July 31, 2014

Green Technology Myth #2: Just look for the green label!

Green Technology Myth #2: Just look for the green label!

These are exciting times for green technology. Every week it seems new energy efficient products hit the marketplace.

But, with this new technology comes questions. Which products actually do what they say they will? It’s difficult for consumers to discern what’s truly green and what’s merely green-washing.

To help consumers make better choices, many industries have developed green certifications or industry stamps of approval for eco-friendly products. The problem is, many of these certifications are extremely expensive.

As an example, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the best-known independent laboratory for testing product safety. Cost for UL certification varies depending on the product type and scope of the certification/evaluation. Even at this not-for-profit laboratory, costs can reach into the thousands per safety mark per product.

This makes it difficult for small businesses—that offer more cutting edge solutions—to compete with larger companies who can afford these certifications.

The utilities industry desperately needs a new form of validation process that offers a cost-effective green certification stamp of approval. This would give consumers a broader range of options to choose from … and a better gauge on what’s reliable and what’s not.

As more eco-friendly products emerge on the scene—and the need for energy-efficient technology becomes more and more critical to our successful use of resources—consumers deserve proof that these products will live up to their promise season after season. Finding more cost-effective ways for these products to substantiate their claims and compete with traditional technology will be critical if we want to support innovation and using our nation’s resources as wisely as possible.