Business News | Sep 24, 2010

DOE Continues Aggressive Energy Efficiency Enforcement Effort with Nearly 30 New Proposed Penalties

As part of an ongoing commitment to rigorously enforce appliance efficiency requirements, the Department of Energy today announced 27 new proposed penalties against companies selling products in the United States without certifying that they comply with energy efficiency or water conservation standards. The legally required certifications help ensure that products sold in the U.S. deliver significant energy and cost savings to the American public. The 27 companies include well known manufacturers, importers, and private labelers of appliance, plumbing, and lighting products.

"This unprecedented number of cases reflects our commitment to enforce all aspects of the Department's conservation standards," said Scott Blake Harris, General Counsel of the Department.  "Strong enforcement will encourage compliance and ensure cost savings for consumers."

Collectively, the notices propose penalty fees of over $3.5 million, though these fines may be reduced if the companies quickly comply with certification requirements.  Unless companies address these claims within thirty days, the Department will file actions either in the United States District Court or with an Administrative Law Judge to demand payment of the proposed penalties.

The Department of Energy is committed to aggressively issuing and enforcing minimum energy and water efficiency levels for products found in American homes and businesses.  Under the Obama Administration, the Department has acted quickly to establish energy efficiency standards for more than twenty different product categories that will save consumers between $250 and $300 billion on their energy bills through 2030. Earlier this year, the Department gave companies thirty days to submit correct energy use before aggressive enforcement actions were taken. 

Over the past year, the Department's appliance standards enforcement efforts have:

  • Removed from the market 66 products that failed to meet federal energy efficiency standards;
  • Initiated seventy-five enforcement investigations and actions, including the 27 new penalty cases announced today;
  • Led to the certification of over 600,000 products with the Department of Energy;
  • For More information, review the proposed Penalty Notices and read General Counsel Scott Blake Harris's blog post on the Department's efficiency enforcement efforts.