[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 40 (Friday, February 28, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11345-11350]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04423]


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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. 79, No. 40 / Friday, February 28, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 11345]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-DET-0035]
RIN 1904-AD04


Energy Conservation Program: Proposed Determination of Computer 
and Battery Backup Systems as a Covered Consumer Product

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

ACTION: Proposed determination.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the ``Department'') has 
determined tentatively that computer and battery backup systems 
(hereafter referred to as ``computer systems'') qualify as a covered 
product under Part A of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation 
Act (EPCA), as amended. This notice supersedes DOE's previous proposed 
determination of coverage relating to computers, and expands the scope 
of coverage to include computer systems. DOE has determined that 
computer systems meet the criteria for covered products because 
classifying products of such type as covered products is necessary or 
appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA, and the average U.S. 
household energy use for computer systems is likely to exceed 100 
kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.

DATES: DOE will accept written comments, data, and information on this 
notice, but no later than March 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket 
number EERE-2013-BT-DET-0035, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: Computers2013DET0035@ee.doe.gov. Include EERE-2013-
BT-DET-0035 and/or RIN 1904-AD04 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, Proposed Determination 
for computers, EERE-2013-BT-DET-0035 and/or RIN 1904-AD04, 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 Office, 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 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:
Mr. Jeremy Dommu, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 
(202) 586-9870. Email: DOE_computer_standards@ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Celia Sher, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Telephone: (202) 287-6122. Email: Celia.Sher@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On July 12, 2013, DOE published a proposed determination (July 2013 
Notice) in the Federal Register (78 FR 41873) tentatively determining 
that computers qualify as a covered product under Part A of Title III 
of EPCA, as amended. The Department is superseding the July 2013 Notice 
with this updated notice.

II. Authority

    Title III of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6291, et seq.) sets forth a variety of 
provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. Part A of Title III 
of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) established the ``Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles,'' which covers 
consumer products and certain commercial products (hereafter referred 
to as ``covered products'').\1\ In addition to specifying a list of 
covered residential and commercial products, EPCA contains provisions 
that enable the Secretary of Energy to classify additional types of 
consumer products as covered products. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(20)) DOE may 
prescribe test procedures for any product it classifies as a ``covered 
product.'' (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)) For a given product to be classified as 
a covered product, the Secretary must determine that:
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
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    (1) Classifying the product as a covered product is necessary for 
the purposes of EPCA; and
    (2) The average annual per-household energy use by products of such 
type is likely to exceed 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. (42 U.S.C. 
6292(b)(1))
    For the Secretary to prescribe an energy conservation standard 
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p) for covered products added 
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1), he must also determine that:
    (1) The average household energy use of the products has exceeded 
150 kWh per household for a 12-month period;
    (2) The aggregate 12-month energy use of the products has exceeded 
4.2 TWh;
    (3) Substantial improvement in energy efficiency is technologically 
feasible; and
    (4) Application of a labeling rule under 42 U.S.C. 6294 is unlikely 
to be sufficient to induce manufacturers to produce, and consumers and 
other persons to purchase, covered products of such type (or class) 
that achieve the maximum energy efficiency that is technologically 
feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1)).
    If DOE issues a final determination that computer systems are a 
covered product, DOE will consider test procedures and energy 
conservation standards for them. DOE will determine if computer systems 
satisfy the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1) during the course of any 
energy conservation standards rulemaking.

III. Discussion

    In the July 2013 Notice, DOE tentatively determined that computers 
qualify as a covered product. DOE further proposed that a definition 
for computers be added to the Code of Federal Regulations to clarify 
coverage

