Energy Star Labels Stripped from Five Fridge Models


Photo via Sebrenner

Whirlpool is reveling in delight. The company is a leader in Energy Star appliances, and seeing a competitor stripped of the designation must be pretty exciting.

Here’s the story: The Department of Energy did an investigation and found that a certain manufacturer underreported the energy consumption of their French-door Bottom Mount refrigerators. And so – Off with their labels!

Read on to find out who the guilty culprit is. An important part of the investigation is the mere fact that they uncovered essentially a lie being told to consumers. Consumers who take Energy Star ratings seriously were being mislead by the manufacturer.

But on Friday, November 14th, the cat was let out of the bag and the DOE announced that the immediate removal of the Energy Star label was required for LG fridges and the company is to compensate owners, modify inventory, and remove the five models mistakenly labeled from the Energy Star program.

So what happened?? From Twice:

According to both parties, LG rated the refrigerators on the basis of a standard test procedure that has been widely used for nearly 30 years. LG said it didn’t take into account different applications of the testing rules for newer technologies used in the latest energy-efficient products. Specifically, DOE said LG didn’t set the refrigerators’ temperature-controllable compartments to their coldest levels, a requirement for energy-usage measurements.

Whirlpool, as we mentioned, is all atwitter:

"Thanks to the DOE's ongoing investigation, we have confidence that consumers will ultimately be able to make informed decisions about energy savings and environmental impact in this popular segment of the refrigeration category," said Greg Miller, general manager, refrigeration, Whirlpool North America. "Through our own testing, we know that Whirlpool Corporation's French-door Bottom Mount refrigerators are the most energy efficient sold today and have fully earned their ENERGY STAR label and rating."

Ultimately, they’re right. Consumers trust Energy Star labels to tell the truth, and something like this shakes the confidence. With this, consumers can make more informed decisions. Additionally, manufacturers will know to be more careful and aware of what the testing requirements are, and to live up to them. At least the DOE proved they're paying a little attention.

More on Energy Star ratings:
PC Buyers Might Get Efficiency Tags to Help with Computer Purchases
TVs Meeting New Energy Star Standards Hitting Stores for Holidays
Gaming Consoles Finally Getting Attention from Energy Star
"Energy Star @ Work" Online Tool Launches

Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Energy Efficiency | Energy Star

Best of TreeHugger 2014

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK