能源之星已擁有16年歷史，是一種自願性的認證標章，目前由美國環保署（U.S. Environmental Protection Agency）與能源局（Energy Department）管理，適用多達50多類產品申請，舉凡照明、家電、辦公設備與冷暖空調設備等。此方案廣及全美，並以標章認定節能商品。
環保署回應，《消費者報告》「混淆」了政府針對能源使用與耗能商品能源效率而設置的三種不同方案──除了能源局最低標準方案、美國聯邦貿易委員會（Federal Trade Commission）監督的「能源指南」（EnergyGuide）標章，以及「能源之星」標章計畫。
Lax standards and out-of-date test protocols that are not independently verified weaken the federal Energy Star program used to identify energy efficient appliances, according to a report in the latest issue of "Consumer Reports" magazine published Tuesday.
"The percent of products that qualify for Energy Star is increasing because standards are too easy to reach and federal test procedures haven't kept pace with new technology," the report states.
Energy Star is a 16 year old voluntary program administered by the Energy Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that covers more than 50 product categories such as lighting, home electronics, office equipment, and home heating and cooling. The program establishes nationwide guidelines and uses a logo that identifies energy-efficient products.
In a statement Tuesday, the EPA says it "stands by the integrity of the Energy Star program."
But the report points out that to qualify, companies self-certify that their products comply with the standards. The Energy Department does not test products for compliance with Energy Star standards, and often there is no independent verification of what manufacturers report, Consumers Reports states.
The agency says the magazine "confuses" three different programs run by the federal government that address energy use and energy efficiency of energy-using products - the minimum standards program operated by the Energy Department, the EnergyGuide label overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, and the Energy Star labeling program.