If you’ve been paying attention recently when buying office equipment, appliances, electronics, even light bulbs — chances are you’ve seen the blue “Energy Star” seal. Products are allowed to carry the Energy Star seal if they meet Federal guidelines for being energy efficient.
Energy Star products help you save energy, in turn helping the environment and saving you money on utility bills.
One of the growing trends I’ve noticed is retailers such as Amazon, and manufacturers such HP, jumping on the green and blue bandwagon. They are making it easy for you to shop for Energy Star products. For instance, they are setting up dedicated websites just for green products. And since an educated consumer is more likely to buy green, they’re also providing advice for how to “green” your business and your life.
About Energy Star
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. The program has been around for 16 years. But as the trend toward going green has accelerated over the past 2 years, after gas and energy costs spiked so high, the Energy Star program seems to be more visible than ever.
The Energy Star program covers business products as well as consumer products. With business products, the savings can be considerable. For instance, Energy Star approved printers are 25% more energy efficient. In the home, you likewise can save on energy, even with small moves like changing light bulbs. Replacing your home’s five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR approved ones saves $70 a year.
The Energy Star website itself is packed with helpful tips for saving on energy, and a variety of useful resources, including:
- Section for small businesses. This section of the Energy Start website speaks to small business strategies for saving energy. There you can download a 39-page guide called “Putting Energy into Profits” with tips for saving energy and going green.
- How to save energy in a typical home. This section includes an interactive tour of a home (including a home office) showing where you can save money.
- Listing of Federal tax energy credits. A comprehensive list of tax credits for becoming more energy efficient.
- Rebate locator. You can search by zip code to find Energy Star rebates and special offers covering roughly 50 product categories.
Who’s Selling Energy Star Products?
There are over 40,000 product models carrying the blue Energy Star seal.
Amazon.com’s Green Store sells Energy Star products. For instance, in the Amazon Green Store Electronics section, all of the electronics, such as telephones and computers, are Energy Star-qualified products. The Store even has sidebar widgets that display the bestselling Energy Star TVs and LCD monitors. To help make you a more educated buyer, Amazon Green Store also features a variety of green buying guides. There’s also the Green Scene blog at Amazon that offers tips about the green life.
Best Buy is another retailer with a section of its website dedicated to Energy Star products.
And if it’s brick and mortar retailers you are looking for, the Energy Star website lists major retailers along with links to their store locators.
Product manufacturers also are jumping on board. HP has its Eco Store website. They offer the EcoHighlights labeling system for products. These special labels show key environmental attributes including energy efficiency, packaging and recycling information, in addition to qualifications such as Energy Star. You can also instantly download a complimentary copy of Green IT for Dummies, a PDF book designed to help businesses go green with their information technology.
Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd. Do you need a better excuse to look into saving money AND helping the environment?