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Department of Energy Strengthens Enforcement of Energy Efficiency Standards

October 2009 - Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced three new steps to strengthen its ability to enforce energy efficiency standards.  The department has been trying to clear the backlog of energy efficiency standards for appliances and aggressively enforce energy efficiency standards.  

The new steps include the formation of an enforcement team within the Office of the General Counsel and a program to randomly review manufacturers’ compliance with DOE certification requirements.  The department also issued guidance further detailing its energy efficiency enforcement regulations.

In its new guidance on Energy Efficiency Enforcement Regulations, the department clarifies that any failure to certify covered products according to DOE’s rules violates the Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975 and DOE’s regulations. DOE can take enforcement action and assess civil penalties.

As part of its increased enforcement efforts, the enforcement team will be initiating a compliance review of certification reports for covered consumer products.  DOE will randomly select previously filed certification reports for review, request certification records as needed, and hold manufacturers accountable for failing to certify covered products according to DOE rules.

This summer, as part of its tougher enforcement efforts under the new administration, DOE initiated investigations of alleged violations against both an air conditioner manufacturer and a freezer manufacturer.  Both investigations are expected to be concluded shortly.


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