EPA shutters Energy Star program during US government shutdown

Oct. 9, 2013
The US Environmental Protection Agency has temporarily shut down the Energy Star program, impacting LED lighting, other lighting, and many other products and cancelled the annual Partners Meeting.

The ongoing skirmish between the Democratic President of the United States and the Republican-led US House of Representatives has impacted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star Program because of a funding lapse. Energy Star is shut down at least temporarily and the EPA cancelled the annual Energy Star Partners Meeting scheduled for this week in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The US government shutdown has halted funding to many programs. In the case of Energy Star, the EPA said that partner applications and inquiries are on hold for now. Moreover, the EPA will not be updating qualified products lists or releasing any new specification drafts until funding is restored.

The Energy Star website is still functioning, although neither the website nor social media channels will be updated for now. Online tools and applications and the agency's hotline are also disabled.

The agency also distributed a cancellation notice regarding the Partners Meeting that was scheduled to begin Monday, October 7. The notice included a brief apology.

The EPA action will not impact the work of certification bodies (CBs) or other third parties that perform services such as testing products to existing Energy Star specifications. Moreover, the program should return to normal once the budget impasse ends.