EPA’s Energy Star — Not Too Bright

Rob Gordon /

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. (more…)