[[Page 11346]]

of any potential test procedure or energy conservation standard. 
Accordingly, DOE proposed the following definition of computers and 
sought comment from interested parties:
    A consumer product which performs logical operations and processes 
data. A computer is composed of, at a minimum: (a) A central processing 
unit (CPU) to perform operations, or the ability to function as a 
client gateway to a server which acts as a computational CPU; (b) user 
input devices such as a keyboard, mouse, or touchpad; and (c) an 
integrated display screen and/or the ability to support an external 
display screen to output information. 78 FR 41874.
    DOE also proposed a notice to tentatively cover computer servers 
(servers) as a covered product. 78 FR 41868 (July 12, 2013). In that 
notice, DOE proposed that servers be defined as:
    A computer that provides services and manages networked resources 
for client devices (e.g., desktop computers, notebook computers, thin 
clients, wireless devices, PDAs, IP telephones, other computer servers, 
or other network devices). A computer server is primarily accessed via 
network connections, versus directly connected user input devices such 
as a keyboard or mouse. 78 FR 41870.
    By separate action published elsewhere in today's Federal Register, 
DOE is withdrawing its proposed rule to determine servers as a covered 
product. Upon further consideration, DOE believes that computers and 
servers share numerous technical and physical characteristics which 
would make it more appropriate to cover them together as a single 
covered product. Because battery backup functions are closely tied to 
computers and servers, DOE believes that backup batteries such as 
uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), which provide emergency power in 
case of failure, should also be included in the covered product to 
which this notice relates. Thus, DOE is proposing that the name of the 
covered product in this notice be changed to ``computer and battery 
backup systems'' and be defined as:
    A consumer product whose primary function is to perform logical 
operations and process data, or equipment whose primary function is to 
maintain continuity of load power for such products in case of input 
power failure.
    While DOE recognizes that this revised definition further broadens 
the scope of the covered product that this notice relates, DOE believes 
that is necessary given the increasingly networked environment in which 
these products operate. For example, the increased use of tablets, 
smart phones and cloud services has shifted energy use from personal 
computers like desktop and notebook computers to servers (e.g. more 
disc storage in servers, less disc storage in desktop computers). 
Consumers commonly use battery backups for their computers to allow 
users to save all data in the event of power loss. Some servers 
integrate these backup batteries within the server itself, and notebook 
computers contain their own battery systems to run when either not 
connected to mains power or in the event of a power loss. This revised 
definition would allow DOE to account for shifts in energy use between 
products, and also help to ensure that the covered product remains 
relevant as technology trends in computer systems advance. Based on 
DOE's revised definition for computer systems, DOE would consider 
consumer products, such as computers, servers, and UPSs, to be within 
the scope of coverage.
    While all of these consumer products are related, DOE recognizes 
that different test methods and efficiency metrics would be necessary 
to measure the energy consumption and energy efficiency of such 
products. As such, DOE is considering dividing computer systems into 
separate product classes based on the type of energy used, the 
capacity, and any other performance-related feature that justifies 
different standard levels, such as features affecting consumer utility. 
(42 U.S.C. 6295(q)) DOE will propose specific definitions for product 
classes as part of the efficiency standards rulemaking. As suggested by 
the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), DOE will look to 
harmonize the definitions of each potential product class with already 
established industry terms and definitions (ITI, No. 0035 at p.1).
    DOE notes that the scope for the test procedure and standards 
rulemakings that DOE initiates may not cover all products that would 
otherwise meet the definition of computer systems. DOE further 
clarifies that the proposed definition of computer systems only covers 
those products whose primary function is to perform logical operations 
and process data, or whose primary function is to maintain continuity 
of load power in case of input power failure.
    DOE received comment from Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco), ITI, the 
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and Telecommunications Industry 
Association (TIA) on DOE's proposed definition of ``server'' in its 
July 12, 2013 proposed rule to determine servers as a covered product 
(78 FR 41868). Specifically, these parties commented that the proposal 
improperly attempts to combine a variety of consumer products, which 
DOE has authority to regulate, with entirely dissimilar commercial 
products that DOE does not currently have the authority to regulate. 
(EERE-2013-BT-DET-0034, Cisco, No. 0017 at p. 3) (EERE-2013-BT-DET-
0034, ITI, No. 0018 at p. 1) (EERE-2013-BT-DET-0034, CEA, No. 0015 at 
p. 3) (EERE-2013-BT-DET-0034, TIA, No. 0019 at p. 2) In light of these 
comments, DOE clarifies that the proposed scope of coverage for this 
rulemaking relates only to consumer products. Thus, this rule applies 
to those computer systems that are of a type which, to any significant 
extent, are distributed into commerce for personal use or consumption. 
See 42 U.S.C. 6291(1). These consumer products can be distinguished 
from commercial/industrial equipment, which are of a type not sold for 
consumer use. See 42 U.S.C. 6311(2)(A). DOE is seeking assistance from 
interested parties in identifying those computer systems that are of a 
type that make them a consumer product as distinguished from those that 
are objectively commercial.

