Many families are looking for sustainable solutions to help the environment, and opting for ENERGY STAR® certified products is one way that you can do your part. These products are more efficient, saving energy in the process and helping you reduce your carbon footprint. From appliances to laptops and TVs, choosing ENERGY STAR certified products can significantly benefit the environment. Here’s why.

What does ENERGY STAR mean?

Energy Star logo

You might wonder what ENERGY STAR actually means when you see the label on a product. The ENERGY STAR label confirms that a product meets specific energy efficiency criteria. Products undergo stringent evaluation and testing by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a third-party entity to earn the certification. Not only do ENERGY STAR certified products operate more efficiently, but they’re also tested to ensure that they work as well as products that don’t meet the ENERGY STAR criteria. There’s no compromise when it comes to performance.

The requirements vary depending on the specific product, and you’ll find the ENERGY STAR logo on more than 80 product categories.

Along with initial testing, ENERGY STAR certified products are evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure they still meet qualifications. That means that even if you find a great product for a good deal that’s several years old, you can trust that the ENERGY STAR certification is still valid.

Why use ENERGY STAR certified products in your home?

Natural Resources Canada reports that, as of 2019, home appliances account for 14.1 percent of the energy used in the average home in Canada, while lighting accounts for 3.5 percent. The most energy use comes from space heating at 63.6 percent and water heating at 17.2 percent. Using more energy efficient tech across the board in your home, then, can result in significant energy savings and contribute to a more sustainable future.

According to ENERGY STAR, if U.S. homeowners were to switch to certified products, it could result in a savings of more than US$250 million and prevent close to 2.9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. That equates to close to 290,000 vehicles. The figures might be on a smaller scale in Canada, but the sentiment is the same.

What types of ENERGY STAR certified products are available?

ENERGY STAR certified products range from all types of appliances large and small to electronics, ventilation products, and even electrical vehicle chargers! Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common ones.

Computers and monitors

Acer Aspire 3 laptop

Computers can use a lot of energy and resources to run, but ENERGY STAR certified computers are designed to run at optimal performance while also being efficient. Computers are certified to use 25-40 percent less energy overall thanks to the integration of efficient components and better management of energy when the device is idle.

When it comes to monitors used alongside a desktop or laptop computer, on average, monitors that earn the ENERGY STAR certification are 7 percent more energy efficient than alternatives.

Large and small appliances

Samsung 24" 53dB Built-In Dishwasher

Many large appliances like refrigerators, ranges, and dishwashers as well as small ones like air purifiers and mini fridges meet the ENERGY STAR specifications. To earn the certification, a refrigerator must be at least 15 percent more efficient than minimum standards. For dishwashers, the ENERGY STAR specifications relate to the Energy Factor (EF) and cycles per kWh. The greater the EF number, the more efficient it is. For a category like air purifiers, those that meet the specifications are certified to use 25 percent less energy on average, and models that include a clock and/or remote control consume fewer than 2 watts of energy while in standby mode.

Additional features you might find in ENERGY STAR certified appliances can also help save energy. For example, a washing machine that is ENERGY STAR certified might also have an intelligent wash cycle that determines how much clothing is inside, or how soiled the items are. It will then adjust the wash cycle accordingly to use less water and/or heat and run for a reduced length of time.

Home living products

Camco 41313 Fluorescent Light Bulb

ENERGY STAR certified home living products include items like lighting and lamps, smart home products like smart thermostats, and more. An ENERGY STAR certified lightbulb uses at least two-thirds less energy than an incandescent bulb. An ENERGY STAR certified smart home thermostat may automatically adjust the temperature based on your habits, or by sensing when you aren’t home through connection to your smartphone. It might turn the air conditioning or heat down a few degrees once you leave for the day then turn it back up an hour or so before you’re likely to arrive back home. This prevents unnecessary heating or cooling of the home when no one is there, saving energy on a day-to-day basis.

Samsung 32-inch Tizen LED TV

TVs and home theatre

An ENERGY STAR certified TV must be about 25 percent more energy efficient than others. Wireless speakers operate using 45 percent less energy, reducing environmental impact. Most other ENERGY STAR certified home theatre products need to be up to 70 percent more efficient to meet ENERGY STAR certification. This means they run more efficiently both while in use and idle or in sleep mode.

Along with consuming less energy annually than conventional TVs, you might also find that ENERGY STAR certified TV have features such as sleep mode that uses minimal resources and turns off or dims the screen when you aren’t detected to be watching.

Other ENERGY STAR certified products

There are many more ENERGY STAR certified products available outside of the categories above that are designed to be more energy-efficient, helping you cut down on electricity usage and lower your household’s carbon footprint. Whether it’s advanced technology in printers that reduces power consumption or energy-saving features in audio and video equipment, choosing ENERGY STAR certified devices means opting for eco-friendly solutions that contribute to significant energy savings over time.

Find ENERGY STAR certified products at Best Buy

Best Buy offers a wide selection of ENERGY STAR certified products, including laptops, dishwashers, gaming consoles, refrigerators, TVs, washing machines, and more. Choosing these products when you need a new device or would like to upgrade can help the planet and your finances. By keeping your home and the products you use in it energy efficient, you’re contributing towards creating a better planet for future generations.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.


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