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Department of Energy to Take Steps to Remove ENERGY STAR Label on Certain LG Refrigerator-Freezer Models

December 7, 2009 - 12:00am

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Washington, DC - The Department of Energy announced today that as part of the expanded enforcement efforts under the ENERGY STAR® program, effective January 2, 2010, certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are banned from using the ENERGY STAR® label that helps consumers identify energy efficient products that will reduce their energy use and save them money. DOE is proceeding with this action after multiple independent labs have confirmed that when certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers are tested using existing DOE test procedures, they do not qualify for the ENERGY STAR® Program. Today's announcement is part of a broader effort at the Department of Energy to expand enforcement efforts for the ENERGY STAR® and appliance standards programs.

"The ENERGY STAR® label is a critical tool for consumers looking to save energy and money with their appliances," said DOE General Counsel Scott Blake Harris.  "We have found that these refrigerator-freezer models do not deliver the energy and cost savings promised under the ENERGY STAR® program, so we are taking the necessary steps to protect the American public."

In November 2008, DOE and LG entered into an Agreement that was intended to let LG transition away from test procedures that significantly underestimated the amount of energy that certain LG French-door refrigerator-freezers would consume during normal use.  Because recent testing confirms that problems persist, DOE has exercised its right to give notice and terminate the Agreement.  As a result, effective January 2, 2010, certain LG French-door refrigerators are no longer eligible to carry the ENERGY STAR® label. 

ENERGY STAR® is a voluntary program sponsored through DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that promotes the development and sale of energy efficient products. The labels associated with the program inform consumers of the most energy efficient products in a particular product category.  Making sure that the labels are applied only to products that deliver on the promised energy and cost savings protects consumers, ensures an even playing field in the marketplace, and reduces pollution. 

As a result of DOE's efforts to protect consumers, LG has now sued the Department of Energy.  Harris explained, "We intend to defend the Department's actions in federal court and to prove that the law of the United States does not give LG any right to continue using the ENERGY STAR® label in a way that could impose unexpected costs upon American families and unjustly disadvantage manufacturers of more energy efficient products."

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