Read the label! Energy Star appliance label awareness and uptake among U.S. consumers
The Energy Star label program to promote the diffusion of energy efficient home appliances is arguably the most significant government effort to reduce U.S. residential energy consumption. Program effectiveness requires that consumers are aware of the labeling scheme and also change their purchase decisions based on label information. This paper examines the factors associated with consumer awareness of the Energy Star label of recently purchased ‘white’ major appliances and the factors associated with the choice of Energy Star labeled appliances. The paper finds that household characteristics have a much stronger association with consumer awareness of labels than with the choice of Energy Star appliances. Renting the home, Hispanic ethnicity, being poor or near poor, and living in regions with lower ACEEE scores do, however, decrease the propensity for households to purchase Energy Star appliances. Eliminating these gaps in Energy Star appliance adoption would result in house electricity cost savings of $164million per year and associated carbon emission reductions of about 1.1million metric tons per year.
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