Energy Star is the name you likely know, but if truly stellar energy performance revs your motor, go straight to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE).
What it means: CEE rates appliances, electronics, lighting, HVAC systems, and gas heating systems. At the website, you can download lists of products that meet CEE’s criteria. Do it before you shop because — bummer — CEE doesn’t put a label on compliant products.
CEE ratings are so stringent that the highest-rated Energy Star products are considered the low end of CEE’s roster (and Energy Star isn’t shabby!):
Appliances and HVAC systems are grouped into three tiers, taking both energy performance and water usage (if applicable) into account.
- Tier 1 products meet Energy Star requirements at a minimum.
- Tier 3 products are super-efficient—the cream of the crop.
CEE updates its ratings every month.
Pricing: Often high-efficiency products rated by CEE (and Energy Star) are more expensive than their less-efficient peers, but may cost less to operate annually.
Speaking of Energy Star…