FTC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Changes to Appliance Labeling Rule

Energy Efficiency Labels Help Consumers Comparison Shop

For Your Information

As part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides,the Federal TradeCommission is seeking public comment on proposed changes to its Appliance Labeling Rule, which requires energy efficiency labels for major household appliances and other consumer products.

New Energy Guide Label (Click for full size)

The Rule, issued in 1979 under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, calls for the familiar yellow EnergyGuide labels that tell consumers the product's estimated annual operating cost and energy consumption rating, and a range for comparing the highest and lowest energy consumption for all similar models.

Appliances that have EnergyGuide labels are clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and pool heaters. In addition, in 2010 the Rule was amended to require EnergyGuide labels on televisions manufactured after May 10, 2011.

In reviewing the Rule, the FTC seeks comments on its benefits and costs, and on several proposed changes, including whether the Commission should:

  • eliminate duplicative reporting requirements for manufacturers;
  • require a uniform method for attaching labels to appliances;
  • place EnergyGuide labels on room air conditioner packages instead of the products;
  • improve website disclosures; and
  • revise ceiling fan labels.

For more information about EnergyGuide labels, read Energy Guidance: Appliance Shopping With the EnergyGuide Label.

The Commission vote approving the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 4-0. It is available on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received by May 16, 2012. All comments received will be posted at www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. (FTC File No. R611004; the staff contact is Hampton Newsome, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2889)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(Appliance Labeling Rule NPR)

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