The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) is modifying the testing and verification program for all ENERGY STAR product categories, including consumer electronics. This effort is focused on maintaining the value of the ENERGY STAR brand by ensuring labeled products deliver on their promises to the consumer.
To transition the ENERGY STAR labeling program away from self-certification, EPA will now require third-party certification of all qualifying product information. This will include qualification testing prior to product labeling conducted in an EPA-recognized lab, as well as post-market verification testing to ensure the product continues to meet program requirements. Test data will be reviewed and certified by third-party certification bodies (CBs).
Manufacturer-owned, unaccredited laboratories can conduct testing in the new program if they participate in a witnessed or supervised manufacturer testing program run by a CB. In that case, personnel from the CB witness the test and certify to EPA that the laboratory meets our requirements and the data is reliable.
In June, EPA finalized requirements for accreditation bodies and laboratories that seek recognition by the ENERGY STAR program. In late July, EPA released final draft requirements for certification bodies; those requirements will be final in mid-August. These documents require that organizations operate according to the relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, with some additional requirements specific to the ENERGY STAR program.
Accreditation bodies, laboratories, and certification bodies will be required to apply for EPA recognition to participate in the program. EPA is currently reviewing and accepting applications from accreditation bodies, and will begin reviewing applications from laboratories soon. Certification bodies represent the final group of organizations EPA anticipates recognizing as participants in the testing and verification scheme.
EPA continues to coordinate with a range of organizations seeking to establish certification programs for different product categories. The Agency is also currently in the process of refining the eligibility criteria and partner commitments across all 60 product categories to reflect the new certification requirements.