FTC Approves Amendments to Energy Guide Label, Seeks Comments for Other Changes
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has amended a label that consumers use to purchase energy efficient appliances.
The amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule require expanded coverage of the Lighting Facts label, enhanced durability of appliance labels, and improved plumbing disclosure requirements.
Most consumers are familiar with the yellow tag on all household appliances that provide an estimated annual operating cost and an energy consumption rating, and a range for comparing the highest and lowest energy consumption for all similar models.
The ubiquitous Energy Star label was created about two decades ago in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient use of energy and make it easier for consumers to identify and purchase products that offer savings on energy bills.
To qualify for an Energy Star label:
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill
- savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
A list of Energy Star certified appliances can be found on the Energy Star website.
Along with approving the amendments, the FTC is now taking public comments on rule amendments that would require a new comprehensive label database on the Department of Energy's website; new refrigerator comparability range information; labels for portable air conditioners, dual-mode refrigerators, and rooftop heating and cooling equipment; and revised labels for ceiling fans, central air conditioners, and water heaters.