If you’ve bought a major appliance in the U.S. during the past decade, you’ve probably noticed the government-issued Energy Star certification. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Their goal is to “help us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.”
But Energy Star goes beyond simply recommending energy-efficient washers and dryers. The web site offers a number of useful resources. Main sections include:
- Energy Star qualified products — “Products in more than 50 categories are eligible for the Energy Star. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.”
- Home improvement — There’s a wide range of resources here for homeowners. There’s a list of common home problems and solutions. If you have your last year’s worth of energy bills, the home energy yardstick can compare your home to others across the country and give recommendations for improvements. There’s also information about home energy audits.
- Energy Star qualified new homes — “An Energy Star qualified new home performs better for the homeowner and the environment thanks to a variety of energy-efficient features.”
With tax season in full-swing, it’s probably worthwhile to check the list of Federal tax credits for energy efficiency. Most of these expired at the end of 2007, but were valid for all of last year. Other resources include the news room, which contains information about the program, and — believe it or not — the Energy Star podcast.