Audit Report on "The Department's Management of the ENERGY STAR Program"

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) authorized about $300 million in consumer rebate incentives for purchases of products rated under the 'ENERGY STAR' Program. ENERGY STAR, a voluntary labeling program established in 1992, provides consumers with energy efficiency data for a range of products so that they can make informed purchase judgments. The overall goal of the program is to encourage consumers to choose energy efficient products, advancing the nationwide goal of reducing energy consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) managed the ENERGY STAR Program on a stand-alone basis until 1996 when it joined forces with the ... continued below

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None October 1, 2009.

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Description

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) authorized about $300 million in consumer rebate incentives for purchases of products rated under the 'ENERGY STAR' Program. ENERGY STAR, a voluntary labeling program established in 1992, provides consumers with energy efficiency data for a range of products so that they can make informed purchase judgments. The overall goal of the program is to encourage consumers to choose energy efficient products, advancing the nationwide goal of reducing energy consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) managed the ENERGY STAR Program on a stand-alone basis until 1996 when it joined forces with the Department of Energy (Department). A Memorandum of Cooperation expanded the ENERGY STAR product categories, giving the Department responsibility for overseeing eight product categories such as windows, dishwashers, clothes washers, and refrigerators, while EPA retained responsibility for electronic product categories and heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment. Each agency is responsible for setting product efficiency specifications for those items under its control and for ensuring the proper use of the ENERGY STAR label in the marketplace. In August 2007, the EPA Office of Inspector General issued an audit report identifying significant control weaknesses in EPA's management of ENERGY STAR. The Department, concerned by the findings at EPA and eager to improve its own program, developed an approach to verify adherence to product specifications, ensure proper use of the ENERGY STAR label in the marketplace, and improve the establishment of product specifications. As evidenced by the commitment of $300 million in Recovery Act funds, the ENERGY STAR Program plays an important role in the U.S. efforts to reduce energy consumption. We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department had implemented the actions it announced in 2007 to strengthen the Program. The Department had not implemented planned improvements in the ENERGY STAR Program. Our audit revealed that officials had not: (1) Developed a formal quality assurance program to help ensure that product specifications were adhered to; (2) Effectively monitored the use of the ENERGY STAR label to ensure that only qualifying products were labeled as compliant; and (3) Formalized procedures for establishing and revising product specifications and for documenting decisions regarding those specifications. In our judgment, the delay in the Department's planned improvements in its management of the ENERGY STAR Program could reduce consumer confidence in the integrity of the ENERGY STAR label. Such loss of credibility could reduce energy savings, increase consumer risk, and diminish the value of the recent infusion of $300 million for ENERGY STAR rebates under the Recovery Act.

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  • Report No.: DOE/IG-0827
  • Grant Number: None
  • DOI: 10.2172/967832 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 967832
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc935142

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • October 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 6, 2016, 7:09 p.m.

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None. Audit Report on "The Department's Management of the ENERGY STAR Program", report, October 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc935142/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.