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Partners in Sustainability: ENERGY STAR SHEMS Program


Many of the sustainability challenges that we prioritize at Samsung – whether it be realizing a circular economy or optimizing energy efficiency – are enhanced through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative brands, environmental organizations, and industry groups. Together with these like-minded eco-conscious allies, we are putting our scale, global presence, and pioneering spirit to work on building a more sustainable and equitable future. As part of our “Partners in Sustainability” series, Samsung’s esteemed partners – like ENERGY STAR® – share their views on how tackling environmental challenges requires unparalleled cooperation.

Samsung’s efforts to enrich and expand SmartThings Energy have led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award Samsung the industry’s first mass-market Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS) certification.

Name:Taylor Jantz-Sell
Title:Lighting & Smart Home Lead, ENERGY STAR® Labeled Products
Years working together:26 years (since 1996)
Partnership focus:Energy-efficient consumer products
1. Why did EPA create the ENERGY STAR® program for Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS)?

The ENERGY STAR® Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS) program emerged out of a market assessment of how the program could harness the power of connected products to comprehensively capitalize on opportunities to save energy around the home. It’s clear that this idea of connected products to further energy saving is not a passing fad but the way of the future. Building on our success with the smart thermostat program, we saw an opportunity for a more holistic approach to energy management. The whole-home approach can serve consumers with the smart home products and features they want, while leveraging technology to bridge the gap between utilities and their customers and also better serve utility company goals like peak energy management, time of use energy pricing. Energy efficiency, and demand response. Our goal is to build a flexible program that can adapt to different users in this fast-paced tech market that delivers meaningful energy savings with little effort for the end user. Consumers who want to save energy and avoid peak energy costs can do so simply by using an ENERGY STAR certified Smart Home Management System.

2. What is the EPA’s mission and how is Samsung’s partnership with ENERGY STAR® furthering that mission?

EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people since 1970. ENERGY STAR®, developed in 1992, is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, that provides simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. ENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency, making it easy for consumers and businesses to purchase products that save them money and protect the environment. The EPA ensures that each product earning the label is independently certified to deliver the efficiency performance and savings that consumers expect.

Samsung is a long-standing partner and leader with more than a decade of ENERGY STAR® award leadership and a rare recipient of the prestigious ENERGY STAR® Corporate Commitment Award. The EPA also awarded base model Samsung home appliances an industry-leading 474 ENERGY STAR® certifications in 2022, including 49 “Most Efficient” recognitions. Samsung continues to make future investments in climate protection a top priority.

3. What do you think of Samsung’s approach to sustainability, energy efficiency, and our leadership in the ENERGY STAR® program?

EPA applauds Samsung’s commitment and leadership to climate action and leveraging the ENERGY STAR® program. When companies like Samsung model excellence in environmental practices, others notice – and it creates a multiplier effect. We were thrilled to have recently announced Samsung SmartThings as the first mass-market platform to earn the ENERGY STAR® certification for SHEMS.

4. Samsung’s SmartThings Energy recently received the industry’s first mass-market SHEMS certification from the EPA. Why was the SHEMS certification introduced, and how did SmartThings Energy earn it?

The intent for the ENERGY STAR® SHEMS specification is to recognize smart home system packages designed to actively detect and act on opportunities to save energy and help end users manage their energy in a way that saves them money and makes their lives easier. This includes but is not limited to 1) providing reliable occupancy detection linked to savings strategies that shut off or power down equipment when no one is home, 2) limiting standby power of connected devices, and 3) providing feedback to users about the energy impact of their settings. We are pleased that Samsung was committed to earning the ENERGY STAR® certification for their SHEMS, especially since SmartThings allows for experiences integrated across any phone, any device, and any brand. With ENERGY STAR® certification of the new Samsung SmartThings Energy service, simplified home energy management is now available nationwide, and with integrations that span thousands of partner brands.

5. What does the SHEMS certification mean for the broader electronics industry and for the environment?

We hope that by providing the trusted, well-recognized symbol for efficiency, the ENERGY STAR® program can provide a guide for effective energy management and steer consumers towards high performing systems that deliver meaningful energy savings. There are a lot of claims out there and we hope ENERGY STAR® can help, as it does across 70+ other product categories, differentiate top energy savers. This is only the first step in SHEMS – we hope to evolve the program, with help from Samsung and others, to a performance-based model where we can evaluate systems based on delivered energy savings produced on a statistical level rather than the “features” basis we are starting off with.

 6. What are the benefits that consumers receive by choosing energy-efficient and other ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances at home?

When you choose energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® certified products over standard product models, you’re making a smart energy choice that saves energy, saves money, and helps protect the climate. This is not only beneficial on an individual level, but it adds up to significant savings when looking at savings across the country. For example, in just one year alone, ENERGY STAR® certified products helped consumers save 240 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid $24 billion in energy costs, and achieve 180 million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.

 7. What can we do as individuals to create a more sustainable future at home?

Making energy choices that count will help consumers embrace the clean energy future and create a more sustainable environment at home. By using ENERGY STAR® certified products, switching to green power, upgrading your home with the latest efficient electric technologies, and switching to an electric vehicle, Americans are taking significant action towards reducing their carbon footprint.

  • Save energy by using ENERGY STAR® products: Products that earn the ENERGY STAR® label are independently certified to save energy and help protect the climate. The less energy we use, the sooner we can complete the transition to clean, renewable energy.
  • Switch to Green Power: Choosing electricity generated by renewables, such as wind and solar, instead of fossil fuels supports a cleaner energy supply and makes a difference in the fight against climate change. Take advantage of opportunities in your community to choose green power as the energy source for your home. Many localities offer green power to residential customers, charged to their monthly electric bills.
  • Start Planning your ENERGY STAR® Home Upgrade: The ENERGY STAR® Home Upgrade is a set of six high-impact, energy efficiency improvements for your home that includes upgrading to electric heat pump technology for heating, cooling, and water heating. Working together to deliver significant energy and cost savings, an ENERGY STAR® Home Upgrade is designed to help you transition from fossil fuels for a cleaner, healthier, and more comfortable home.
  • Make the switch to an Electric Vehicle: Driving an electric vehicle can save you money and benefit the environment. For every mile driven using electricity, you can save half of what it costs to drive a similar gasoline powered vehicle. On average, the savings can be $800 to $1,000 a year on fuel and $4,600 on maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle. Fully electric vehicles are also quieter than gasoline powered vehicles and produce zero tailpipe emissions, helping you significantly decrease the level of toxic chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions emitted from your car. These benefits are amplified when charging your vehicle efficiently – using an ENERGY STAR® certified charger requires 40% less energy compared to a standard EV charger.

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