GAO: Better coordinate energy efficiency efforts - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

GAO: Better coordinate energy efficiency efforts

Posted: Updated:
  • GovernmentGovernmentMore>>

  • U.S. Rep. Capito speaks at EPA hearing in Washington, DC

    U.S. Rep. Capito speaks at EPA hearing in Washington, DC

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:26:16 GMT
    U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito,R-W.Va., won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in the 2014 Primary Election. U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito,R-W.Va., won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in the 2014 Primary Election.
    U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., testified,  along with several other lawmakers and representation from the Sierra Club, a national activism group.
    U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., testified,  along with several other lawmakers and representation from the Sierra Club, a national activism group.
  • Charleston, WV group plans to deliver clean water to Detroit

    Charleston, WV group plans to deliver clean water to Detroit

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:14:24 GMT
    The Keeper of the Mountains Foundation will make a trip from Charleston to Detroit to deliver over 1,000 gallons of water by July 30.
    The Keeper of the Mountains Foundation will make a trip from Charleston to Detroit to deliver over 1,000 gallons of water by July 30.
  • West Virginia union PAC gets $250k check

    West Virginia union PAC gets $250k check

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:43:38 GMT
    The super PAC named Honest West Virginians received the check from the West Virginia State Building & Construction Trades Council in late June.
    The super PAC named Honest West Virginians received the check from the West Virginia State Building & Construction Trades Council in late June.

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.