Monday, July 26, 2010

EcoMonday: EnergyStar, demystified

You hear it bandied about all the time: "Get an Energy Star appliance, it'll help." But what does that mean? Is it just a case of green-washing, another gimmick for companies to push more goods under the guise of environmentalism?

Is this an Energy Star Appliance? If so, what does that mean? Read on to find out more.

Well, Energy Star really does exist. It's backed by the U.S. Government and by the EPA, and serves as an international standard for energy-efficient appliances. It was created in 1992, under the Clinton administration, and originally was meant to just cover computers. Since then, though, it's been expanded (we're now in Energy Star version 5.0 for computers, by the way), and now the guidelines comprise everything from refrigerators to windows and doors, which can contribute to energy loss by not sealing efficiently, or letting in too much heat or cold.
Really quickly, here's some information about what that means for your office:
  • Energy Star retrofitted and built-to-specification vending machines can save 50% more energy than models that haven't been built to Energy Star standards.
  • Energy Star water coolers can save up to 45% more energy than standard units.
  • Energy Star computers use between 30 and 60% less energy than non-Energy Star units.

You can also apply to be an Energy Star office (The Hub is LEED Silver certified, which we believe encompasses a larger set of standards, but Energy Star is a great place to start. Energy Star building information can be found here.)

At The Hub, everything from our servers to our dishwasher has the Energy Star stamp of approval on it. We don't purchase appliances that don't carry some kind of efficiency standard. And, because of the recent March controversy over Energy Star, during which 10 of 15 bogus items were passed through Energy Star standards, we try to do a little back-checking, using the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy web site as a backstop.

Heck, a little research never hurt anyone, and we'll do it in the name of fiscal and environmental responsibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment