Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
In accordance with Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 430.27(l), DOE gives notice of the issuance of its decision and order as set forth below. The decision and order grants Samsung a waiver from the applicable residential refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures at 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix A1 for certain basic models of refrigerator-freezers with relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters, provided that Samsung tests and rates such products using the alternate test procedure described in this notice. Today's
Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) sets forth a variety of provisions concerning energy efficiency. Part A of Title III provides for the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) Part A includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part A authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results that measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3))
Today's notice involves residential products under Part A. The test procedure for residential electric refrigerator-freezers relevant to the current petition for waiver is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1.
DOE's regulations contain provisions allowing a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered consumer products, when (1) the petitioner's basic model contains one or more design characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) when prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1). Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption characteristics. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii).
The Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) may grant a waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).
The waiver process also allows any interested person who has submitted a petition for waiver to file an application for interim waiver of the applicable test procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). The Assistant Secretary will grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(g).
On September 9, 2009, Samsung filed a petition for waiver from the test procedures applicable to its product line of refrigerator-freezers with relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. The applicable test procedures are contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1—Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Electric Refrigerators and Electric Refrigerator-Freezers. Because the existing test procedure under 10 CFR part 430 takes neither ambient humidity nor adaptive technology into account, it does not accurately measure the energy consumption of Samsung's new refrigerator-freezers that feature humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. Consequently, Samsung has submitted an alternate test to DOE for approval to ensure that it is correctly calculating the energy consumption of this new product line. On December 15, 2009, DOE granted Samsung an interim waiver and published Samsung's petition for waiver. 74 FR 66340. DOE did not receive any comments on the Samsung petition.
In its petition, Samsung requested that it be permitted to use the same alternate test procedure DOE prescribed for GE and Whirlpool refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers that are equipped with a similar technology. The alternate test procedure applicable to the GE and Whirlpool products simulates the energy used by the adaptive heaters in a typical consumer household, as explained in the GE decision and order referenced above. As DOE has stated in the past, it is in the public interest to have similar products tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis.
DOE consulted with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff concerning the Samsung petition for waiver. The FTC staff did not have any objections to granting a waiver to Samsung.
After careful consideration of all the material that was submitted by Samsung and consultation with the FTC staff, it is ordered that:
(1) The petition for waiver submitted by Samsung Electronics America, Inc., on September 9, 2009 (Case No. RF-011), is hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.
(2) Samsung shall not be required to test or rate the following Samsung models on the basis of the current test procedures contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1, but shall be required to test and rate such products according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in paragraph (3) below:
(3) Samsung shall be required to test the products listed in paragraph (2) above according to the test procedures for electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR part 430, appendix A1, except that, for the Samsung products listed in paragraph (2) only:
(A) The following definition is added at the end of Section 1:
1.13Variable anti-sweat heater control means an anti-sweat heater where power supplied to the device is determined by an operating condition variable(s) and/or ambient condition variable(s).
(B) Section 2.2 is revised to read as follows:
2.2Operational conditions. The electric refrigerator or electric refrigerator-freezer shall be installed and its operating conditions maintained in accordance with HRF-1-1979, section 7.2 through section 22.214.171.124 except that the vertical ambient temperature
(C) New section 6.2.3 is inserted after section 126.96.36.199.
6.2.3Variable anti-sweat heater control test. The energy consumption of an electric refrigerator-freezer with a variable anti-sweat heater control in the “on” position (E
(4) Representations. Samsung may make representations about the energy use of its adaptive control anti-sweat heater refrigerator-freezer products for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such products have been tested in accordance with the provisions outlined above and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing.
(5) This waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).
(6) This waiver is issued on the condition that the statements, representations, and documentary materials provided by the petitioner are valid. DOE may revoke or modify this waiver at any time if it determines the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver is incorrect, or the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption characteristics.