IV. Evaluation of Computer and Battery Backup Systems as a Covered 
Product Subject to Energy Conservation Standards

    The following sections describe DOE's evaluation of whether 
computer systems fulfill the criteria for being added as a covered 
product pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1). As stated previously, DOE may 
classify a consumer product as a covered product if (1) classifying 
products of such type as covered products is necessary and appropriate 
to carry out the purposes of EPCA; and (2) the average annual per-
household energy use by products of such type is likely to exceed 100 
kWh (or its Btu equivalent) per year.

A. Coverage Necessary or Appropriate to Carry Out Purposes of EPCA

    Coverage of computer systems is necessary or appropriate to carry 
out the purposes of EPCA, which include: (1) To conserve energy 
supplies through energy conservation programs, and, where necessary, 
the regulation of certain energy uses; and (2) to provide for improved 
energy efficiency of motor vehicles, major appliances, and certain 
other consumer products. (42 U.S.C. 6201) The aggregate energy use of 
computer systems is significant. For example, recent estimates of 
national electricity usage for computers alone are 30.3 billion kWh in 
the residential sector, and 31.3 billion kWh in the

[[Page 11347]]

commercial sector.\2\ For servers, total national electricity usage is 
estimated to be 26.5 billion kWh as a lower bound.\3\ The national 
energy use of UPSs is estimated to be at least 6.9 billion kWh.\4\ The 
penetration of computer systems in the residential sector is high, with 
63% of U.S. households owning a desktop computer, 65% of U.S. 
households owning a notebook, laptop, or netbook computer, and an 
installed base of 8.6 million UPSs in U.S. households.\5\ Coverage of 
computer systems will enable the conservation of energy supplies 
through both labeling programs and the regulation of computer systems 
energy efficiency. There is significant variation in the annual energy 
consumption of different models currently available for computers, 
servers, and UPSs. Therefore, technologies exist to reduce the energy 
consumption of computer systems.
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    \2\ Urban, B. et al., 2011. Energy Consumption of Consumer 
Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2010. Prepared by the Fraunhofer Center 
for Sustainable Energy Systems for the Consumer Electronics 
Association; Zogg, R. et al., 2009. Energy Savings Potential and 
RD&D Opportunities for Commercial Building Appliances. Prepared by 
Navigant Consulting, Inc. for DOE.
    \3\ Koomey, J.G. 2011. Growth in Data Center Electricity Use 
2005 to 2010. Analytics Press.
    \4\ Zogg, R. et al., 2009. Energy Savings Potential and RD&D 
Opportunities for Commercial Building Appliances. Prepared by 
Navigant Consulting, Inc. for DOE; Roth, K.W. et al. 2007. 
Residential Miscellaneous Electric Loads: Energy Consumption 
Characterization and Savings Potential. Prepared by TIAX LLC for 
DOE.
    \5\ Consumer Electronics Association, 2013. 15th Annual CE 
Ownership and Market Potential Study; Urban, B. et al., 2011. Energy 
Consumption of Consumer Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2010. Prepared 
by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems for the 
Consumer Electronics Association; Roth, K.W. et al. 2007. 
Residential Miscellaneous Electric Loads: Energy Consumption 
Characterization and Savings Potential. Prepared by TIAX LLC for 
DOE.
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B. Average Household Energy Use

