Washington, DC - Energy-conscious and budget-minded consumers rely on those bright yellow EnergyGuide labels on appliances and the Lighting Facts box on light bulbs to help them comparison-shop. If your products are covered by the Energy Labeling Rule, the FTC has taken action on two fronts that you’ll want to follow.

The first development: After getting public input, the FTC has announced final changes to portions of the Energy Labeling Rule. Read the Federal Register Notice for the details, but here are a few highlights:

  • Light bulbs. The FTC has expanded coverage of the Lighting Facts label to include certain decorative and specialty bulbs. Since many bulbs come in smaller packages, the revised Rule addresses the question of how to display the Lighting Facts information in a compact format. 
  • Energy labels. The final Rule increases the durability of EnergyGuide labels on refrigerators, clothes washers, and dishwashers, while giving manufacturers some flexibility to use label methods best suited to their products.
  • Plumbing products.  The revised Rule clarifies that retail websites may use a hyperlink to guide consumers to flow rate information for covered plumbing products. That’s consistent with amendments that allow online retailers to use a hyperlink to connect shoppers to EnergyGuide and Lighting Facts labels for certain products.

In a related development, the FTC is asking for public comment about other suggested updates to the Energy Labeling Rule. One proposal would add a new comprehensive EnergyGuide label database on the Department of Energy’s website. With a single click, consumers could look at EnergyGuide labels for all covered products. And when businesses need digital labels for advertising or label replacement, they’d have instant access, which would save a lot of back-and-forth with individual manufacturers. What’s your reaction to that idea?

Other proposals relate to refrigerator comparability range information and labels for portable air conditioners, dual-mode refrigerators, and rooftop heating and cooling equipment. The FTC is also suggesting revisions to EnergyGuide labeling for ceiling fans, central air conditioners, and water heaters.

File comments by January 11, 2016.