The Energy Star label has more meaning than ever before. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) made the Energy Star product certification process more stringent, requiring manufacturers to submit complete energy usage and performance lab reports and results in order for their products to receive the Energy Star label.

The EPA and DOE made these modifications to help consumers, including multifamily owners and developers, identify the most energy-efficient products on the market that will save them money and reduce carbon pollution. In fact, upgrading to an Energy Star-qualified appliance can save more than $165 over the lifetime of the product.

For example, a GE Energy Star-qualified dishwasher, such as the one UDR installed at The Belmont apartment community in Dallas (shown above), saves an average of $120 over the life of the product. The LEED-certified community was designed and engineered to use 20 percent less energy and 36 percent less water than a conventional apartment community, creating significant operational savings. On average, residents should see an annual utility cost reduction of $380 to $550.

“All our new apartment homes feature Energy Star-rated appliances,” says Mark Culwell, senior vice president of development at Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based UDR. “There are a variety of manufacturers that provide Energy Star options, and we’ve found that we don’t sacrifice anything in terms of style to have Energy Star-rated appliances.” Moreover, the price differential between Energy Star appliances and non-Energy Star appliances is minimal. Jennifer Popovec

Just Dishy: The built-in dishwasher from GE features the PowerScrub wash system that boasts precision water jets and hot temperatures to power away tough food stains. The HotStart option ensures water temperatures remain consistent from the beginning of a cycle to the end, while the Piranha hard food disposer grinds food into tiny particles that are easily washed away. For more information, call GE at 800-626-2005 or visit

Exterior Efficiency: Dacor has upgraded its 36-inch freestanding French door refrigerator to now offer increased energy savings. With an exterior ice and water dispenser that includes temperature controls on the keypad for easy adjustment without opening the refrigerator door, it consumes less energy than a 75-watt lightbulb. The refrigerator features stainless steel doors that extend over the hinges and provide full access to the interior. For more information, call Dacor at 800-793-0093 or visit

True Visionary: Bosch uses energy and water effectively with its Energy Star-qualified Vision, a new full-size, front-load laundry line. The EcoAction feature is available on all Vision washers and dryers, allowing users to reduce energy use by up to 20 percent per wash load and 10 percent per dry cycle with one push of a button. Vision uses just 13 gallons of water per load, while delivering the cleaning power of 400 gallons. For more information, call Bosch at 800-921-9622 or visit

Super-Sized: Amana’s tall tub dishwasher can accommodate items that are too big for a standard-size tub and can hold up to 10 place settings. With its CleanPlate wash system, users won’t have to pre-wash their dishes. Plus, the Twice as Nice silverware baskets are removable for greater loading flexibility and feature antimicrobial component protection. It also saves more water and energy with an Energy-Star qualification. For more information, call Amana at 866-616-2664 or visit

Ice Storm: Maytag side-by-side refrigerators offer increased ice production, flexible storage options, and a low energy cost. By reducing the freezer temperature, users have the option to accelerate ice production on select models. A control lock prevents unintentional changes to the temperature that could result in spoiled food. Energy Star-qualified models exceed federal energy standards by up to 30 percent and use less energy than a 60-watt lightbulb under continuous operation for one year. For more information, call Maytag at 800-344-1274 or visit

Fresh Front-Loader: Whirlpool Commercial Laundry has introduced its first high-efficiency (HE) front-load commercial washer. The product is one of the few front-load washers to qualify for Energy Star and Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) Tier II. The HE washers offer an enhanced wash cycle, and matching dryers have a blower system that increases air velocity, energy efficiency, and heating element life, while improving fabric care and providing maximum performance and shorter drying times. For more information, call Whirlpool at 866-698-2538 or visit