FAQs to help manufacturers comply with the Appliance Labeling Rule
The Energy Labeling Rule requires manufacturers of certain appliances to disclose a product’s annual energy cost or efficiency information — based on Department of Energy (DOE) test procedures — on EnergyGuide labels, and to report their findings to the FTC.
Those bright yellow EnergyGuide labels show consumers how much it might cost to run an appliance each year based on how much energy it uses, and they make it easier for shoppers to compare the energy use among similar models.
To help you better understand your responsibilities under the Rule, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff have prepared answers to some questions we’ve been asked. For questions about DOE test procedures and conservation standards, DOE is the best source of information: EERE_ACES@ee.doe.gov.
Table of Contents
The Rule requires EnergyGuide labels for clothes washers, refrigerators, freezers, televisions, water heaters, dishwashers, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and pool heaters. Labeling requirements for certain light bulbs are explained here. The Rule also covers labeling for plumbing products and ceiling fans. See 16 CFR Part 305
The FTC offers templates to download and create your EnergyGuide labels. You also can look at samples of the EnergyGuide label in Appendix L of the Rule. You are responsible for producing your own labels for your products in accordance with the specific requirements in the Energy Labeling Rule.
How do I label my product if its annual energy cost or efficiency falls outside of the given range in the Energy Labeling Rule?
When the estimated annual operating cost or energy efficiency rating of a product is outside the current range for that product on the EnergyGuide label (which might result from the introduction of a new or changed model), you must:
- not place the product on the label’s scale, and
- add the appropriate sentence in the space just below the scale on the label:
The estimated yearly operating cost of this model was not available when the range was published.
The energy efficiency rating of this model was not available when the range was published.
See Appendix L of the Energy Labeling Rule for a sample label.
No. The Energy Labeling Rule doesn’t require FTC approval. However, manufacturers must follow DOE’s testing and certification requirements and the FTC’s requirements for reporting energy consumption information before distributing appliances.
By July 13, 2013, you must post images of the EnergyGuide labels for products on a publicly available website in a way that allows retailers to hyperlink to the label or download it. The label for a specific model must remain on the website for six months after production ends. See 16 CFR § 305.6
What information do websites and catalogs that sell products with EnergyGuide labels need to include?
Any manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or private labeler who advertises a product with an EnergyGuide label on a website or in a print catalog must disclose clearly and conspicuously — on the page listing the product — all of the information on the product’s EnergyGuide label, or show an image of the EnergyGuide label itself. However, this requirement applies only to websites and print catalogs that contain the terms of sale, retail price, and ordering instructions for consumers.
Starting January 15, 2014, these websites and catalogs must show the EnergyGuide label. The labels must be clear and conspicuous and in close proximity to the product’s price on each page that contains a detailed description of the product. If the website hyperlinks to the image of the label, it must use the sample EnergyGuide icon (i.e., web button) provided by the FTC. The website must hyperlink the image so that consumers don’t have to save the hyperlinked image to view it. See 16 CFR § 305.20
The Rule has two reporting requirements:
1. Annual Reports for All Models
You must submit a report each year with information for all appliance models in production. The report also should contain data for models that have been discontinued within the last year.
|Ceiling Fans||March 1|
|Showerheads, Faucets, Water Closets, Urinals||March 1|
|Water Heaters (all types)||May 1|
|Pool Heaters||May 1|
|Furnaces and Boilers||May 1|
|Central Air Conditioners||July 1|
|Room Air Conditioners||July 1|
|Heat Pumps||July 1|
|Clothes Washers||October 1|
2. New Model Reports
Before you distribute a new model — or a model subject to design or retrofit alterations that change the energy data — you must report the energy cost or efficiency of the model to the FTC. Reported data is public information. See 16 CFR § 305.8
You can submit reports required by the FTC through the Department of Energy’s Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS) at https://www.regulations.doe.gov/ccms.