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No star for Energy Star program

When consumers purchases appliances with the Energy Star label, they often think they are saving the environment and some cash down the road.

However, many do not realize the Energy Star program does not verify energy consumption data it receives from manufacturers.

This leaves an open window for manufacturers to bluff their data in order to acquire the Energy Star label and sell more products.

Consumer Reports recently conducted tests on several refrigerators and found at least two that used more than 50 percent over what their tags claimed.

In another recent test, this time by the Government Accountability Office, the agency submitted 20 bogus products for Energy Star certification, including a gasoline-powered alarm clock. Out of the 20, 15 received certification in very little time.

The deception is partly due to the fact that the Energy Star program self-certifies and tests its own products without the government affirming the data.

Although the Department of Energy has said they will change the energy certifying procedure by including independent organizations to test whether a product is energy efficient or not, the government should have more control over this.

The Energy Star program should reexamine how it rates appliances and think of more thorough methods to test and certify energy efficient products if it wants to remain credible in the public’s eye.

That also means, taking more time to test them out and make sure they meet the standards they claim to meet.

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