The Federal Trade Commission today announced it has concluded a two-year review of the FTC’s Appliance Labeling Rule (16 C.F.R. Part 305) and, after substantial public comment and consumer research, has amended the Rule to improve the design and content of the EnergyGuide label required on most new appliances sold in the United States. The yellow EnergyGuide label, familiar to most appliance shoppers, helps consumers compare the operating costs of competing models and aids them in identifying high-efficiency models that will reduce their energy use.
The new EnergyGuide label (see illustration) has a streamlined look and will display estimated yearly operating costs prominently for most appliance types. This estimated cost information, which will appear on the labels in dollars per year, will provide consumers with a clear context to compare the energy efficiency of different appliance models. It also will help consumers assess trade-offs between the energy costs of their appliances and other expenditures. The new EnergyGuide label design will continue to display energy consumption information (e.g., annual electricity use) as a secondary disclosure for most labeled products.
The Regulatory Review Process
The amendments announced today can be found on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release and will appear shortly in a notice published in the Federal Register. As directed by Section 137 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the FTC initiated a two-year rulemaking to consider the effectiveness of the consumer products appliance labeling program in assisting consumers with their purchasing decisions and in improving energy efficiency.
Over the course of the proceeding, the Commission held a public workshop, conducted consumer research, and sought comments on proposed amendments to the Rule. As part of this process, the Commission explored a broad range of issues, including the effectiveness of the EnergyGuide label, its design and content, and possible alternative label designs. The amendments announced today contain a new design for the yellow EnergyGuide label and several other changes to existing requirements.
The Commission vote approving the publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0.
Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.