[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 14, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 8178-8179]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3375]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 8178]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2010-BT-TP-0038]


Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps: 
Public Meeting

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

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is holding a public 
meeting to discuss methodologies and gather comments on testing 
residential central air conditioners and heat pumps designed to use 
hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22 (R-22) refrigerant.

DATES: DOE will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 
from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington, DC. Additionally, DOE plans to 
conduct the public meeting via webinar. To participate via webinar, 
participants must sign up by following the instructions in the Web 
site. 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/141337089. Participants are responsible 
for ensuring that their systems are compatible with the webinar 
software.

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. 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.
    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov. 
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 CONTACT: Ashley Armstrong, 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) 586-6590. Email: Ashley.Armstrong@ee.doe.gov 
or Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General 
Counsel, GC-72, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Phone: (202) 586-7796. Email: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program 
covering most major household appliances, including the residential 
central air conditioners and heat pumps that are single phase with 
rated cooling capacities less than 65,000 British thermal units per 
hour (Btu/h) that are the focus of this notice.\1\ (42 U.S.C. 6291(1)-
(2), (21) and 6292(a)(3))
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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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    Under EPCA, the program consists of four activities: (1) Testing; 
(2) labeling; and (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and also 
(4) certification, compliance, and enforcement. The testing 
requirements consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered 
products must use as the basis for certifying to DOE that their 
products comply with applicable energy conservation standards adopted 
pursuant to EPCA and for representing the efficiency of those products. 
(42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 42 U.S.C. 6295(s)) Similarly, DOE must use these 
test procedures in any enforcement action to determine whether covered 
products comply with these energy conservation standards. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(s))
    DOE's existing test procedures for residential central air 
conditioners and heat pumps adopted pursuant to these provisions appear 
under Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, 
subpart B, appendix M (``Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy 
Consumption of Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps''). These 
procedures establish the currently permitted means for determining 
energy efficiency and annual energy consumption of these products.
    DOE regulations require that residential split system central air 
conditioners and heat pumps be tested using ``the evaporator coil that 
is likely to have the largest volume of retail sales with the 
particular model of condensing unit.'' 10 CFR 430.24(m)(2). Effective 
January 1, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned 
the sale and distribution of those central air conditioning systems and 
heat pump systems manufactured after January 1, 2010, that are designed 
to use R-22 refrigerant. 74 FR 66450 (Dec. 15, 2009). EPA's rulemaking 
included an exception for the manufacture and importation of 
replacement components, as long as those components are not pre-charged 
with R-22. Id. at 66459-66460. In light of EPA's rulemaking, DOE 
received numerous inquiries regarding the sale of R-22 systems and the 
applicability of our regulations with respect to these types of 
systems.
    Because complete R-22 systems can no longer be distributed per 
EPA's regulations, manufacturers inquired how to test and rate 
condensing units and outdoor units using R-22 refrigerant. DOE has 
issued two guidance documents surrounding testing central air 
conditioner and heat pump systems utilizing R-22 refrigerant. See 
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/guidance/default.aspx?pid=2&spid=1 for 
additional information. The Department is holding this public meeting 
and webinar to gather information on the testing of central air 
conditioners and heat pumps designed to use R-22. Among other things, 
DOE seeks

[[Page 8179]]

information on the characteristics of the coil-only indoor unit for 
testing and rating purposes to satisfy the requirement that the highest 
volume sales unit combination be tested. 10 CFR 429.16(a)(2)(ii).
    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.
    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 7, 2012.
Kathleen Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-3375 Filed 2-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P