[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 7 (Wednesday, January 11, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 1649-1654]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-328]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-DET-0079]
RIN 1904-AC69


Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products and Certain 
Commercial and Industrial Equipment: Proposed Determination of 
Residential Central Air Conditioner Split-System Condensing Units and 
Residential Heat Pump Split-System Outdoor Units as a Covered Consumer 
Product

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Proposed determination.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to determine that 
Residential Central Air Conditioner Split-System Condensing Units 
(hereafter referred to as ``Condensing Units'') and Residential Heat 
Pump Split-System Outdoor Units (hereafter referred to as ``Outdoor 
Units) qualify as a covered product under Part A of Title III of the 
Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. DOE has 
determined that Condensing Units and Outdoor Units meet the criteria 
for covered products because: (1) Classifying products of such type as 
covered products is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes 
of EPCA, and (2) the average U.S. household energy use for Condensing 
Units and Outdoor Units are likely to exceed 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) 
per year.

DATES: DOE will accept written comments, data, and information on this 
notice, but no later than February 10, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket 
number EERE-2011-BT-DET-0079, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov. Include EERE-2011-BT-
DET-0079 and/or RIN 1904-AC69 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, EERE-2011-BT-DET-0079 
and/or RIN 1904-AC69, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20585-0121. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one signed paper 
original.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one 
signed paper original.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or RIN for this notice.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, a 
copy of the transcript of the public meeting, or comments received, go 
to the U.S. Department of Energy, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
Washington, DC 20024, (202) 586-2945, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards 
at (202) 586-2945 for additional information regarding visiting the 
Resource Room.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies Program, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-17335. Email: 
Ashley.Armstrong@ee.doe.gov.
    In the Office of General Counsel, contact Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. 
Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: (202) 586-
7796. Email: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

Table of Contents

I. Statutory Authority
II. Current Rulemaking Process
III. Proposed Definition(s)
IV. Evaluation of Condensing Units and Outdoor Units as a Covered 
Product Subject to Energy Conservation Standards
    A. Coverage Appropriate to Carry Out Purposes of EPCA
    B. Average Household Energy Use
V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review
    A. Review Under Executive Order 12866
    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132
    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988
    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act of 1999
    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630
    J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act of 2001
    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211
    L. Review Under the Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review
VI. Public Participation
    A. Submission of Comments
    B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comments

[[Page 1650]]

I. Statutory Authority

    Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.), sets forth various provisions 
designed to improve energy efficiency. Part A of Title III of EPCA (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6309) established the ``Energy Conservation Program for 
Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles,'' which covers consumer 
products and certain commercial products (hereafter referred to as 
``covered products'').\1\ In addition to specifying a list of covered 
residential and commercial products, EPCA contains provisions that 
enable the Secretary of Energy to classify additional types of consumer 
products as covered products. For a given product to be classified as a 
covered product, the Secretary must determine that:
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
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    (1) Classifying the product as a covered product is necessary or 
appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA; \2\ and
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    \2\ Specifically, the purposes of chapter 77 of title 42 of the 
United States Code, as set forth later in this proposed coverage 
determination.
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    (2) The average annual per-household energy use by products of such 
type is likely to exceed 100 kWh per year. (42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1)).
    For the Secretary to prescribe an energy conservation standard 
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p) for covered products added 
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1), he must also determine that:
    (1) The average household energy use of the products has exceeded 
150 kilowatt-hours per household for a 12-month period,
    (2) The aggregate 12-month energy use of the products has exceeded 
4.2 TWh,
    (3) Substantial improvement in energy efficiency is technologically 
feasible, and
    (4) Application of a labeling rule under section 42 U.S.C. 6294 is 
unlikely to be sufficient to induce manufacturers to produce, and 
consumers and other persons to purchase, covered products of such type 
(or class) that achieve the maximum energy efficiency that is 
technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(l)(1)).
    If DOE issues a final determination that condensing units and 
outdoor units are covered products, DOE will consider test procedures 
and energy efficiency standards for these products. DOE will determine 
if standards for condensing units and outdoor units satisfy the 
provisions of 42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1) during the course of any energy 
conservation standards rulemaking.

