The FTC’s past week invited change as the Commission finalized an updated Energy Labeling Rule and welcomed two new senior agency leaders. This story and more after the jump.

October 3, 2022

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Advertising and Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission updated its Energy Labeling Rule, as required by the 1979 Energy Policy and Conservation Act every five years. The Rule requires manufacturers to attach labels to home appliances and other products that discloses: (1) the estimated annual operating cost of the appliance, (2) a “comparability range” showing the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiencies for all similar models, and (3) the product’s energy consumption or energy efficiency rating.  These labels are designed to help consumers more accurately anticipate energy costs associated with appliances prior to their purchase. The updated rule updates the average cost figures manufacturers must use to calculate an appliance’s estimated energy cost, and it revises the comparability ranges and associated energy costs for appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, dishwashers, water heaters, room air conditioners (range only), clothes washers, furnaces, televisions, and pool heaters. Despite these changes, the FTC will wait to update the comparability rate for televisions until after the Department of Energy completes test procedure changes, and the Commission has set the effective date for room air conditioner labels to coincide with the 2023 production cycle.

FTC Operations: Commissioners

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina M. Khan announced the appointment of Chief Technology Officer Stephanie Nguyen and Public Affairs Director Douglas Farrar as the latest additions to the Commission. Nguyen, a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Virginia, served as the Commission’s Chief Technology Officer in an acting capacity since October 2021. Prior to her time at the FTC, Nguyen worked at the U.S. Digital Service at the White House and as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Farrar, a graduate of Georgetown University, joined the Commission following a career as the Vice President of Communications and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Chair Khan shared, “[Nguyen and Farrar’s] knowledge and experience will strengthen the FTC in two key areas, ensuring that we keep pace with the latest developments in technology and that we’re communicating clearly with the public about the critical work of the agency.”