[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 156 (Monday, August 13, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 48108-48110]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19766]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2012-STD-0020]
RIN 1904-AC77


Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Clothes Washers: 
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 Department of Energy (DOE) issues a framework document to 
consider whether to amend the energy and water conservation standards 
for commercial clothes washers. DOE also announces a public meeting to 
discuss and receive comments on issues that it will address in this 
rulemaking proceeding. DOE is initiating data collection for 
considering amended energy and water conservation standards for 
commercial clothes washers. DOE also encourages written comments on 
potential amended standards, including comments on the issues 
identified in the framework document. The framework document, which is 
intended to inform stakeholders and facilitate the rulemaking process, 
is available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/clothes_washers.html.

DATES: DOE will hold a public meeting on September 24, 2012, from 9 
a.m. to 12 p.m. in Washington, DC. 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 4:00 p.m., September 10, 2012. Written comments 
are welcome, especially following the public meeting, and should be 
submitted by October 12, 2012.

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. Please note that foreign nationals 
participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security 
screening procedures. If a foreign national wishes to participate in 
the public meeting, please inform DOE of this fact as soon as possible 
by contacting Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 so that the 
necessary procedures can be completed.
    Stakeholders may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-
2012-STD- 0020 and/or Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1904-AC77, by 
any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: CommClothesWashers-2012-STD-0020@ee.doe.gov Include 
docket number EERE-2012-STD-0020 and/or RIN 1904-AC77 in the subject 
line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on 
a CD. It is not necessary to include printed copies.
     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 paper original. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It 
is not necessary to include printed copies.
     Docket: The docket is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include Federal Register notices, 
framework document, notice of proposed rulemaking, public meeting 
attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting 
documents/materials throughout the rulemaking process. The docket can 
be accessed by searching for Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-STD-0020 at the 
regulations.gov Web site.
    For further information on how to submit or review public comments 
or view hard copies of the docket in the Resource Room, contact Ms. 
Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Mr. Stephen Witkowski, 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-
7463. Email: stephen.witkowski@ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General 
Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Phone: (202) 586-7796, email: elizabeth.kohl@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction and Legal Authority
II. Test Procedures
III. Energy Conservation Standards

I. Introduction and Legal Authority

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) established 
an energy conservation program for consumer products. (42 U.S.C. 6291-
6309) The National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 amended EPCA 
to add Part C of Title III, which established an energy conservation 
program for certain industrial equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6311-6317) (Part C 
was re-designated Part A-1 on codification in the U.S. Code, for 
editorial reasons.) The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005), Public 
Law 109-58, further amended

[[Page 48109]]

EPCA to expand DOE's energy conservation program to include commercial 
clothes washers and other commercial equipment.
    EPACT 2005 established the first energy conservation standards for 
commercial clothes washers, requiring commercial clothes washers 
manufactured on or after January 1, 2007 to have a modified energy 
factor (MEF) of at least 1.26 and a water factor (WF) of no more than 
9.5. (42 U.S.C. 6313(e)(1); 10 CFR 431.156) EPACT 2005 further directed 
DOE to conduct two rulemaking cycles to determine whether to amend 
these standards. EPCA required completion of the first rulemaking by 
January 1, 2010, and DOE must complete the second rulemaking by January 
1, 2015. (42 U.S.C. 6313(e)).
    DOE completed the first rulemaking when it issued a final rule to 
amend the standards for commercial clothes washers on December 18, 
2009. (75 FR 1122, January 8, 2010). Compliance with the amended 
standards is required as of January 8, 2013. The January 2010 final 
rule established revised standards for two separate product classes: 
top-loading and front-loading commercial clothes washers. These 
standards were based on the MEF and WF metrics.
    This current rulemaking will satisfy the requirement to publish the 
second final rule by January 1, 2015. Compliance with any amended 
standards would be required three years after the date of publication 
of the final standards.

