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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on proposed improvements to the Energy Labeling Rule to modernize and expand its coverage to help reduce energy costs for consumers.

The FTC’s Energy Labeling Rule requires manufacturers to attach labels to major home appliances and other consumer products to help consumers compare the energy usage and costs of competing models. The labels help consumers anticipate their energy usage and avoid costly surprises after they have bought a product. 

In an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) announced in October 2022, the FTC requested comments on potential improvements to the rule, including whether it should add new consumer product categories to the labeling program, change the rule’s labeling requirements to match consumer shopping patterns and streamline existing requirements.

After considering the comments received, the FTC is now seeking comments on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to help develop a final rule that would formally implement the proposed updates. The NPRM addresses four basic issue categories related to the energy labeling program: 1) new product labels for air cleaners, clothes dryers, miscellaneous refrigeration products, and portable electric spas; 2) changes to labels for several existing products; 3) revisions to the current requirements for affixing labels on showroom models; and 4) several other minor amendments to improve the rule. Specifically:

  • The NPRM proposes new product labels for previously unlabeled air cleaners, clothes dryers, miscellaneous refrigerator products, and portable electric spas;

  • Seeks comment on new issues commenters raised regarding existing labels for clothes washers, televisions, and heating products including water heaters, pool heaters, and boilers;

  • Proposes several amendments to match label format and location to consumer shopping patterns. It would require manufacturers to affix labels to large appliances prepared for showroom display only. For all other such units, manufacturers could include the label with the product in other ways, such as in the literature bag. In addition, retailers would be responsible for ensuring that units displayed in showrooms bear a label; and

  • Proposes minor amendments addressing a range of miscellaneous issues such as compliance dates for ranges, television data updates, and format and placement requirements for labels. 

The Commission vote approving publication of the notice in the Federal Register notice was 3-0. The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register shortly. Once it has been published, consumers can submit comments electronically. They also may submit comments in writing by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice.

The Commission is publishing a separate Federal Register notice containing routine updates to EnergyGuide labels for televisions. The vote approving publication of that notice was 3-0. The staff attorneys working on both notices are Hampton Newsome and Hong Park in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov, or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Follow the FTC on social media, read consumer alerts and the business blog, and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts.

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