At Consumer Reports, we have long recognized the importance of energy efficiency and in recent months have paid even greater attention to the subject, including a July 2008 cover story on gas-saving sedans. (Read more about fuel efficiency.)
The theme of our October 2008 issue, on sale and online now, is "Save Energy, Save Money" (cover, right). We review tankless water heaters and compact fluorescent lightbulbs and reveal energy-efficient products that will save you money. We also include a checklist of 25 easy ways for you to cut your energy use at home.
But the October story that's so far received the most buzz is "Energy Star Has Lost Some Luster," which highlights some problems with this federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has taken issue with aspects of the story. I've received e-mails from federal officials about our story and earlier today spoke with an EPA representative about the agency's concerns. Let's just say that, for now, we agreed to disagree. (Other organizations, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, recognize the importance of our findings.)
You can read the EPA's response to our story by clicking on "EPA's Response to Consumer Reports Oct 2008 article on ENERGY STAR" in the headlines section on the Energy Star Web site. And check out our reply to the EPA: Consumer_Reports_response_to_EPA.pdf.
Look for continued coverage of Energy Star on this blog and on ConsumerReports.org.—Steven H. Saltzman