Press Release

#SubEnergy Examines Legislation to Update and Improve Energy Star Program


11.07.17

#SubEnergy also examined legislation to align ceiling fan standards


WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy Subcommittee today held a legislative hearing examining two bills that seek to promote energy efficiency, are a win for manufacturers, jobs, the environment, and most importantly, consumers.

Energy Star is a voluntary program, implemented by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that seeks to provide consumers and businesses with information identifying the most energy efficient choice in appliances, homes, and buildings. #SubEnergy today looked at a discussion draft of legislation that seeks to make modifications and improve the Energy Star program. Members also reviewed H.R. 3477, the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act.

In his opening remarks, Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), commented, “The Energy Star program has been a win-win for consumers and manufacturers over the past 25 years. This program has proven to be a successful tool in advancing the development and use of efficient energy technologies. It has also promoted economic expansion and job growth for participating manufacturers across the nation, including many across my home state of Ohio. This hearing today is a starting point for reforming the Energy Star program. We’ve heard from stakeholders that reforms are needed to Energy Star and that this draft is an opportunity to discuss those ideas.”

Discussion Draft: Energy Star Reform Act of 2017, would:

  • Make DOE the permanent lead agency while allowing the Secretary of Energy the discretion to delegate responsibilities to EPA.
  • Subject the program to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, which would treat actions taken by Energy Star the same as agency rulemakings.
  • Allow self-certification for makers of electronic products that are in good standing with the program.
  • Create limited liability protections for program participants in which participating companies whose products are found to be out of compliance would be subject to all corrective measures and penalties under the program but not subject to litigation.

Witnesses listen as members deliver opening statements

Douglas Johnson, Vice President, Technology Policy at the Consumer Technology Association, discussed his support for the committee’s efforts to reform Energy Star, commenting, “The committee’s focus on Energy Star reform and improvement opportunities is important and necessary. As policymakers consider ways to encourage the efficient use of energy, we urge Congress to support innovation and promote voluntary, market-oriented programs including Energy Star.”

Joseph McGuire, President and CEO at the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, echoed support for Energy Star reform, stating, “Our ultimate objective is to improve the Energy Star program to ensure it capitalizes on DOE’s product expertise and extensive analysis; is fair, predictable, open, and transparent; and encourages continued manufacturer participation by eliminating class action lawsuits that duplicate remedy decisions the Federal government has already made. Accordingly, we call on Congress to send the Energy Star program for home appliances back home to DOE…”

H.R. 3477, Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act, authored by committee member Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), would:

  • Align the DOE compliance dates for new ceiling fan efficiency standards.
  • Currently, the compliance date for the latest ceiling fan light kit standard is January 7, 2019 and the compliance date for the ceiling fan standard is January 21, 2020. H.R. 3477 would make the date of compliance for both standards, January 21, 2020.

“Our committee’s energy focus is not limited to energy production and delivery – we are also very interested in policies that promote energy efficiency,” concluded full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “Doing more with less is always a win for consumers, for manufacturers, for jobs, the environment, and for the economy overall.”

A background memo, legislative text, witness testimony, and an archived webcast are available on the committee’s website HERE.

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Subcommittees
Energy (115th Congress)
Press Release