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Energy Star and Innovation at EPA

2008 June 6

About the author: Mary Kemp is currently the Homeland Security Coordinator in the Dallas, TX regional office. Mary started at EPA in 1985 and has worked in the asbestos, superfund, and air programs.

I am a huge fan of the Energy Star program. To me, this is an extremely innovative program that encourages energy efficiency and saving money. The Energy Star program is a joint venture between EPA and the Department of Energy.

refrigerator showing two top doors and a bottom freezerI recently got my chance to look at the latest Energy Star refrigerators. In addition to Side-by-Side refrigerators, there are the French door refrigerators. These refrigerators have two doors on the top and a bottom freezer, making them extremely energy efficient. The more energy efficient refrigerator should result in a savings $4.00 or $5.00 a month on my utility bill. For more information on Energy Star appliances, see

aerial view of the parking lotAnother program within EPA is the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Innovative Pilots, which funded several projects that tested new or underused ideas in environmental protection. One pilot was called “Creating an Integrated “Green” Parking Lot and Urban Wetlands on a Former Commercial Site.”

aerial view of the parking lotThis pilot occurred at the Heifer International Headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Heifer International constructed a wetland ecosystem and integrated its parking lot into it. Small green parking areas were designed to collect, cleanse, and recycle storm water into the environment. This project was so successful that EPA prepared a case study on the Heifer Parking Lot (PDF) (43 pages, 353 KB). Get PDF reader

The combination of the parking lot with other innovative and sustainable designs within the Heifer International Headquarters resulted in Heifer International’s Headquarters receiving the highest Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating of platinum. Not bad for an old industrial site!

Learn more about projects funded through the OSWER Innovation Pilots program.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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11 Responses leave one →
  1. Prof. Thrivikramji.K.P. permalink
    June 7, 2008

    Though crude price is driving the finance ministry cray here in India, I am not sure if the power minstry is focused on the need to have appliances certified with enerdy star?
    I wisjh the Manmohan adminisatration takes the lead in this country-India to save the Indians and ultimately the world from climate change catastrophe.

  2. Mark permalink
    June 10, 2008

    Are there any requirements in the Energy Star program that mandate the ability to turn off LED lights such as those found on TV’s VCR’s, computers, coffee makers, cell phones, etc. If not, is such a requirement under consideration? I returned an alarm clock that I purchased because it emitted so much LED light that I could not sleep and was offered no ability to turn it off. Even the dim setting was to bright. If this even under the “juristiction” of the EPA or should my question be referred to some other agency?

    Thank you.

  3. June 13, 2008

    It is nice to see that a group like Heifer International that has a strong commitment to ending world poverty also cares about the environment. LEED platinum is quite an accomplishment.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    March 2, 2011

    Spot on with this write-up, I really think this website needs far more consideration. Il most likely be once more to read much more, thanks for that info.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    March 2, 2011

    very good submit, i actually love this website, carry on it

  6. French Door permalink
    April 11, 2011

    French Door refrigerators have dual refrigerator doors and a pullout freezer drawer for convenient fresh and frozen food storage.

  7. Side by Side permalink
    April 12, 2011

    Side-by-side refrigerator is a perfect expression of exquisite art and futuristic technology, now a refrigerator that caters to all your senses.

  8. led light permalink
    July 9, 2011

    Today, when speaking about energy efficiency, nobody should ingnore LED lights, I think. LED lights are normally 60%+, even 80% energy saving when comparing with the traditional lighting products, like incandescent bulbs. Plus, their lifespan is much longer, expected to get 50,000H lifetime.

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