Energy Star: Leading energy efficiency across the Atlantic

November 21, 2007

Energy Star

The Energy Star program was started in 1992 by the U.S. government. The site has a lot of information for consumers, businesses and public sector organizations. It’s a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy about “helping (Americans) all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices”.

In the European Union, the EU Energy Star programme is concerned more specifically with energy efficient office equipment (not as easy to navigate, but still useful). This is managed by the European Commission.

The U.S. site says that, “The quality of our environment is everyone’s responsibility.” At this point I fell into my cynical hat, perhaps never to be seen again. Then I remembered that saying something is everyone’s responsibility is not the same as anyone in particular doing something about it.

On one hand, perhaps I was in a nit-picking mood when I read the following statistic.

Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2006 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million cars – all while saving $14 billion on their utility bills.

But what is this supposed to mean? 25 million cars doing what?… standing still in the garage? (obviously not that, so…) 1 mile each? the average annual mileage for a family car? (bearing in mind that what is average car-wise in the U.S. is larger than in Europe.

On the other hand, it’s good that anyone takes energy saving seriously.

On the other, other hand, has it lead to more vampire electronics sucking energy when they should be switched off entirely?

Update – 2008/02/06: Checking the EnergyStar site further, EnergyStar has already been extended to cover aspects of energy-efficient products in the following International Partners:

energy star 2 I’ve found another Energy Star logo, which appears to be used by partners of the programme. However, I’ve yet to find the offcial source of this logo.

This entry is part of the Infomancy Eco-Symbols Series.

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