Three MET Laboratories employees are attending an ENERGY STAR training summit in Washington, DC yesterday and today. At this summit, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing information about new rules and guidelines, including Verification and Challenge testing.  Following are notes from the first day of the summit.

Any ENERGY STAR partner must agree to potential Verification and Challenge tests. To maintain the quality standards of the ENERGY STAR program, a recognized Certification Body (CB) must complete Verification testing on 10 percent of their certified products. This quality check ensures that the ENERGY STAR mark keeps its integrity by assuring the consumer and the EPA that the 3rd Party Certifications have been effectively implemented.

In the case of product families, all members of the family could be subject to the testing, BUT only 1 product from a family would be tested per round of annual verification testing. Once this product is found to be compliant, the entire family passes that round. At least 50% of all verification test subjects are selected randomly, but limited referrals may be made by the EPA.

In addition to Verification testing, Challenge testing is another facet of the ENERGY STAR program. A challenge may be initiated only when the CB has conveyed details of the challenge to the challenged ENERGY STAR partner. A challenge is initiated when another Partner of the ENEGY STAR program has reason to doubt the validity of another Partner’s ENERGY STAR compliance. The equipment being tested would undergo the exact same testing that it was originally tested to.Miglior prodotto per sbiancamento denti  If a product exceeds the Challenge threshold for the ENERGY STAR spec, it will be considered a failure. A failed test cannot trigger an automatic second round of testing. The equipment would only be tested again if the manufacturer has valid reasoning for an appeal from the EPA and is granted that appeal. Challenges are based on a model of “Loser Pays,” meaning if the Challenged product passes, the Challenger must pay for the testing and procurement, and vice versa.

By January 1, 2011, the EPA will have created an online database of all EPA-recognized test labs, SMTL and WMTL, in addition to the labs currently listed on their website. This database will be used by CBs to accurately see what labs are approved to do testing for what product categories. In this new network, the EPA encourages CBs to work together to avoid duplicate testing and review.

It was also established that the EPA will be providing Online Databases for the public that list ENERGY STAR certified products and brands. These listing databases will be updated by the EPA bimonthly. Finally, some small items are still being worked on by the EPA due to excellent audience participation both in form of questions and suggestions, but will be finalized by January.

Effective January 1, 2011, all ENERGY STAR products will need to be certified by an EPA-recognized certification body.  MET Laboratories is an EPA-recognized certification body as well as an EPA-recognized test laboratory for a variety of ENERGY STAR product categories.

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