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DOE Reaches Agreement with LG Electronics on Refrigerator Energy Matters
DOE announced an agreement with LG Electronics, USA, Inc. on November 14 to resolve concerns related to the energy usage measurements reported on LG French Door refrigerators with through-the-door ice and water service. The agreement involves 10 LG models, as well as comparable Kenmore-brand "TRIO" French Door models that were designed and manufactured by LG. Under the terms of the agreement, LG will voluntarily suspend those refrigerator models from the Energy Star program, and consumers will be offered a free, in-home modification of the affected refrigerator models to make them more energy efficient. Consumers who purchased the refrigerators will also receive a payment covering the energy cost difference between the new measured energy usage of the product and the amount stated on the original Energy Guide label, and LG will issue payments to consumers for future incremental energy usage for the lifetime of the product. All models that have not been sold will be modified prior to sale to ensure that the products satisfy the obligations of the agreement. Consumers who purchased the affected models should contact LG for more information at 1-888-848-1266 or see the LG Refrigerator Energy Offer Announcement Web site.
Energy Star is a joint DOE and EPA program that was founded in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. The Energy Star criteria for refrigerator-freezers require all qualified models to use at least 20% less energy than the energy consumption standards required by the federal government. To effectively measure the savings associated with the Energy Star program, all partners must report energy consumption data based on the same standardized test procedures. Those procedures require the ice maker to be disabled but require all temperature-controllable compartments, including ice storage bins, to be set at their coldest temperature, a condition missed by LG's test procedure. Under its agreement with DOE, LG will modify its test procedure to help assure that consumers have accurate information. See the DOE press release, the DOE fact sheet about the LG agreement, and the Energy Star Web site.