[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 145 (Tuesday, July 29, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 43927-43929]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17876]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0026]
RIN 1904-AD32


Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Energy 
Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces; Energy Conservation 
Standards for Residential Direct Heating Equipment

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

ACTION: Final rule; technical amendment.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a final rule 
technical amendment to implement two orders issued by the U.S. Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in separate litigation. 
Specifically, DOE is amending the relevant portions of its regulations 
to reflect the Court's order vacating the amended energy conservation 
standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces (including mobile home 
furnaces), which were adopted in the June 27, 2011 direct final rule 
for residential furnaces and residential central air conditioners and 
heat pumps. Similarly, DOE is also amending the relevant portions of 
its regulation to reflect the Court's decision to vacate the regulatory 
definition of ``vented hearth heater'' (and by implication, the 
associated energy conservation standards), which were developed in the 
April 27, 2010 and November 18, 2011 final rules for residential direct 
heating equipment.

DATES: Effective Date: July 29, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Cymbalsky, 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) 287-1692. Email: 
John.Cymbalsky@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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

A. Residential Furnaces

    On November 19, 2007, DOE published a final rule in the Federal 
Register (hereinafter the ``November 2007 final rule'') that amended 
the energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and boilers. 
72 FR 65136. The compliance date for the standards was set at November 
19, 2015. However, following DOE's adoption of the November 2007 final 
rule, several parties jointly sued DOE in the United States Court of 
Appeals for the Second Circuit (Second Circuit) to invalidate the 
rule.\1\ The petitioners asserted that the standards for residential 
furnaces promulgated in the November 2007 final rule did not reflect 
the ``maximum improvement in energy efficiency'' that ``is 
technologically feasible and economically justified,'' as required 
under 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A). On April 16, 2009, DOE filed with the 
Court a motion for voluntary remand that the petitioners did not 
oppose. The motion did not state that the November 2007 final rule 
would be vacated, but indicated that DOE would revisit its initial 
conclusions outlined in the November 2007 final rule in a subsequent 
rulemaking action. DOE also agreed that the final rule resulting from 
the subsequent rulemaking action would address both regional standards 
for furnaces, as well as the effects of alternate standards on natural 
gas prices. On April 21, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second 
Circuit granted DOE's motion, thereby remanding the rule to DOE for 
further proceedings without vacating the November 2007 final rule.
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    \1\ Petition for Review, State of New York, et al. v. Department 
of Energy, et al., Nos. 08-0311-ag(L); 08-0312-ag(con) (2d Cir. 
filed Jan. 17, 2008).
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    On June 27, 2011 DOE published a final rule in the Federal Register 
(hereinafter the ``June 2011 direct final rule'') that amended the 
energy conservation standards for residential furnaces pursuant to the 
voluntary remand in State of New York, et al. v. Department of Energy, 
et al. On October 31, 2011, DOE published a notice of effective date 
and compliance dates to confirm these amended energy conservation 
standards and compliance dates contained in the June 2011 direct final 
rule. 76 FR 67037. After the publication of the October 2011 notice, 
the American Public Gas Association (APGA) sued DOE in the United 
States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC 
Circuit) to invalidate the rule as it pertained to non-weatherized gas 
furnaces.\2\ On March 11, 2014, DOE and APGA, as well as the various 
intervenors in the case, filed a joint motion for approval of a 
settlement in which DOE agreed to seek a remand of the non-weatherized 
gas furnaces portion of the June 27, 2011 direct final rule. On April 
24, 2014, the DC Circuit approved the settlement agreement and issued 
an order that the standards established for non-weatherized gas 
furnaces and mobile home gas furnaces be vacated and remanded to DOE 
for further rulemaking.\3\ As a result, the standards established by 
the June 2011 direct final rule for the non-weatherized gas furnaces 
and mobile home gas furnaces will not go into effect, and instead, the 
standards established for these product classes of furnaces in the 
November 19, 2007 final rule will come into effect, with compliance 
required beginning on November 19, 2015. Thus, DOE is amending the Code 
of Federal Regulations (CFR) to reflect the Court's order impacting the 
standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces and mobile home gas 
furnaces.
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    \2\ Petition for Review, American Public Gas Association v. U.S. 
Department of Energy, et al., No. 11-1485 (D.C. Cir. filed Dec. 23, 
2011).
    \3\ Consistent with the settlement agreement, the direct final 
rule's amended standards for weatherized gas furnaces, non-
weatherized oil-fired furnaces, and central air conditioners and 
heat pumps were allowed to be implemented on schedule.
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B. Residential Hearth Products

    In a final rule published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2010 
(hereinafter the ``April 2010 final rule''), DOE promulgated a 
definition for ``vented hearth heater,'' established product classes 
for vented gas hearth direct heating equipment, and set minimum energy 
conservation standards for vented gas hearth direct heating equipment. 
75 FR 20112. Compliance with the standard would have been required by 
April 16, 2013. Following DOE's adoption of the April 2010 final rule, 
the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) sued DOE in the DC 
Circuit to invalidate the rule as it pertained to vented gas hearth 
products.\4\
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    \4\ Petition for Review, Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association 
v. Department of Energy, et al., No 10-1113 (D.C. Cir. filed May 27, 
2010).
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    On November 18, 2011, DOE published a final rule in the Federal 
Register that amended the definition of ``vented hearth heater'' to 
clarify the