II. Current Rulemaking Process

    DOE has not previously conducted an energy conservation standard 
rulemaking specifically for condensing units and outdoor units. DOE 
has, however, previously conducted two energy conservation standard 
rulemakings for Residential Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps of 
which the Condensing Units and Outdoor Units, respectively, are a 
component. If after public comment, DOE issues a final determination of 
coverage for condensing units and outdoor units, DOE will consider both 
a test procedure and an energy conservation standard for this product.
    With respect to test procedures, DOE will consider a proposed test 
procedure for measuring the energy efficiency, energy use or estimated 
annual operating cost of condensing units and outdoor units during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use that is not unduly 
burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)). In a test procedure 
rulemaking, DOE initially prepares a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NOPR) and allows interested parties to present oral and written data, 
views, and arguments with respect to such procedures. In prescribing 
new test procedures, DOE takes into account relevant information 
including technological developments relating to energy use or energy 
efficiency of condensing units and outdoor units.
    With respect to energy conservation standards, DOE typically 
prepares initially an Energy Conservation Standards Rulemaking 
Framework Document (the framework document). The framework document 
explains the issues, analyses, and process that it is considering for 
the development of energy conservation standards for condensing units 
and outdoor units. After DOE receives comments on the framework 
document, DOE typically prepares an Energy Conservation Standards 
Rulemaking Preliminary Analysis and Technical Support Document (the 
preliminary analysis). The preliminary analysis typically provides 
initial draft analyses of potential energy conservation standards on 
consumers, manufacturers, and the nation. Neither of these steps is 
legally required.
    DOE is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR). 
The NOPR provides DOE's proposal for potential energy conservations 
standards and a summary of the results of DOE's supporting technical 
analysis. The details of DOE's energy conservation standards analysis 
are provided in a technical support document (TSD) that describes the 
details of DOE's analysis of both the burdens and benefits of potential 
standards, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o). Because condensing units and 
outdoor units would be a product that is newly covered under 42 U.S.C. 
6292(b)(1), DOE would also consider as part of any energy conservation 
standard NOPR whether condensing units and outdoor units satisfy the 
requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1). After the publication of the 
NOPR, DOE affords interested persons an opportunity during a period of 
not less than 60 days to provide oral and written comment. After 
receiving and considering the comments on the NOPR and not less than 90 
days after the publication of the NOPR, DOE would issue the final rule 
prescribing any new energy conservation standards for condensing units 
and outdoor units.

III. Proposed Definition(s)

    Section 430.2 in the Code of Federal Regulations defines a 
``Condensing Unit'' as a component of a central air conditioner which 
is designed to remove the heat absorbed by the refrigerant and to 
transfer it to the outside environment, and which consists of an 
outdoor coil, compressor(s), and air moving device.
    DOE proposes to revise the above definition for ``Condensing Unit'' 
by adding the term ``split-system'' as a component of a split-system 
central air conditioner which is designed to remove the heat absorbed 
by the refrigerant and to transfer it to the outside environment, and 
which consists of an outdoor coil, compressor(s), and air moving 
device.
    Section 430.2 in the Code of Federal Regulations also defines an 
``Outdoor Unit'' as a component of a split-system central air 
conditioner or heat pump that is designed to transfer heat between the 
refrigerant and the outdoor air, and which consists of an outdoor coil, 
compressor(s), an air moving device, and in addition for heat pumps, a 
heating mode expansion device, reversing valve, and defrost controls.
    DOE does not propose to revise the above definition for ``Outdoor 
Unit.''
    DOE seeks feedback from interested parties on its definitions of 
condensing units and outdoor units.

[[Page 1651]]

IV. Evaluation of Condensing Units and Outdoor Units as a Covered 
Product Subject to Energy Conservation Standards

    The following sections describe DOE's evaluation of whether 
condensing units and outdoor units fulfill the criteria for being added 
as a covered product pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1). As stated 
previously, DOE may classify a consumer product as a covered product if 
(1) classifying products of such type as covered products is necessary 
and appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA; and (2) the average 
annual per-household energy use by products of such type is likely to 
exceed 100 kilowatt-hours (or its Btu equivalent) per year.

