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wasoxygen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Energy Star Program For Homes And Appliances Is On Trump's Chopping Block

    0.001% of the defense budget

The defense budget was not always so large. Making excuses for bad programs, entertaining arguments that spending more will fix problems, and ignoring evidence are some of the ways it grows.

    If it saved only 1% of what it claims to save Americans a year than the program would still have a net benefit to consumers.

I am perplexed when you say I should not use a cost-benefit analysis, right after you use a cost-benefit analysis. How should we decide whether this is a good program, if we don't weigh the pros and cons?

Actually, though you say "net benefit," yours is a benefit analysis and does not consider any costs. The Americans who are potentially saving energy costs are also the taxpayers who pay for the program.

You provide no evidence that the program saves even 1% of what EPA claims. Should we cross our fingers and hope it's true?

Blue stickers do not save any energy. Presumably they are meant to help consumers select more energy-efficient products than they would without the stickers. Do we have any evidence that this goal is met? Does it work often enough to balance the times the stickers are applied to less-efficient appliances, leading to increased energy consumption?

NPR worries that the "vast majority" of products display blue stickers. Sears sells a lot of appliances, and the online catalog has an "Energy Star Compliant" filter.

  Energy Star Compliant

YES NO

  294   16 Dishwashers

  156   34 Washers

  131  130 Dryers

76 84 Dryers (under $1000)

49 42 Dryers (over $1000)

  500+ 371 Refrigerators

278 67 Refrigerators (French door)

129 131 Refrigerators (top freezer)

166 193 Refrigerators (under $1000)

406 173 Refrigerators (over $1000)

For appliances on which blue stickers are not practically automatic, there is a pattern of "gold plating" in which the Energy Star is bundled with additional features on more expensive models. French door refrigerators average over $2000, are less energy efficient, and they are 80% Energy Star. Top freezer models average below $800, are more energy efficient, and they are 50% Energy Star. Are we still saving?

EPA has moved to third-party certifications rather than letting manufacturers make the call. Many of these compliance companies signed the letter to keep Energy Star alive. It's a voluntary program for manufacturers.

What then, is the role of the EPA?

Is it to set the standards? Other organizations can set standards.

Is it to police the use of the blue stickers, which anyone can buy on eBay?

Is it something else?

I have a bias against government programs, which made me suspect that Energy Star is probably not a worthwhile program even before I learned anything about it. Do you have a different reason to think that it is probably a worthwhile program?

wasoxygen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Energy Star Program For Homes And Appliances Is On Trump's Chopping Block

Indeed, as was mentioned in the article you posted.

I don't know what more one could want out of a government program.

wasoxygen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Energy Star Program For Homes And Appliances Is On Trump's Chopping Block

    "This is a very successful program," he says. "I don't know what more one could want out of a government program." In fact, the 25-year-old Energy Star program appears to be targeted simply because it's run by the federal government.

That's not fair! We want science to decide!

    In 2014, the EPA estimates the program helped American consumers and businesses save $34 billion and prevent more than 300 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

If the EPA says the EPA is doing a good job, who are we to cast doubt?

Methodology: put blue stickers on one-quarter of the products judged more efficient. When people buy those products, credit the stickers for helping save energy.

    In 2014, millions of consumers and 16,000 partners tapped the value of ENERGY STAR and achieved impressive financial and environmental results. Their investments in energy-efficient technologies and practices reduced utility bills by $34 billion and will continue to provide cost savings for years to come.

Imagine the emissions if those products didn't have blue stickers. Surely no one would trust manufacturers to advertise efficiency and lower costs to customers.

So how does the EPA judge energy efficiency? There's a clue for those who read below the fold: "In 2010, workers at the Government Accountability Office posed as product developers and got the Energy Star label for fictitious products."

Another news source has some alternative facts.

    For instance, side-by-side and French-door refrigerators can get Energy Stars even though they use a lot more electricity than do fridges with freezers on the top.

    critics say the program doesn't update its standards quickly enough, so at times the vast majority of the dishwashers, televisions or computers on the market display the stars.

    Another problem is that the government lets manufacturers test their own products, and sometimes the results are misleading. For instance, when Consumers Union tested some Energy Star French-door refrigerators, it found they used 70 percent more power than the manufacturer claimed. "What we came to see in our testing was that some of the manufacturers actually turned off the cooling to the ice and water dispenser, and by virtue of that were claiming to be Energy Star," Connelly says.

    A lot of the energy that televisions use goes to make them bright, and Katzmaier says manufacturers were setting the default modes on the sets unusually dim to qualify for stars.

    This week, the Energy Department's inspector general released a report that agreed with some of these criticisms. It found that the department has not verified that products with the Energy Star label actually meet the specifications for earning the rating.
bfv  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So how does the EPA judge energy efficiency? There's a clue for those who read below the fold: "In 2010, workers at the Government Accountability Office posed as product developers and got the Energy Star label for fictitious products."

