Norma Walton on Energy Star Appliances: Worthwhile Investment
We are all familiar with the iconic ENERGY STAR logo and the celestial symbol that is indicative of quality products that are also environmentally friendly. While we are aware of what Energy Star appliances and machines offer, the question is, how much do we know about the history of the green rating system.
Introduced by the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992, the Energy Star system was developed to combat increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first commercially sold products to feature the voluntary rating. “Through 1995, EPA expanded the label to additional office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment,” reads the Energy Star website’s history section.
In 1996, the EPA partnered with United States Department of Energy to work on developing specific categories for the rating system. The ENERGY STAR logo and rating is now on appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings and plants.
The EPA has more 18,000 private and public partnerships utilizing the ENERGY STAR system to deliver the technical information and tools that consumers need to choose energy-efficient solutions.
According to the EPA, Energy Star appliances have “successfully delivered energy and cost savings across the country, saving businesses, organizations, and consumers $24 billion in 2012 alone.”
In order to verify and vet the hundreds of appliances and machines that have applied to get the ENERGY STAR rating, products must be tested at an EPA approved laboratory. Products that pass the testing and earn the rating are subject to off-the-shelf spot checks without notice to ensure they are complying with the stringent guidelines.
The ENERGY STAR rating and system has been paramount to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the more than two decades since its inception, the program has prevented 2.1 billion metric tons of GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere.
Energy Star appliances don’t only help protect the environment, they also reduce energy costs for homeowners and customers. Energy Star models are the most energy efficient in any product category, exceeding the energy efficiency minimums set by the federal government,” states the National Resources Defense Council. “In some parts of the country, utilities and state governments even sweeten the deal by offering rebates on Energy Star-rated models.”
Replacing the appliances in your home to ones that are certified with ENERGY STAR can dramatically reduce your energy bill, especially in countries where the temperatures fluctuate greatly. “Typically, Energy Star products use 20 to 30 percent less energy than their counterparts,” reports the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
Home appliances that feature an ENERGY STAR rating are especially attractive to new home buyers, real estate agents and those invested in the real estate sector, in part because they can increase the value of a home or condo. Norma Walton, a Toronto-based real estate investment expert and President and CEO of Rocket Property Ltd., confirms that ENERGY STAR rated appliances are definitely a selling feature investors and buyers are looking for. “Because the rating system is fairly new, you know appliances that have the rating are newer and adhere to very specific set of criteria,” Walton adds.
Norma Walton also points out that the energy savings is an added selling bonus. “These high quality appliances are designed to last a decade or more and offer great energy savings, making homes that have them very appealing,” Norma Walton explains.
While ENERGY STAR rated appliances may cost more than their cheaper, less efficient counterparts, the savings and reduced carbon footprint make them not only a smart choice, but a responsible choice as well.