    DOE calculated average household energy use for computer systems, 
in households that use the product, based on data from published 
literature and under the assumption that computer systems contain at 
least one computer or server, and possibly a UPS as well. The average 
annual energy use for a desktop computer was estimated to be 220 kWh/
yr, and the average annual energy use for a portable computer was 
estimated to be 62 kWh/yr, resulting in a weighted average of 130 kWh/
yr per computer.\6\ In addition, there are an estimated 1.4 desktop 
computers and 1.9 portable computers per household that owns these 
devices in the U.S.,\7\ thus the total average household energy 
consumption of computers is likely higher than these estimations. The 
estimated annual energy consumption of individual servers ranges from 
approximately 1900-2100 kWh/yr for mass-produced volume servers.\8\ 
Under the assumption that households that use servers would have at 
most one of these types of servers, DOE estimated the average annual 
household energy use for households that use servers to be at least 
1900 kWh/yr. The average annual per-unit energy use of ENERGY STAR-
qualified UPSs is approximately 190 kWh/yr (including only standby and 
line-interactive UPSs, and assuming an average load of 0.7 of rated 
output power).\9\ Therefore, DOE tentatively determines that the 
average annual per-household energy use for computer systems is likely 
to exceed 100 kWh/yr, satisfying the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 
6292(b)(1).
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    \6\ Urban, B. et al., 2011. Energy Consumption of Consumer 
Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2010. Prepared by the Fraunhofer Center 
for Sustainable Energy Systems for the Consumer Electronics 
Association; Zogg, R. et al., 2009. Energy Savings Potential and 
RD&D Opportunities for Commercial Building Appliances. Prepared by 
Navigant Consulting, Inc. for DOE.
    \7\ Consumer Electronics Association, 2013. 15th Annual CE 
Ownership and Market Potential Study.
    \8\ Koomey, J.G. 2011. Growth in Data Center Electricity Use 
2005 to 2010. Analytics Press; Koomey, J.G. 2008. Worldwide 
Electricity Used in Data Centers. Environmental Research Letters, 3; 
Zogg, R. et al. 2009. Energy Savings Potential and RD&D 
Opportunities for Commercial Building Appliances. Prepared by 
Navigant Consulting, Inc. for DOE; Masanet, E.R. et al. 2011. 
Estimating the Energy Use and Efficiency Potential of U.S. Data 
Centers. Proceedings of the IEEE 99 (8), 1440-1453.
    \9\ ENERGY STAR Uninterruptible Power Supplies Qualified 
Products List, posted October 30, 2013 (accessed October 31, 2013). 
http://downloads.energystar.gov/bi/qplist/Uninterruptible_Power_Supplies_Product_List.xls.
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    Based on the above, DOE has determined tentatively that computer 
systems qualify as a covered product under Part A of Title III of the 
EPCA, as amended.

V. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

    DOE has reviewed its proposed determination of computer systems 
under the following Executive orders and Acts.

A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that 
coverage determination rulemakings do not constitute ``significant 
regulatory actions'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). 
Accordingly, this proposed action was not subject to review under the 
Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
(OIRA) in OMB.

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996) 
requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for 
any rule that, by law, must be proposed for public comment, unless the 
agency certifies that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis examines the impact of the 
rule on small entities and considers alternative ways of reducing 
negative effects. Also, as required by E.O. 13272, ``Proper 
Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking'' 67 FR 53461 
(August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 
19, 2003 to ensure that the potential impact of its rules on small 
entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking process. 68 
FR 7990 (February 19, 2003). DOE makes its procedures and policies 
available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site at 
www.gc.doe.gov./gc/office-general-counsel.
    DOE reviewed today's proposed determination under the provisions of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the policies and procedures 
published on February 19, 2003. If adopted, today's proposed 
determination would set no standards; it would only positively 
determine that future standards may be warranted and should be explored 
in an energy conservation standards and test procedure rulemaking. 
Economic impacts on small entities would be considered in the context 
of such rulemakings. On the basis of the foregoing, DOE certifies that 
the proposed determination, if adopted, would have no significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, 
DOE has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis for this 
proposed determination. DOE will transmit this certification and 
supporting statement of factual basis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy 
of the Small Business Administration for review under 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed determination, which proposes to determine that 
computer systems meet the criteria for a covered product for which the 
Secretary may prescribe an energy conservation standard pursuant to 42 
U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p), will impose no new information or record-
keeping requirements. Accordingly, OMB clearance is not

