Maintaining the Integrity of ENERGY STAR
The ENERGY STAR mark is a valuable asset, and like any asset with appreciable value, it must be properly used and protected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) undertake a broad range of efforts to ensure that:
- the ENERGY STAR name and trademarks are applied properly and consistently in the marketplace
- ENERGY STAR delivers on its promise to designate products and services that protect the environment through superior energy efficiency without trade-offs in performance or functionality
- the program is positioned to enjoy broad consumer confidence and deliver growing energy savings and related environmental benefits for years to come.
These efforts include:
- Formal partnership agreements. EPA enters into formal agreements with product brand owners and retailers that clearly and consistently outline the terms and conditions for using the ENERGY STAR name and marks. As a partner in the program, organizations agree to abide by the ENERGY STAR program identity guidelines to ensure proper use of the logo. Compliance with ENERGY STAR program requirements and the Partnership Agreement is required for a product brand owner to maintain partnership status.
- Product performance specifications. EPA provides clear and detailed specifications that reference objective, repeatable test procedures.
- Monitoring the use of the name and marks
- EPA monitors the use of the ENERGY STAR mark and name in trade media, advertisements, and the internet.
- Retail Store Level Assessment (55KB) Conducted semi-annually these quality assurance reviews of retail store stock ensure that ENERGY STAR qualified products are on store shelves and labeled properly, products on shelves are not labeled as ENERGY STAR unless they are qualified products, and disqualified products available in stores are presented consistent with EPA's corrective action requirements.
- Third-party certification. EPA requires product brand owners to submit their product data, including lab reports, and obtain approval prior to labeling them with the ENERGY STAR.
- “Off-the-shelf” Verification Testing. EPA and DOE oversee verification testing to ensure products using the ENERGY STAR meet program requirements.
- Enhanced Oversight of ENERGY STAR CFL Performance. Based on ENERGY STAR verification testing through 2012, the failure rate for CFLs is disproportionately high compared with other ENERGY STAR products (35% versus approximately 5%) and, most notably, ranges from 15-90%, depending on the product brand owner partner (partner). While some CFL OEMs demonstrate low product pass rates others have achieved high pass rates, indicating effective quality control is achievable. This has prompted EPA to initiate heightened oversight for partners associated with failing bulbs from OEMs with a documented history of compliance rates beneath the industry average. As a component of their product control measures, these partners are subject to additional verification testing of a model supplied by the same OEM. This testing will provide more information regarding quality control vulnerabilities. In addition, product control measures for these partners must include documentation of improved quality control measures for their OEM’s product manufacturing. For additional information on OEM performance rates see CFL ENERGY STAR Verification Testing: OEM Performance Assessment – May 2009 – March 2013 (885KB).
- Taking action to enforce the proper use of the ENERGY STAR mark. EPA monitors ENERGY STAR labeled product models through a variety of market surveillance activities, including verification testing. Models that fail to meet ENERGY STAR requirements are subject to EPA's disqualification procedures (59KB).
- Non-Lighting Products Disqualified from the ENERGY STAR Program: 1/1/2010 to 1/16/2015 — Excel | PDF (93KB)
- Lighting Products Disqualified from the ENERGY STAR Program: 7/1/2010 to 1/16/2015 — Excel | PDF (418KB)
- Revising ENERGY STAR performance specifications to reflect advances in energy efficiency.
- ENERGY STAR Annual Reports
- 2007 Integrity Report: Maintaining the Value of ENERGY STAR (1.5MB)