ENERGY STAR® products are the same or better than standard products, but they use less energy. To earn the ENERGY STAR, they must meet strict efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Since the products use less energy, they save you money on your energy bill and help protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants. Some examples:
– ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators are at least 15% more efficient than the minimum efficiency standard.
– ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs (CFLs) use two-thirds less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and must meet additional operating and reliability guidelines.
– ENERGY STAR qualified furnaces offer a rating of 90% AFUE or greater, which is about 15% more efficient than the minimum federal efficiency standard.
Nearly all products that use gas or electricity can qualify, including lighting products, heating and air conditioning, computers, office equipment, and refrigerators. For a complete listing of products, visit the ENERGY STAR website at www.energystar.gov.
Please check out this website, www.ase.org/taxcredits, to learn what equipment may be eligible for federal tax credits in 2010. Be sure to also consult your tax advisor.
For recommendations on the safe recycling of compact fluorescent light bulbs, visit recycleabulb.com. There are also some retailers (such as IKEA) who are collecting CFLs at stores as part of their recycling program. Or, contact your local county’s recycling center.
Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following clean-up and disposal guidelines.