[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 162 (Tuesday, August 21, 2012)]
[Pages 50495-50497]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20512]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0500; FRL-9719-5]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; Information Collection Activities Associated With 
EPA's ENERGY STAR Program in the Residential Sector; EPA ICR No. 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that EPA is planning to 
submit a request to renew an existing approved Information Collection 
Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR is 
scheduled to expire on February 28, 2013. Before submitting the ICR to 
OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific 
aspects of the proposed information collection as described below.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 22, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2004-0500, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: (202) 566-9744.
     Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket 
Center, Air and Radiation Docket, Mailcode 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Docket 
Center (EPA/DC), EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC. Such deliveries are only accepted during the 
Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be 
made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2004-0500. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you

[[Page 50496]]

consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov 
or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' 
system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact 
information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you 
send an email comment directly to EPA without going through 
www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured 
and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket 
and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic 
comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact 
information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you 
submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties 
and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to 
consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special 
characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or 
viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit 
the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Ng, Energy Star Residential 
Branch, Mailcode 6202J, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 
343-9162; fax number: (202) 343-2200; email address: [email protected].


How can I access the docket and/or submit comments?

    EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0500, which is available for online viewing at 
www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air and Radiation 
Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West Building, Room 3334, 
1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading 
Room is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding 
legal holidays. The telephone number for the Reading Room is 202-566-
1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is 202-
    Use www.regulations.gov to obtain a copy of the draft collection of 
information, submit or view public comments, access the index listing 
of the contents of the docket, and to access those documents in the 
public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, 
select ``search,'' then key in the docket ID number identified in this 

What information is EPA particularly interested in?

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA specifically 
solicits comments and information to enable it to:
    (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (ii) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden 
of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of 
the methodology and assumptions used;
    (iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
to be collected; and
    (iv) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses. In particular, EPA is requesting comments from 
very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples of 
specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce the paperwork 
burden for very small businesses affected by this collection.

What should I consider when I prepare my comments for EPA?

    You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your 
    1. Explain your views as clearly as possible and provide specific 
    2. Describe any assumptions that you used.
    3. Provide copies of any technical information and/or data you used 
that support your views.
    4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you 
arrived at the estimate that you provide.
    5. Offer alternative ways to improve the collection activity.
    6. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline identified 
under DATES.
    7. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket 
ID number assigned to this action in the subject line on the first page 
of your response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal 
Register citation.

What information collection activity or ICR does this apply to?

    Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are 
home builders, modular and manufactured home plants, developers, 
verification organizations, lenders, energy efficiency program sponsors 
(e.g., national, regional, state, or local government entities, 
utilities), architects, home plan designers, retailers, contractors, 
and homeowners.
    Title: Information Collection Activities Associated with EPA's 
ENERGY STAR Program in the Residential Sector.
    ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2193.03, OMB Control No. 2060-0586.
    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on February 
28, 2013. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, a collection of information, unless it displays 
a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal 
Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and are displayed 
either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate 
means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if 
applicable. The display of OMB control numbers in certain EPA 
regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.
    Abstract: Improving energy efficiency is one of the easiest, 
fastest, and most cost-effective solutions for reducing greenhouse gas 
(GHG) emissions, which contribute to climate change. As one of our 
nation's important environmental challenges, climate change demands 
practical, proven solutions that can be implemented today to protect us 
tomorrow. Under the EPA's leadership many American consumers, 
businesses, and organizations have already taken action. Their 
investments in energy efficiency are transforming the market for 
efficient homes, products, buildings, and practices, creating jobs, and 
stimulating the economy.
    The ENERGY STAR program has been instrumental in identifying cost-
effective, innovative solutions for reducing GHG emissions since it was 
launched by EPA in 1992. This voluntary, market-based, public-private 
partnership program has boosted the adoption of energy-efficient 
products, homes, buildings, practices, and services through valuable 
partnerships, objective measurement tools, and consumer education. 
ENERGY STAR helps to dismantle barriers to widespread energy efficiency 
by serving as a trusted source of unbiased information that helps 
consumers and businesses make choices that are good for the environment 
and the economy.
    Through 2011, nearly 20,000 organizations have partnered with EPA, 
improved efficiency, and realized

