Energy Star Introduces Stricter Rules In Attempt To Prevent Cheating

Last year the Department of Energy, which co-administers the Energy Star certification program with the EPA, admitted that it allows many companies to certify their goods themselves. That was somewhat worrying, but nothing like what happened earlier this year when government auditors successfully got ludicrously power-hungry designs approved for the Energy Star label. The EPA and Energy Department have responded by announcing a new, stricter certification process.

The two big changes:

  • There will be no more automated approval process; all new applications must be reviewed and approved directly by EPA personnel.
  • Starting 2011, every manufacturer must now provide complete testing and lab results from a certified independent lab.

One good thing is that although the program was shown to be vulnerable to fraud, companies have for the most part played fairly. A recent test of randomly chosen off-the-shelf products by the Inspector General “found that 98% of products tested fully complied with Energy Star requirements.”

“Rubber Stamping is Out: Energy Star to Close a Giant Loophole” [Treehugger]
“Federal Government Closes Energy Star Self-Certification Loophole” []

“Energy Star Program Relies On Honor System For Some Products”
“Congressional Audit Shows That EnergyStar Label May Be Meaningless”

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