DOE: Appliance makers need to comply with new standards by January 8

energygovWashington, D.C. — Appliance makers have 30 days to demonstrate compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy-efficiency standards. The DOE said manufacturers of certain residential products have until January 8, 2010, to submit accurate certification reports and compliance statements as part of enhanced enforcement of DOE’s energy-efficiency appliance standards program.

Under federal law, manufacturers of some products covered by DOE appliance standards are required to certify with the Department that their models meet the energy conservation standards.

Following this 30-day window, DOE said it will begin aggressively enforcing these reporting requirements, including seeking civil penalties or fines. The 30-day period does not apply to violations of the actual energy conservation standards. DOE will continue to take action against any manufacturer whose products do not meet the federal efficiency standards.

Both manufacturers and companies that trademark or label products are subject to the reporting requirements, reports the DOE. These requirements include a certification report for each basic appliance model covered by the energy standards, along with a signed compliance statement. Click here for more details.

As part of the DOE’s broader effort to expand enforcement for the ENERGY STAR and the appliance standards program, the DOE has banned certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers from using the ENERGY STAR label effective January 2, 2010.

The DOE said it is proceeding with this action after multiple independent labs have confirmed that when certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are tested using existing DOE test procedures, they do not qualify for the ENERGY STAR Program.

In November 2008, DOE and LG entered into an Agreement that allowed LG to transition from test procedures that significantly underestimated the amount of energy that certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers would consume during normal use, reports the DOE. Since recent tests confirm that the problem still exists, the DOE has exercised its right to give notice and terminate the Agreement.

In response, LG Electronics USA has filed a complaint against the DOE in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. LG is asking the court to stop the DOE from forcing LG to remove Energy Star labels from certain refrigerator-freezer models by Jan. 2, 2010, and states that the DOE should pursue an industrywide approach to new testing standards within the process established in law.