Feature

That’s one energy-saving feather duster

Consumers eyeing that gasoline-powered alarm clock “the size of an electrical generator” will be pleased to know that the appliance has been federally certified as energy-efficient, said Matthew Wald in The New York Times.

Consumers eyeing that gasoline-powered alarm clock “the size of an electrical generator” will be pleased to know that the appliance has been federally certified as energy-efficient, said Matthew Wald in The New York Times. Federal auditors submitted fake designs for the clock, along with plans for an “air purifier”—a feather duster attached to a space heater—to the Energy Department’s EnergyStar program. The program offers tax breaks to buyers of energy-saving devices.

But the Energy Department doesn’t check closely to see if appliances submitted for certification would, in fact, save energy, which leaves its stamp of approval pretty meaningless. EnergyStar official Maria Vargas notes, however, that since the alarm clock and feather duster don’t exist, no consumers were actually defrauded.

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