The latest word on energy labels

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Energy-conscious – and budget-minded – consumers rely on those bright yellow EnergyGuide labels on appliances and the Lighting Facts box on light bulbs to help them comparison-shop. If your products are covered by the Energy Labeling Rule, the FTC has taken action on two fronts that you’ll want to follow.

The first development: After getting public input, the FTC has announced final changes to portions of the Energy Labeling Rule. Read the Federal Register Notice for the details, but here are a few highlights:

  • Light bulbs. The FTC has expanded coverage of the Lighting Facts label to include certain decorative and specialty bulbs. Since many bulbs come in smaller packages, the revised Rule addresses the question of how to display the Lighting Facts information in a compact format. 
  • Energy labels. The final Rule increases the durability of EnergyGuide labels on refrigerators, clothes washers, and dishwashers, while giving manufacturers some flexibility to use label methods best suited to their products.
  • Plumbing products.  The revised Rule clarifies that retail websites may use a hyperlink to guide consumers to flow rate information for covered plumbing products. That’s consistent with amendments that allow online retailers to use a hyperlink to connect shoppers to EnergyGuide and Lighting Facts labels for certain products.

In a related development, the FTC is asking for public comment about other suggested updates to the Energy Labeling Rule. One proposal would add a new comprehensive EnergyGuide label database on the Department of Energy’s website. With a single click, consumers could look at EnergyGuide labels for all covered products. And when businesses need digital labels for advertising or label replacement, they’d have instant access, which would save a lot of back-and-forth with individual manufacturers. What’s your reaction to that idea?

Other proposals relate to refrigerator comparability range information and labels for portable air conditioners, dual-mode refrigerators, and rooftop heating and cooling equipment. The FTC is also suggesting revisions to EnergyGuide labeling for ceiling fans, central air conditioners, and water heaters.

File comments by January 11, 2016.



We just bought a fridge, but the energyguide label states that the yearly operating cost of the model was not available at the time the range was published. It also states that it is $63 a yr in a range $65 to $80. !?? I have d to look up online and on the manufacture's website what it would be, but came up short. It's unfair to sell a fridge you can't compare properly. I like the idea of being able to look up the label here. I would also like them more consistent, not different colored numbers/labels. And on mine, it looks like they guessed...I would like to exclude manufacturers from doing that. In addition, it is confusing the difference between energy star rated and other ones.

Energy Guide Labels
I also would like to have an internet site that has all energy guide labels searchable by model number for display.
In addition, I would like the energy guide label to include the annual CO2 emissions associated with the appliance. For fuel burning appliances, this would be straightforward. For Electrical appliances, an assumed Grid CO2 emission factor of 1 lb/KWH is suggested.

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