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High demand, low energy

High demand, low energy

If you're looking to trim utilities bills, start with the government's Energy Star program. Electronics that brandish the Energy Star logo consume less power than others. To earn the seal, televisions, computers and other equipment must enter low-power sleep mode. More than 35,000 products currently qualify.

Before you shop for that new entertainment center, find this list of Energy Star-compliant products. The list includes home audio and TV equipment, battery chargers, PCs, monitors, and printers. The site also helps you look up relevant stores.

Energy Star estimates say that the average household spends 4 percent of its energy bill on electronics such as computers, monitors, TVs, and DVD players. That doesn't count the standby power eaten up by dormant electronics that are left plugged in. The EPA says that Energy Star helped Americans save $12 billion on energy bills last year. The program paints its efforts as helping to prevent greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 by an amount equivalent to what 23 million cars would have coughed up.