The Department of Energy has served subpoenas to three parties involved in selling floor lamps that failed to meet minimum federal energy use standards, reports the New York Times.
Retailers Target and Adesso, as well as the manufacturer, Habitex of Taiwan, were given 30 days to submit information about the products and the way they were marketed.
Both Target and Adesso sold the lamps under their own brand names.
The DOE contends that the floor lamps exceed the 190-watt energy use limit for so-called torchieres, which use reflector bowls to direct light upwards.
DOE general counsel Scott Blake Harris said that the DOE was “not prejudging the merits of this particular case,” but looked forward to seeing the companies’ responses.
The inquiry may be the result of pressure from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which conducted a Web search of lamps being advertised as using more energy than the standard allows for.
In this case, the lamp is advertised as using 300 watts. But NRDC said it tested the lamp as using more than 380 watts.