Energy Department steps up efficiency enforcement


The Energy Department announced $3.5 million in proposed penalties against 27 companies and manufacturers of products that have not complied with energy efficiency certification requirements.

The latest proposed penalties are part of a new effort to enforce compliance on energy efficiency, according to the Energy Department.

Scott Blake Harris, the Energy Department’s general counsel, wrote on the agency blog that that when he arrived in his position, the agency was not enforcing 35-year old energy efficiency standards.

He said that these standards are a critical part of future national energy plans. He also said that stepped-up enforcement is a minimum of what the agency can do.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has said that when it comes to remediating climate change and promoting energy independence, improved energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit—it’s fruit lying on the ground.

He said strong enforcement and compliance will result in roughly $250 to $300 billion in savings to taxpayers through 2030.


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  1. It seems like the goal of the DOE in filing these enforcement actions is less to impose penalties than to inform companies that DOE is serious about enforcing compliance. I’m pleased that DOE is stepping up to systematically enforce the energy efficiency standards that already exist.

    There was quite a bit of fuss in the plumbing industry a couple months ago when DOE announced a strict interpretation of the term “showerhead” and notified manufacturers that it planned to enforce the flow rate rules. More here:

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