The U.S. Energy Department said Chinese manufacturer Ningbo Hicon agreed to settle for distributing refrigerator components that used 30 percent more energy than allowed under U.S. appliance energy conservation standards.
The department said Monday the settlement reflects one of the largest penalties since the General Counsel's enforcement office was set up in 2010.
Ningbo Hicon manufactures refrigeration products. The Department of Energy issued a non-compliance order to the company in February. The order called on the Chinese manufacturer to "immediately cease distribution" of its products, sold under a variety of brand names, in the United States.
The Department of Energy tested the company's products in 2011.
"Manufacturers and private labelers are prohibited from distributing covered products that do not comply with applicable federal energy conservation standards," the non-compliance order stated.
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