A. Coverage Appropriate To Carry Out Purposes of EPCA

    Coverage of set condensing units and outdoor units is necessary or 
appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA, which include: (1) To 
conserve energy supplies through energy conservation programs, and, 
where necessary, the regulation of certain energy uses; and (2) to 
provide for improved energy efficiency of motor vehicles, major 
appliances, and certain other consumer products. (42 U.S.C. 6201). The 
household national energy use of Residential Central Air Conditioner 
Split-Systems and Residential Heat Pump Split-Systems for the year 2011 
is estimated to be 133.1 billion kilowatt-hours and 58.6 billion 
kilowatt-hours, respectively.\3\ Condensing Units, which are a 
component of Residential Central Air Conditioner Split-Systems, 
represent approximately 87 percent of total system energy use. Outdoor 
Units, which are a component of Residential Heat Pump Split-Systems, 
also represent 87 percent of total system energy use.\4\ Therefore, the 
national energy use of condensing units and outdoor units for the year 
2011 is estimated to be 115.8 billion kilowatt-hours and 51.0 billion 
kilowatt-hours, respectively. Because there is significant variation in 
the annual energy consumption of different models currently available, 
technologies exist to reduce the energy consumption of condensing units 
and outdoor units.
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    \3\ See National Impacts Analysis (NIA) spreadsheet for 
Furnaces, Central Air Conditioners, and Heat Pumps developed for 
DOE's June 27, 2011 Direct Final Rule for Energy Conservation 
Standards for Residential Furnaces and Residential Central Air 
Conditioners and Heat Pumps. (76 FR 37408). The NIA spreadsheet is 
available at:  http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/residential_furnaces_ac_hp_direct_final_rule_tools.html.
    \4\ U.S. Department of Energy. ``Technical Support Document: 
Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Residential Central 
Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces.'' June 2011. Chapter 7. 
Available at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/residential_furnaces_central_ac_hp_direct_final_rule_tsd.html.
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B. Average Household Energy Use

    DOE calculated average household energy use for condensing units 
and outdoor units, in households that used the product, based on data 
from DOE's June 2011 Technical Support Document (TSD) for Residential 
Central Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces.\3\ The TSD provides 
annual energy use for Residential Central Air Conditioner Split-Systems 
and Residential Heat Pump Split-Systems, and the total number of 
systems in operation in the U.S. The average U.S. per-household annual 
energy use for the stock of Residential Central Air Conditioner Split-
Systems and Residential Heat Pump Split-Systems is 2851 kilowatt-hours 
and 4264 kilowatt-hours, respectively. As noted above, condensing units 
and outdoor units comprise approximately 87 percent of total system 
energy use. As a result, the estimated average U.S. per-household 
annual energy use for the stock of condensing units and outdoor units 
is 2480 kilowatt-hours and 3710 kilowatt-hours, respectively. 
Therefore, the average annual per household energy use for condensing 
units and outdoor units is likely to exceed 100 kWh.

V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

    DOE has reviewed its proposed determination of condensing units and 
outdoor units under the following executive orders and acts.

A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that coverage 
determination rulemakings do not constitute ``significant regulatory 
actions'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory 
Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this 
proposed action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB).

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996) 
requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for 
any rule that, by law, must be proposed for public comment, unless the 
agency certifies that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis examines the impact of the 
rule on small entities and considers alternative ways of reducing 
negative effects. Also, as required by E.O. 13272, ``Proper 
Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking'' 67 FR 53461 
(August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 
19, 2003 to ensure that the potential impact of its rules on small 
entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking process. 68 
FR 7990 (February 19, 2003). DOE makes its procedures and policies 
available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site at 
www.gc.doe.gov.
    DOE reviewed today's proposed determination under the provisions of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the policies and procedures 
published on February 19, 2003. If adopted, today's proposed 
determination would set no standards; they would only positively 
determine that future standards may be warranted and should be explored 
in an energy conservation standards and test procedure rulemaking. 
Economic impacts on small entities would be considered in the context 
of such rulemakings. On the basis of the foregoing, DOE certifies that 
the proposed determination, if adopted, would have no significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, 
DOE has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis for this 
proposed determination. DOE will transmit this certification and 
supporting statement of factual basis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy 
of the Small Business Administration for review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed determination, which proposes to determine that 
condensing units and outdoor units meets the criteria for a covered 
product for which the Secretary may prescribe an energy conservation 
standard pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p), will impose no new 
information or record-keeping requirements. Accordingly, the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) clearance is not required under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act. (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    In this notice, DOE proposes to positively determine that future 
standards may be warranted and that environmental impacts should be

