The government is updating the Energy Star program and launching a new higher tier of certification called “Superstar,” Marketplace reports. The program currently certifies the top 25% most energy-efficient products in a given category, so the new star might be for the top 5%. Energy Star could certainly use an overhaul; last year the Government Accountability Office found it was able to submit and get certified 15 of 20 phony products, including a gasoline-powered alarm clock. [More]
Last year the Department of Energy, which co-administers the Energy Star certification program with the EPA, admitted that it allows many companies to certify their goods themselves. That was somewhat worrying, but nothing like what happened earlier this year when government auditors successfully got ludicrously power-hungry designs approved for the Energy Star label. The EPA and Energy Department have responded by announcing a new, stricter certification process. [More]
Your new washer, dryer, fridge, monitor, or TV set may have an Energy Star label on it, but it turns out that nobody is making sure that means anything, reports the New York Times. Our parent organization Consumer Reports pointed out that this was a problem a year ago.
Save money on heating and cooling bills and save on your 2009 taxes by making energy efficient improvements to your house. EnergyStar.gov has got the lowdown on how you can get tax credits by installing new windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters. Unfortunately, upgrades made during 2008 are not eligible, but with this info you can get going for this year. For a breakdown of all the tax credits, Consumer Reports Home & Garden blog has a good post.
If you’re going to buy an air conditioner unit this summer, remember to pick the right size. [Energy Star]
Energy Star appliances will save you enough money to warrant you purchasing them regardless of tax breaks, but hey, why not get some tax breaks?