$1 Million Settlement over Robot Vacuum Battery Chargers

November 12, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

In an effort to ensure consumers receive the energy savings expected from household appliances, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved an agreement today with iRobot Corporation over robotic vacuum cleaners, including the Roomba. The company was manufacturing and selling appliances that did not meet the Energy Commission's energy efficiency standard for small battery chargers.

Electric appliances use more than half the electricity consumed in buildings. Standards adopted in 2012 for battery chargers exemplify successful state efforts to reduce power use – saving enough electricity to power nearly 350,000 households annually, or a city roughly the size of Bakersfield. Once these standards are fully implemented, it is estimated California ratepayers will save more than $300 million a year.

iRobot was selling products that were not tested, marked, or certified to the Energy Commission’s standards. The Energy Commission estimates that consumers unsuspectingly wasted more than $1 million in energy costs.

The settlement states that the company will: Starting December 1, 2015, meet California standards for any newly manufactured products in five product lines – Roomba, Braava, Scooba, Create, and Looj. iRobot will sell products that meet the state’s battery charger standards throughout North America, expanding the reach of California’s energy-saving policies. Cease direct sale of noncompliant products in California after December 1, 2015. Retailers can sell stock of products manufactured before December 1, 2015. Offer a $20 rebate to California customers who register their products by November 19, 2015. This rebate represents the approximate overpayment for energy consumed by using a noncompliant device. And pay $1 million to the Energy Commission for ongoing appliance enforcement efforts.