FTC Proposes Improvements to Energy Labels for Consumers

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a variety of proposed changes to its Energy Labeling Rule affecting labels for light bulbs, appliances, room air conditioners, ceiling fans, refrigerators, and furnaces.

Under the Rule, manufacturers must attach yellow EnergyGuide labels to certain products, stating an annual operating cost and an energy consumption rating, and a range for comparing the highest and lowest energy consumption for all similar models.  The labels appear on clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, pool heaters, and  televisions.

In March 2012, as part of its systematic review of all FTC rules and guides, the agency sought public comments on proposed improvements to the labeling requirements under the Rule. In January 2013, the FTC issued final amendments to streamline data reporting and improve online disclosures, and proposed new labels to help consumers comparison shop for refrigerators and clothes washers under new Department of Energy test procedures. In July 2013, it issued final amendments for those issues, and updates to comparability ranges.

The FTC now seeks comments on several proposed amendments for expanded light bulb label coverage, an online label database, more durable labels for appliances, room air conditioner labels on boxes, improved ceiling fan labels, consolidated ranges on refrigerator labels, and updates to furnace labels.

For more information about EnergyGuide labels, read Shopping for Home Appliances? Use the EnergyGuide Label.

The Commission vote approving the Federal Register Notice was 5-0.  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 August 18, 2014.  All comments received will be posted at www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments. (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, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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