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significant financial and environmental benefits. Americans, with the 
help of ENERGY STAR, prevented 210 million metric tons of GHG emissions 
in 2011 alone--equivalent to the annual emissions from 41 million 
vehicles--and reduced their utility bills by $23 billion.
    EPA first developed energy efficiency guidelines for new homes in 
1995. ENERGY STAR's existing homes effort was rolled out in 2000 to 
promote cost-effective upgrades in the existing homes market. Both of 
these efforts promote cost effective, whole house energy efficiency 
improvements that are independently verified by third parties. Through 
2011 there have been more than 1.3 million ENERGY STAR certified new 
homes built in the U.S., and more than 50,000 existing homes have been 
improved through the whole house retrofit program, Home Performance 
    Since participation in the ENERGY STAR program is voluntary, 
organizations are not required to submit information to EPA. 
Information received to date has been submitted voluntarily to EPA and 
is not of a confidential nature. EPA has developed this ICR to obtain 
authorization to collect information from the public, including 
businesses, for the following activities:
    ENERGY STAR Partnership and Related Activities: An organization 
interested in joining ENERGY STAR as a partner is asked to submit a 
partnership agreement establishing its commitment to ENERGY STAR. 
Partners agree to undertake efforts such as educating their staff and 
the public about their partnership with ENERGY STAR, developing and 
implementing a plan to improve energy performance in homes, and 
highlighting achievements utilizing the ENERGY STAR brand.
    Evaluation: Partners and other program participants are asked to 
periodically submit information to EPA as needed to assist in 
evaluating ENERGY STAR's effectiveness in helping organizations promote 
energy efficiency in homes, to assess partners' level of interest and 
ability in promoting ENERGY STAR in the residential sector, and to 
determine the impact that ENERGY STAR has on residential energy use and 
the supply and demand for energy-efficient homes and home improvement 
products and services.
    Periodic Reporting: Partners are asked to submit information to EPA 
periodically to assist EPA in tracking and measuring progress in 
building and promoting ENERGY STAR certified homes and installing and 
promoting energy-efficient improvements. This includes submitting 
quarterly updates on partners' level of activity in certifying new 
homes for the ENERGY STAR label and activity in improving the energy 
efficiency of existing homes under Home Performance with ENERGY STAR 
and ENERGY STAR's HVAC Quality Installation program.
    ENERGY STAR Awards: Each year, partners are eligible for an ENERGY 
STAR award, which recognizes organizations demonstrating outstanding 
support in promoting ENERGY STAR. This award program provides partners 
public recognition and market differentiation. An application form is 
submitted to EPA by partners interested in being eligible for an award.
    Burden Statement: The annual burden for joining ENERGY STAR and 
conducting related activities is estimated to range from about 1 to 40 
hours per respondent. This includes time for preparing and submitting 
the Partnership Agreement and related information, if requested. 
However, the majority of this time is for verification organization 
partners to verify that site-built, modular, and manufactured homes 
meet specified energy efficiency standards. The annual burden for 
partner evaluations is estimated to be about 15 minutes per respondent. 
This includes time for responding to EPA's questions posed during a 
phone interview or other method. The annual burden for quarterly 
reporting is estimated to be about 75 hours per respondent. This 
includes time for submitting specified information to EPA on a 
quarterly basis. The annual burden for the annual awards is estimated 
to be about 13 hours per respondent. This includes time for preparing 
and submitting the application materials and, if requested, an annual 
    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or 
provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time 
needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize 
technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to 
comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements 
which have subsequently changed; train personnel to be able to respond 
to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and 
review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise 
disclose the information.
    The ICR provides a detailed explanation of the Agency's estimate, 
which is only briefly summarized here:
    Estimated total number of potential respondents: 56,000.
    Frequency of response: Once, quarterly, annually, and occasionally.
    Estimated total annual burden hours: 180,958.
    Estimated total annual costs: $10.9 million. This includes an 
estimated cost of approximately $10.9 million for labor and $17,000 for 
capital investment, operation and maintenance.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    The burden estimates presented in this notice are from the last 
approval. EPA is currently evaluating and updating these estimates as 
part of the ICR renewal process. EPA will discuss its updated 
estimates, as well as changes from the last approval, in the next 
Federal Register notice to be issued for this renewal.

What is the next step in the process for this ICR?

    EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as 
appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for 
review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. At that time, EPA will 
issue another Federal Register notice pursuant to 5 CFR 
1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the 
opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you have any 
questions about this ICR or the approval process, please contact the 
technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Dated: August 13, 2012.
Elizabeth Craig,
Director, Climate Protection Partnerships Division.
[FR Doc. 2012-20512 Filed 8-20-12; 8:45 am]