Savenia Labs has officially launched their independent lab-tested energy rating system. is offering the first opportunity for this Bethesda Green Incubator startup to present their ratings to the public starting with ratings of small appliances.
Patch as John Jabara, founder and CEO, was in the final stages of launching the company. Stop by the small appliances aisle of Strosniders in Bethesda and Silver Spring to take a look!
Support from Bethesda Green and Cooperation from Strosniders
Jabara met with Patch in the small appliance aisle of Strosniders in Bethesda. With Savenia Labs’ rating tags displaying the lifetime cost of the energy required to run various brands of coffee makers, toaster ovens and microwaves, Jabara expressed his appreciation for the support received from and Strosniders.
“It’s very, very exciting. The relationship with Strosniders came via Bethesda Green. We had a good idea and wanted feedback. Someone on the Bethesda Green Board said ‘Talk to Strosniders.’ I met Bill Hart, general manager at Strosniders and he said ‘Let’s give it a go.' We decided to start with small appliances.”
Bill Hart added, “I saw that John was passionate about what he’s doing and I was interested to see if our customers were interested. I think it’s a great idea.”
Strosniders is featuring Savenia Labs’ ratings on their small appliances through October.
Savenia Labs’ Ratings Unique and Different From Energy Star
“No one else is doing this,” said Jabara as he talked about their rating system. Jabara explained that Savenia Labs’ ratings are different from Energy Star, a U.S. government program that also rates the energy of appliances and other products requiring electricity.
“Energy Star has based their ratings on national energy figures that are five years old,” said Jabara. “It’s a good start and they’ve made a huge impact but we can do more and make ratings more relevant to consumers. Our ratings focus on zip codes and take into account the cost of energy in a given zip code and the environmental impact of the energy emissions in that zip code.”
At Strosniders an in-store video explains the process and the ratings system. Ratings tags display the energy cost of an appliance during its average lifetime, but also provide more detailed information. Shoppers can access more information via the ratings tag using their cell phones.
Jabara and his four-person team partner with the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced LifeCycle Engineering (CALCE) and other experts to test products and develop their ratings. CALCE’s work with Savenia Labs is highlighted in a recent Washington Post article.
Some Surprises in the Small Appliances Aisle From Savenia Labs’ Ratings
“This is a new way to look at purchasing appliances,” continued Jabara. “I’ve watched customers as they approach this section. They start to look at an appliance, and look at the rating tag. Then I hear ‘Wait a minute. This one costs less to use’. It’s a transformation.”
Jabara said that anecdotally, the staff at Strosniders has told him once the ratings tags were placed on coffee makers, a different brand became the most popular coffee maker sold. Not surprisingly, it is the coffee maker with the lowest energy cost over time.
“The impact can be enormous,” says Jabara. “A small change in the power use of small appliances can take power plants offline.”
Plans for National Expansion for Bethesda’s First B Corporation
Jabara’s immediate plans include developing relationships with large retail chains and expanding their testing and rating beyond small appliances.
“We can test and rate anything with a plug – dryers, electric ovens – anything,” says Jabara.
Savenia Labs also recently became Bethesda’s first and Jabara is proud of this as well.
“I looked at B Lab because they have a really rigorous audit and certification program. It’s taken a while and we finally got it. I’m really proud. It’s hard to get and it signifies to people that you’re serious about transparency and sustainability.”
We wish Savenia Labs all the best and can’t wait to see you expand nationally. Thank you for creating a new way to make decisions about the energy we use – and for helping us save money as well. And a big thank you to Strosniders for giving Savenia Labs their first chance!