[[Page 11348]]

required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    In this notice, DOE proposes to positively determine that future 
standards may be warranted and that environmental impacts should be 
explored in an energy conservation standards rulemaking. DOE has 
determined that review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), Public Law 91-190, codified at 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. is 
not required at this time. NEPA review can only be initiated ``as soon 
as environmental impacts can be meaningfully evaluated'' (10 CFR 
1021.213(b)). This proposed determination would only determine that 
future standards may be warranted, but would not itself propose to set 
any specific standard. DOE has, therefore, determined that there are no 
environmental impacts to be evaluated at this time. Accordingly, 
neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact 
statement is required.

E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order (E.O.) 13132, ``Federalism'' 64 FR 43255 (August 
10, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and 
implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that 
have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to 
examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any 
action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and 
to assess carefully the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order 
also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure 
meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in developing 
regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 
2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the 
intergovernmental consultation process that it will follow in 
developing such regulations. 65 FR 13735 (March 14, 2000). DOE has 
examined today's proposed determination and concludes that it would not 
preempt State law or have substantial direct effects on the States, on 
the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels 
of government. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State 
regulations as to energy conservation for the product that is the 
subject of today's proposed determination. States can petition DOE for 
exemption from such preemption to the extent permitted, and based on 
criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297) No further action is 
required by E.O. 13132.

F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the 
promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of E.O. 12988, ``Civil 
Justice Reform'' 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on Federal 
agencies the duty to: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) 
write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal 
standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) 
promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of E.O. 12988 
specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable 
effort to ensure that the regulation specifies the following: (1) The 
preemptive effect, if any; (2) any effect on existing Federal law or 
regulation; (3) a clear legal standard for affected conduct while 
promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) the retroactive 
effect, if any; (5) definitions of key terms; and (6) other important 
issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines 
issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of E.O. 12988 requires 
Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable 
standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine whether these 
standards are met, or whether it is unreasonable to meet one or more of 
them. DOE completed the required review and determined that, to the 
extent permitted by law, this proposed determination meets the relevant 
standards of E.O. 12988.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. 
L. 104-4, codified at 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) requires each Federal 
agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, 
local, and tribal governments and the private sector. For regulatory 
actions likely to result in a rule that may cause expenditures by 
State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector of $100 million or more in any 1 year (adjusted annually 
for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to 
publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, 
benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a) 
and (b)) UMRA requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process 
to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and tribal 
governments on a proposed ``significant intergovernmental mandate.'' 
UMRA also requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for 
timely input to small governments that may be potentially affected 
before establishing any requirement that might significantly or 
uniquely affect them. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of 
policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 
FR 12820 (March 18, 1997). (This policy also is available at 
www.gc.doe.gov). DOE reviewed today's proposed determination pursuant 
to these existing authorities and its policy statement and determined 
that the proposed determination contains neither an intergovernmental 
mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 
million or more in any year, so the UMRA requirements do not apply.

H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 
of 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a 
Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family 
well-being. This proposed determination would not have any impact on 
the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, 
DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family 
Policymaking Assessment.

I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    Pursuant to E.O. 12630, ``Governmental Actions and Interference 
with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights'' 53 FR 8859 (March 15, 
1988), DOE determined that this proposed determination would not result 
in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth 
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 
of 2001

    The Treasury and General Government Appropriation Act of 2001 (44 
U.S.C. 3516, note) requires agencies to review most disseminations of 
information they make to the public under guidelines established by 
each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. The OMB's 
guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (February 22, 2002), and DOE's 
guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (October 7, 2002). DOE has 
reviewed today's proposed determination under the OMB and DOE 
guidelines and has concluded

