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Energy Star Reform Act

In the recent months, there have been several opportunities for Energy Star partners to have their voices heard. In May of 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency invited public comment on existing regulations pursuant to Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agency.

In October 2017, fenestration companies had the chance to comment on the proposed FenStar Certification Program Documents. In November 2017, the EPA asked stakeholders to provide comments on the Energy Star program. Also in November, the House Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on a discussion draft of the Energy Reform Act of 2017.

Input on the Energy Star program continues to be sought from multiple sources and, if you have not already, consider taking the time to review the EPA letter and the draft language for the Energy Star Reform Act. You just might find that you have a firm opinion about it. And if you do, now is the time to make your voice heard. 

The Energy Star Reform Act of 2017 proposes to make several changes to the Energy Star program:

  1. Instead of co-ownership of the program, the Department of Energy would head Energy Star but could delegate authority to the EPA,

  2. The Reform Act subjects Energy Star to the notice and review requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act,

  3. It also bars private causes of action, including class actions, where a product is disqualified if the manufacturer complies with the DOE’s corrective measures; and

  4. Exempts electronic product manufacturers from third-party certification requirements if they have complied with Energy Star requirements for 18 months. (Why just them?)

The bill is in discussion draft and has not been formally introduced in Congress, which means now is a great time to contact your congressperson and influence the bill. The text of the bill can be found here.

Unless you think the ENERGY STAR program is perfect and there is no way it could be improved, now is the time to take a close look at what is being proposed and write your congressperson about the proposed Energy Star Reform Act of 2017.


Susan McKay

Susan MacKay

Susan MacKay is an attorney with The Gary Law Group, a law firm based in Portland, Ore., that focuses on legal issues facing manufacturers of windows and doors. She can be reached at 503/620-6615 or