With so many different products out there, it can be a full time job just trying to find a model that is energy efficient enough to meet your standards. If you already have a full time job working in a factory, you just don't have time to do the necessary research yourself. That's why the government has instituted a system of energy ratings that make it easier for customers to compare products and know whether or not they're making an energy efficient choice. Here is some information on energy ratings and how to use them.
The most common system of energy ratings is Energy Star. It is simple and easy for customers to understand, because all they have to do is look for the Energy Star logo to know whether or not they're making an environmentally friendly choice. With the Energy Star system, brands and models of the same item are compared to one another and with the ideal design for the most energy efficient model. The home furnace that meets the ideals are given the Energy Star rating, indicating that they're the best choices.
Because energy star doesn't compare stoves to televisions or toasters to microwaves, you don't have to figure out their overall place on the energy usage scale. This is because some products, like refrigerators and ovens, use much, much more electricity overall than smaller or less powerful products like DVD players or notebook computers. Therefore when you're doing bathroom renovations, you'll have to first make a note that ceiling fans in general are less efficient than overhead lights, even if they are both Energy Star rated.
Of course, if every model that meets the standards receives an Energy Star rating, there are necessarily some products that exceed the standards by more than others. If you're really interested in preserving the environment and you want the absolute most efficient TV to go with your basement that has industrial insulation, there's also a usage scale on many products. On either end of the scale are the best and worst usage ratings and the individual product will be shown somewhere along the scale so you can compare.
If you find yourself getting confused over the energy rating system or wondering if there are any drawbacks to the more energy efficient models, you should ask the store staff. They know all the ins and outs of the products they sell. If your question is more about
municipal vehicles or old products made before the rating system, or if they can't answer your question, you should visit the Energy Star website at www.energystar.gov They can help you understand how the products work and find the most efficient ones.