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FTC Proposes Revised EnergyGuide Label Rules

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Trade Commission plans to change the familiar yellow energy efficiency labels used on refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, air conditioners and similar appliances since 1979.

The Appliance Labeling Rule, issued in response to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, "requires energy labeling for major home appliances and other consumer products, to help consumers compare competing models," the FTC's proposed regulation stated.

The FTC plans to update the ranges of energy costs, or energy efficiency ratings, and the average energy cost figures manufacturers must use to calculate a model's estimated energy cost, according to the proposal. "To aid manufacturers in transitioning to the new ranges, FTC staff will provide sample label template files on its Web site," the proposal noted.

Due to pending Department of Energy regulation changes, the FTC plans to wait to alter range and cost information on labels for refrigerators, clothes washers, furnaces, central air conditioners and televisions, to synchronize changes with the DOE, to avoid several label changes in a short time, the action stated.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers requested a conditional exemption for refrigerators and clothes washers so manufacturers may begin labeling new models using new DOE testing procedures before the DOE compliance dates, according to the proposal.

In addition to general comments on the proposed changes, the FTC requests comments on whether to update range and cost information more frequently than every five years.

The comment deadline is March 1.

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