When EnergyStar began pilot testing its “Most Efficient” label in 2011, some companies and trade associations were concerned that having an additional top tier designation would take away from the existing Energy Star Gold label. Initially, only a few companies were onboard with the program, and only a handful of products met the criteria for the label.
Meant to provide some incentive for manufacturers to continuously improve efficiency, the Most Efficient label sets a high bar and so far only applies to televisions, refrigerators, washers, and heating and cooling equipment. The Most Efficient standards for refrigerator/freezers require them to be about 30 percent more efficient than standard models. TV requirements call for 80 percent more efficiency than common products on the market.
As it closes its second pilot year, all concerns have been erased and the program’s success is solid. According to the EPA, the washer and TV categories have exploded in 2012: At the beginning of the year, there were 24 clothes washers and 63 televisions that were eligible for Most Efficient status. Currently, there are 66 Most Efficient clothes washers and 455 Most Efficient televisions.
For companies, of course, it’s not just about getting a gold star for energy efficiency but about how energy efficient products sell, and so far that’s a success story as well. LG announced last week a 75 percent increase in sales of Energy Star Most Efficient products. Part of that increase is due to an increase in the number of Most Efficient-designated products in the company’s line: LG had only eight televisions and five washing machines eligible for the label when the program launched in 2011. Now, it has more than 60 Most Efficient products available, across all four product categories (refrigerators, televisions, washers, and heating and cooling).
Graphic of two women standing next to refrigerator provided by sparkstudio/Shutterstock
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