Critics Say Energy Star Standards Too Lax
Consumer and environmental groups says it is often too easy for companies to qualify for the Energy Star logo. The Energy Star appliance program ideally should appear on appliances that score in the top 25 percent for energy efficiency in their categories, but 60 percent of all dishwasher models on the market qualified in 2007, BusinessWeek reports.
“If the DOE gives Energy Star to everyone, eventually it’s worthless,” David Goldstein, a director at the Natural Resources Defense Council told BusinessWeek.
Last summer, Consumers Union complained that Samsung and LG Electronics were gaming the system. In its testing labs, the group discovered the refrigerators only qualified for the logo when their icemakers were turned off. When the icemakers were on, the refrigerators exceeded the power consumption stated on their Energy Star labels.
Both companies say they complied with DOE standards. It turns out that when the refrigerator rule was revised in 2001 and 2004, there was no requirement to turn on the icemaking feature during the tests.
According to the fourth EcoPinion Survey from EcoAlighn, the Energy Star label is extremely or very important to 68 percent of consumers.
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