New Test Procedure for Televisions Under Energy Labeling Rule
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a final rule that, effective May 9, will make conforming amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule to require a new Department of Energy test procedure for televisions and establish data reporting requirements for those products.
The Energy Labeling Rule requires energy labeling for major household appliances and other consumer products to help consumers compare competing models. The rule requires manufacturers to attach yellow EnergyGuide labels on many of these products and prohibits retailers from removing these labels or rendering them illegible. EnergyGuide labels must contain three disclosures: estimated annual energy cost (for most products), a product’s energy consumption or energy efficiency rating as determined from DOE test procedures, and a comparability range displaying the highest and lowest energy costs or efficiency ratings for all similar models. The rule also directs sellers, including retailers, to post label information on Web sites and in paper catalogs from which consumers can order products.
To conform the labeling rule to the new DOE test procedure, which manufacturers are required to begin using as of April 23, the FTC is (a) removing the rule’s reference to the ENERGY STAR test in section 305.5 and replacing it with the DOE procedure, (b) allowing manufacturers to submit their new television data through the DOE’s Web-based reporting tool, the Compliance and Certification Management System, and (c) updating the definition of “television” in section 305.3 to incorporate DOE’s definition of that term and to limit labeling coverage to the scope of DOE’s test procedure. The FTC notes that the initial 2014 data submissions need only include models currently in production and that manufacturers should not include test data for models already discontinued.