The government is updating the Energy Star program and launching a new higher tier of certification called “Superstar,” Marketplace reports. The program currently certifies the top 25% most energy-efficient products in a given category, so the new star might be for the top 5%. Energy Star could certainly use an overhaul; last year the Government Accountability Office found it was able to submit and get certified 15 of 20 phony products, including a gasoline-powered alarm clock.
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.
When you fill up at the pump, how much of the wallet you’re emptying goes towards the actual gas, and how much goes towards other stuff? Blogger FiveCentNickel crunched the Department of Energy numbers:
As of January, the Department of Energy requires washer makers to use 21% less energy, but some makers are meeting the standards by decreasing how well their products actually wash clothes, according to Consumer Reports.