[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 104 (Wednesday, May 30, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31756-31758]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13099]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 429, 430, and 431

[Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-TP-0024]
RIN 1904-AC46


Energy Conservation Program: Alternative Efficiency Determination 
Methods and Alternative Rating Methods: 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 interested parties an opportunity to comment on 
DOE's proposed modifications to the regulations authorizing the use of 
alternative methods of determining energy efficiency or energy 
consumption of various consumer products and commercial equipment.

DATES: DOE will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, from 
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., in Washington, DC. DOE must receive requests to 
speak at the public meeting before 4:00 p.m., Friday, June 1, 2012. 
Participants seeking to present statements in person during the meeting 
must submit to DOE a signed original and an electronic copy of 
statements to be given at the public meeting before 4:00 p.m., Friday, 
June 1, 2012. Additionally, DOE plans to conduct the public meeting via 
webinar. Additional details regarding webinar registration will be 
posted on DOE's certification and enforcement Web page (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/certification_enforcement.html).

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

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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 Laura Barhydt, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, 
GC-32, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Phone: 
(202) 287-5772. Email: Laura.Barhydt@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (``EPCA'' or, in context, ``the 
Act'') sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy 
efficiency. Part A of Title III (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) provides for the 
Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than 
Automobiles. The National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA), 
Public Law 95-619, amended EPCA to add Part A-1 of Title III, which 
established an energy conservation program for certain industrial 
equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6311-6317) The Department of Energy (``DOE'') is 
charged with implementing these provisions.
    AEDMs and ARMs are computer modeling or mathematical tools that 
predict the performance of non-tested basic models. They are derived 
from mathematical models and engineering principles that govern the 
energy efficiency and energy consumption characteristics of a type of 
covered product. (In the context of this discussion, the term ``covered 
product'' applies both to consumer products and commercial equipment 
that are covered under EPCA.) These computer modeling and mathematical 
tools, when properly developed, can provide a relatively straight-
forward and reasonably accurate means to predict the energy usage or 
efficiency characteristics of a basic model of a given covered product.
    Where authorized by regulation, AEDMs and ARMs enable manufacturers 
to rate and certify their basic models by using the projected energy 
use or energy efficiency results derived from these simulation models, 
reducing the regulatory burden associated with testing.
    DOE has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and is holding this 
public meeting and webinar to provide interested parties an opportunity 
to comment on DOE's proposed modifications to the regulations 
authorizing the use of alternative methods of determining energy 
efficiency or energy consumption of various consumer products and 
commercial equipment. The complete Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is 
posted on DOE's certification and enforcement Web page (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/certification_enforcement.html).
    In particular, DOE is interested in receiving comments and views of 
interested parties concerning the following issues:
    1. DOE requests comment on its proposal not to add a pre-approval 
process for AEDMs and its proposal to no longer require pre-approval 
for use of an alternative rating method for residential central air 
conditioners and heat pumps.
    2. DOE requests comment on its proposal to expand the use of AEDMs 
to other commercial products.
    3. DOE requests comment on its proposal to require at least one 
basic model from each product class to be tested to substantiate the 
AEDM. Specifically, DOE requests comments from manufacturers as to 
whether additional clarification is needed for manufacturers of certain 
covered products to determine all the applicable product classes that 
would need to be tested to substantiate the AEDM. As part of these 
comments, the Department is interested in receiving feedback on how 
manufacturers currently develop any simulation tools to ensure they are 
applicable across a wide range of product classes.
    4. DOE seeks product specific comments on proposed overall and 
individual tolerance levels by product type. Specifically, DOE seeks 
data which show that the variability seen in the manufacturing 
processes, test instrumentation, and testing procedures are such that a 
different tolerance should be considered.
    5. DOE seeks comment on the criteria for selection of basic models 
and the number of basic models a manufacturer should be required to 
test for substantiation as well as whether the differences in testing 
requirements for distribution transformers are appropriate or 
necessary.
    6. DOE seeks comment on the appropriate course of action and the 
time to complete such steps when a model tested by DOE fails to meet 
its certified rating.
    7. DOE requests comment on the proposal to disallow the use of an 
AEDM if there is evidence that the mis-rating is willful and/or there 
are multiple instances of non-compliance.
    8. DOE requests comment on the necessity of requiring re-
substantiation when there is a change in standards or test procedure 
and requiring that AEDMs be re-substantiated with active models.

Public Participation

A. Attendance at Public Meeting

    The time, date, and location of the public meeting are provided in 
the DATES and ADDRESSES sections at the beginning of this document. 
Anyone who wants to attend the public meeting must notify Ms. Brenda 
Edwards at (202) 586-2945. Foreign nationals visiting DOE headquarters 
are subject to advance security screening procedures.

B. Procedure for Submitting Requests to Speak

    Any person who has an interest in the topics addressed in this 
notice, or who is a representative of a group or class of persons that 
has an interest in these issues, may request an opportunity to make an 
oral presentation at the public meeting. Such persons may hand-deliver 
requests to speak to the address shown in the ADDRESSES section at the 
beginning of this notice between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Requests may also be sent by 
mail or email to: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, or Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov. Persons 
who wish to speak should include in their request a computer diskette 
or CD in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or text (ASCII) file format 
that briefly describes the nature of their interest in this rulemaking 
and the topics they wish to discuss. Such persons should also provide a 
daytime telephone number where they can be reached.
    DOE requests that those persons who are scheduled to speak submit a 
copy of their statements at least one week prior to the public meeting. 
DOE may permit any person who cannot supply an advance copy of this 
statement to participate, if that person has made alternative 
arrangements with the Building Technologies Program in advance. When 
necessary, the request to give an oral presentation should ask for such 
alternative arrangements.

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C. Conduct of Public Meeting

    DOE will designate a DOE official to preside at the public meeting 
and may also employ a professional facilitator to aid discussion. The 
public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference style. The 
meeting will not be a judicial or evidentiary public hearing, but DOE 
will conduct it in accordance with section 336 of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 
6306). Discussion of proprietary information, costs or prices, market 
share, or other commercial matters regulated by U.S. anti-trust laws is 
not permitted.
    DOE reserves the right to schedule the order of presentations and 
to establish the procedures governing the conduct of the public 
meeting. A court reporter will record the proceedings and prepare a 
transcript.
    At the public meeting, DOE will allow time for presentations by 
participants, and encourage all interested parties to share their views 
on issues affecting this rulemaking. Each participant may present a 
prepared general statement (within time limits determined by DOE) 
before the discussion of specific topics. Other participants may 
comment briefly on any general statements. At the end of the prepared 
statements on each specific topic, participants may clarify their 
statements briefly and comment on statements made by others. 
Participants should be prepared to answer questions from DOE and other 
participants. DOE representatives may also ask questions about other 
matters relevant to this rulemaking. The official conducting the public 
meeting will accept additional comments or questions from those 
attending, as time permits. The presiding official will announce any 
further procedural rules or modification of procedures needed for the 
proper conduct of the public meeting.
    DOE will make the entire record of this proposed rulemaking, 
including the transcript from the public meeting, available for 
inspection at the U.S. Department of Energy, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant 
Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024, (202) 586-2945, between 9:00 a.m. and 
4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Anyone may 
purchase a copy of the transcript from the transcribing reporter. 
Additionally, the record for this proposed rulemaking will be made 
available at www.regulations.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 24, 2012.
Timothy Unruh,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-13099 Filed 5-29-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P