What Does the ENERGY STAR® Label Mean?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

The ENERGY STAR® logo is a widely recognized symbol of energy efficiency for both residential customers and commercial businesses. Whether you’re in need of a new washing machine or a new industrial grade water heater, ENERGY STAR® appliances are a reliable means of cutting energy costs.

Each ENERGY STAR® rated appliance is equipped with an EnergyGuide label that outlines key appliance features, estimated yearly operating costs, and estimated yearly energy usage. According to the ENERGY STAR® website, this appliance standard was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make it easy for consumers to identify high-performing energy efficient products. Backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, consumers have looked towards ENERGY STAR® for government certified energy efficient products since 1992.

The EPA outlines a strict set of guidelines for ENERGY STAR® rated products. For example, refrigerators must be at least 15 percent more efficient than the federal efficiency standard, and TVs must consume three watts or less when switched off. The guiding principles outlining the label include:

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide

  • Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers while using less energy

  • If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment through the energy savings from their utility bill

  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer

  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing

  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.

Because of the constant innovation of energy efficient technologies, the EPA revises their principles anytime there is a change in the federal minimum efficiency standards or anytime there is an issue with equipment performance. To find a list of ENERGY STAR® rated appliances, visit their website here.

To further understand the energy trends of your building, consider benchmarking with the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool. You can calculate your energy usage, compare to similar buildings, and receive a personalized ENERGY STAR® score between 1-100. Those with a score of 75 or higher may be eligible for ENERGY STAR® certification.

Your score is based on the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) which is a national energy survey administered every four years by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Information Administration. Once you input key building information, the system will use data from the CBECS to generate an estimate of your building’s energy usage. It will then compare this estimate to your actual data to calculate your score.

For any questions on ENERGY STAR® rated appliances or how to get started in energy efficiency, please contact 360 Energy Group at info@360eg.com or 312-265-3971.


How a Product Earns the ENERGY STAR Label. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.energystar.gov/products/how-product-earns-energy-star-label

Use Portfolio Manager. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager