[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 204 (Tuesday, October 22, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 62494-62495]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24612]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket Number EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045]
RIN 1904-AC87


Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for 
Ceiling Fans

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

ACTION: Request for information.

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SUMMARY: Through this Request for Information (RFI), the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) seeks certain information to help inform its 
current rulemaking to consider setting energy conservation standards 
for ceiling fans. Specifically, DOE seeks information on the 
interaction between ceiling fan and air conditioning usage. To inform 
interested parties and to facilitate this process, DOE has identified 
several related issues in this RFI on which DOE particularly seeks to 
receive comment and data from stakeholders and the public.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before 
November 21, 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-2012-BT-
STD-0045 and/or regulatory identification number (RIN) 1904-AC87, by 
any of the following methods:
     Email: CeilingFanLightKits2012STD0045@ee.doe.gov. Include 
docket number EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045 and/or RIN 1904-AC87 in the subject 
line of the message. All comments should clearly identify the name, 
address, and, if appropriate, organization of the commenter. Submit 
electronic comments in Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file 
format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of 
encryption.
     Postal Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-2J, Framework 
Document for Ceiling Fans and Ceiling Fan Light Kits (Docket No. EERE-
2012-BT-STD-0045; RIN 1904-AC87), 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a 
compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed 
copies.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Sixth Floor, 950 L'Enfant 
Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If 
possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not 
necessary to include printed copies.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or RIN for this rulemaking. No telefacsimilies 
(faxes) will be accepted.
    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: Requests for additional information 
may be sent to Ms. Lucy deButts, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of 
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, 
EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Telephone: (202) 287-1604. Email: ceiling_fans@ee.doe.gov.
    Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9507. Email: Eric.Stas@hq.doe.gov.
    For information on how to submit or review comments, contact Ms. 
Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency 
and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-2J, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone (202) 
586-2945. Email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    Title III, Part B \1\ 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), sets forth various provisions designed to improve energy 
efficiency and established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer 
Products Other Than Automobiles.\2\ The Energy Policy Act of 2005 
(EPACT 2005), Public Law 109-58, amended EPCA and provided in relevant 
part that DOE may establish energy conservation standards for ceiling 
fans. 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff).
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was redesignated as Part A.
    \2\ All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute 
as amended through the American Energy Manufacturing Technical 
Corrections Act (AEMTCA), Public Law 112-210 (Dec. 18, 2012).
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    On March 15, 2013, DOE published in the Federal Register a notice 
of public meeting and availability of the ``Energy Conservation 
Standards Rulemaking Framework Document for Ceiling Fans and Ceiling 
Fan Light Kits'' (Framework Document), with a public comment period 
running through April 29, 2013. 78 FR 16443. The Framework Document 
describes the approaches DOE anticipates using to evaluate energy 
conservation standards for ceiling fans. On May 2, 2013, DOE published 
a notice in the Federal Register extending the comment period on the 
Framework Document until June 14, 2013. 78 FR 25626.
    During the Framework Document comment period, ceiling fan 
manufacturers and their industry association stated that ceiling fans 
are inherently energy-saving appliances because they reduce the use of 
air conditioning. (American Lighting Association, No. 39 at p. 1) \3\

[[Page 62495]]

Furthermore, manufacturers expressed concern that if DOE sets overly 
stringent standards for ceiling fans, resulting increases in product 
cost could result in decreased shipments and a corresponding increase 
in air conditioner use by consumers, thereby potentially negating the 
energy savings of the current rulemaking. (Hunter Fan Company, No. 37 
at p. 2)
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    \3\ A notation in this form provides a reference for information 
that is in the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop energy 
conservation standards for ceiling fans and ceiling fan light kits 
(Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045), which is maintained at 
www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement 
preceding the reference was made by American Lighting Association, 
and the statement appears at page 1 of document number 39 in the 
docket.
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    In light of these comments, DOE requests information and data from 
the public regarding the interaction between ceiling fans and air 
conditioning products. Although DOE welcomes any relevant data on this 
topic, section II (Discussion) presents questions on which the agency 
is particularly interested in receiving public input.

II. Discussion

    DOE seeks information from interested parties on the following 
topics regarding the interaction between consumer use of ceiling fans 
and air-conditioning products. Specifically, DOE seeks information and 
data on how use of a ceiling fan affects the way that consumers set the 
thermostat of their central air conditioner or the frequency of use of 
a room air conditioner. Related questions include:
     What percentage of homes have a ceiling fan, a central air 
conditioner, room air conditioner(s), more than one of these products, 
or none of these products?
     What percentage of consumers who own both a ceiling fan 
and an air conditioner set the thermostat differently when a ceiling 
fan is operating than when a ceiling fan is not operating?
     What percentage of consumers who own both a ceiling fan 
and an air conditioner leave the thermostat at the same setting 
regardless of ceiling fan operation?
     For those consumers that do adjust their thermostat due to 
a ceiling fan, how much do they adjust the thermostat, and do they 
adjust it warmer or colder?
    DOE seeks information and data on how use of a ceiling fan affects 
the operating duration, operating time (e.g., time of day or year), and 
energy consumption of an air conditioner. Related questions include:
     Do consumers with both a ceiling fan and an air 
conditioner operate their air conditioner for a different number of 
hours than consumers that have an air conditioner but do not have a 
ceiling fan? If so, what is the difference in operating duration?
     Do consumers with both a ceiling fan and an air 
conditioner operate their air conditioner at different times of day or 
in different months than consumers that have an air conditioner but do 
not have a ceiling fan? If so, how do these patterns differ?
     Based on the results to the previous questions, do 
consumers with both a ceiling fan and an air conditioner use a 
different amount of energy for air conditioning than consumers that 
have an air conditioner but do not have a ceiling fan? If so, what is 
the difference in energy consumption? Does this difference in energy 
consumption vary by region?
     For the above questions, are there differences between 
consumers with central air conditioners and consumers with room air 
conditioners?
    DOE seeks information on how ceiling fan ownership affects 
consumers' decisions about purchasing air conditioning equipment. For 
example:
     How much more or less likely are consumers to own or 
purchase an air conditioner if they already have a ceiling fan?
     How much more or less likely are consumers to own or 
purchase a ceiling fan if they already have an air conditioner?
     Do consumers with a ceiling fan purchase different numbers 
or sizes of air conditioners than consumers without a ceiling fan? If 
so, how do these quantities and sizes vary?
     At what price point would consumers stop purchasing 
ceiling fans and purchase/use air conditioners instead?

III. Public Participation

    DOE is also interested in input on other relevant issues that 
participants believe would affect energy conservation standards 
applicable to ceiling fans. DOE invites all interested parties to 
submit in writing by November 21, 2013, comments, information, and data 
on matters addressed in this notice and on other related matters 
relevant to DOE's consideration of energy conservation standards for 
ceiling fans.
    After the close of the comment period, DOE will begin collecting 
data, conducting the analyses, and reviewing the public comments. These 
actions will be taken to aid in the development of energy conservation 
standards for ceiling fans. DOE will remain interested in these issues 
after the close of the comment period on this RFI, and any further 
comments, information, and data submitted at later stages of the 
rulemaking will be considered in the notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NOPR).
    DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of 
the process for developing energy conservation standards. DOE actively 
encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the 
comment period at 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 September 30, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2013-24612 Filed 10-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P