The shift away from the EPA would strengthen and improve the program, AHAM says.
U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has petitioned the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power to transfer administration of the ENERGY STAR program for home appliances from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to the Department of Energy (DOE).
The DOE was the original administrative force behind the ENERGY STAR program, which began in 1992 in an attempt to guide consumers towards energy-efficient home appliances.
“ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped save American families and businesses $430 billion on their energy bills,” the program website reads, “while also achieving broad emissions reductions – all through voluntary action.”
In 2009 the program was transferred to the EPA, a move that AHAM says created complications that ultimately undermine the program’s efficiency.
“AHAM supports the transfer back to DOE, but we also support legislation that would permanently house the program for appliances at DOE, where it belongs.”
– AHAM president and CEO Joseph McGuire
Those complications include the verification of testing requirements and EPA specifications on energy regulations that differ or depart from the DOE’s for the same products.
“Lack of coordination between the two agencies causes confusion for both consumers and manufacturers of the regulated appliances,” AHAM said in a statement.
AHAM president and CEO Joseph McGuire testified to Congress on behalf of AHAM on Tuesday, November 7.
“The transfer from DOE to EPA was done administratively, and administrative action could, likewise, reverse the transfer,” McGuire said in his testimony. “AHAM supports the transfer back to DOE, but we also support legislation that would permanently house the program for appliances at DOE, where it belongs.”
The House of Representatives is currently reviewing the Energy Star Reform Act – which would permanent transfer administration of the program from the EPA to the DOE, among other changes aimed at strengthening the program.