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ENERGY STAR recently announced its 2022 award winners, adding to a growing list of certified energy efficient products and programs in the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors. Backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), ENERGY STAR has been certifying high-performance products and awarding American businesses since 1992, and its most recent group of awardees represents a more inclusive and productive path forward for sustainable energy.

What is ENERGY STAR? 

ENERGY STAR is a government-certified symbol for energy efficiency meant to facilitate well-informed consumer decisions inside and outside of the home. Over 2.3 million ENERGY STAR homes have been built to date, the company says, and that list is constantly growing. In addition, roughly 70,000 product models have been tested and reviewed by the EPA to earn an ENERGY STAR certification.

The ENERGY STAR symbol is most recognizable on product labels for energy efficient appliances, electronics, building materials, and commercial eqEnergy Star label on home productuipment, but the program’s impact is further reaching. Using ENERGY STAR’s product database, contractors and homeowners alike can easily find replacements for traditional products as well as information on the latest efficient products to hit shelves.

Beyond its product certifications, ENERGY STAR serves American families and communities on an even larger scale by finding energy efficient solutions to guide everything from policymaking to residential and commercial building standards. All of the top 20 U.S. home builders are ENERGY STAR certified, as well as nearly three thousand additional builders, developers, and manufactured housing plants. 

Since its inception, the ENERGY STAR program has helped American families and businesses save “5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs, and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions,” according to EPA’s research

Recognizing Energy Excellence 

Each year, the ENERGY STAR program awards businesses and organizations that have made  “outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements” the foundation says. ENERGY STAR awards are given to partner companies for producing, manufacturing, and promoting certified products. Current partners can send in nominations or apply for annual awards through the application portal located on the ENERGY STAR website.

ENERGY STAR honors its highest performing partners through various certification and awards programs throughout the year. From its annual Emerging Technology Award for companies making eco-friendly advancements in the tech field to the program’s Residential New Construction Market Leader Award allocated to its top building partners, ENERGY STAR awards recognize the most energy efficient products and business leaders in the United States. This year’s recently announced Partner of the Year, Contractor of the Year, and Excellence Awards are no exception. 

To help better understand the merits by which these product manufacturers, contractors, and various other companies earned their recognition, we’ve provided more detailed descriptions of the awards below as well as highlighted select winners to serve as examples. 

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Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence

The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award is given to partners who  have “already received ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recognition for a minimum of two consecutive years and have gone above and beyond the criteria needed to qualify for recognition,” ENERGY STAR says. Only partners who have been recognized for past achievements are eligible to apply for the Sustained Excellence Award, one of the top honors for energy efficiency in the U.S. 

Included among this year’s winners…

ANDERSEN CORPORATION

The Bayport, Minnesota-based window and door manufacturer is a 2022 Sustained Excellence winner for its ENERGY STAR outreach achievements and partnership projects. In 2021, Andersen Corporation expanded use of a new triple pane glass option to window product lines for its full network of retailer locations. The company also partnered with a major home improvement retailer to feature ENERGY STAR in a 12-week Google and Youtube campaign, which generated over 15 million impressions. 

COOPER LIGHTING SOLUTIONS

Cooper Lighting Solutions is a lighting manufacturer and Sustained Excellence ENERGY STAR partner located in Peachtree City, Georgia. In 2021 alone, Cooper delivered over three thousand Gigawatt-hours of energy savings and two million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions through its sales of ENERGY STAR certified downlights. The Georgia company also partnered with EPA to celebrate ENERGY STAR Day through its social channels, which garnered over ten million impressions.

Partner of the Year

The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Awards recognize partners meeting and exceeding program criteria through energy management, home building, and product manufacturing, among a number of other categories. The Partner of the Year Award is perhaps the program’s most diverse achievement and is granted each year to “partner businesses and organizations in good standing that demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, and commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency and ENERGY STAR,” according to the award guidelines

Included among this year’s winners…

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

Samsung Electronics is a 2022 Partner of the Year Award recipient for notable achievements over the past year such as expanding its total ENERGY STAR certified appliance and electronics offerings and increasing the number of models earning ENERGY STAR Most Efficient recognition. In 2021, Samsung also earned ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award recognition for an additional “20 refrigerator and freezer models with advanced adaptive compressor systems, as well as for one induction cooktop model,” the program says. 

ENTERGY SOLUTIONS LOUISIANA

Entergy Solutions Louisiana won a 2022 Partner of the Year Award for incorporating Home Performance with ENERGY STAR benefits in its marketing materials to help regional markets build back sustainably after two destructive weather events including a severe winter storm and a Category 4 hurricane. The Baton Rouge utility-administered energy efficiency program also gave 400 low-income customers access to Home Performance with ENERGY STAR through home energy assessments and direct-install measures.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year Award is presented by EPA to ENERGY STAR participating contractors in good standing who use innovative building science solutions to improve homes. Those who have received the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year Award across multiple years are eligible to receive the Sustained Excellence Award in the same category.

Included among this year’s winners…

EDGE ENERGY

EDGE Energy in Beltsville, Maryland is a Sustained Excellence award winner for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year in 2022. Over the past year, the home performance company partnered with a Maryland nonprofit to install efficiency improvements in low-to-moderate income households, redesigned its website to cross-promote Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and Solar PV installation, and implemented solar energy in a home performance project alongside Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

AZ ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME

Phoenix, Arizona-based AZ Energy Efficient Home is being recognized for the fifth year as Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year after implementing an apprentice program to train and hire home performance employees and developing Home Performance with ENERGY STAR brochures that highlighted the effects of indoor air quality on asthma and allergies in children in 2021.

Excellence Award

The final annual award most recently announced by ENERGY STAR is the Excellence Award, which honors partner companies and organizations excelling in data innovation, ENERGY STAR marketing, and product design. The Excellence Award is mostly reserved for retailers, manufacturers, energy efficiency program sponsors, service and product providers, and state and local governments, though any ENERGY STAR partners contributing to energy efficiency in their respective professions are also encouraged to apply. 

Included among this year’s winners…

APPALACHIAN POWER COMPANY

The Appalachian Power Company in Charleston, West Virginia is an ENERGY STAR Marketing Excellence Award winner for 2022 thanks to its strong ENERGY STAR product sales for its Virginia and West Virginia customer base, including ENERGY STAR certified air-source heat pumps, ductless mini-splits, smart thermostats, insulation, and LED bulbs, among other achievements.

NATIONAL GRID

National Grid, an electric and gas utility located in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, is another 2022 recipient of the ENERGY STAR Excellence Award for its “Comfort Zone” campaign, which educated consumers about the value of ENERGY STAR through an Energy Efficiency Guide, blog posts, bill inserts, social media, and email outreach for over 1 million customers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Upstate New York. The utility company also launched an in-language, in-culture Hispanic campaign, a food-bank LED drive that delivered 45,000 9-watt ENERGY STAR certified A-line bulbs, and a virtual school fundraiser to engage underserved audiences and facilitate education about energy efficiency.

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