Energy Star®, a set of specifications for "green" products, was introduced in 1992 to promote energy efficient products and to inform consumers of products which can help to conserve energy. The term Energy Star® can be used to refer to either the set of requirements which products must meet to be listed, or the organization which produces them. Though the Energy Star specification was released in 1992, the EPA's efforts to promote energy efficiency began a full year earlier, with the Green Lights Program, a program designed to promote environmentally friendly lighting solutions. The concept behind both Energy Star and Green Lights was to offer a voluntary labeling system to identify products which met their specifications for efficiency. Computer equipment was the first target, but the list has expanded steadily each year since Energy Star®'s inception. In 1996, Energy Star formed a partnership with the US Department of Energy, to provide specifications for more categories of products.
Recently, in an attempt to get people outside the business world using labeled products, Energy Star® has been stressing the fact that by using more efficient products, you can save money on your electric bill.
Currently, products with Energy Star® specifications include:
Window air conditioners
Residential light fixtures
Windows (not the OS)
Consumer audio equipment
Compact fluorescent lights
Set-top boxes (as for cable TV)
Commercial washing machines
Supermarkets and grocery stores
Some commercial heating and cooling equipment
Solid door refrigerators and freezers