Posts Tagged “audit”

EnergyStar - Huh?With the emphasis on everything being “green,” conserving energy, reducing “carbon footprints,” and concern over global warming, people have learned to look for the EnergyStar label on appliances and electronics. They assume this means they’re energy-saving devices … especially since “EnergyStar” is an EPA-run program. The problem is, it’s not what most people think it is … and that means that an “EnergyStar” designation may not actually mean anything. The New York Times reports on a GAO audit of EnergyStar certification, which shows how easy it is for companies to get certification without earning it:

Does a “gasoline-powered alarm clock” qualify for the EnergyStar label, the government stamp of approval for an energy-saving product?

Like more than a dozen other bogus products submitted for approval since last June by Congressional auditors posing as companies, it easily secured the label, according to a Congressional report to be issued Friday. So did an “air purifier” that was essentially an electric space heater with a feather duster pasted on top, the Government Accountability Office said.

The GAO was able to deceive certifiers repeatedly with the most ridiculous products:

In a nine-month study, four fictitious companies invented by the accountability office also sought EnergyStar status for some conventional devices like dehumidifiers and heat pump models that existed only on paper. The fake companies submitted data indicating that the models consumed 20 percent less energy than even the most efficient ones on the market. Yet those applications were mostly approved without a challenge or even questions, the report said.

Auditors concluded that the EnergyStar program was highly vulnerable to fraud.

The EPA is unfazed by this stunning — and damning — conclusion. Believe it or not, this is their response:

Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed. There was “no fraud,” Ms. Vargas emphasized.

Ms Vargas is saying that, even though the EPA was deceived, it wasn’t really deceived.

Only a paid mouthpiece could spew with something that asinine and self-contradictory and not collapse in laughter while saying it.

There are many faults within the program, which the GAO points out, and the Times article explains.

Since I blogged a little while ago about the twice-annual, government-ordained fraud known as Daylight Saving Time, I thought it only appropriate I should also report on the potential for fraud in the US government’s EnergyStar program, too.

Hat tip: Consumerist.

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