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A LABEL THAT CUTS POLLUTION

EPA's Energy Star Label Can Cut Pollution, Save Money

Wouldn't you like a clear, simple way to figure out what refrigerator,dishwasher, or computer is friendliest to the environment?

Well, you're in luck. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) andDepartment of Energy (DOE) have developed a new labeling program thatwill help households save energy and curb global warming. The labelis called "Energy Star" and is found on appliances and products thatmeet high energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA or DOE.

Energy Star labels are placed on more efficient home appliances suchas thermostats, washing machines, TVs, VCRs, home office equipment,and residential lighting. Each appliance achieves efficiency in itsown way. For example, computers and copiers power down or go to sleepwhen left on, and TVs and VCRs use new circuitry to cut energyconsumption while they are off.

Energy Star appliances could save the average American household about $400 a year on electricity costs. Using less electricity means lessfossil fuel burned to produce that energy. The pollution savings fromequipping a single household with Energy Star labeled products can bethe equivalent of taking a car off the road for seven years.

The savings add up. An example of home energy waste: a personalcomputer and monitor left on for 3 hours per day would use 155kilowatt hours (kwh) per year. This would cause 220lbs of CO2 to beemitted per year. (That's because the average US utility emits .65kilograms of CO2 per kwh. So, 155 kwh X 0.65 kg CO2/kwh = 100 kg/year= 220 lbs CO2/year.)

Written by: Sierra Club

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