GAO: Better coordinate energy efficiency efforts - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

GAO: Better coordinate energy efficiency efforts

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Main Street Fairmont Offers Sign and Facade Improvement Grants

    Main Street Fairmont Offers Sign and Facade Improvement Grants

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:16:22 GMT
    Main Street Fairmont is looking to give away grants through the Sign and Facade Improvement Grant Program, which provides funding for beautification efforts in downtown Fairmont. The program is facilitated
    Main Street Fairmont is looking to give away grants through the Sign and Facade Improvement Grant Program, which provides funding for beautification efforts in downtown Fairmont. The program is facilitated
  • North Central WV Weekend Outlook for April 18-20

    North Central WV Weekend Outlook for April 18-20

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 08:00:12 GMT
    With it being a holiday weekend, there's not much in the way of fairs or festivals scheduled, but there's still plenty to do around north central West Virginia. Saturday: Stonewall Resort, in Lewis County,
    With it being a holiday weekend, there's not much in the way of fairs or festivals scheduled, but there's still plenty to do around north central West Virginia. Saturday: Stonewall Resort, in Lewis County,
  • Try-Again Homes to Host Open House April 25th

    Try-Again Homes to Host Open House April 25th

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:12 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:12:24 GMT
    Try-Again Homes will hold an open house on Friday, April 25th, to educate potential foster parents, and encourage people to open their homes to foster children.According to Try-Again Homes, in the United
    Try-Again Homes will hold an open house on Friday, April 25th, to educate potential foster parents, and encourage people to open their homes to foster children.According to Try-Again Homes, in the United

Efficiency programs might be a little less than efficient themselves, according to a federal report.

The Government Accountability Office last week released a report that found the three primary federal energy efficiency programs are at times duplicative in their shared goal of improving energy efficiency of household appliances and consumer electronics. The three agencies examined were the Department of Energy, the Federal Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Federal programs to increase the energy efficiency of household appliances and consumer electronics are fragmented and overlapping, with one area of duplication," the GAO reported. "The programs are fragmented in that three federal agencies are addressing the same broad area of national need -- improving energy efficiency. The programs are overlapping in that they target similar users -- consumers. While fragmentation and overlap may result in duplication of resources, GAO found that these three programs are not broadly duplicative because they are not engaged in the same activities and do not provide the same services; however, GAO identified one duplicative activity within Energy Star."

The area in question, the GAO reports, is in testing products for verification that they meet Energy Star criteria. Both the EPA and the DOE manage separate testing programs. In about 1 percent of the cases tested, the products were tested twice in the same year. The EPA does not currently communicate with the DOE until some tests are complete.

"As a result, the agencies cannot ensure that scarce testing resources are maximized, either by eliminating unnecessary duplicative testing, or reallocating resources toward testing additional products," the GAO reported. "To limit the potential for duplication in the current Energy Star verification testing activities, GAO recommends that EPA take steps to better communicate to DOE the models selected for testing so DOE can avoid testing the same ones."

Both agencies agreed the duplications should be minimized, and attempts to remedy the solution were offered to the EPA administrator.

Despite the minor duplications, the GAO largely believes that the three agencies are needed to separately complete their broader duties of energy efficiency.

"Given the differing missions of the programs, we believe they are not broadly duplicative, and that the sum total of the three efforts provides more value than would any one of the three alone," the report states.