[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28519-28520]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11732]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 429 and 430

[Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0017]


Test Procedure Guidance for Room Air Conditioners, Residential 
Dishwashers, and Residential Clothes Washers: Public Meeting

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 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 provide a forum for manufacturers and test laboratories to 
discuss their respective interpretations of existing DOE test 
procedures, where they believe that the test procedures lack clarity, 
and to provide information for DOE to consider prior to publishing any 
proposed guidance to clarify the current test procedures for room air 
conditioners, residential dishwashers, and residential clothes washers.

DATES: DOE will hold a public meeting on June 1, 2012, beginning at 
9:00 a.m. in Washington, DC.

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.
    Additionally, DOE plans to conduct the public meeting via webinar. 
To participate via webinar, participants must sign up by following the 
instructions at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/350255376. 
Participants are responsible for ensuring that their systems are 
compatible with the webinar software.
    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 Abigail Chingos, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General 
Counsel, GC-32, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Phone: (202) 586-5060. Email: Abigail.Chingos@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 
room air conditioners, residential dishwashers, and residential clothes 
washers that are the focus of this notice.\1\ (42 U.S.C. 6292(2), (6) 
and (8))
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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; (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and (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 room air 
conditioners, residential dishwashers, and residential

[[Page 28520]]

clothes washers adopted pursuant to these provisions appear under Title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, subpart B, 
appendices F (``Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy 
Consumption of Room Air Conditioners''), C (``Uniform Test Method for 
Measuring the Energy Consumption of Dishwashers''), and J1 (``Uniform 
Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Automatic and Semi-
Automatic Clothes Washers''). DOE also recently published a new test 
procedure for residential clothes washers (Appendix J2--``Uniform Test 
Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Automatic and Semi-
Automatic Clothes Washers''), the use of which is not required until 
compliance with any amended standards is required. These procedures 
establish the currently permitted means for determining energy 
efficiency and annual energy consumption of these products.
    DOE has received inquiries regarding the appropriate interpretation 
of various provisions of the current DOE test procedures. DOE has 
issued guidance documents on certain aspects of testing room air 
conditioners, residential dishwashers, and residential clothes washers. 
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 regarding the current practices of manufacturer-run and 
private testing facilities. The Department seeks to understand how 
interested parties have interpreted test procedures provisions that 
they believe to be ambiguous absent DOE guidance. DOE plans to issue 
guidance, as needed and appropriate, to provide better consistency in 
the application of the test procedures and better clarity regarding how 
DOE conducts testing.
    Discussion at the public meeting should focus on current test 
procedures (Appendices C, F, J1 and J2). Furthermore, while DOE seeks 
the views of all interested parties, this public meeting is not an 
appropriate forum for consensus building. The Department will take the 
information provided in the course of the public meeting into 
consideration when drafting DOE interpretive guidance.
    In 2011, DOE launched a new Web site dedicated to DOE guidance: 
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/guidance/default.aspx?pid=2&spid=1. All 
test procedure guidance is now published through a public process. DOE 
publishes guidance in draft form on the guidance Web site. DOE accepts 
public comment on the draft guidance. After considering comments, DOE 
may take one of three courses: Publishing final guidance, publishing 
revised draft guidance, or withdrawing the guidance. If the Department 
publishes revised draft guidance, interested parties have another 
opportunity to provide comments.
    DOE will conduct the public meeting in an informal, 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 meeting, after which a 
transcript will be placed on the DOE Web site and made available for 
purchase from the court reporter.
    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 room air conditioners, residential 
dishwashers, or residential clothes washers should contact Ms. Brenda 
Edwards at (202) 586-2945.

    Dated: Issued in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-11732 Filed 5-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P