[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 58 (Tuesday, March 26, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18253-18255]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06745]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2008-BT-STD-0005]
RIN 1904-AB57


Request for Information on Evaluating New Products for the 
Battery Chargers and External Power Supply Rulemaking

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

ACTION: Request for information (RFI) for proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requests information to 
help inform its current rulemaking in which it has proposed to set 
energy conservation standards for classes of battery chargers and 
external power supplies. Specifically, DOE seeks information on battery 
chargers that manufacturers have certified as compliant with the 
California Energy Commission (CEC) standards that became effective on 
February 1, 2013. DOE is actively reviewing battery chargers that have 
been certified as compliant with the CEC standards to determine if the 
analysis DOE prepared in support of the notice of proposed rulemaking 
for Battery Chargers and External Power Supplies published on March 27, 
2012, needs revision in light of the availability of these products. 
Based on testing data and information received from stakeholders, DOE 
may propose alternative energy conservation standard levels for battery 
chargers if it is determined that new energy conservation standards for 
battery chargers are technologically feasible and economically 
justified. If DOE determined that different standards could satisfy 
these criteria, DOE would issue a supplemental notice of proposed 
rulemaking in order to discuss any new findings, propose alternative 
energy conservation standard levels, and request stakeholder feedback. 
At this time, DOE welcomes written comments from the public on the 
issues brought up in this Request for Information or on any other topic 
within the scope of this rulemaking.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before May 
28, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested 
persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2011-BT-
STD-0005, by any of the following methods:
     Email: to BC&EPS_ECS@ee.doe.gov. Include EERE-2011-BT-
STD-0005 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Revisions to Energy 
Efficiency Enforcement Regulations, EERE-2011-BT-STD-0005, 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, 6th Floor, 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

[[Page 18254]]

docket number or RIN for this rulemaking.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or 
comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Direct requests for additional 
information may be sent to Mr. Jeremy Dommu, 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: 202-586-9870. Email: battery_chargers_and_external_power_supplies@ee.doe.gov or Mr. Michael Kido, Esq., U.S. 
Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, (202) 586-8145, 
Michael.Kido@hq.doe.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Discussion
III. Public Participation

I. Introduction

    On March 27, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) proposing Federal energy 
conservation standards for battery chargers and external power supplies 
(BCEPS). 77 FR 18478. This proposal, however, came after the California 
Energy Commission (CEC) had issued its own standards for battery 
charger systems on January 12, 2012, which took effect on February 1, 
2013.\1\ There is some overlap between the classes of battery chargers 
affected by the CEC rule and those classes of battery chargers that DOE 
is proposing to regulate. Additionally, the standards proposed by DOE 
differ from the ones issued by the CEC, with some being more stringent 
and others being less stringent than the CEC standards. Pursuant to the 
Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (EPCA), DOE 
performs a robust analysis to determine whether potential new or 
amended energy conservation standards that DOE prescribes for certain 
products, such as battery chargers, are designed to achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and 
economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)). While the analysis 
performed in support of the NOPR determined that the proposed standards 
would achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is 
technologically feasible and economically justified, DOE is interested 
in determining if revisions to its analysis are necessary now that 
manufacturers have begun complying with CEC standards that are more 
stringent than DOE's proposed energy conservation standards for some 
product classes of battery chargers.
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    \1\ http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/battery_chargers/.
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II. Discussion

    DOE is particularly interested in the effect the CEC standards have 
on the market for battery chargers within DOE's product classes 2 
through 6, as DOE's proposed standards are lower than the equivalent 
CEC standards for these product classes. Under EPCA, any standards that 
DOE sets will preempt CEC's standards once those Federal standards 
become effective. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(ii) (prescribing specific 
application for the preemption of State and local standards for, among 
other products, battery chargers and external power supplies). Table 1 
compares the Candidate Standard Levels (CSLs) proposed in the NOPR to 
the CSLs closest to the CEC standards for each product class. Further 
details on each product class can be found in the NOPR for battery 
chargers and external power supplies. 77 FR 18478 (March 27, 2012).

