DOE Issues Guidance on Proper Use of Energy Star Labels

Recently, several companies have been reported to be misusing Energy Star logos to imply that SSL products are Energy Star certified, particularly at the Lightfair tradeshow. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued guidance on the correct use of Energy Star logos to stop the trend.

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.”

The misuse of the Certification Mark and the Partnership logo has caused the confusion, according to Karney.


Certification Mark                       Partnership logo

The Certification Mark should be used only to products that have received Energy Star qualification, according to the memo. Meanwhile, the Energy Star Partnership logo represents a partner's commitment to energy efficiency and to the environment and is supposed to be used in general publications such as stationery, annual reports, and general company-related websites, while should not be used in connection with any product or component, says Karney.

“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.

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

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

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.

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 before finalizing any materials using the Energy Star logos.

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