The History of EFI and ENERGY STAR

The History of EFI and ENERGY STAR Energy Federation Incorporation EFI | Energy Federation Incorporation

Let’s go way back, shall we? In 1982 EFI was established by the founder, Bradley Steele. His vision was to encourage people to use our planet’s limited energy and water resources wisely and to assist people in these efforts by offering high-quality conservation products and services at affordable prices. His vision started the Energy Efficiency (EE) movement as we know it. 

Fast forward 10 years later. ENERGY STAR began with a similar focus in mind: to identify and promote energy efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR became a voluntary labeling program for major appliances, office equipment, lighting home electronics, new homes and more. In 2002, EFI’s partnership with ENERGY STAR began.

In EFI’s early days, it was difficult to identify products that were truly energy efficient.  EFI took on the challenge in 1993 to establish a series of product eligibility specifications created and championed through instant rebates in stores. Utility programs across 3 states used EFI's eligibility specifications to provide rebates to customers through an Instant Redeemable Coupon program. The coupons could be used by the public to receive discounts on light bulbs at participating retail stores. EFI and utilities found this concept to be highly successful but often wondered “How can we make these rebates MORE instantly available to the customers?”

That’s when the first eCommerce domain launched in 2000. The eCommerce domain focused on the sale of residential EE related products in support of utility-sponsored programs, making rebates instantly available anytime, anywhere to utility customers. When EFI partnered with ENERGY STAR in 2002, it elevated EFI’s success in participation and program success by allowing customers to easily identify a product that’s eligible for utility rebates.

Through the partnership with ENERGY STAR, EFI has been equipped to impact multiple people all over the nation, partnering with over 40 utilities to bring more energy efficient products to homes. With the ENERGY STAR partnership, EFI has funded $2 billion in downstream rebates, $240 million in instant rebates, and successfully launched 70+ eCommerce marketplaces in the course of 35 years in business.  It’s been a success for all programs involved! 

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