An energy star washing machine is seen for sale at the Best Buy store in Miami, Fla.
An energy star washing machine is seen for sale at the Best Buy store in Miami, Fla. - 
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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.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner