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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 14, 2015.
Voluntary Verification Program Act of 2015
This bill amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to require the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rely on voluntary programs for certifying manufacturer compliance with energy conservation performance standards and Energy Star specifications for consumer products and industrial equipment.
Consumer products are the following: central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps, water heaters, furnaces, direct heating equipment, and pool heaters.
Industrial equipment is the following: commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment, automatic commercial ice makers, packaged terminal air-conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps, warm air furnaces and packaged boilers, and storage water heaters, instantaneous water heaters, and unfired hot water storage tanks.
The consumer products exclude those that are designed solely for use in recreational vehicles and other mobile equipment.
DOE and the EPA must initiate a negotiated rulemaking to establish criteria, meeting certain minimum requirements, for achieving recognition by DOE or the EPA as an approved voluntary verification program.
Neither DOE nor the EPA may require manufacturers that participate in a voluntary verification program to provide information that can be obtained through the program. If a voluntary program subjects products to periodic verification testing and provides test results to DOE or the EPA on request, DOE and the EPA may not subject participating manufacturers that are in compliance with the program to additional testing to verify the accuracy of the performance rating of the product or equipment.