Energy Star

What Does Energy Star Mean?

Energy Star is a government-initiated labeling program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the early 1990s to recognize and promote energy-efficient products.


The program has also been adopted by Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Europe. Electronic devices that carry the Energy Star logo generally consume 20 to 30 percent less energy than required by federal standards.

The Energy Star logo is an international standard symbol for energy efficiency.

Techopedia Explains Energy Star

The Energy Star program was started by the U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in an attempt to reduce energy consumption and the amount of greenhouse emissions by power plants. The program was created by John S. Hoffman, who also invented the green programs at the EPA.

The Energy Star program was designed as part of a group of programs such as Green Lights and the Methane Program to show that reducing greenhouse gases could be profitable. Energy Star labeling first started with computer and printer products. In late 1995, the Energy Star label was introduced for new homes and residential heating and cooling systems. The Energy Star program has promoted the use of fluorescent lighting, LED traffic lights, management systems for office equipment and low standby energy use.

The specifications for Energy Star labeling vary with each electronic item, and are set by either the EPA or Department of Energy. The Energy Star program has designed energy performance rating systems for many commercial, institutional and manufacturing building types. The ratings are provided on a scale of one to 100 as a means of evaluating the energy efficiency of particular buildings against the energy performance of similar buildings and plants. The EPA considers energy performance ratings in order to determine whether a plant or building can qualify to receive Energy Star recognition.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.