Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Energy Dept. Audit Finds Flaws in Its EnergyStar Program

Apparently, the EnergyStar program is suffering not from lack of good standards, but from a lack of compliance monitoring:

The Energy Department has concluded in an internal audit that it does not properly track whether manufacturers that give their appliances an Energy Star label have met the required specifications for energy efficiency.

Some manufacturers could therefore be putting the stickers on unqualified products, according to the audit, by the Energy Department’s inspector general, Gregory H. Friedman.

An ecolabel can have the best standards in the world that reflect the cutting edge recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences of 47 countries.  But if the certifying body doesn't have an adequate system in place for monitoring whether certified products, forests, etc. continue to consistently meet their standards over time, there are bound to be problems like this.

It's not just EnergyStar either.  I've read about Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests being found by studies to be out of compliance, especially in third world countries.  We simply need to get better monitoring systems in place.

Sounds like some great green job opportunities to me...

Read the NY Times story>>

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