Washington DC—Results from the National Awareness of ENERGY STAR® for 2016 are now available. The latest release of the annual Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) household survey shows the strength of the ENERGY STAR brand by measuring label recognition, understanding, and influence on purchasing decisions. In 2016, 91 percent of US households report recognizing the ENERGY STAR label. This is a statistically significant increase from the prior year’s findings of 88 percent. Building on steadily rising brand recognition over the years, this year’s value of 91 percent represents the highest level of recognition observed in any survey year, in addition to achieving an increase of 48 percent since CEE first conducted the survey in 2000.
"To see brand awareness and loyalty indicators continue to rise in 2016 is a testament to EPA and DOE’s intentional stewardship of this public-private partnership," stated John Taylor, CEE Deputy Directory and ENERGY STAR liaison. "The ENERGY STAR Program is a vital asset in helping consumers make an informed energy efficient choice, and it continues to serve as our national marketing platform for energy efficiency. The credibility and independence brought by the federal government, combined with the boots on the ground of efficiency programs and industry partners, continue to bear fruit. When it comes to energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR is truly one of our nation’s most valuable assets."
In addition, consumers continue to exhibit broad understanding of what the label means and look to ENERGY STAR when purchasing energy using products–45 percent of households reported that they knowingly purchased an ENERGY STAR product in the last 12 months. Further, eighty-five percent of households that recognized the label and purchased an ENERGY STAR product in the last 12 months were likely to recommend ENERGY STAR-labeled products to a friend, indicative of strong brand loyalty and emotional connection among those customers that use the label.
Similar to prior year survey results, ENERGY STAR influence on consumers continues to be substantial. Nearly 75 percent of purchasers indicated the ENERGY STAR label was influential in their purchasing decision. When asked where they saw or heard something about the label, the majority of responses cited equipment labeling by manufacturers, in-store promotion by retailers, television commercials and local utility outreach–all of which highlight the power of this program’s voluntary, public-private partnership approach to raising awareness.
EPA analyzes a survey commissioned by CEE, a nonprofit organization of energy efficiency program administrators, to generate this report. CEE thanks the organizations sponsoring this year's report. Program administrators are important stakeholders in ENERGY STAR because they promote efficiency in many of the over seventy ENERGY STAR product categories to help achieve reductions in energy use at the local level. Likewise, through local incentives for the purchase of ENERGY STAR labeled products, efficiency programs help ENERGY STAR achieve its goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Over time, effective stewardship and stakeholder engagement with the ENERGY STAR brand have resulted in a resource that both establishes and leverages partnerships between private and public entities to benefit utilities, manufacturers, and customers. Throughout the last 25 years, program administrators from across the US and Canada have worked with the US EPA to support and strengthen this societal resource.
Conducted during the fall of 2016, this was the 17th national survey for consumer awareness of ENERGY STAR. As in previous years, consumers in the 57 largest media markets were asked if they recognized the ENERGY STAR label, what they thought it meant and, for those who had purchased an ENERGY STAR certified product or home, the influence the label had on their purchasing decision.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
New Jersey Natural Gas
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
South Jersey Gas
United Illuminating Company
For seventeen years, a subset of CEE members have generously sponsored fielding of the ENERGY STAR survey to collect national data on consumer recognition, understanding, and purchasing influence of the ENERGY STAR label, as well as on messaging and product purchases. This information provides critical evidence about the effectiveness of supporting ENERGY STAR at the national level. Additionally, CEE members may choose to supplement the survey with additional sample points and questions in order to assess ENERGY STAR awareness in their own service areas.
CEE is an award-winning consortium of efficiency program administrators from the United States and Canada. Members work to unify program approaches across jurisdictions to increase the success of efficiency in markets. By joining forces at CEE, individual electric and gas efficiency programs are able to partner not only with each other, but also with other industries, trade associations, and government agencies. Working together, administrators leverage the effect of their ratepayer funding, exchange information on successful practices and, by doing so, achieve greater energy efficiency for the public good.