Joint Base San Antonio, Texas --
We hear a lot about “Energy Star” these days, but what does it really mean? It’s one of the Joint Base San Antonio energy policy requirements when choosing new or replacing old equipment and appliances, after all.
I decided to do a little research and find out. The first thing I did was search the Internet for “Energy Star” – profound, huh?
Google came up with 917 million results with the first non-commercial one being the Energy Star home page (http://www.energystar.gov). which tells me that Energy Star “is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.” That sounds logical.
Now I have several choices for more information: Find Energy Star Products, Energy Star Qualified, About Energy Star, Federal Tax Credits, Rebate Finder and Buildings and Plants.
Let’s look at “About Energy Star.” This contains information on how much money the program has saved us in home and business and how much it has protected the environment.
I want to know more about what it means if a product has an Energy Star label though, so I’m going to check out the “Energy Star Qualified” choice. Here I learn that the product has to meet the following “key guiding principles” to get the coveted label (which is quite a list):
• Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
• Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
• If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
• Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
• Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
• Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
Ok, we know what the criteria are for a product to get the label. Now let’s try an example. Say we want to purchase a new computer for the office.
I go to “Find Energy Star Products” on the home page and I find a categorized product listing, and under “Business & Government” and “Imaging Equipment” is a list of computers which can be downloaded in several different formats depending on your interest.
Here’s an interesting tidbit I ran across while researching: If all computers sold in the U.S. met energy star requirements, the savings in energy costs would grow to $1 billion each year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 1.4 million vehicles.
So the next time you buy equipment for the office, remember that you are required to choose from the Energy Star approved listing. But it’s a good idea to check this list when buying appliances at home as well.
Even if the purchase price appears a little higher than some other brands, you will save money over the long haul.
For more information about energy conservation, call the base energy manager for JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 671-1537, JBSA-Randolph at 671-6468 and JBSA-Lackland at 671-0252.