The Energy Star Program may be facing a major overhaul after congressional auditors reported that they were able to receive certification for a number of ridiculous fake products including a gasoline-powered alarm clock. Maine’s Senator Susan Collins announced that this week she will be proposing changes to the program, which has drawn fire from all sides for issuing faulty certifications.
It turns out that the issues with Energy Star are so systemic that the energy efficiency certification program may require a significant overhaul. The main change that Collins is proposing is to move the program toward third-party independent testing and certification instead of the self-policing that has been taking place thus far – a system that clearly is not working out.
In fact, the call for the review came after the Government Accountability Office (a nonpartisan watchdog agency that reports directly to Congress)’s report on March 26 following a nine-month investigation of the Energy Star certification process, in which they created 15 phony products with no green features that were approved by Energy Star.
Of the overhaul, Collins said, “I will push for increased oversight and aggressive internal controls to verify product claims on energy efficiency. I want to make sure we pursue changes that are more than window dressing.”