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Energy Star

ENERGY STAR is one of the most effective public sector voluntary behavior change programs in U.S. history. The program was designed with the goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the energy efficiency of products. ENERGY STAR sets national specifications for energy efficient products that are in the top 20% of efficiency for the product category. As efficiency in each product category improves, the specification moves up, encouraging continual improvement. Manufacturers that meet the specifications can use the ENERGY STAR label on products and in their marketing. Utilities can set rebate dollars based on a nationally accepted specification which makes it easy for manufacturers and retailers to participate in their rebate programs. Ultimately, consumers can easily identify products that are energy efficient when shopping. This case study was designated in 2017. We did not receive permission to publish the full case study.



  • Saved more than 3 trillion kWh (all sectors)
  • Reduced 12.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Saved Americans more than $430 Billion on their utility bills


  • More than 5.5 Billion ENERGY STAR products sold in 70 product categories – Label awareness at 87%

Return on Investment

  • $362 Billion in benefits to society (net energy bill savings; does not include climate benefits to society)
  • 500%+ ROI (In 2014 alone, consumers and business saved $31.5 billion while costs were about $57 million. This an ROI of 550 to 1.)


  • More than 20,000 partners
  • National retailers and manufacturer partners actively promoting ENERGY STAR (e.g. Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Whirlpool)
  • Tied with Good Housekeeping as most trusted label in the U.S. 


The text above was written in 2017 by Jay Kassirer.

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