Residential - Tips & tricks - Energuide Label and ENERGY STAR Symbol

Are you familiar with the word ecoenergy? It's an expression that is increasingly being used to denote "energy efficiency" and "energy savings." The term "ecoenergetic" is applied to appliances that require little energy. They allow consumers to save money on electric consumption in the home while helping to protect the environment.

The EnerGuide label
In 1978, the Canadian government launched its EnerGuide program to educate the public about the relationship between energy and the environment. Today, the program is managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) of Natural Resources Canada. Since 1995, electric appliances and air-conditioners all bear the EnerGuide label indicating the appliance's annual energy consumption. A graphic scale also compares the model's energy consumption with similar models sold on the Canadian market. When it's time to buy a new appliance, you are therefore able to make an informed decision on the device's energy efficiency. The information on the EnerGuide label is the result of numerous tests in accordance with the standards of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The tests are used to establish performance standards in keeping with economic and environmental concerns.

The ENERGY STAR symbol
The Canadian government adopted the ENERGY STAR standard following a 2001 agreement between Natural Resources Canada, the American Environmental Protection Agency, and the American energy department. The aim of the agreement is to promote the ENERGY STAR symbol as the international energy efficiency symbol. While the EnerGuide label allows consumers to compare the energy efficiency of different models, the ENERGY STAR symbol is a complement to the EnerGuide information, telling you more about the device's energy efficiency. In fact, it helps to identify models with a 15% to 50% higher energy performance than minimum Canadian standards. Throughout the country this symbol can be seen on domestic appliances, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems, light fixtures and signage, electric appliances, doors and windows, office supplies and commercial and industrial products.

Sometimes, the symbol appears on EnerGuide labels. When both symbols are seen on a single label, you can be sure that the model in question offers optimal energy efficiency that will give you substantial energy and money savings.

Changing standards
Over time, standards have changed and performance criteria entitling an appliance to ENERGY STAR status have also changed. In January 1st, 2004, refrigerators, refrigerator/freezers, and washing machines must meet the new criteria in order to bear the symbol of energy efficiency. To be certain that the appliance you are thinking of buying complies with ENERGY STAR standards, consult your retailer or see the updated list of admissible devices on the ENERGY STAR website of Natural Resources Canada.