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ISO 17025 and Energy Star Accreditation

10/07/15

The Energy Star program was launched to help consumers make informed energy-saving decisions when selecting appliances and other products. The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of energy used by a typical home or business. To this end, the government gives Energy Star ratings to appliances that save energy and offers an incentive to consumers to use them.

All products must be tested before they can receive Energy Start certification. The testing must be done by labs that meet specific standards, which start with ISO 17025 and include additional requirements.

If your lab is thinking about accreditation to issue Energy Star certification, there’s a good chance you already carry ISO 17025 accreditation. ISO 17025 exists to ensure consistency and quality of testing practices, accuracy of data, and reliability of results. It is a first step toward Energy Star accreditation, for which you’ll need to meet additional requirements to show that you have the specialized knowledge and reliability the program demands.

Energy Star requirements include the following:

  • You must develop and document test procedures for each Energy Star test method for which you seek accreditation, and then document consistent implementation of these procedures going forward.
  • Laboratory staff members must notify the EPA/Department of Energy if they experience any pressure to hide, alter, or influence the test results. Procedures and training must reflect this.
  • You must have ISO 17025 accreditation and your scope of accreditation must include the types of methods you’ll use for the Energy Star program.
  • You must specify the Energy Star products for which you seek accreditation; these product types will be included in the scope of your Energy Star accreditation. Qualifying to test one type of product does not qualify you to test other types. Your specific capabilities will be public knowledge. Note that there are product sub-categories and you may be accredited for some sub-categories and not others.
  • You agree that representatives of the EPA may witness your testing procedures at their discretion.

If you already meet the requirements of ISO 17025 and have expertise with the types of products or methods relevant to Energy Star work, meeting these additional requirements generally should not be a challenge. Still, it's important to carefully document how you’ll meet them before you apply for Energy Star accreditation.