[[Page 43928]]

scope of the exclusion from coverage under energy conservation 
standards for those vented hearth heaters that are primarily decorative 
hearth products. 76 FR 71836. On February 8, 2013, the Court issued a 
decision in which it ordered that the definition of ``vented hearth 
heater'' be vacated and remanded the matter to DOE to interpret the 
challenged provisions in accordance with the opinion of the Court.\5\ 
Consequently, the standards established by the April 2010 final rule 
for vented gas hearth direct heating equipment will not go into effect, 
with the result being that there are no standards for these products at 
this time. Thus, DOE is amending the CFR to reflect the Court's order 
to vacate the definition for ``vented hearth heater.'' In addition, DOE 
is removing the standards set for vented gas hearth direct heating 
equipment in the April 2010 final rule, as there is no longer a 
definition that covers this type of equipment.
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    \5\ Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association v. Department of 
Energy, et al., 706 F.3d 499 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
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II. Summary of the Need for Correction

    By this action, DOE is updating the CFR to implement changes to 
DOE's regulations for residential furnaces and residential direct 
heating equipment required by two Court orders, as described in section 
I. This is a purely technical amendment, and at this time, DOE is not 
exercising any of the authority that Congress has provided in the 
Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA; 42 U.S.C. 6291 et 
seq.), as amended, for the Secretary of Energy to revise definitions 
and energy conservation standards.

III. Final Action

    DOE has determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), that prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment on this final rule are 
unnecessary. DOE is merely implementing changes to the CFR text 
prescribed by two Court orders and making other limited revisions to 
its regulations as necessitated by those orders. DOE is not exercising 
any of the discretionary authority that the Congress has provided to 
the Secretary of Energy in EPCA. DOE, therefore, finds that good cause 
exists to waive prior notice and an opportunity to comment for this 
rulemaking. For the same reasons, DOE, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
finds that good cause exists for making this final rule effective upon 
publication in the Federal Register.

IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This final rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866 and the principles reaffirmed 
in Executive Order 13563. Accordingly, this action was not subject to 
review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 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 rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required 
by Executive Order 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 impacts of its rules on small entities are properly 
considered during the rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its 
procedures and policies available on the Office of the General 
Counsel's Web site (http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel). 
Because this is a technical amendment for which a general notice of 
proposed rulemaking is not required, the analytical requirements of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply to this rulemaking.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, 
Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC on July 21, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE amends part 430 of 
Chapter II, subchapter D of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations as 
set forth below:

PART 430--ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.


Sec.  430.2  [Amended]

0
2. Section 430.2 is amended by removing the definition of ``vented 
hearth heater.''
0
3. Section 430.32 is amended by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (e)(1); and
0
b. Revising paragraph (i)(2).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  430.32  Energy and water conservation standards and their 
compliance dates.

    (e) Furnaces and boilers. (1) Furnaces. (i) The Annual Fuel 
Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of residential furnaces shall not be less 
than the following for non-weatherized gas furnaces manufactured before 
November 19, 2015, non-weatherized oil furnaces manufactured before May 
1, 2013, and weatherized furnaces manufactured before January 1, 2015:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               AFUE
                      Product class                        (percent) \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A) Furnaces (excluding classes noted below)............              78
(B) Mobile Home furnaces................................              75
(C) Small furnaces (other than those designed solely for  ..............
 installation in mobile homes) having an input rate of
 less than 45,000 Btu/hr................................
(1) Weatherized (outdoor)...............................              78
(2) Non-weatherized (indoor)............................              78
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, as determined in Sec.
  430.23(n)(2) of this part.


[[Page 43929]]

    (ii) The AFUE of residential furnaces shall not be less than the 
following starting on the compliance date indicated in the table below:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              AFUE (percent)
        Product class               \1\             Compliance date
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(A) Non-weatherized gas                   80  November 19, 2015.
 furnaces (not including
 mobile home furnaces).
(B) Mobile Home gas furnaces              80  November 19, 2015.
(C) Non-weatherized oil-                  83  May 1, 2013.
 fired furnaces (not
 including mobile home
 furnaces).
(D) Mobile Home oil-fired                 75  September 1, 1990.
 furnaces.
(E) Weatherized gas furnaces              81  January 1, 2015.
(F) Weatherized oil-fired                 78  January 1, 1992.
 furnaces.
(G) Electric furnaces.......              78  January 1, 1992.
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\1\ Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, as determined in Sec.
  430.23(n)(2) of this part.

    (iii) Furnaces manufactured on or after May 1, 2013, shall have an 
electrical standby mode power consumption (PW,SB) and 
electrical off mode power consumption (PW,OFF) not more than 
the following:

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                                                                  Maximum standby mode       Maximum off mode
                                                                    electrical power         electrical power
                         Product class                             consumption, PW,SB      consumption, PW,OFF
                                                                        (watts)                  (watts)
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(A) Non-weatherized oil-fired furnaces (including mobile home                        11                       11
 furnaces)....................................................
(B) Electric furnaces.........................................                       10                       10
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* * * * *
    (i) * * *
    (2) Vented home heating equipment manufactured on or after April 
16, 2013, shall have an annual fuel utilization efficiency no less 
than:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Annual fuel utilization
                 Product class                    efficiency, April 16,
                                                      2013 (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gas wall fan type up to 42,000 Btu/h...........                       75
Gas wall fan type over 42,000 Btu/h............                       76
Gas wall gravity type up to 27,000 Btu/h.......                       65
Gas wall gravity type over 27,000 Btu/h up to                         66
 46,000 Btu/h..................................
Gas wall gravity type over 46,000 Btu/h........                       67
Gas floor up to 37,000 Btu/h...................                       57
Gas floor over 37,000 Btu/h....................                       58
Gas room up to 20,000 Btu/h....................                       61
Gas room over 20,000 Btu/h up to 27,000 Btu/h..                       66
Gas room over 27,000 Btu/h up to 46,000 Btu/h..                       67
Gas room over 46,000 Btu/h.....................                       68
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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[FR Doc. 2014-17876 Filed 7-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P