Agencies Step Up ENERGY STAR Enforcement
Since its start in 1992, the ENERGY STAR program has become one of the most significant consumer product rating programs in the United States, and a major selling point for electronic devices and appliances. Until recently, the ENERGY STAR program seemed to be more of a boon than a burden or a risk to manufacturers. However, stepped-up enforcement actions by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have presented increased risks. In addition, plaintiffs' lawyers are actively pursuing class actions on behalf of consumers who purchased appliances with allegedly false ENERGY STAR labels. Companies participating in the ENERGY STAR program may wish to consider adopting internal controls designed to reduce the risk of non-compliance and an enforcement response plan to address problems promptly if they arise.