"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.

posted by bfv: 634 days ago