Every year electronics manufacturers bring their newest products to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Green technology took the 2008 show by storm. No one knows green technology such as ENERGY STAR, the government program that certifies products that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Energy Star appliances have passed tests set up by these government agencies. ENERGY STAR appliances will help consumers save money on their monthly utility bills because these appliances are more energy efficient.

Katharine Kaplan manages the development of ENERGY STAR requirements for consumer electronics and office equipment.

“The energy we use in our home actually is responsible for more greenhouse gas releases than our car, so we all think the car is the culprit and the car is an important piece of the story but so is the energy we use in our home,” Kaplan says.

When consumers purchase ENERGY STAR appliances, they actually help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

ENERGY STAR appliances have to pass quality tests as well as energy efficiency tests. The ENERGY STAR symbol should tell consumers that ENERGY STAR appliances are a good quality buy as well as a green choice. Kaplan says ENERGY STAR appliances tend to be 30 to 50 percent more efficient than conventional appliances.

The ENERGY STAR program has been successful so far because Americans are interested in trying to help save the environment. “What Americans need is the right tools to make good decisions about how they can improve the climate,” Kaplan says. “So what we try to do at ENERGY STAR is provide one simple label.”

The organization has 1,700 manufacturing partners, so there are plenty of ENERGY STAR appliances to choose from. The next time you’re planning on making a major purchase for your home, consider buying ENERGY STAR appliances. Each ENERGY STAR appliance can save consumers $4 to $10 off of their monthly utility bills. Savings like that add up.

Aug. 18, 2008.