ENERGY STAR Partner Meeting Reviews New Testing Requirements

Yesterday was the first day of the 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner Meeting in Denver, Colorado.   Following are some notes that we took during the day’s sessions:

Inaugural Event
This is the first time the Partner Meeting has combined appliances, electronics & lighting in one event.  There are over 400 registered attendees, a record. 

Here are the best-represented manufacturers:

  • 20 from Sears Holdings Corporation
  • 19 from GE
  • 12 from Osram Sylvania

Growth
In 2001 there were less than 500 million ENERGY STAR products sold.  In 2009 there were over 3 billion ENERGY STAR products sold.  There are 15 new product categories this year, including:

  • Climate controls
  • Data center storage
  • Dryers
  • Game consoles
  • Pumps
  • Uninterruptible power supplies

For 80% of consumers the ENERGY STAR label is influential in their purchase.  Awareness of the ENERGY STAR label in Canada is 89%. (Canada supports 50 of the over-60 ENERGY STAR product categories).

EPA is developing a “Top Tier” ENERGY STAR brand that is more efficient than standard ENERGY STAR products.  According to EPA’s Peter Banwell, it will appeal to a “uber-breed of consumer – a small group with discretionary income.”  The brand identity has been narrowed down to “Most Efficient” or “Maximum Efficiency”.  Losing brand identities: “Best in Class,” “Top Performer,” & “Top Tier.”

Enhanced Testing & Verification
Effective December 31, 2010, all ENERGY STAR products will need to be certified by an EPA-recognized certification body, which have yet to be named, although it is expected that MET Laboratories will be one of these.   

Certification bodies (CBs) are accredited by accreditation bodies, 17 of which (in 12 countries) have been named.  CBs must maintain accreditation to ISO/IEC Guide 65. 

A CB certifies testing that is conducted by a ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory, which may be 1st party or 3rd party.  A manufacturer’s first-party laboratory must be EPA-recognized and subject to a SMTL or WMTL program.

A CB must maintain a verification testing procedure that annually tests at least 10% of all ENERGY STAR-qualified models the CB has certified.  A CB must also maintain a challenge testing procedure.

For more detail, see EPA’s Enhanced Testing & Verification resources page.

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