[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 29 (Monday, February 13, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7547-7549]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3261]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043]
RIN 1904-AC51


Energy Conservation Standards for Wine Chillers and Miscellaneous 
Refrigeration Products: Public Meeting and Availability of the 
Framework Document

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

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and availability of the framework 
document.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering 
establishing energy conservation standards for residential wine 
chillers and other residential refrigeration products. DOE will hold an 
informal public meeting to discuss and receive comments on its planned 
analytical approach and issues that it will address in this proceeding. 
DOE welcomes written comments and relevant data from the public on any 
subject within the scope of this notice. To inform stakeholders and 
facilitate this process, DOE has prepared a framework document that 
details the analytical approach and identifies several issues on which 
DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments. The framework 
document is available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/refrigerators_freezers.html.

DATES: DOE will hold a public meeting on February 22, 2012, from 9 a.m. 
to 5 p.m. in Washington, DC. Additionally, DOE plans to conduct the 
public meeting via webinar. To participate via webinar, participants 
must notify DOE no later than Wednesday, February 15, 2012. 
Registration information, participant instructions, and information 
about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be 
published on the following Web site https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/270198257. Participants are responsible for ensuring that 
their systems are compatible with the webinar software. Any person 
requesting to speak at the public meeting should submit such request 
along with a signed original and an electronic copy of the statements 
to be given at the public meeting before 4 p.m., Wednesday, February 
15, 2012. Written comments are welcome, especially following the public 
meeting, and should be submitted by March 14, 2012.

[[Page 7548]]


ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of 
Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585-0121. To attend, please notify Ms. Brenda Edwards 
at (202) 586-2945. Please note that foreign nationals visiting DOE 
Headquarters are subject to advance security screening procedures, 
requiring a 30-day advance notice. Any foreign national wishing to 
participate in the public meeting should advise DOE as soon as possible 
by contacting Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 to initiate the 
necessary procedures.
    Any comments submitted must identify the framework document for 
Energy Conservation Standards for Wine Chillers and Miscellaneous 
Refrigeration Products, and provide docket number EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043 
and/or Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1904-AC51. Comments may be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: WineChillers-2011-STD-0043@ee.doe.gov. Include the 
docket number and/or RIN in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Framework Document for 
Wine Chillers and Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, EERE-2011-BT-
STD-0043 and/or RIN 1904-AC51, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585-0121. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one 
signed original paper copy.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., 
Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit 
one signed original paper copy. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be 
accepted.
    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, 
including Federal Register notices, the framework document, comments, 
and other supporting documents and materials. All documents in the 
docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all 
documents in the index may be publicly available, such as information 
that is exempt from public disclosure.
    A link to the docket Web page can be found at www.regulations.gov. 
The www.regulations.gov Web page contains a link to the docket for this 
notice, along with simple instructions on how to access all documents, 
including public comments, in the docket.
    For further information on how to submit a comment or review other 
public comments and the docket, please contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at 
(202) 586-2945 or by email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lucas Adin, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20585-0121. Phone: (202) 287-1317. Email: Lucas.Adin@ee.doe.gov or 
Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, GC-
72, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Phone: 
(202) 586-9507. Email: Michael.Kido@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title III, Part B\1\ of the Energy Policy 
and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 
U.S.C. 291-6309, as codified), established an energy conservation 
program for major household appliances, which includes residential 
refrigeration products. This program authorizes DOE to establish 
technologically feasible, economically justified energy efficiency 
regulations for certain consumer products that would be likely to 
result in substantial national energy savings, and for which both 
natural market forces and voluntary labeling programs have been and/or 
are expected to be ineffective in promoting energy efficiency. (42 
U.S.C. 6295(l)(1))
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was redesignated Part A.
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    The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA), 
Public Law 100-12, amended EPCA and established energy conservation 
standards for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers 
(residential refrigeration products), as well as requirements for 
determining whether these standards should be amended. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(b)) On November 17, 1989, DOE published a final rule in the 
Federal Register updating the energy conservation standards. The new 
standards became effective on January 1, 1993. 54 FR 47916. 
Subsequently, DOE determined that new standards for some of the product 
classes were based on incomplete data and incorrect analysis. As a 
result, DOE published a correction that amended the new standards for 
the following three product classes: (1) Refrigerators and 
refrigerator-freezers with manual defrost, (2) refrigerator-freezers 
with automatic defrost with a bottom-mounted freezer but without 
through-the-door (TTD) ice service, and (3) chest freezers and all 
other freezers. 55 FR 42845. DOE updated the performance standards once 
again for residential refrigeration products by publishing a final rule 
in the Federal Register on April 28, 1997. 62 FR 23102. The new 
standards became effective on July 1, 2001. By completing a second 
standards rulemaking, DOE had fulfilled its legislative requirement to 
conduct two cycles of standards rulemakings.
    After the completion of these two rulemaking cycles, stakeholders 
submitted a petition in 2004 requesting that DOE conduct another 
rulemaking to amend the standards for residential refrigerator-
freezers. In April 2005, DOE granted the petition and conducted a 
limited set of analyses to assess the potential energy savings and 
potential economic benefit of new standards. DOE issued a report in 
October 2005 detailing the analyses, which examined the technological 
and economic feasibility of new standards set at ENERGY STAR levels 
effective in 2005 for the two most popular product classes of 
refrigerators: top-mount refrigerator-freezers without TTD features and 
side-mount refrigerator-freezers with TTD features.\2\ DOE confined its 
updated analysis to these two classes because they accounted for a 
majority of current product shipments. Depending on assumptions 
regarding the impact that standards would have on market efficiency, 
DOE estimated that amended standards at the 2005 ENERGY STAR levels 
would yield savings between 2.4 to 3.4 quadrillion British thermal 
units (Btu), with an associated economic impact to the Nation ranging 
from a burden or cost of $1.2 billion to a benefit or savings of $3.3 
billion.
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    \2\ U.S Department of Energy, ``Analysis of Amended Energy 
Conservation Standards for Residential Refrigerator-Freezers'', 
October 2005, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/pdfs/refrigerator_report_1.pdf.
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    In October 2005, DOE published draft data sheets containing the 
projected energy savings potential for refrigerator-freezers as part of 
its fiscal year 2006 schedule-setting process. The data sheets were 
based on the October 2005 draft technical report analyzing potential 
new amended energy conservation standards for residential refrigerator-
freezers described above. The analysis was not extended to all 
refrigerator, refrigerator-freezer, and freezer product classes because 
of the large proportion of the market represented by the two product 
classes analyzed in detail (i.e. refrigerator-

