The ENERGY STAR identity is a valuable asset, and like any asset with appreciable value, it must be properly used and protected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) undertake substantial efforts to ensure:
1) that the ENERGY STAR name and marks are applied properly and consistently in the marketplace;
2) that ENERGY STAR delivers on its promise to designate products and services that protect the environment through superior energy efficiency, achieve superior energy efficiency without trade offs in performance or quality, and offer attractive financial payback on any additional initial purchase costs; and
3) that the program is positioned to deliver growing energy savings and related environmental benefits for years to come.
The following are ways in which EPA and DOE establish and maintain control over the use of the mark:
- Entering into Partnership Agreements with product manufacturers, retailers, energy efficiency program administrators, builders and others, specifically outlining the terms and conditions for use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks
- Issuing ENERGY STAR program identity guidelines to program partners and third parties to ensure proper use of the logo
- Monitoring the use of the name and marks in the following media: trade media, advertisements, the Internet, and stores
- Responding when consumers, competitors, program partners, and others bring possible trademark infringements to the attention of EPA or DOE
- Verifying the energy performance of products and homes through product testing
- Requiring product manufacturers to report qualification test results, which are reviewed and approved or disapproved
- Assessing consumer experience with and perceptions of ENERGY STAR when purchasing or shopping for qualifying products and services
- Updating performance specifications as needed (e.g., when high levels for market penetration are reached; underlying reference standards are revised; there are substantial changes in technology, features, and functionality, etc.) to ensure that the ENERGY STAR designation remains meaningful in the marketplace.
More information can be found in the report: Maintaining the Value of ENERGY STAR, 2007 Report.