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DOE Reaches Agreement with LG Electronics, USA, On Refrigerator Energy Matter

November 14, 2008 - 4:47pm

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ENERGY STAR® Program Continues to Help American Consumers Make Energy Efficient Choices

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced an agreement with LG Electronics, USA, Inc. (LG), resolving concerns related to energy usage measurements reported on LG French Door refrigerators with through-the-door ice and water service. The ENERGY STAR® program helps American consumers make energy efficient choices, saving billions of dollars while protecting the environment by using identified energy efficient products and practices.

"DOE believes that the actions LG plans to take will benefit consumers and help ensure that the Nation's energy conservation goals are met," Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy John Mizroch said. "It is critical that we work together with our industry partners to maintain the integrity of the ENERGY STAR® brand to make sure that consumers are able to make the most efficient purchasing decision - we appreciate LG's cooperation in settling this issue."

The following models are affected by today's agreement: LFX25950, LFX25960, LFX25971, LFX23961, LFX21960, LFX21971, LFX21980, LFX25980, LMX21981, LMX25981 as well as comparable Kenmore-brand "TRIO" models designed and manufactured by LG. This only affects Kenmore French Door models with ice and water dispensing through the door having model numbers starting with 795.

Consumers who purchased the affected models should contact LG for more information at 1-888-848-1266 or through their website.

As a result of today's agreement:

  • LG voluntarily suspended these products from the ENERGY STAR® program. DOE's ENERGY STAR® criteria for refrigerator-freezers require all qualified refrigerator-freezers to use at least 20 percent less energy than the Federal government energy consumption standard.
  • Consumers will be offered a free in-home modification of the affected refrigerator models to make them more energy efficient.
  • Consumers will also receive a payment covering the energy cost difference between the new measured energy usage of the product and the amount stated on the original Energy Guide label.
  • LG will also issue payments to consumers for future incremental energy usage for the expected useful life of the refrigerator - up to 14 years.

All models that have not been sold will immediately be modified prior to sale to ensure that these products satisfy the obligations of the agreement.
Energy usage measurements serve as the basis for information provided to consumers through the Federal Government's Energy Guide label affixed to these and other appliances as well as for determining qualification for the DOE ENERGY STAR® criteria. The Energy Guide labels are administered by the Federal Trade Commission.

Prior to this agreement, LG's measured energy usage was based on a common approach in interpreting DOE's test procedure. This test procedure, which has been used for decades and is based on a well-recognized and industry-wide adopted procedure, requires, among other things, that the ice maker be disabled but that all temperature controllable compartments, including ice storage bins, be set at their coldest temperature. LG's testing did not account for this latter condition but the company will make changes to its testing to account for this aspect of the procedure to all models.

To effectively measure the savings associated with the ENERGY STAR® program, all partners must report energy consumption data based on the same standardized test procedures. Today's agreement ensures that LG's future measurements of energy usage for refrigerators and freezers will help assure consumers have accurate information.

ENERGY STAR® is a joint DOE-EPA program, formed in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership that seeks to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. DOE and EPA work to offer businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy and money, while also helping to protect our environment. More than 12,000 organizations have joined ENERGY STAR® as partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses. The ENERGY STAR® label appears on more than 40 kinds of consumer products.

To learn more about ENERGY STAR®, visit EnergyStar.gov or call 1-888-STAR-YES.

Media contact(s):

Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940

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