From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published July 15, 2011 10:15 AM

The Most Efficient Energy Star

Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States of America. It was first created as a United States government program during the early 1990s, but Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have also adopted the program. Devices carrying the Energy Star logo, such as computer products and peripherals, kitchen appliances, buildings and other products, generally use 20%—30% less energy than required by federal standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy announced July 14 for the first time products recognized as the most energy-efficient in their categories among those that have earned the Energy Star label. This pilot program is part of Energy Star’s overall commitment to protect people’s health and the environment by encouraging energy efficiency. The Most Efficient initiative also continues Energy Star’s work to provide consumers with the best efficiency information so they can make investments that will lower their energy bills and environmental impact. The new designation of Most Efficient 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.

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Products that receive the Most Efficient designation demonstrate exceptional and cutting-edge efficiency performance that environmentally-minded consumers and early adopters value. The Most Efficient recognition will represent approximately the top five percent of models on the market in the following categories: clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers.

The following Energy Star partners’ products are among the first to be recognized as Most Efficient: Electrolux Major Appliances, Sears’ Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Best Buy’s Insignia Brand, Panasonic, Nordyne, and Rheem. Later this year, EPA will initiate a process to consider additional product categories for potential 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.

The new rating system is attempting to distinguish the top performers in terms of energy efficiency as well as various environmental use factors such as water consumption.  An example for a clothes washer is as follows.

Product must meet applicable Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and Water Factor (WF) requirements for a washer bigger than 2.5 cubic feet.  

MEF > or = 3.0

WF > or = 3.3

For further information:  http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/26E61B6A9A9D8C2D852578CD0057A2AA

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