[[Page 1652]]

explored in an energy conservation standards rulemaking. DOE has 
determined that review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), Public Law 91-190, codified at 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. is 
not required at this time. NEPA review can only be initiated ``as soon 
as environmental impacts can be meaningfully evaluated'' (10 CFR 
1021.213(b)). This proposed determination would only determine that 
future standards may be warranted, but would not itself propose to set 
any specific standard. DOE has, therefore, determined that there are no 
environmental impacts to be evaluated at this time. Accordingly, 
neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact 
statement is required.

E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order (E.O.) 13132, ``Federalism'' 64 FR 43255 (August 
10, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and 
implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that 
have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to 
examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any 
action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and 
to assess carefully the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order 
also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure 
meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in developing 
regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 
2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the 
intergovernmental consultation process that it will follow in 
developing such regulations. 65 FR 13735 (March 14, 2000). DOE has 
examined today's proposed determination and concludes that it would not 
preempt State law or have substantial direct effects on the States, on 
the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels 
of government. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State 
regulations as to energy conservation for the product that is the 
subject of today's proposed determination. States can petition DOE for 
exemption from such preemption to the extent permitted, and based on 
criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297). No further action is 
required by E.O. 13132.

F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the 
promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of E.O. 12988, ``Civil 
Justice Reform'' 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on Federal 
agencies the duty to: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) 
write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal 
standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) 
promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of E.O. 12988 
specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable 
effort to ensure that the regulation specifies the following: (1) The 
preemptive effect, if any; (2) any effect on existing Federal law or 
regulation; (3) a clear legal standard for affected conduct while 
promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) the retroactive 
effect, if any; (5) definitions of key terms; and (6) other important 
issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines 
issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of E.O. 12988 requires 
Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable 
standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine whether these 
standards are met, or whether it is unreasonable to meet one or more of 
them. DOE completed the required review and determined that, to the 
extent permitted by law, this proposed determination meets the relevant 
standards of E.O. 12988.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. 
L. 104-4, codified at 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) requires each Federal 
agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, 
local, and tribal governments and the private sector. For regulatory 
actions likely to result in a rule that may cause expenditures by 
State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector of $100 million or more in any 1 year (adjusted annually 
for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to 
publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, 
benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a) 
and (b)) UMRA requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process 
to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and tribal 
governments on a proposed ``significant intergovernmental mandate.'' 
UMRA also requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for 
timely input to small governments that may be potentially affected 
before establishing any requirement that might significantly or 
uniquely affect them. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of 
policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 
FR 12820 (March 18, 1997). (This policy also is available at 
www.gc.doe.gov). DOE reviewed today's proposed determination pursuant 
to these existing authorities and its policy statement and determined 
that the proposed determination contains neither an intergovernmental 
mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 
million or more in any year, so the UMRA requirements do not apply.

H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 
of 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a 
Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family 
well-being. This proposed determination would not have any impact on 
the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, 
DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family 
Policymaking Assessment.

I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    Pursuant to E.O. 12630, ``Governmental Actions and Interference 
with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights'' 53 FR 8859 (March 15, 
1988), DOE determined that this proposed determination would not result 
in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth 
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 
of 2001

    The Treasury and General Government Appropriation Act of 2001 (44 
U.S.C. 3516, note) requires agencies to review most disseminations of 
information they make to the public under guidelines established by 
each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB's guidelines were published at 67 
FR 8452 (February 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 
FR 62446 (October 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed today's proposed 
determination under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that 
it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    E.O. 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly 
Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,'' 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 
2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit

[[Page 1653]]

to OMB a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant 
energy action. A ``significant energy action'' is defined as any action 
by an agency that promulgates a final rule or is expected to lead to 
promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory 
action under E.O. 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) as a significant energy 
action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must 
give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, 
distribution, or use if the proposal is implemented, and of reasonable 
alternatives to the proposed action and their expected benefits on 
energy supply, distribution, and use.
    DOE has concluded that today's regulatory action proposing to 
determine that condensing units and outdoor units meets the criteria 
for a covered product for which the Secretary may prescribe an energy 
conservation standard pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p) would not 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. This action is also not a significant regulatory action for 
purposes of E.O. 12866, and the OIRA Administrator has not designated 
this proposed determination as a significant energy action under E.O. 
12866 or any successor order. Therefore, this proposed determination is 
not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a 
Statement of Energy Effects for this proposed determination.