... which is why they've required third parties to do the testing since 2011.

wasoxygen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Indeed, as was mentioned in the article you posted.

I don't know what more one could want out of a government program.

cgod  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Costing 0.001% of the defense budget, cutting energy star is a strange place to cut the fat. If it saved only 1% of what it claims to save Americans a year than the program would still have a net benefit to consumers.

Bitch and whine about energy star all you like but you probably shouldn't do it on the basis of any kind of cost benefit scheme.

The energy efficiency sector is filled with both well intentioned and malevolent bull shit. I have friends in the building efficiency side who can't believe the publicly funded waste. The most real economics I did in college was studying the take back effect for the local public sector energy efficiency outfit. Their numbers were full of shit, entirely based on engineering models. They lived in fear that someone would someday actually monitor a large number of thermostats before an after improvements and watch 7% if their predicted savings go away. 7% is a big part of what make many if these projects work out on paper.

I knew nothing about the energy star program until today and a little bit about government energy efficiency programs in general. I don't think I'm in anyway prone to expect the best of them. I think energy star is probably a worthwhile program, problems and all.

wasoxygen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    0.001% of the defense budget

The defense budget was not always so large. Making excuses for bad programs, entertaining arguments that spending more will fix problems, and ignoring evidence are some of the ways it grows.

    If it saved only 1% of what it claims to save Americans a year than the program would still have a net benefit to consumers.

I am perplexed when you say I should not use a cost-benefit analysis, right after you use a cost-benefit analysis. How should we decide whether this is a good program, if we don't weigh the pros and cons?

Actually, though you say "net benefit," yours is a benefit analysis and does not consider any costs. The Americans who are potentially saving energy costs are also the taxpayers who pay for the program.

You provide no evidence that the program saves even 1% of what EPA claims. Should we cross our fingers and hope it's true?

Blue stickers do not save any energy. Presumably they are meant to help consumers select more energy-efficient products than they would without the stickers. Do we have any evidence that this goal is met? Does it work often enough to balance the times the stickers are applied to less-efficient appliances, leading to increased energy consumption?

NPR worries that the "vast majority" of products display blue stickers. Sears sells a lot of appliances, and the online catalog has an "Energy Star Compliant" filter.

  Energy Star Compliant

YES NO

  294   16 Dishwashers

  156   34 Washers

  131  130 Dryers

76 84 Dryers (under $1000)

49 42 Dryers (over $1000)

  500+ 371 Refrigerators

278 67 Refrigerators (French door)

129 131 Refrigerators (top freezer)

166 193 Refrigerators (under $1000)

406 173 Refrigerators (over $1000)

For appliances on which blue stickers are not practically automatic, there is a pattern of "gold plating" in which the Energy Star is bundled with additional features on more expensive models. French door refrigerators average over $2000, are less energy efficient, and they are 80% Energy Star. Top freezer models average below $800, are more energy efficient, and they are 50% Energy Star. Are we still saving?

EPA has moved to third-party certifications rather than letting manufacturers make the call. Many of these compliance companies signed the letter to keep Energy Star alive. It's a voluntary program for manufacturers.

What then, is the role of the EPA?

Is it to set the standards? Other organizations can set standards.

Is it to police the use of the blue stickers, which anyone can buy on eBay?

Is it something else?

I have a bias against government programs, which made me suspect that Energy Star is probably not a worthwhile program even before I learned anything about it. Do you have a different reason to think that it is probably a worthwhile program?

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wasoxygen  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I will be in northern Virginia next month - any DC folks want to come say hello?

Missed this post earlier, but I'm in the neighborhood and would enjoy saying hello. With weather-dependent baseball and soccer schedules, and open houses on Sunday, I am not good at making advance commitment, but if you're willing to play by ear, I could maybe drop in wherever you are.

NRA headquarters is just down the road, and the museum (open Sunday 9:30 to 5) is worth a visit. You can also shoot at the range after passing a rules safety test, $20 per hour for a lane, $15 for each additional person. It will be open 8 to 6 Sunday (reserved after 6).

The cafe is closed weekends, but there is a slew of ethnic restaurants a mile south in Fairfax Center.

wasoxygen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 19, 2017

He was gaining fast on the jogger and paid no mind to the pigeon.

wasoxygen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 19, 2017

Anyone lose a dog? A brown dog was running westbound with evident joy on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail this morning. I assumed it was with the woman and leashed white dog, but soon encountered some concerned dog walkers wondering about the loose dog.

AnSionnachRua  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is he tagging along with that jogger just for fun?

Also, bonus pigeon.

wasoxygen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

He was gaining fast on the jogger and paid no mind to the pigeon.

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