Energy Star to ‘superstar’

Sarah Gardner Feb 4, 2011
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Energy Star to ‘superstar’

Sarah Gardner Feb 4, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: When you buy a new television, you may see a little sticker on it that says it’s energy efficient. And now the government program behind that little sticker is unveiling a new superstar energy rating. But the little energy star has come under fire lately.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sarah Gardner reports.


SARAH GARDNER: Last year, a government watchdog agency exposed Energy Star’s flaws by submitting fictitious appliances for certification. We’re talking a gasoline-powered alarm clock and an air cleaner with a feather duster attached. They got certified and that prompted calls for reform. Now, Energy Star is demanding third-party verification of efficiency claims. And, it’s creating a new “superstar” rating for the most efficient appliances.

Lowell Ungar at the Alliance to Save Energy says it’s about time.

LOWELL UNGAR: Right now Energy Star is typically tiered to be the best one-quarter of products, although it can vary a lot for different product categories. So a new higher tier will tell consumers what the best of the best are.

That could mean the top 5 percent in any product category. Of course, the government could simply raise its standards for getting the Energy Star label in the first place.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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