What will it take for the Energy Star program to gain credibility again in the wake of the scathing GAO report last week around potential fraud and abuse? How about lots of investigations by the U.S. Department of Energy around energy efficiency issues? Two more recent investigations, in addition to the one around Target and torchiere lamps, have sprung up as the government looks to crack down on those who abuse the system.
The first, according to the DOE, is an “appliance standards investigation for certain Air Con International air conditioners and heat pumps.” A subpoena issued to Air Con requires the company to “submit detailed information about the energy consumption of its products and how Air Con marketed and sold them in the U.S.” DOE General Counsel Scott Blake Harris said in this case that “while we are not prejudging the merits of this particular case, the Department of Energy will continue to act on any credible information alleging that products are violating federal energy efficiency standards.”
The Department of Energy, in a separate case, has ordered “AeroSys, Inc. to stop distributing two product models – one air conditioner and one heat pump – that DOE testing found to consume more energy than allowed under federal efficiency standards.” AeroSys had been subpoenaed on this last year apparently, and the DOE determined after testing that “the AeroSys heat pump (THHP-24T*) and one of the air conditioners (THDC-30T*) consume more energy than allowed under federal law.” The company has 15 days now to explain to the DOE ” the steps they will take to remove the two noncompliant models from commerce in the U.S.” If such action does not occur within the allotted time, AeroSys will be dragged into court over it to tangle with the government like LG Electronics recently.
Enjoying EarthTechling? Vote for us as Best Sci-Tech Blog (scroll down to fourth category) in the TreeHugger Best of Green Awards! Thanks!