WMU News

ENERGY STAR rating now required at WMU

July 6, 2005

KALAMAZOO--All electrical and electronic items purchased by Western Michigan University should now carry an ENERGY STAR rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The new purchasing policy, effective immediately, was signed June 28 by Robert Beam, WMU vice president for business and finance. While most purchase prices for rated equipment will be the same or slightly higher than unrated equipment, costs over the life of rated equipment will be lower, since ENERGY STAR-qualified devices use 25 to 50 percent less energy. The new policy dictates that purchased equipment carry the ENERGY STAR rating "wherever practical and/or possible."

WMU has been a partner in the federal Energy Star program since October 2000. Through its partnerships with more than 8,000 private and public sector organizations, ENERGY STAR delivers the technical information and tools that organizations and consumers need to choose energy-efficient solutions and best management practices.

The initiative was begun in 1992 by the EPA as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first labeled products. Through 1995, EPA expanded the label to additional office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment. In 1996, EPA partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy for particular product categories. The ENERGY STAR label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and more. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

"For many years, WMU has worked to reduce energy consumption and costs. Multiple projects have been implemented to do this," says Carl Newton, campus energy reduction manager. "The new purchasing policy will insure that items purchased will be the most efficient possible."

Printers and copiers are good examples of appliances that need to be Energy Star rated, Newton notes. The new policy also dictates that fluorescent torchier light fixtures should be purchased in place of banned halogen torchiers.

The university's new purchasing policy is available as a PDF file at

Information about a wide variety of consumer products ranging from office equipment to residential appliances can be found at the government's ENERGY STAR Web site,

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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