[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 245 (Thursday, December 20, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 75400-75402]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30681]


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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. 245 / Thursday, December 20, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 75400]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 431

[Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-NOA-0037]
RIN 1904-AC84


Labeling Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Equipment

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

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

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SUMMARY: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act as amended prescribes 
energy conservation standards for certain commercial and industrial 
equipment, and requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to administer an 
energy conservation program for the equipment, including the 
development of labeling requirements. In this notice, DOE requests 
information from interested parties regarding the potential for 
establishing labeling requirements for covered commercial and 
industrial equipment, including information about the technical and 
economic feasibility of labeling such equipment, the extent to which 
labeling would assist consumers in making purchasing decisions, the 
potential for significant energy savings resulting from labeling, the 
potential content and format of prospective labels for each type of 
equipment, the ideal location of placement for any such labels, and 
prospective burdens on manufacturers associated with labeling of 
covered equipment. Additional input and suggestions relevant to 
labeling of commercial and industrial equipment are also welcome.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested by March 20, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may submit comments in writing, 
identified by docket number EERE-2012-BT-NOA-0037, by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: Labeling-RFI-2012-NOA-0037@ee.doe.gov. Include 
EERE-2012-BT-NOA-0037 and/or RIN 1904-AC84 in the subject line of the 
message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Request for Information 
for Commercial and Industrial Pumps, EERE-2012-BT-NOA-0037 and/or RIN 
1904-AC84, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one signed paper original.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Suite 600, 950 L'Enfant 
Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit 
one signed paper original.
     Instructions: All submissions received must include the 
agency name and docket number.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, visit the U.S. Department of Energy, Resource Room 
of the Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Suite 
600, Washington, DC, 20024, (202) 586-2945, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please call Ms. 
Brenda Edwards at the above telephone number for additional information 
regarding visiting the Resource Room.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Lucas Adin, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies Program, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1317. Email: Lucas.Adin@ee.doe.gov.
    In the Office of General Counsel, Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. 
Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 
586-7796. Email: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.), 
sets forth various provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. 
Part C of Title III includes measures to improve the energy efficiency 
of commercial and industrial equipment, the subject of this notice.\1\ 
See 42 U.S.C. 6311-6316.
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    \1\ Part C was re-designated Part A-1 on codification of the 
U.S. Code for editorial reasons.
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Covered Equipment

    EPCA defines the types of commercial and industrial equipment that 
are ``covered equipment,'' which includes the following: Electric 
motors and pumps; commercial HVAC and water heating equipment (small, 
large, and very large commercial package air conditioning and heating 
equipment, packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal 
heat pumps, warm air furnaces packaged boilers, storage water heaters, 
instantaneous water heaters, and unfired hot water storage tanks); 
commercial refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator-freezers; 
automatic commercial icemakers; commercial clothes washers; and walk-in 
coolers and walk-in freezers. (42 U.S.C. 6311(A)) The Energy Policy Act 
of 1992, which amended EPCA, added high-intensity discharge lamps, 
distribution transformers, and small electric motors as covered 
equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6317).

Evaluation of Labeling for Commercial and Industrial Equipment

    EPCA requires DOE to prescribe labeling rules for any class of 
covered equipment for which DOE has prescribed test procedures under 
section 6314. 42 U.S.C. 6315(a). DOE cannot, however, prescribe a 
labeling rule unless it has determined that labeling would be 
technologically and economically feasible with respect to the class of 
covered equipment addressed by the rule, that significant energy 
savings would result from such labeling, and that labeling would be 
likely to assist consumers in making purchasing decisions. 42 U.S.C. 
6315(h).
    EPCA further specifies certain aspects of equipment labeling that 
DOE must consider in any rulemaking establishing labeling requirements 
for covered equipment. At a minimum, such labels must include the 
energy efficiency of the equipment to which the rulemaking applies, as 
tested under the prescribed DOE test procedure. Such rule may also 
require the disclosure of estimated annual operating costs and energy 
use determined in accordance with the prescribed DOE test procedure. In 
addition, the labeling rulemaking may

[[Page 75401]]

