• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • EPA’s Energy Star — Not Too Bright

    While the Environmental Protection Agency grinds ahead with its Clean Air Act regulations to force reductions of carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on a different energy conservation program introduced by EPA the under the same law. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you have probably seen the logo for the Energy Star program stuck on a refrigerator, dishwasher or some other consumer product. The logo means the government has deemed the product to be relatively energy efficient. However, just because the government deems something to be more energy efficient does not mean it is. In fact, not only may it NOT be more energy efficient but also it may not even be real.

    The GAO recently put the nearly two decade old Energy Star program to the test by establishing several bogus companies – consisting of websites, PO boxes and cell phones numbers – and then sought certification for twenty fictitious products. The results were dismal even for those who don’t expect too much from bureaucracy. At least 75% of the bogus products earned Energy Star certification. Of the twenty make-believe products submitted by the GAO, only two were rejected by the EPA or the Department of the Energy which is a partner in the program. Fifteen bogus products were stamped with the Energy Star seal of approval and for three others, the process was incomplete by the time the GAO authored its report.

    With three out of four bogus products certified it’s hard to imagine that it could be worse but it is. Some of the bogus products that received Energy Star certification were no less than comical. According to the GAO they included: “…a gas-powered alarm clock and a room cleaner represented by a photograph of a feather duster adhered to a space heater…” Judging from the photo in GAO’s report, “adhered to” is a nice way of saying “stuck on with tape.” Perhaps this would be an energy efficient way to burn down one’s house.

    Not only are tax dollars spent administering this program but GAO also notes that “… federal agencies must procure Energy Star-qualified or DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated products, unless the head of the agency determines in writing that a statutory exemption applies” and “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 increased and extended the energy tax credits for homeowners who make energy-efficient improvements to their existing homes.”

    Good news about the program is that it’s voluntary. That’s more than can be said for what EPA is planning to do to the economy with its pending carbon dioxide regulatory scheme.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to EPA’s Energy Star — Not Too Bright

    1. Larry Morris - Kenne says:

      Proof positive that there are three kinds of fools: Plain Fools, Damn Fools and Government Bureaucrats. And only the last of these is allowed to use a gun to enforce his wishes.

    2. Larry Morris - Kenne says:

      Proof positive that there are three kindso of fools: Plain Fools, Damn Fools and Government Bureaucrats. Unfortunately only the last of these is legally allowed to use a gun to enforce his foolishness.

    3. Phillip, Baltimore M says:

      And you expected a different result from a government agency? Sounds like this is one program that we can cut out of the Federal budget, or wait, maybe we need to toss billions at it to fix the problem, yeah, that's the ticket!

    4. Mike Davison Fort Co says:

      Larry Morris' comment on the three kinds of fools cracks me up and is right on. I just can't wait for the federal government to start administering our health care, considering it's expertise and proven track record of effective, efficient and down-right great programs like the Energy Star program… that's funny too!

    5. Mike Davison Fort Co says:

      sorry, forgot to put in my location on previous submission

    6. Doug Kratz-Beech Isl says:

      I agree with Mr. Morris. I used to find these kind of stories mildly amusing. The joke has grown old and the consequences are looming. I'm looking forward to the fall, even after this chilly winter.

    7. Bill Thomas, Reno, N says:

      Ignorance is blind and ignorance is bliss. The Obamacare is living proof that our enemhy is within. I am fearful that this is only the beginning of the end.

    8. Billie says:

      Not too bright is government and their wasted expense to their hazardous mindset.

      Good one, Larry!

    9. Robert, San Diego, C says:

      To think that our own government will be running health care. Anybody that even thinks that relying on the our government or Obama (THE MESS-IAH), for anything deserves what they get. Remember that guy, uhh I think his name was


    10. Pingback: Cash for Caulkers: Another Subsidized Clunker | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    11. Electrical Man says:

      Energy star program has good intentions, however its flawed as follows: US Govt to not oversee it seriously; foreign imports cheating on it; payback in energy saving 10 plus years out.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.