The US government has launched a pilot program to clearly identify – for the first time – the top-performing products in its Energy Star program.
About 5% of the most efficient models will qualify for the "Most Efficient" label in the following categories: clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers.
Later this year, EPA will initiate a process to consider additional product categories for potential inclusion in 2012.
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that helps Americans identify products that save money and protect the environment through greater energy efficiency.
The agencies say the new designation aims to incentivize manufacturers to go further on energy efficiency, rather than just meeting basic criteria.
The first top performing products that will be recognized as Most Efficient are: Electrolux Major Appliances, Sears Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Best Buy’s Insignia Brand, Panasonic, Nordyne, and Rheem.
Products that receive the Most Efficient designation demonstrate "exceptional and cutting-edge efficiency performance that environmentally-minded consumers and early adopters value," says DOE.
Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy efficiency specifications set by the EPA.
Last year alone, Energy Star products saved an estimated $18 billion on US energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to annual emissions of 33 million vehicles.
Here’s more information on Energy Star Most Efficient products: