This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 21, 2010

DOE and EPA Announce Changes to Bolster the Energy Star Program

DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly announced changes to the Energy Star product certification process on April 14 to ensure that only products meeting Energy Star energy efficiency requirements can receive the label. Effective immediately, manufacturers wishing to qualify their products for the Energy Star must submit complete lab reports and results for review and approval by EPA prior to labeling. EPA has strengthened its approval systems and is no longer relying on an automated approval process, and all new qualification applications will be reviewed and approved individually by EPA. These changes accelerate steps DOE and EPA have initiated over the past several months to bolster the verification, testing, and enforcement aspects of the Energy Star program.

The certification process will further be strengthened at the end of the year when all manufacturers must submit test results from an approved, accredited lab for any product seeking the Energy Star label. Testing in an accredited lab is currently required for certain product categories, including windows, doors, skylights, and compact fluorescent lighting, but the new process will extend the requirement to each of the more than 60 eligible product categories under the Energy Star program. These efforts are in addition to enforcement and testing procedures already in place to ensure compliance with the Energy Star specifications. DOE is conducting off-the-shelf product testing for some of the most common household appliances, and a recent Inspector General audit found that 98% of products tested fully complied with the Energy Star requirements. See the DOE press release and the Energy Star Web site.