You know the U.S. government’s Energy Star label, meant to direct consumers to energy-efficient electronics and appliances? The Government Accountability Office does not think it means what you think it means. In a new report, the GAO notes that, for example, TVs are tested in standby mode, because the latest available standards for testing tellies’ energy efficiency in actually-running mode were written for the dinosaurs’ black-and-white sets. Updated standards should be available in the next year or two, says John Cockburn, administrator of the Energy Star program in Canada. He adds, “In regulatory time, that’s very quickly.” We would just like to point out that color TV became a regular fixture in U.S. households in the 1970s. That is all.

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