Senator Susan Collins says that a federal investigation into the Energy Star program demonstrates that it is unreliable and vulnerable to fraud.
At Senator Collins’ request, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an undercover investigation to assess the product review and certification processes for the Energy Star program. The GAO formed four fake companies that created 20 bogus energy-efficient products, several of them outrageous on their face. Of the 20 fictitious products, 15 were granted Energy Star status by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), which jointly run the program. Of the four fake companies, all were named Energy Star partners by the federal agencies.
Senator Collins said: “Through the bogus businesses, the GAO was able to secure Energy Star certifications for a gasoline-powered alarm clock and a room air cleaner that, in a picture prominently displayed on one bogus company’s Web site, showed an electric space heater with a feather duster and strips of fly paper attached to it. As incredible as it sounds, both of these products were approved for the coveted Energy Star logo.
“And it didn’t stop there,” she said. “The GAO also obtained Energy Star certification for 13 other dubious products. The GAO’s investigation proved that the absence of controls and oversight make the Energy Star program highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse.”
You can find a press release here which also contains a link to the full GAO report: