Life Times Newsletter

May/June 2003
Vol. 5, No.3

Save money - look for the "Energy Star"

Did you know you could identify and buy energy-efficient products for your home and for your business that can save you money and help protect the environment as well? Just look for the "Energy Star" label.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced "Energy Star" in 1992 as a voluntary labeling program to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At first, only computer equipment was labeled, but steadily more products have been added in recent years.

American consumers have purchased more than 630 million products with the Energy Star label. Last year alone, Energy Star helped save enough energy at peak time to power 10 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 10 million cars.

Look for the Energy Star label when purchasing appliances, consumer electronics, heating and cooling equipment, home office equipment and lighting. These products have met guidelines set by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star labels can also be found on newly constructed homes.

The Energy Star website ( can help you evaluate the energy efficiency of your home and provide suggestions for improvement. In the St. Louis area, for example, the estimated annual energy bill for an average house is $1,456. If you upgraded your home using Energy Star program suggestions, you could reduce your energy bill by approximately half.

Check out the following examples of ways to reduce energy costs in a St. Louis area home.
Building improvements
Making the following building improvements could save up to 20 percent ($172) annually.

Heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment
A furnace with an Energy Star label can save approximately 15 percent ($105) on your annual heating bill.

Water heating and major appliances

Lighting, TVs and VCRs

For more information about the Energy Star program, call 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937), visit, or contact your local Extension office.

Sharon C. Laux, PhD
Environmental Design Specialist

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller