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Energy Star Certification: What Is It? And Why Is It Important? 

Sustainable Home

Last Updated on April 9, 2024

The Energy Star certification is a super important advancement made in the eco living space. Not only do energy efficient appliances backed by ES save you money, but they also conserve precious resources like water and electricity.

Eco friendly appliances backed by an Energy Star certification have so many benefits for you and for the planet! Fridges alone count for about 20% of your electric bill, so imagine the money saved by purchasing an Energy Star refrigerator — let alone pairing it with an Energy Star dishwasher and/or Energy Star washer. Not to mention the metric tons of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions!

A washer and dryer unit with overlay text reading "The Best 18 Energy Star Appliances for Your Next Home Project" in a post about why the Energy Star Certification is important.

energy efficient appliances

Searching for a new appliance or electronic? Chances are you’ll come across the “Energy Star” certification – a blue sticker with a star on it in the corner of appliances such as washing machines and fridges. But what exactly is this label and why do you need it? 

90% of American households recognize the logo, making it one of the most widely recognized consumer symbols in the nation. Products certified with this label can help lower electric bills and save energy. 

In 2019 alone, the Energy Star certification and ES’s partners helped Americans avoid $39 billion in energy costs. These savings translate to the equivalent of 390 million metric tons of emission reductions in greenhouse gases. 

In order to be Energy Star qualified, products must meet strict energy efficiency guidelines. It’s important to note that eco friendly appliances labeled “energy-efficient” may use less energy but may not meet the strict standards to be an Energy Star product.   

They’ve also created a newer, top-tier label called “Most Efficient.” It was created in 2011 to highlight innovative, best-of-the-best products.  

While the criteria for earning the Energy Star label is infrequently updated, requirements for ranking on the “Most Efficient” list are revised annually. And recently, the EPA kicked gas-burning heaters and clothes dryers off its “Most Efficient” list. 

If you’re in the market for a new appliance, you’re in luck: I’ve rounded up 18 Energy Star appliances for your home. Every appliance on this list will keep your energy bill down and reduce energy waste.  

Photo of a kitchen with an Energy Star refrigerator in it.

how does the energy star certification work? 

Energy Star is a government-backed symbol for energy efficiency that can be found on thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations. The Energy Star symbol ensures that each particular device is an energy-efficient product.  

The Energy Star program was established in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the authority of the Clean Air Act Section 103(g). The EPA ensures each product that earns the Energy Star label is independently certified to deliver the efficiency, performance, and savings that consumers expect.  

An image of an Energy Star dishwasher with dishes loaded into the top rack.

do eco friendly appliances make a difference ? 

Energy Star does make a difference both on your electricity bill and how much energy you save. On average, an Energy Star certified appliance will use anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less energy each year than a non-energy efficient equivalent. It’s worth noting that the average home appliance lasts 10 to 20 years – so Energy Star will help you save for years to come. 

Reducing energy use limits the number of carbon emissions in the environment. Most outlets pull electricity from nearby power plants. These power plants typically burn fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

These power plants also emit other harmful air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, that lead to unhealthy air. By switching to energy efficient appliances, we can reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.

Energy efficient appliances - an Energy Star washer next to organizational racks.

what’s the difference between high-efficiency and energy star? 

The difference between high-efficiency (HE) and Energy Star is that HE pertains only to washing machines. If you have a HE washing machine, it features technology that helps reduce the amount of water and energy needed to do a load of laundry. 

However, the Energy Star label can be used for a variety of appliances, not just washing machines. Energy Star appliances will save you 10% to 50% of the energy required, depending on the comparison model. 

Most HE washing machines are also Energy Star compliant. An Energy Star washer uses about 25% less energy and 33% less water than a regular washer. Over the lifetime of the product, washers that have earned the ES label can save $370 in energy costs. 

Best rule of thumb? Look for a washer that has the Energy Star label and is HE. This will save you the most amount of money and water.  

the best appliances with an energy star certification

Now that you know what ES is, here are 18 energy efficient appliances that’ll save you money on your electric bill while saving the planet. Each of these appliances has earned the Energy Star label and some are even on the coveted “Most Efficient” list.