[[Page 7549]]

freezer--automatic defrost with top-mounted freezer without through-
the-door ice service (product class 3) and refrigerator-freezer--
automatic defrost with side-mounted freezer with through-the-door ice 
service (product class 7)) and because DOE expected that results for 
these product classes would be representative for all of the product 
classes. DOE had this expectation because these two product classes 
represent a large majority of refrigerator-freezers, which in turn 
represent the majority of energy use of refrigeration products. (See 
pages 5-9 and 2-1 of the 2005 report). The technical report and the 
associated data sheets helped direct the priorities for DOE's 
rulemaking activities. As a result, other products were given a higher 
priority, and limited rulemaking work on refrigerators and freezers was 
carried out in the following years prior to the enactment of the Energy 
Independence and Security Act of 2007, Public Law 110-140 (Dec. 19, 
2007) (EISA).
    EISA required DOE to publish a final rule to determine whether to 
amend the standards in effect for residential refrigeration products 
manufactured starting in 2014. Consistent with this requirement, DOE 
issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 27, 2010. 75 FR 
59470. Subsequently, on September 15, 2011, DOE issued a final rule 
that established energy conservation standards for over 40 classes of 
residential refrigeration products. See 76 FR 57516 and 76 FR 70865 
(November 16, 2011) (date correction notice). The standards adopted in 
that final rule were largely based on a consensus agreement that a 
coalition of energy efficiency advocates and industry representatives 
submitted to DOE in July 2010, see DOE Docket No. EERE-2008-BT-STD-
0012, Comment 49,\3\ and provided manufacturers with the requisite 
three-year lead time contemplated by EPCA. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(m).
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    \3\ Note: In the regulations.gov Web site, this is listed as 
comment 52, although it was originally comment 49, and its header 
identifies it as comment 49.
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    In the preamble to the final rule, DOE discussed the issue of wine 
chiller coverage. See, e.g. 76 FR at 57534. The test procedure final 
rule and interim final rule distinguished between those products 
designed to safely store fresh food and those that were not. See 75 FR 
78810, 78817 (Dec. 16, 2010). Wine chillers are not treated as 
refrigerators because they are not designed to be capable of achieving 
compartment temperatures below the 39 [deg]F limit specified in the 
definition for ``electric refrigerator.'' See 10 CFR 430.2. DOE 
indicated that it would consider the coverage of wine chillers as part 
of a separate future rulemaking. Today's notice begins that process of 
examining the coverage of those residential refrigeration products, 
including wine chillers, that are not yet addressed by any Federal 
energy conservation standards. Under EPCA, refrigerators, refrigerator-
freezers, and freezers are limited to those products that can be 
operated by alternating current electricity, but excluding (A) any type 
designed to be used without doors; and (B) any type which does not 
include a compressor and condenser unit as an integral part of the 
cabinet assembly. See 42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(1).
    The framework document explains the issues, analyses, and process 
that DOE is considering for the development of energy efficiency 
standards for wine chillers and miscellaneous refrigeration products. 
An accompanying public meeting will be held that will focus on the 
analyses and issues contained in various sections of the framework 
document. DOE plans to present and solicit discussion regarding these 
issues. DOE will also make a brief presentation on the process that it 
plans to follow when evaluating potential standards for these products.
    DOE encourages anyone who wishes to participate in the public 
meeting to obtain and review the framework document and to be prepared 
to discuss its contents. A copy of the draft framework document is 
available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/refrigerators_freezers.html.
    However, public meeting participants need not limit their comments 
to the topics identified in the framework document. DOE is also 
interested in receiving views on other relevant issues that 
participants believe would affect energy conservation standards for 
these products. DOE invites all interested parties, whether or not they 
participate in the public meeting, to submit in writing by March 14, 
2012, comments and information on matters addressed in the framework 
document and on other matters relevant to consideration of standards 
for wine chillers and miscellaneous refrigeration products.
    DOE will conduct the public meeting in an informal, facilitated, 
conference style. There shall be no discussion of proprietary 
information, costs or prices, market shares, or other commercial 
matters regulated by U.S. antitrust laws. A court reporter will record 
the minutes of the meeting, after which a transcript will be available 
for purchase from the court reporter and placed on the DOE Web site at 
www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/refrigerators_freezers.htm.
    After the public meeting and the close of the comment period for 
the framework document, DOE will begin collecting data, conducting the 
analyses as discussed at the public meeting, and reviewing public 
comments.
    Anyone who wishes to participate in the public meeting, receive 
meeting materials, or be added to the DOE mailing list to receive 
future notices and information about wine chillers and miscellaneous 
refrigeration products should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-
2945.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 6, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-3261 Filed 2-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P