Energy Star Testing Labs At The Ready

Until now, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star program has relied exclusively on voluntary manufacturer reporting to determine whether an electronic appliance meets its energy efficiency standards. This, predictably, has resulted in some pretty loose interpretations of the standards involved, and in some cases, outright fraud and abuse. But no more.

As part of an overhaul of the Energy Star certification process for appliances, the EPA will now require applicants to be certified by third party agencies. In a series of recent news releases, Underwriters Laboratories, NSF International and Intertek have been named as recognized third party testers; each agency is said to be a global leader in safety testing and has laboratories around the world.

Energy Star Logo

image via EPA

The new regulations go into effect on January 1, 2011. After that date, manufacturers seeking the Energy Star endorsement for energy-efficient appliances and electronics will have to have energy performance validated by a third-party certifier prior to product labeling. (They’ll also have to undergo post-market verification testing to make sure that the product supplied for testing matches the performance of those that hit the consumer market.)

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.