I’ve organized them into separate categories: Energy Star dishwashers, refrigerators, dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, and air conditioners. There’s something for everyone, whether you have a small or big space to work with — I’ve taken it all into account. Feel free to jump to whichever section suits your needs.

energy star refrigerators

Almost 20 percent of your electric bill is from your refrigerator! So it’s essential you get one that’s energy efficient, like one of these Energy Star refrigerators.

Whirlpool: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

1. whirlpool

  • 21 cu. ft. side by side refrigerator
  • Has four freezer baskets/bins, three freezer shelves, four refrigerator shelves, and adjustable gallon door bins 
  • Humidity control
  • Outdoor/indoor ice dispenser 
  • Has LED lighting on both sides 
  • Night-light on the water dispenser 
  • 1 year limited warranty  


LG: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

2. lg

  • model ltcs20020s
  • 20 cu. ft. top freezer refrigerator
  • Rated Energy Star Most Efficient in 2020 
  • Has two shelves, two humidity crisper bins, two gallon-sized bins on the refrigerator door, and one freezer shelf 
  • Option for an ice maker included with purchase 
  • 5 year warranty 


Frigidaire: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

3. frigidaire

  • model ffet1022uv
  • 10.1 cu. ft. top freezer refrigerator
  • Perfect for smaller kitchens or dorms 
  • Two full-width door bins, two crisper drawers, and two adjustable glass shelves
  • Freezer has two bins and one shelf 
  • Reversible door swing options 
  • LED lighting 
  • 1 year warranty (parts and labor) 


LG: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

4. lg

  • model lmxs28596s
  • 28 cu. ft. instaview door-in-door refrigerator
  • Four-doors with two dedicated separate freezer drawers, freezer has two bins 
  • Remote temp control and cell notifications
  • InstaView Door-in-Door – knock twice to see what’s inside
  • Child-lock feature 
  • Fingerprint and smudge resistant 
  • 1 year warranty (parts and labor)  



It takes a lot of energy to dry your clothes. While air drying on a clothing line might be the most eco-friendly option, it’s not viable for everyone. Here are some energy efficient dryers you can stack or situate next to a washer.

Whirlpool: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

5. whirlpool

  • model wed562ohw
  • Front load electric powered dryer 
  • Includes “eco boost” and sanitize programs
  • 36 cycle options so you can de-wrinkle, dry bulky stuff, and more 
  • Optional laundry pedestals for storing detergent and other laundry supplies 
  • 1-5 warranty protection options 


Miele: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

6. miele twi180wp

  • model twi180wp
  • Front load electric powered dryer 
  • EnergyStar Most Efficient list 
  • Remote access and remote diagnostics with WiFi technology 
  • 20 different drying cycles
  • Wrinkle care and steam cycle 
  • 1 or 2 year limited warranty 


IG: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

7. lg

  • model dle7000w
  • Top load electric powered dryer 
  • Ultra large capacity 
  • Built-in Sensor Dry – detects moisture & auto adjusts drying time 
  • FlowSense™ Duct Clogging & Lint Filter Indicators 
  • Warranty 1 year (for parts and labor), drum 3 years 


Bosch: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

8. bosch

  • Model wtw87nh1uc
  • Front load electric powered dryer 
  • 14 individually-tailored drying programs 
  • Ventless, compact design ideal for small apartments and condos 
  • Remote monitoring and app use 
  • Touch control display 
  • Dual-Layer Lint Filtration System 
  • 1 year warranty


energy star washers

Washing machines use up a lot of energy to get our clothes clean. Here are some energy efficient options.

