New Agreement between EPA and DOE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have announced an agreement designed to enhance the ENERGY STAR Program. Anticipated enhancements to the products program include expanded coverage, more frequent specification updates, enhanced efforts on product testing and a new effort to recognize super efficient products. The new agreement also lays out clear roles and responsibilities for the agencies.
The agreement should have minimal effect on manufacturers of ENERGY STAR products.  EPA and DOE have committed to developing a proposed plan for ENERGY STAR program enhancements for 2010. This plan, which will address anticipated new product categories, priority areas for specification revision and a proposal to address product verification, will be made available for stakeholder comment no later than November 30, 2009. The new “top tier” program will be addressed as part of the first annual partnership plan in January, 2010 and will involve market research with expert input from brand strategy consultants as a first step.
Any proposed program enhancements will be shared and vetted through the traditional ENERGY STAR stakeholder process. Further, the agencies recognize that specific verification requirements will need to be tailored based on product categories. Reasonable transition time will be provided before instituting new requirements specific to enhanced verification.
EPA will host a conference call on November 12, 2009, 1-2pm Eastern Time to walk through agreement highlights and field stakeholder questions. The call in information is 866-299-3188, access code is 202-343-9120#. EPA anticipates sharing slides with stakeholders prior to this call.