Questions Linger Over Energy Star Ratings

From NPR, Thursday, October 22, 2009:

Energy Stars are those blue stickers that are supposed to help you choose the most energy-efficient appliances, TVs and other power-hungry gadgets. More than one-third of Americans use them to pick products, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department.

The government says Energy Star is working so well that last year it helped Americans save the same amount of greenhouse gas pollution as is produced by 29 million cars.

But for years, critics have pointed to several flaws in the program that raise doubts about the reliability of Energy Star ratings. For instance, side-by-side and French-door refrigerators can get Energy Stars even though they use a lot more electricity than do fridges with freezers on the top. That’s because the government splits up various types of refrigerators into different categories and judges each separately.

Click here to read the full story.