L. Review Under the Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review

    On December 16, 2004, OMB, in consultation with the Office of 
Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), issued its Final Information 
Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (the Bulletin). 70 FR 2664 (January 
14, 2005). The Bulletin establishes that certain scientific information 
shall be peer reviewed by qualified specialists before it is 
disseminated by the Federal government, including influential 
scientific information related to agency regulatory actions. The 
purpose of the Bulletin is to enhance the quality and credibility of 
the Government's scientific information. Under the Bulletin, the energy 
conservation standards rulemaking analyses are ``influential scientific 
information,'' which the Bulletin defines as ``scientific information 
the agency reasonably can determine will have or does have a clear and 
substantial impact on important public policies or private sector 
decisions.'' 70 FR 2667 (January 14, 2005).
    In response to OMB's Bulletin, DOE conducted formal in-progress 
peer reviews of the energy conservation standards development process 
and analyses and has prepared a Peer Review Report pertaining to the 
energy conservation standards rulemaking analyses. Generation of this 
report involved a rigorous, formal, and documented evaluation using 
objective criteria and qualified and independent reviewers to make a 
judgment as to the technical/scientific/business merit, the actual or 
anticipated results, and the productivity and management effectiveness 
of programs and/or projects. The ``Energy Conservation Standards 
Rulemaking Peer Review Report'' dated February 2007 has been 
disseminated and is available at the following Web site: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/peer_review.html.

VI. Public Participation

A. Submission of Comments

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this 
notice of proposed determination no later than the date provided at the 
beginning of this notice. After the close of the comment period, DOE 
will review the comments received and determine whether condensing 
units and outdoor units is a covered product under EPCA.
    Comments, data, and information submitted to DOE's email address 
for this proposed determination should be provided in WordPerfect, 
Microsoft Word, PDF, or text (ASCII) file format. Submissions should 
avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption, and 
wherever possible comments should include the electronic signature of 
the author. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.
    According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that 
he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public 
disclosure should submit two copies: one copy of the document should 
have all the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will 
make its own determination as to the confidential status of the 
information and treat it according to its determination.
    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat 
submitted information as confidential include (1) a description of the 
items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as 
confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is 
generally known or available from public sources; (4) whether the 
information has previously been made available to others without 
obligations concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the 
competitive injury to the submitting persons which would result from 
public disclosure; (6) a date after which such information might no 
longer be considered confidential; and (7) why disclosure of the 
information would be contrary to the public interest.

B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comments

    DOE welcomes comments on all aspects of this proposed 
determination. DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments 
from interested parties on the following issues related to the proposed 
determination for condensing units and outdoor units:
     Definition(s) of condensing units and outdoor units;
     Whether classifying condensing units and outdoor units as 
a covered product is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes 
of EPCA:
     Calculations and values for household and national energy 
consumption; and
     Availability of technologies for improving energy 
efficiency of condensing units and outdoor units.
    The Department is interested in receiving views concerning other 
relevant issues that participants believe would affect DOE's ability to 
establish test procedures and energy conservation standards for 
condensing units and outdoor units. The Department invites all 
interested parties to submit in writing by February 10, 2012, comments 
and information on matters addressed in this notice and on other 
matters relevant to consideration of a determination for condensing 
units and outdoor units.
    After the expiration of the period for submitting written 
statements, the Department will consider all comments and additional 
information that is obtained from interested parties or through further 
analyses, and it will prepare a final determination. If DOE determines 
that condensing units and outdoor units qualifies as a covered product, 
DOE will consider a test procedure and energy conservation standards 
for condensing units and outdoor units. Members of the public will be 
given an opportunity to submit written and oral comments on any 
proposed test procedure and standards.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Energy conservation, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.


[[Page 1654]]


    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 23, 2011.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-328 Filed 1-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P