        Table 1--CSLs Equivalent to California Proposed Standards
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                                                         CSL closest
         Product class           DOE proposed level   equivalent to CEC
                                                           standard
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1 (Low-Energy, Inductive).....  CSL 2..............  CSL 0.
2 (Low-Energy, Low-Voltage)...  CSL 1..............  CSL 2.
3 (Low-Energy, Medium-Voltage)  CSL 1..............  CSL 2.
4 (Low-Energy, High-Voltage)..  CSL 1..............  CSL 2.
5 (Medium-Energy, Low-Voltage)  CSL 2..............  CSL 3.
6 (Medium-Energy, High-         CSL 2..............  CSL 3.
 Voltage).
7 (High-Energy)...............  CSL 1..............  CSL 1.
8 (DC Input < 9 V)............  CSL 1..............  CSL 0.
10 (AC Output)................  CSL 3..............  CSL 3.
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    DOE is interested in learning information about how manufacturers 
are complying with the CEC standards, particularly with respect to the 
technologies that are being used. DOE is particularly interested in 
products contained within CEC's public database\2\ which contains a 
listing of products that meet the CEC standards. DOE has already 
identified several battery chargers in that list for further analysis. 
Thus far these products have included chargers in end use products such 
as wireless mouse devices, cordless phones, power tools, and cordless 
vacuums. Using the information sought in this notice, DOE plans to 
assess whether its current analyses need revision.
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    \2\ Available here: www.appliances.energy.ca.gov/.
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    If any new information is presented that was not previously 
considered by DOE in the NOPR, DOE may revise its analysis. If a 
revised analysis supports an alternative proposed energy conservation 
standards for certain product classes, DOE would issue a supplemental 
notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR). Following a SNOPR publication, 
stakeholders would have additional opportunity to provide comments to 
DOE.

III. Public Participation

A. Submission of Information

    DOE will accept comments in response to this RFI under the timeline 
provided in the DATES section. Comments submitted to the Department 
through the eRulemaking Portal or by email should be provided in 
WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, portable document format (PDF), or text 
file format. Those responding should avoid the use of special 
characters or any form

[[Page 18255]]

of encryption. No facsimiles will be accepted. Comments submitted in 
response to this notice will become a matter of public record and will 
be made publicly available.

B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Information

    For this RFI, DOE requests comments, information, and 
recommendations on the following topics for the purpose of determining 
if DOE should revise its NOPR analysis:
    1. DOE seeks comment on the product designs and technologies used 
by manufacturers to meet the CEC standards, as well as other changes 
made to the products since DOE's initial NOPR analysis.
    2. DOE seeks comment on the product costs incurred by manufactures 
to meet the CEC standards, including those related to engineering, 
design, manufacturing and product labeling.
    3. DOE seeks information on the impact of the CEC standards on 
manufacturer's supply chain. Specifically, DOE seeks information on 
whether manufacturers will continue to manufacture products that do not 
meet the CEC standards for sale outside California, while selling a 
separate product of similar utility and function compliant with CEC 
standards for sale in California
    4. DOE requests information on whether there are any types of 
products that have been discontinued from sale in California due to the 
CEC standards. DOE is specifically interested in whether these 
discontinued products offer consumer utility not offered by products 
compliant with the CEC standards.
    5. Finally, DOE seeks information from manufacturers on the 
potential costs and burdens of complying with a battery charger 
labeling requirement.
    DOE is also interested in comments on other relevant issues that 
participants believe would affect the proposed standards for battery 
chargers. DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by 
May 28, 2013, comments and information on matters addressed in this 
notice and on other matters relevant to DOE's consideration of the 
battery charger and external power supply rulemaking.
    After the close of the comment period, DOE will review the public 
comments and determine if any changes to the proposed standards for the 
battery charger and external power supply rulemaking are necessary and 
warranted.
    DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of 
the process for developing rulemakings. DOE actively encourages the 
participation and interaction of the public during the comment period 
in each stage of the rulemaking process. Interactions with and between 
members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and 
assist DOE in the rulemaking process. Anyone who wishes to be added to 
the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about 
this rulemaking should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945, or 
via email at Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 19, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2013-06745 Filed 3-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P