. Smith, president of NYSERDA. “Energy costs continue to rise and conserving energy is essential. For some New Yorkers, that may mean building an energy-efficient home, making an existing home more efficient, or following simple energy savings tips. No matter what the measure, every bit counts.

IDT Energy is pleased to bring to the attention of energy consumers the variety of ways New Yorkers can take advantage of innovative programs which are available to help save money and protect our environment.

Understanding Energy Star

When you look to purchase major appliances, light bulbs and electrical items today, you’ll usually see some with the Energy Star label. Are these better products? Are they worth purchasing? Here, we explain the Energy Star rating to help you to make an educated decision for yourself.

The Energy Star rating indicates that a product has met strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. These products use less energy and save you money on your electricity bill. At the same time, they are good for the environment, as they cause less emission from power plants.

Some examples of Energy Star products and their benefits include:

  1. Energy Star TVs use 3 watts or less when switched off, while standard TVs consume almost 6 watts.
  2. Refrigerators that are Energy Star are 15% more efficient than what the federal efficiency standards require.
  3. Light bulbs with the rating use two-thirds less energy than the standard bulb. They also have to meet additional operating and reliability guidelines.