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DOE Aims To Strengthen Energy-Use Data For Appliances

frenchdoor2The Department of Energy says it has received certifications for over 600,000 residential appliances in 15 different product categories in response to the Department’s enhanced energy efficiency enforcement efforts.  DOE recently announced that manufacturers had until January 8, 2010 to submit correct energy use data to the Department of Energy before aggressive enforcement actions were taken.

The certification data provided by 160 different manufacturers will allow DOE to review manufacturers’ compliance with minimum energy efficiency standards and take action to ensure that products are delivering the energy and cost savings required by law.

DOE will continue to accept certification reports that were sent by mail and postmarked by January 8th.

Under federal law, manufacturers of a range of household appliances are required to certify with the Department that their models meet DOE’s minimum appliance conservation standards.  DOE has made clear that failure to submit these energy use reports violates the Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975 and will result in enforcement by the Department, including civil penalties or fines.

The announcement is part of a broader effort at the Department of Energy to expand enforcement efforts for appliance standards programs and Energy Star.

In December, the agency announced that beginning January 2, 2010, certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are banned from using the Energy Star label 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 exercised its right to give notice and terminate the agreement.

As a result of DOE’s move, LG has now sued the Department of Energy.

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