II. Test Procedures

    EPCA requires that CCWs use the same test procedures as residential 
clothes washers. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(8)) DOE published a final rule 
amending its clothes washer test procedures on March 7, 2012. (``March 
2012 final rule''). (77 FR 13888) The March 2012 final rule amended the 
test procedure at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J1 and 
established a new test procedure at Appendix J2. Manufacturers of both 
commercial and residential clothes washers will be required to use the 
new Appendix J2 on the compliance date of the amended standards for 
residential clothes washers, March 7, 2015. (The amended standards for 
residential clothes washers were established by a direct final rule. If 
DOE withdraws the direct final rule on the basis of adverse comments 
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(p)(4), a different compliance date may be 
established in subsequent rulemaking action for residential clothes 
washers.)
    The new Appendix J2 contains provisions for measuring standby mode 
and off mode energy use, which is factored into a new efficiency 
metric, integrated modified energy factor (IMEF). Appendix J2 also 
establishes a new water efficiency metric, integrated water factor 
(IWF), which provides a more representative measure of water 
consumption by incorporating water consumption from all the temperature 
cycles; in contrast, the WF metric is based on the water consumption of 
only the cold wash cycle.
    Appendix J2 retains provisions for calculating MEF and WF; however, 
because of certain changes to the active mode provisions of the test 
procedure, MEF and WF calculated using Appendix J2 will differ from MEF 
and WF calculated for the same clothes washer using the current test 
procedure at Appendix J1. The current standard levels for commercial 
clothes washers are based on MEF and WF as measured using Appendix J1, 
and products that minimally comply with the standard as measured using 
Appendix J1 would likely not comply if measured using Appendix J2.

III. Energy Conservation Standards

    During this rulemaking, DOE will determine whether to further amend 
the energy conservation standards for commercial clothes washers. (42 
U.S.C. 6313(e)). DOE will also consider developing correction factors 
that would be used to determine compliance with the MEF/WF standards 
effective January 8, 2013 when manufacturers are required to measure 
energy and water consumption using Appendix J2. Such correction factors 
would be used until compliance with any amended standards developed in 
this rulemaking was required.
    EPCA requires that any new or amended energy conservation standard 
be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy or water 
efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. 
To determine whether a standard is economically justified, EPCA 
requires that DOE determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed 
its burdens by considering, to the greatest extent practicable, the 
following:
    (1) The economic impact of the standard on the manufacturers and 
consumers of the affected products;
    (2) The savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average 
life of the product compared to any increases in the initial cost, or 
maintenance expense;
    (3) The total projected amount of energy and water (if applicable) 
savings likely to result directly from the imposition of the standard;
    (4) Any lessening of the utility or the performance of the products 
likely to result from the imposition of the standard;
    (5) The impact of any lessening of competition, as determined in 
writing by the Attorney General, that is likely to result from the 
imposition of the standard;
    (6) The need for national energy and water conservation; and
    (7) Other factors the Secretary considers relevant.
    (42 U.S.C. 6295 (o)(2)(B)(i) and 42 U.S.C. 6316(a))
    To begin the required rulemaking process, DOE has prepared a 
framework document to explain the issues, analyses, and processes that 
it is considering for the development of amended energy conservation 
standards for commercial clothes washers. The framework document is 
available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/clothes_washers.html.
    Additionally, DOE will hold a public meeting to focus on the 
analyses and issues described in the framework document. DOE encourages 
anyone who wishes to participate in the public meeting to view the 
framework document and to be prepared to discuss its contents. 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 this equipment. DOE 
welcomes all interested parties, regardless of whether they participate 
in the public meeting, to submit in writing comments and information on 
matters addressed in the framework document and on other matters 
relevant to consideration of standards for commercial clothes washers.
    DOE will conduct the public meeting in an informal conference 
style. A court reporter will record the minutes of the meeting. The 
discussion will not include proprietary information, costs or prices, 
market shares, or other commercial matters regulated by U.S. antitrust 
laws.
    After the public meeting and the expiration of the period for 
submitting written statements, 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 the rulemaking process for 
commercial clothes washers

[[Page 48110]]

should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 31, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-19766 Filed 8-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P