Monthly Archives: March 2010

Evaluation as covert operation… GAO goes all Jack Bauer!

Screen shot 2010-03-30 at 7.09.15 AMOne of the things I like about evaluators is the ingenuity they demonstrate in finding ways to answer evaluation questions. The recently released GAO evaluation of the Energy Star program is delicious… and subversive. How else to evaluate the Energy Start Program than to submit bogus products for review and see what happens? That’s what the GAO did and the results are funny, and not so funny. In just eleven days the GAO received an energy star approval for their “room air cleaner” (see pic). Also approved were the gasoline-powered alarm clock, metal roof panel, and light commercial HVAC. Take away message: the Energy Star program is a cheap and easy seal of approval that probably means nothing in many cases… think twice before paying extra for that Energy Star seal!