You might have seen Energy Star labels before—on dishwashers, websites, and buildings, they’re everywhere and advertise the stamped product (or whatever else) as meeting the EPA’s strict energy guidelines. What the corporations and the Environmental Protection Agency are trying to tell you is: Go ahead, buy this product. You won’t be hurting the environment. In fact, you’ll be saving it!
Except, unfortunately, that the Energy Star award is as meaningless as any product’s claim to “natural” or “organic” or “green” status.
As Consumer Reports noted recently, Energy Star’s testing procedures don’t resemble real world use. And, as a result, any manufacturer can get virtually any product the Energy Star award. Which is why 93% of dishwashers qualify.
If you do want to help the environment and reduce energy use, you should use the Department of Energy’s Energy Guide, a label that lets you compare the actual kilowatt per hour cost of one product as compared to another.
This type of transparency and specificity is what environmentally-conscious consumers need, not a brightly colored and easily achieved Energy Star. If the EPA is serious about helping consumers use less electricity, they should update their standards to better reflect real-world energy usage, and make the Energy Star a real, and green, achievement.
Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.