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Updated EnergyGuide Labels Approved for Refrigerators and Clothes Washers

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously July 16 to issue a final rule establishing new EnergyGuide labels for refrigerators and clothes washers. The FTC states that these labels will allow manufacturers to roll out new high-efficiency models well before the implementation of significantly revised Energy Department test procedures, which manufacturers will begin using in 2014. The new labels will be available for new or existing refrigerator models manufactured after Jan. 1, 2014, and clothes washer models manufactured after June 1, 2014, and will be required for refrigerators manufactured on or after Sept. 15, 2014, and clothes washers manufactured on or after March 7, 2015.

The final rule also updates the comparative energy consumption and cost information on EnergyGuide labels for other appliances, with the following changes.

- There are no numbers for instantaneous electric water heaters because these products are not currently subject to DOE test procedures.

- The ranges for gas pool heaters are amended to reflect DOE standards that went into effect April 16.

- The average energy costs for certain product labels are updated to reflect recently published DOE 2013 data.

- The FTC has sought to synchronize the new range and cost updates with other ongoing regulatory changes to avoid multiple label changes in a short time period.

Under the Energy Labeling Rule, manufacturers must attach to certain products yellow EnergyGuide labels that state an annual operating cost, an energy consumption rating and a range for comparing the highest and lowest energy consumption for all similar models. EnergyGuide labels appear on clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, pool heaters and televisions.

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