Most of us have probably heard of the ENERGY STAR program, a joint venture by the DOE and EPA to promote energy efficient products and buildings. The public face of the program typically comes in the form of an ENERGY STAR logo sticker placed on products that meet the program's design requirements (see image below). I doubt that many people know the details behind ENERGY STAR ratings, so I primarily view the program as a way for consumers to feel better about the purchases they decide to make. This is definitely a good thing, though we have discussed in class that when energy efficiency is not coupled with high energy cost, total consumption may not decline.
So here's a thought. What if there was a similar program to label products that are have particularly BAD energy efficiency? Maybe it could use something like the graphic I created below? I bet that if the government mandated such a program, companies would scramble to make sure their product wasn't required to have a brown frowney face stuck to it.
I believe that ENERGY STAR is a good program for its simplicity, directness, and combined emphasis on the environmental and economic benefits of energy conservation. However, I feel that at least as much attention should be brought to products that ignore the energy and environmental crises that threaten our planet and our way of life.