Whirlpool: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

9. whirlpool

  • Model wfw5620hw
  • Front load washer
  • Load & Go dispenser: holds enough laundry soap for 20 loads 
  • Single load dispenser included if you want to use a different detergent every wash 
  • 35 wash cycles and options 
  • 1-5 year warranty protection options 


LG: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

10. lg

  • Model wt7150cw
  • Top load washer  
  • Mega capacity 
  • TurboDrum Technology: creates enhanced but gentler clean 
  • ColdWash technology which further saves energy 
  • SmartDiagnosis helps diagnose problems over the phone or with an app on your phone 
  • 10 Year Warranty on Inverter DirectDrive Motor 


Kenmore: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

11. kenmore

  • Model 31652 
  • Top load washer 
  • Built-In Water Faucet & Impeller 
  • Dispenser drawer 
  • Direct Drive Motor — spin speeds up to 850 RPM to remove more moisture from clothes 
  • LCD Screen With Capacitive Touch Controls  
  • 1 year limited warranty 


Samsung: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

12. samsung

  • Model wf45a6400av/us
  • Front load washer 
  • Energy Star Most Efficient list 2021 
  • AI powered smart dial — learns and recommends your favorite wash cycles 
  • Super speed wash — a full load of laundry (8lbs) is ready in just 28 minutes 
  • WiFi connectivity 
  • 3-5 year warranty plan 


energy star dishwashers

Even a non Energy Star dishwasher actually saves more water than handwashing! But you can save even more energy by purchasing one of these dishwashers.

Fisher and Paykel: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

13. fisher and paykel

  • Model dd24sctx9n
  • Single dish drawer  
  • Ideal for compact spaces 
  • Up To 7 place settings 
  • 15 Cycles | 3 options 
  • Flexible racking 
  • Sanitize option 


Miele: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

14. miele

  • Model g7516sci
  • Built-in dishwasher 
  • AutoStart technology and MobileControl
  • Integrated PowerDisk automatically dispenses the correct amount of detergent 
  • 12 Wash Cycles 
  • Wi-Fi Enabled 
  • 3-5 year warranty protection plan 


Faberware: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

15. faberware

  • Model fcd06aswwhc
  • Countertop dishwasher 
  • 6-place setting capacity 
  • 6 wash cycles 
  • Speed wash and self cleaning 
  • Ideal for small homes, apartments, dorms and campers/RVs 
  • 1 year limited warranty  


air conditioners

Staying cool doesn’t have to mean a super high electricity bill. Give one of these wall units a shot, if you don’t have access to central cooling.

Frigidaire: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

16. frigidaire

  • Model ffre063za 16,000 btu
  • 110-volt window unit 
  • Ideal for rooms between 150 and 250 square feet 
  • Remote control temperature and fan settings 
  • Three cooling speeds and 24-hour timer 
  • 1 year warranty 


Midea: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

17. midea

  • Model maw10s1ywt-e 10,000 btu
  • 115-volt window unit 
  • Room size up to 450 square feet 
  • Wi-Fi and Voice Control 
  • 3-in-1 Comfort: Cools, Dehumidifies, Ventilates 
  • Energy saver mode 
  • 1 year limited warranty 


Perfect Aire: Energy Star: What is it and why do you need it? 

18. perfect aire

  • Model 5pac15000 15,000 btu
  • 110-120 volt window unit  
  • Cool spacious areas up to 700 square feet 
  • Auto, Sleep, Dry, and Energy Saver Modes 
  • Remote control thermostat
  • 1 year hassle free warranty 



are energy star appliances more expensive?

Up front, they may be more expensive than their competitors. However, in order to be certified, that price tag must be offset by quantifiable savings in energy costs down the line as mandated by the EPA.

how do companies get an energy star certification?

They apply for the certification directly through Energy Star. There’s a strict set of criteria set by the EPA or the Department of Energy they must meet in order to use that label in their facility or on their appliances.

are energy star appliances tax deductible?

Actually, yes! Thanks to the recent Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a broad selection of ES certified equipment is eligible for energy efficiency home improvement tax credits until 2032.

which appliances use the most energy/are the best to replace with energy efficient options?

Refrigerators use the most energy in almost any household. Replacing an old, clunky refrigerator will make the most difference if you can only manage one swap. Next are your dishwasher, washing machine, and smart thermostat!

Do you own any Energy Star appliances? Which is your favorite?

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