[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 249 (Tuesday, December 29, 1998)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71630-71631]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-34457]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Publishing of 
the Petition for Extension of the 180-Day Period for Revising 
Manufacturers Representations

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice grants the ``Petitions for Extension,'' dated 
October 6, 1998, from the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association 
(GAMA) on behalf of Aero Environmental Limited, American Water Heater 
Company, Bock Water Heaters, Bradford-White Corporation, Controlled 
Energy Corporation (e.l.m. LeBlanc), DEC International, GSW Water 
Heating Company Ltd., Heat Transfer Products, Inc., Rheem Water Heater 
Division, A. O. Smith Water Products Company, State Industries, Inc., 
Therma-Stor Products Group, Vaughn Manufacturing Company, Vulcano 
Termo-Domesticos S.A., Water Heater Innovations, and Airexcel, Inc., 
Crispaire Division. GAMA's Petition asks for an extension of the 180-
day period for manufacturers' representations. The Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act, as amended, (EPCA) permits the Secretary of DOE to 
extend the period for representations by 180 days if good cause is 
shown.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terry Logee, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Mail Station 
EE-43, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 
20585-0121, Telephone: (202) 586-1689, E-mail: [email protected] 
or Eugene Margolis, Esq., U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General 
Counsel, Mail Station GC-72, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence 
Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121, Telephone: (202) 586-9507.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Energy Conservation Program for Consumer 
Products (other than automobiles) was established by the EPCA which 
requires DOE to prescribe standardized test procedures to measure the 
energy consumption of certain consumer products, including water 
heaters. The intent of the test procedures is to provide a comparable 
measure of energy consumption that will assist consumers in making 
purchasing decisions, and to form the basis of the Federal Trade 
Commission's

[[Page 71631]]

(FTC) labeling requirements. The water heater test procedure final rule 
was published on May 11, 1998, at 63 FR 25996. Included in this final 
rule, was a revised first hour rating for storage-type water heaters, 
defined in the Code of Federal Regulations at 10 CFR, Part 430, Subpart 
B, Appendix E, Sec. 1.12.
    The following manufacturers have authorized GAMA to petition the 
Department under Section 323(c)(2) of EPCA, 42 U.S.C. 6293(c)(2). This 
petition was received at DOE on October 6, 1998. The manufacturers 
included in the petition are: Aero Environmental Limited, American 
Water Heater Company, Bock Water Heaters, Bradford-White Corporation, 
Controlled Energy Corporation (e.l.m. LeBlanc), DEC International, GSW 
Water Heating Company Ltd., Heat Transfer Products, Inc., Rheem Water 
Heater Division, A. O. Smith Water Products Company, State Industries, 
Inc., Therma-Stor Products Group, Vaughn Manufacturing Company, Vulcano 
Termo-Domesticos S.A., Water Heater Innovations, and Airexcel Inc., 
Crispaire Division.
    Section 323(c)(2) of EPCA, 42 U.S.C. 6293(c)(2), allows 
manufacturers 180 days to test products according to a new or revised 
DOE test procedure in order to determine the energy use or energy 
efficiency for the purposes of making representations in writing, 
including on a label, or in a broadcast advertisement. On the petition 
of any manufacturer(s), the 180-day period may be extended by the 
Secretary up to a maximum of an additional 180 days if the Secretary 
determines that the initial 180 days would impose undue hardship on the 
manufacturer(s). The petition must be received by DOE no later than 60 
days before the end of the 180-day period or no later than October 8, 
1998 in this case.
    In the petition, GAMA claims that there are over 500 models of 
residential water heaters. GAMA also claims that since two or more 
units for each water heater model must be tested and the revised first 
hour test procedure will take about five hours to conduct, the revised 
test procedure presents a very large test burden on the manufacturers.
    Based on GAMA's survey of residential water heater manufacturers, 
each major manufacturer would have to test, on average, at least 190 
water heaters at a total cost of about $85,000. This estimate is based 
on testing at least two units each for each heater model, and each 
major manufacturer having about 95 water heater models to test. Since 
the manufacturers have only one or two test cells to dedicate to 
testing of the water heaters, GAMA claims that, on average, the testing 
will take about 230 days to complete which is greater than the 180 days 
required for compliance.
    Additionally, GAMA claims that the revised test procedure creates a 
difficult situation with regard to the manufacturers' obligation to 
comply with the FTC's EnergyGuide labeling requirements for residential 
water heaters. Some information on the label is directly specified by 
the FTC while other information is determined by the manufacturer based 
on the results of the DOE energy efficiency test procedure. The end 
points of ranges of comparability for estimated annual energy usage for 
models with similar hot water delivery are directly specified by the 
FTC. The measure used to group the various water heater models 
according to similar hot water delivery capability is the first hour 
rating. Since the revised test procedure could result in a change to a 
water heater's first hour rating, the FTC appliance label will also 
have to change. If the extension is granted, GAMA claims that 
manufacturers could provide the FTC with information based on the 
revised test procedure in advance of the FTC's May 1st deadline for 
estimated annual energy usage for residential water heaters. GAMA 
claims this would minimize confusion for consumers.
    After discussion with the staff at the FTC, we have determined that 
GAMA's claims regarding the FTC's procedures for establishing the end 
points of the ranges of comparability for estimated annual energy use 
are correct.
    DOE staff also verified GAMA's time and cost estimates for testing 
water heaters for first hour rating. DOE contacted Intertek Testing 
Service (ITS), a commercial testing laboratory, to determine if GAMA's 
time estimate of five hours for measuring each water heater's first 
hour rating and GAMA's cost estimate of $85,000 for performing tests on 
190 water heaters for the revised first hour rating was reasonable. ITS 
advised us that the cost estimate of approximately $450 per test unit 
($85000/190 heaters) and five-hour time estimate for a first hour 
rating by itself with no other tests being conducted was reasonable. 
For each water heater tested, in addition to conducting the first hour 
rating test, the testing lab would have to unpack the water heater from 
the shipping container, setup (and later remove) the water heater from 
the test stand, and prepare a report with the test results. Therefore, 
DOE has concluded that GAMA's data is accurate and that the revised 
test for first hour rating does constitute an undue burden on the 
manufacturers.
    Since it will take the manufacturers more than 180 days to complete 
testing of all water heaters, the Department grants GAMA's petition on 
behalf of the following manufacturers: Aero Environmental Limited, 
American Water Heater Company, Bock Water Heaters, Bradford-White 
Corporation, Controlled Energy Corporation (e.l.m. LeBlanc), DEC 
International, GSW Water Heating Company Ltd., Heat Transfer Products, 
Inc., Rheem Water Heater Division, A. O. Smith Water Products Company, 
State Industries, Inc., Therma-Stor Products Group, Vaughn 
Manufacturing Company, Vulcano Termo-Domesticos S.A., Water Heater 
Innovations, and Airexcel, Inc., Crispaire Division. This will provide 
an additional 180 days so that manufacturers can complete the testing 
for first hour rating. The extension allows the manufacturers named 
above until June 5, 1999, to comply with representations under the 
revised test procedure for first hour rating.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 21, 1998.
Dan W. Reicher,
Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 98-34457 Filed 12-28-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P