In today’s economy, homeowners are becoming more interested in green home remodeling, especially when it comes to a kitchen or home office remodeling project. These are rooms that house a lot of energy-hungry appliances and electronics like refrigerators, washing machines, computers, and printers, but how do you ensure you get the most efficient devices during your home renovation? Look for the Energy Star label.
Most people know that Energy Star rated appliances can save you energy and money, but how much? What happens if a qualifying appliance costs more than an unqualified competitor? Really worth it? The answer to these questions is found in the details of the program.
Energy Star, a federal government program, sets energy efficiency standards for a wide variety of appliances and electronics. These standards are periodically reviewed and tightened, typically when qualifying products achieve a 50% market share in their category. That way, the label will always apply to today’s most energy-efficient models, not the ones that were efficient in 1998.
Power usage standards vary by product. Manufacturers test their appliances and then apply for the Energy Star label. In order to qualify:
- Products must use significantly less energy than their non-efficient counterparts.
- Products must offer the features and performance expected for their category.
- If a product costs more than its less efficient competitor, the consumer should be able to recoup the difference in cost in a reasonable amount of time.
- Products must be labeled with energy information that allows consumers to choose between different Energy Star labeled products.
You may qualify for a tax credit
If you’re planning or have started a home remodel, 2010 is an especially good time to buy an Energy Star-qualified product. As part of the Recovery Act, the federal government has given money to individual states for a special rebate program. for appliances. Each state determines what types of Energy Star qualified appliances qualify for rebates and sets rebate amounts. Find out what your state offers.