Those yellow labels on appliances that declare how much power they will use and show you how much you will save because of their energy efficiency?
They may not be as truthful as you think.
Because of that doubt, the U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday that it was giving appliance makers 30 days to provide accurate information on their products' energy use. Also, it promised to take a tougher stance to enforce energy-efficiency standards.
The agency said makers of such products as refrigerators, dishwashers and air conditioners have until Jan. 8 to provide the information, which is primarily used to certify that the appliances meet minimum energy-efficiency standards.
Appliance makers have used the efficiency labels for years in marketing and advertising their products. But the Energy Department said a review of previous filings for the labels found instances of missing or incorrect information.
After the 30-day, information-gathering period, the department said, expedited testing will be started to help determine if appliances deliver the energy efficiency they are supposed to.
Manufacturers that fall short could be fined.
"We will move forward aggressively in the weeks and months ahead," said Jen Stutsman, a department spokeswoman.
Neither the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers nor Whirlpool, a major appliance manufacturer, returned calls seeking comment.
The department's move comes as the Obama administration pushes energy efficiency and home weatherization for energy savings and as a boost to the economy.
A proposed "Cash for Caulkers" program was announced Tuesday. There are already incentives for consumers who buy efficient appliances.
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