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FROM THE EDITOR

EPA’s Energy Star Program: Problem Solved

 
The media is quick to jump on stories about government incompetence, but not always so equally eager to report on solutions. Four years ago, the Government Accountability Office gave the EPA’s Energy Star program a failing grade. The GAO exposed Energy Star’s lax standards by submitting applications for patently fake appliances—such as a gasoline-powered alarm clock—which were approved. Turns out the EPA wasn’t looking at every application and manufacturers could self-certify their products as Energy Star-level efficient. Now, the EPA uses credible third-party certifiers, such as Underwriters Laboratories, to guarantee energy efficiency. It also spot checks products on the shelves to confirm compliance. Last year, 62 items were disqualified from the program for failing to deliver the guaranteed energy saving. Sometimes, policies and bureaucracies can and do get better. That’s a good thing, and a good thing to know.
 
John Howell Editorial Director

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