"After critical audits, the federal government said Wednesday that it would substantially tighten the certification process for products bearing the Energy Star label, its stamp of approval for an energy-efficient product.
Over the last six months, the Government Accountability Office and the Energy Department’s inspector general issued reports detailing significant failings with the process. The G.A.O. found, for example, that the Energy Star program had granted the label to nonexistent products, including a “gasoline-powered alarm clock,” submitted by auditors posing as manufacturers.
The Energy Star program is jointly managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. Under new rules issued by both agencies and effective immediately, the approval process for appliances will no longer be automated, and a staff member will review each application."