[[Page 11349]]

that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    E.O. 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly 
Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,'' 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 
2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB a 
Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. 
A ``significant energy action'' is defined as any action by an agency 
that promulgates a final rule or is expected to lead to promulgation of 
a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under 
E.O. 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a 
significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of 
energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a 
significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, 
the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on 
energy supply, distribution, or use if the proposal is implemented, and 
of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action and their expected 
benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.
    DOE has concluded that today's regulatory action proposing to 
determine that computer systems meet the criteria for a covered product 
for which the Secretary may prescribe an energy conservation standard 
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p) would not have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. This 
action is also not a significant regulatory action for purposes of E.O. 
12866, and the OIRA Administrator has not designated this proposed 
determination as a significant energy action under E.O. 12866 or any 
successor order. Therefore, this proposed determination is not a 
significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a 
Statement of Energy Effects for this proposed determination.

L. Review Under the Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review

    On December 16, 2004, OMB, in consultation with the Office of 
Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), issued its Final Information 
Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (the Bulletin). 70 FR 2664 (January 
14, 2005). The Bulletin establishes that certain scientific information 
shall be peer reviewed by qualified specialists before it is 
disseminated by the Federal government, including influential 
scientific information related to agency regulatory actions. The 
purpose of the Bulletin is to enhance the quality and credibility of 
the Government's scientific information. DOE has determined that the 
analyses conducted for this rulemaking do not constitute ``influential 
scientific information,'' which the Bulletin defines as ``scientific 
information the agency reasonably can determine will have or does have 
a clear and substantial impact on important public policies or private 
sector decisions.'' 70 FR 2667 (January 14, 2005). The analyses were 
subject to pre-dissemination review prior to issuance of this 
rulemaking.
    DOE will determine the appropriate level of review that would be 
applicable to any future rulemaking to establish energy conservation 
standards for computer systems.

VI. Public Participation

A. Submission of Comments

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this 
notice of proposed determination no later than the date provided at the 
beginning of this notice. After the close of the comment period, DOE 
will review the comments received and determine whether computer 
systems are a covered product under EPCA.
    Comments, data, and information submitted to DOE's email address 
for this proposed determination should be provided in WordPerfect, 
Microsoft Word, PDF, or text (ASCII) file format. Submissions should 
avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption, and 
wherever possible comments should include the electronic signature of 
the author. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.
    According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that 
he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public 
disclosure should submit two copies: one copy of the document should 
have all the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will 
make its own determination as to the confidential status of the 
information and treat it according to its determination.
    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat 
submitted information as confidential include (1) A description of the 
items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as 
confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is 
generally known or available from public sources; (4) whether the 
information has previously been made available to others without 
obligations concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the 
competitive injury to the submitting persons which would result from 
public disclosure; (6) a date after which such information might no 
longer be considered confidential; and (7) why disclosure of the 
information would be contrary to the public interest.

B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comments

    DOE welcomes comments on all aspects of this proposed 
determination. DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments 
from interested parties on the following issues related to the proposed 
determination for computer systems:
     Definition of computer and battery backup systems;
     Whether classifying computer systems as a covered product 
is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA;
     Scope of this proposed determination;
     Identifying those computer systems that are of a type that 
make them a consumer product as distinguished from those computer 
systems that are objectively commercial;
     Calculations and values for average household energy 
consumption; and
     Availability or lack of availability of technologies for 
improving energy efficiency of computer systems.
    The Department is interested in receiving views concerning other 
relevant issues that participants believe would affect DOE's ability to 
establish test procedures and energy conservation standards for 
computer systems. The Department invites all interested parties to 
submit in writing by March 31, 2014, comments and information on 
matters addressed in this notice and on other matters relevant to 
consideration of a determination for computer systems.
    After the expiration of the period for submitting written 
statements, the Department will consider all comments and additional 
information that is obtained from interested parties or through further 
analyses, and it will prepare a final determination. If DOE determines 
that computer systems qualify as a covered product, DOE will consider a 
test procedure and energy conservation standards for computer systems. 
Members of the public will be given an opportunity to submit written 
and oral comments on any proposed test procedure and standards.

VII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this revised 
proposed determination.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Energy conservation,

[[Page 11350]]

Household appliances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Imports, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small 
businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 21, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2014-04423 Filed 2-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P