Seeing (Energy) Stars
By Tatyana Sinioukov
With the impending energy supply problems this year, a home appliance that conserves energy is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Appliance manufacturers and retailers are aggressively promoting Energy Star products, now that the program has gained critical mass with stricter standards and more product categories.
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary Energy Star ratings program geared up in 1996, with products hitting retail showrooms in 1998. Manufacturers and utilities participated first, and the program didn't see significant retail involvement until late 1998.