Back to School Shopping Tips

Energy Savings Shopping Tips from NYSERDA

August 22, 2012

As you shop to prepare to head back to school or college, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recommends you look for the ENERGY STAR® label. Products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label use less energy, save money and meet strict energy efficiency requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From laptops and printers for schoolwork, to TVs and mini fridges for study breaks, ENERGY STAR qualified products not only save energy and are good for the environment, but are a symbol of quality.

Look for ENERGY STAR computers

  • Desktops, integrated desktops, notebook (laptop) computers, workstations and small-scale servers are all eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR label, and an ENERGY STAR qualified computer, depending on the amount of use, delivers between 30 and 65 percent energy savings over a conventional computer.
  • Power management is also important to saving energy, as computers are now used more hours per day than in the past. ENERGY STAR power management features place computers (CPU, hard drive, etc.) into a low-power “sleep mode” after a designated period of inactivity. Simply hitting a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse awakens the computer in a matter of seconds.

Consider ENERGY STAR qualified CFL or LED desk lamps and remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room

  • Desk lights are often used for many hours a day, consuming energy and giving off heat. ENERGY STAR qualified desk lamps provide high-quality light output, save energy and emit less heat.
  • ENERGY STAR desk lamps use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.


  • ENERGY STAR qualified televisions are on average more than 40 percent more energy efficient than standard models.
  • The ENERGY STAR label can be found on everything from standard TVs and HD-ready TVs, to the largest flat-screen LCD and plasma models.

Opt for an ENERGY STAR compact refrigerator for your dorm room or apartment

  • These compact or mini-fridges, defined as less than 7.75 cubic feet in volume and 36 inches or less in height, must use at least 20% less energy than the minimum federal standard to qualify for ENERGY STAR.

Be part of the solution

If every home office product purchased in the United States this year – including those bought for dorm rooms and student apartments – met ENERGY STAR requirements, we would:

  • Save more than $100 million in annual energy costs
  • Prevent 1.4 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to emissions from 125,000 cars
  • Save more than 900 million kWh of electricity

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

Last Updated: 11/26/2014