consider the addition of other specifications for equipment labels if 
DOE determines that the information is likely to assist purchasers in 
making purchasing decisions. These specification include: Directions 
for the display of the label; a requirement to display on the label 
additional information related to energy efficiency or energy 
consumption, which may include instructions for maintenance and repair 
of the covered equipment, as necessary to provide adequate information 
to purchasers; and requirements that printed matter displayed or 
distributed with the equipment at the point of sale also include the 
information required by the labeling rule to be displayed on the label. 
42 U.S.C. 6315(b), (c).
    In addition to these general requirements, EPCA also has specific 
requirements that apply to any labeling rule prescribed for certain 
types of covered equipment. Specific requirements are established for 
electric motors, for which DOE has already prescribed labeling 
requirements, as well as for commercial HVAC and water heating 
equipment, commercial refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and 
freezers, automatic commercial ice makers, commercial clothes washers, 
and walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. These equipment-specific 
provisions require that any labeling rule prescribed by DOE for covered 
equipment require labels to display the energy efficiency of the 
equipment on the permanent nameplate affixed to the product, require 
that the manufacturer prominently display the energy efficiency of the 
equipment in new equipment catalogues used to advertise the equipment, 
and include any other markings that DOE determines necessary solely to 
facilitate enforcement of the applicable energy conservation standards 
prescribed for the equipment. 42 U.S.C. 6315(d), (e).
    To begin the process of considering labeling requirements for 
covered equipment, DOE is seeking information from manufacturers and 
other stakeholders regarding each of these items, as well as any other 
aspect of prospective labeling requirements that may affect equipment 
covered by such rules. Specific questions for stakeholders are listed 
in section II.2 of this notice. DOE understands that determining the 
specific impacts of a labeling requirement for a given type of covered 
equipment may be difficult in the absence of a specific proposal. In 
such cases, DOE requests that commenters consider, at a minimum, the 
prospective impacts if DOE were to prescribe labeling rules that comply 
with the most basic requirements set forth in 42 U.S.C. 6315. DOE is 
also interested in all aspects of prospective labeling requirements, 
including benefits that may be realized from extending requirements 
beyond the minimum EPCA requirements, with the understanding that such 
estimates may be speculative.
    Interested parties will also have further opportunities to provide 
input on any specific labeling regulations proposed by DOE. EPCA 
requires that DOE provide a public comment period of at least 45 days 
and allow interested parties to present oral and written data, views 
and arguments on any proposed labeling rule. 42 U.S.C. 6315(g).

Other Regulatory Programs

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prescribes labeling requirements 
for certain covered consumer products. 42 U.S.C. 6294. While the FTC 
does not have any specific obligation under EPCA to set labeling 
requirements for covered commercial and industrial equipment, in the 
absence of a labeling rule prescribed by DOE for any such equipment, 
the FTC would retain authority to set such requirements. 42 U.S.C. 
6315(k). In addition, as required by EPCA, DOE will consult with and 
obtain the written views of the FTC prior to prescribing a new labeling 
requirement for covered equipment. 42 U.S.C. 6315(f).
    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) added provisions to Part 
A of EPCA related to energy conservation standards and test procedures 
for refrigerated beverage vending machines, illuminated exit signs, low 
voltage dry-type distribution transformers, traffic signal modules and 
pedestrian modules, and commercial prerinse spray valves (42 U.S.C. 
6295(v), (w), (y), (z), and (dd)) and definitions of these products (42 
U.S.C. 6291). DOE or the FTC may establish labeling requirements for 
these products after a test procedure has been prescribed. 42 U.S.C. 
6294(a)(5). DOE also seeks comment on appropriate labeling requirements 
for these products in section II.2. Similarly, the Energy Independence 
and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) added metal halide lamp fixtures to 
Part A of EPCA at 42 U.S.C. 6295(hh). The FTC establishes labeling 
requirements for metal halide lamp fixtures. 42 U.S.C. 6294(a)(2)(C).

Compliance

    Any labeling rule that DOE prescribes for covered industrial 
equipment would not apply to equipment manufactured before the 
effective date of any final rule. Compliance with any final labeling 
rule would not be required until 3 months following the publication of 
any final rule. If DOE determines that additional time is needed for 
compliance with the prescribed rules, the compliance date may be 
extended to 6 months after the date of publication. 42 U.S.C. 6315(j) 
and 42 U.S.C. 6315(g)(2).

Public Participation

1. Submission of Information

    DOE will accept information and data in response to this Request 
for Information as provided in the DATES section above. Information 
submitted to DOE by email should be provided in WordPerfect, Microsoft 
Word, PDF, or text file format. Those responding should avoid the use 
of special characters or any form of encryption, and wherever possible, 
comments should include the electronic signature of the author. 
Comments submitted to DOE by mail or hand delivery/courier should 
include one signed original paper copy. No telefacsimiles will be 
accepted. Comments submitted in response to this notice will become a 
matter of public record and will be made publicly available.

2. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Information

    DOE welcomes comments on issues related to the labeling of 
commercial and industrial products. DOE is particularly interested in 
receiving comments from interested parties on the following issues:
    (1) The economic and technological feasibility of prospective 
labeling requirements for each type of covered equipment;
    (2) The extent to which labeling requirements for each type of 
covered equipment would assist consumers in making purchasing 
decisions;
    (3) The likelihood that labeling requirements prescribed for each 
type of covered equipment would result in additional energy savings and 
the significance of any such prospective energy savings;
    (4) Information that DOE should consider requiring for display on a 
prospective label for each type of covered equipment addressed in this 
notice, beyond that which would be required in order to meet the 
minimum requirements of EPCA;
    (5) Factors that DOE should consider regarding size, format, and 
placement of labels for each type of covered equipment;
    (6) Factors that DOE should consider regarding enforcement of any 
prospective labeling requirements for each type of covered equipment.

[[Page 75402]]

    (7) Appropriate labeling requirements for refrigerated beverage 
vending machines, illuminated exit signs, low voltage dry-type 
distribution transformers, traffic signal modules and pedestrian 
modules, and commercial prerinse spray valves.

    Issued in Washington, DC, December 14, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-30681 Filed 12-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P