From the Inbox - Online Retailers leaving consumers in the dark

Earthjustice - Take Action Today

Demand Transparency From Online Retailers!
Take action today!

Hide and seek with energy operating costs.

Q: When shopping online for a new
washing machine, where would you
find the energy operating cost?
A: Click on "Take A Product Tour"
or "Manual," "Larger Photo" or
something else. It all depends on
the retailer!
If you think that makes no sense,
tell the Federal Trade Commission!

Dear Supporter,

Looking for a new appliance online? Federal law requires online retailers to let you know how much it costs to operate. But good luck finding that information, or figuring out what it means relative to other products.

The Federal Trade Commission is supposed to ensure that consumers have access to helpful information about energy efficiency, as well as how individual products compare to similar models. While physical products in retail stores are required to display yellow Energy Guide labels containing comparative energy efficiency information, FTC allows online listings for those products to bury that information behind a series of links, with especially unhelpful descriptions like "larger photo," "alternative views," or "manual." (See actual examples.)

FTC also lets online retailers do away with the comparison scales that show how products compare to one another in terms of their energy efficiency. This is the virtual equivalent of letting brick-and-mortar retailers remove Energy Guide labels and hide them in desk drawers, or put whiteout over their comparison scales.

Earthjustice has filed a formal petition—on behalf of Public Citizen, Consumers Union and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy—calling on the Federal Trade Commission to close this loophole and require online retailers to make the Energy Guide visible and easy to find for all product listings.

Now we need your help! If you've been shopping or browsing online for appliances, or if you care about the energy efficiency of the appliances we buy, send a letter to FTC telling the agency that consumers shouldn't have to scour the web just to find information they're legally entitled to:

Because the earth needs a good lawyer

Take action today!

Energy Guide label.


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