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DOE to Prohibit Energy Star Labels on Certain LG Refrigerators
DOE announced December 7 that certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are banned from using the Energy Star label, effective January 2, 2010. Energy Star is a voluntary program, sponsored through DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that promotes the development and sale of energy-efficient products. The labels associated with the program inform consumers of the most energy-efficient products in a particular product category. DOE's announcement is part of a broader effort at the agency to expand enforcement efforts for the Energy Star and appliance standards programs.
DOE is proceeding with this action after multiple independent labs confirmed that when certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are tested using existing DOE test procedures, they do not qualify for the Energy Star Program. In November 2008, DOE and LG entered into an agreement that was intended to let LG transition away from test procedures that significantly underestimated the amount of energy that certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers would consume during normal use. Because recent testing confirms that problems persist, DOE has exercised its right to give notice and terminate the agreement. As a result of DOE’s actions, LG has now sued the department in federal court.
"We intend to defend the Department's actions in federal court," said DOE General Counsel Scott Blake Harris, "and to prove that the law of the United States does not give LG any right to continue using the Energy Star label in a way that could impose unexpected costs upon American families and unjustly disadvantage manufacturers of more energy efficient products." See the DOE press release and the Energy Star Web site.