DOE seeks to stop misuse of Energy Star labels

June 22, 2009
Several instances have been reported of companies misusing Energy Star logos to imply that SSL products are Energy Star certified.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued guidance on the correct use of Energy Star logos following several examples, particularly at the Lightfair tradeshow, where companies used logos to imply that their LED-based products are Energy Star certified.

Richard Karney, Energy Star Program Manager for Solid State Lighting for the DOE, issued a memo to Energy Star Stakeholders to “address a disconcerting trend the Department is seeing in promotional materials of LED products.”

Certification Mark The confusion, deliberate or otherwise, stems from the use of the Certification Mark and the Partnership logo. The familiar Certification Mark should be used only in conjunction with products that have received Energy Star qualification.

Meanwhile, the Energy Star Partnership logo is designed to communicate a partner's commitment to energy efficiency and to the environment and is allowed in general publications such as stationery, annual reports, and general company-related websites, says Karney. “The Partnership logo should not be used in connection with any product or component,” he says. “The Certification Mark is used for qualified products only.”

Partnership logo “While Partners may use the Energy Star Partnership logo in a wide range of uses, it is not allowed to suggest, imply, or denote that a product has earned the Energy Star label,” adds Karney.

The Energy Star logos are being used by certain companies to imply that their integral LED lamp products (a.k.a. replacement LED lamps) are qualified, but this cannot be the case since the Integral LED Lamp Criteria is not yet final.

Karney says that violations in the use of the Energy Star logos confuse the market and jeopardize the integrity of the Energy Star brand. Failure to use the Energy Star mark appropriately could result in the termination of an organization's partnership with the Energy Star program.

Karney cites the following as examples of violations in the use of the Energy Star logos or messaging:

  1. Making any statements or suggestions in product literature or websites that a product meets any or all of the Energy Star requirements or that it is Energy Star qualified without the product being approved and listed on the qualified product list(s) posted on the Energy Star Web site.
  2. Using any Energy Star logo, including the Energy Star Partner logo, on product specification sheets unless the product has been qualified with DOE.
Instructions on the correct use of logos can be found at, and partners can send questions to [email protected] before finalizing any materials using the Energy Star logos.