|By PR Newswire||
|December 9, 2013 05:27 PM EST||
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House Representatives have called on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to take a closer look at a recent ENERGY STAR proposal that is harmful to consumers, and to rethink how the ENERGY STAR program is managed.
"We urge the EPA to review the proposed ENERGY STAR specifications for windows, doors and skylights to bring them more in line with realistic consumer expectations," members of the House of Representatives asked of McCarthy. They criticized EPA for "ignoring the real world implications of their new standards." For two decades the program has been based on a simple promise to consumers: ENERGY STAR products save enough energy so that lower utility bills offset their usually higher purchase prices within a reasonable "payback period."
A group of concerned Senators challenged McCarthy to "establish a managerial approach for the ENERGY STAR program that ensures important decisions are made through and open and collaborative process" in a separate letter.
The agency broke with past practice in the proposed Version 6.0 standards for ENERGY STAR Windows, Doors and Skylights by targeting a sharp cut in ENERGY STAR market share for windows to below 50% of all windows sold.
Among concerns raised by lawmakers are a lack of transparency in the process used to reach the proposed standards, the lack of apparent support for the standards in the records made public by EPA, and a skewed data analysis that unfairly penalizes Midwest and Northern States with excessively long payback periods.
"We are pleased that members of Congress are standing up for consumers and letting them know that their concerns have been heard," said Sherry Delaney, executive director of the Coalition for Home Energy Efficiency. "Consumers want to do their part to act on climate change. Why would ENERGY STAR choose this time to make efficient products less accessible and harder to identify for average people?"
The Coalition's efforts have resulted in over 142,000 communications to Congress, the Obama administration and EPA. The fight to "Save ENERGY STAR" also generated what may have been the first significant consumer backlash against an ENERGY STAR proposal in the program's history, with more than 11,200 people voicing concerns during the public comment phase for the V6.0 final draft.
The Coalition for Home Energy Efficiency is a coalition of American citizens, manufacturers, and retailers who are fighting to preserve and protect the ENERGY STAR program and the success it has achieved over twenty years in environmental protection and consumer savings. Learn more at: CoalitionforEnergyEfficiency.org.
SOURCE Coalition for Home Energy Efficiency