The FTC recently announced that three online retailers will pay more than $400,000 in penalties to settle charges that they violated the Appliance Labeling Rule by failing to post EnergyGuide information on their websites. The EnergyGuide labels estimate the annual cost to operate certain consumer appliances and can help consumers compare the energy use of different models. The Appliance Labeling Rule requires the posting of EnergyGuide information for specific types of consumer appliances. The FTC's complaints indicated that "[e]ach day during which a retailer advertises a covered product on an Internet webpage but fails to provide the required information disclosures constitutes a violation with respect to that product." Notably, these three cases are the first cases the FTC has brought against online retailers for violations of the Appliance Labeling Rule. In addition to these three settlements, the FTC also alerted two additional online retailers that the FTC believes they also violated the Appliance labeling Rule and proposed penalties of $640,000.
TIP: Both retailers and manufacturers should take care to ensure that they are providing required EnergyGuide information in connection with any covered products, including certain refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, air conditioners, water heaters, and washing machines.