By Ilana R. Morady and Eric E. Boyd
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it has extended the deadline for the public to submit comments on its new Appliance Labeling Rule. The new regulations, which apply to residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps, are mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (Act). The Act directs the FTC to determine how energy efficiency information on labels should be communicated to consumers. The new Rule currently requires EnergyGuide labels for heating and cooling products that disclose efficiency ratings and comparisons of the highest and lowest ratings for similar models. The agency seeks public comments on how to further develop labeling so that product information is efficiently communicated to consumers, distributors, contractors, and installers. The original deadline for comments was January 10, 2012; the new deadline is February 6, 2012. Comments can be filed here.
The FTC also recently announced that it has extended the deadline for the public to submit comments on its Textile Rules. The Textile Rules require that all textiles sold in the United States carry labels disclosing the generic names and percentages by weight of the fibers in the product, the manufacturer or marketer name, and the country where the product was processed or manufactured. In recent years, the FTC has made “green” claims about textiles a priority. In particular, the FTC has sued several companies for mislabeling products covered by the Rules as “bamboo” when in fact, the Agency argues, the product is rayon that is merely manufacturer using cellulose from bamboo. The comments are not being elicited in response to any significant changes; rather, the Agency is conducting a periodic review of the Textile Rules, as it does for all rules on a rotating basis. Accordingly, the Agency requests comments on the overall costs, benefits, necessity, and impact of the Textile Rules. The original deadline for comments was January 2, 2012; the new deadline is February 2, 2012. Comments can be filed here.