Each year, in select categories, the Environmental Protection Agency recognizes the most efficient products among those that qualify for the ENERGY STAR. The goal of this effort is to drive more energy efficient products into the market more quickly, priming the pipeline for even greater greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Product models recognized as ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient 2013 represent the best-of-the-best in energy efficiency. This stand-out performance, along with the cutting-edge technology many of them feature, makes these models particularly appealing to environmentally motivated or “early adopter” consumers. 

Product categories are selected and recognition criteria are established each year to ensure that products that receive recognition demonstrate efficiency performance that is truly exceptional, inspirational, or leading edge. Recognized product models are independently certified to save energy while delivering the features and functionality consumers expect.

The product categories eligible for ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 recognition are:

  • Boilers
  • CAC/ASHP
  • Clothes Washers
  • Furnaces
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Refrigerators
  • TVs
  • New for 2013: Windows
  • New for 2013: Computer Monitors
  • New for 2013: Ceiling and Vent Fans

By the end of 2012, more than 1,200 products from 55 manufacturers had been recognized. A handful of utilities began offering rebates targeted at ENERGY STAR Most Efficient models and major retailers have begun to explore highlighting winning models in their stores.

Following are specifics for a few of the Most Efficient product categories.  

ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 Windows

Windows recognized as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 are:

  • The highest-performing residential windows available on the market.
  • Highly insulating. They are required to have a U-factor of 0.20 or less. 
  • Certified under the North American Fenestration Standard/Specification (NAFS) to document air leakage, water leakage, and structural performance. They must have a NAFS Performance Grade (PG) of 15 or higher.

Savings from ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 windows vary by climate zone. Insulating windows provide the biggest savings in climates where the temperatures are the most extreme: very cold or very hot.

The unique format of the Most Efficient website allows purchasers to compare a wide variety of high performance window product lines of a similar type.

The Most Efficient website provides consumers with the unique NFRC Certified Product Database (CPD) Number for that product line. A link at the top of the page to the NFRC database allows users to enter the CPD number and find the performance of all individual certified options for that product line.

Full 2013 Window Specification:

 

ES Most Efficient

ENERGY STAR V5 (Current)

IECC 2009*

Climate Zone

U-factor

SHGC

U-factor

SHGC

U-factor

SHGC

Northern

≤ 0.20

≥ 0.20

≤ 0.30

Any

≤ 0.35

Any

North-Central

≤ 0.20

≤ 0.40

≤ 0.32

≤ 0.40

≤ 0.35

Any

South-Central

≤ 0.20

≤ 0.25

≤ 0.35

≤ 0.30

≤ 0.50

≤ 0.30

South

≤ 0.20

≤ 0.25

≤ 0.60

≤ 0.27

≤ 0.65

≤ 0.30

*Note: Most U.S. States use IECC 2009 or 2006 as a basis for their residential building code. To date only 3 States have adopted the IECC 2012 code (IL, MD, MA).

 

ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling equipment recognized as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013:

  • Can save homeowners anywhere from 20% to 50% on their heating and cooling. Geothermal heat pumps can save homeowners up to 60%.
  • Have special features that allow them to communicate with a thermostat to let residents know if their system is not working as it should. This encourages proper maintenance to keep units operating at their peak efficiency. These communication features can also make units easier to install.

ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 Ceiling and Vent Fans

  • These high-efficiency fans include direct-current (DC) motors. Unlike alternating current (AC) motors that use electricity to create a magnetic field that swings the fan blades, DC motors have built-in permanent magnetics so they use less electricity. The result is a leap forward in efficiency, with better performance as well. 
  • Installation is identical to any other fans, and models are available with and without lighting, in a variety of sizes. 
  • ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 ceiling and ventilating fans use one third and one half the energy of standard fans, respectively.
  • Like all vent fans that earn the ENERGY STAR, Most Efficient 2013 vent fans are also among the quietest on the market, which is a key concern for consumers.

Additional information, including recognition criteria and product lists in each category, are available on the ENERGY STAR website at www.energystar.gov/mostefficient.

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