Mike's Blog


Is the Energy Star rating system really flawed?

I was just reading an article in Business Week titled " A Tainted Badge of Honor". Basically- the article suggests that Energy Star's testing methodologies are flawed. If this is true-the Department of Energy(DOE) risks devaluing the Energy Star designation unless some simple steps are taken to remedy the testing.

The DOE itself states that only the top 25% of appliances should be receiving the Energy Star designation- however in some cases 92% of the appliances tested received the designation. In fact- in reading the story you'll see that two refrigerators tested only met the minimum requirements if the ice makers were turned off.

I'm interested in knowing what others think about this article. Are we being duped? Or this another case of a magazine making a mountain of a molehill to discredit a respected brand?  I've noticed on my many trips through the appliance isle at Home Depot or Lowes- virtually all the appliances have the rating. Reading this article made me question that...

Read the article and let me know your thoughts....

Mike Hogan

Associate Broker

RE/MAX Commonwealth





Comment balloon 7 commentsMike Hogan • October 05 2008 12:45AM


Makes the label an advertising gimmick and of no value. 

Good information. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Dear Mike,

I had wondered about this when walking through Lowe's. On another note, are you seeing an increase in client awareness about green and energy efficient building and appliances? I am contemplating getting either EcoBroker or NAR-Green designation. Do you think it has added value to your business? Thanks!


Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) about 10 years ago

Well, Mike,

This is disheartening news as I am always touting the energystar.gov website to my clients. That being said, if the manufacturers are giving false or misleading energy consumption numbers, the problem is much bigger than what designation the appliance received from EnergyStar. Then, it seems the Regulators need to get tougher.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that EnergyStar does so much more than rate appliances. I hope this does not discourage people from going to their website for advice and valuable information. Would you agree?

Frances Sanderson, Franklin, NH  REALTOR®, Certified EcoBroker®

Posted by Frances Sanderson (Bean Group / Franklin) about 10 years ago

Frances- I agree with you. I too encourage my clients to check out the EnergyStar website. It is disheartening but EnergyStar still provides immeasurable benefit and value to the consumer through the information they provide. I'm really hoping the issues with the designation system are eventually fixed before it damages the brand name.

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Well, I guess check the appliance website? I've been thinking about buying a new appliance but now you've given me something to think about. What if the non energy star appliance is just as energy effient?

Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) about 10 years ago
Interesting article. I have no problem with 95 of applaince being energy star IF they actually meet the energy star requirements.  I will have to read into this more.
Posted by Christine McInerney, The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale (Great Life RE) over 9 years ago

The new standard. HERS report which is a energy saving report done by a HERS rated inspection service. Standard on most new homes but will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $250.00-$800.00. I thought this interesting enough to share.

Posted by Marty and Laurie Gale, Utah Realty | 801-205-3500 | UtahRealtyPlace.com (Utah Realty ) over 8 years ago