Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On March 7, 2011, DOE published a final rule in the
The March 2011 Final Rule imposed new reporting requirements, including a requirement that manufacturers submit annual reports to the Department certifying compliance of their basic models with applicable standards. It also revised the types of information manufacturers must provide in that submission. The Department emphasized that manufacturers could use their discretion in grouping individual models as a certified “basic model” such that the certified rating for the basic model matched the represented rating for all included models.
The March 2011 Final Rule provided for the revised certification provisions to be effective on July 5, 2011. Certain manufacturers of particular types of commercial and industrial equipment
In the June 30 Final Rule, DOE stated that it believed 18 months would be sufficient to provide manufacturers with the time necessary to develop the data and supporting documentation needed
On May 24, 2012, DOE issued a proposed rule to revise and expand its regulations regarding alternative efficiency determination methods (AEDMs). AEDMs reduce testing burdens by allowing manufacturers to use computer simulations, mathematical models, and other alternative methods to determine the amount of energy used or efficiency by a particular basic model. AEDM provisions for commercial HVAC equipment and commercial WH equipment already exist, but DOE has proposed to revise those regulations and to allow manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment to use AEDMs. DOE has not yet finalized the AEDM rulemaking.
In an October 2012, letter to the Secretary of Energy, the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) requested another certification compliance date extension. AHRI wrote, the “AEDM is a critical element of the DOE certification process as it will help manufacturers comply with the regulations without having to test every basic model they offer.” (AHRI, No. 1 at pp. 1-2) As a result, in its letter AHRI requested that the compliance date for certification be extended a minimum of 18 months from the date of publication of the AEDM final rule.
The Department agrees that it may address some of the concerns raised by manufacturers' by completing the AEDM rulemaking. The Department is also reviewing the recommendations of the Convenor regarding the feasibility of a negotiated rulemaking to revise the certification requirements for commercial HVAC equipment and commercial refrigeration equipment.
As such, the Department agrees with AHRI that further extension of the December 31, 2012 compliance date may be warranted for commercial refrigeration equipment; commercial HVAC equipment; and commercial WH equipment. However, as all manufacturers should have at least some valid test data upon which to develop a substantiated AEDM, DOE does not believe that an extension for the length of time after finalization of an AEDM rule requested by AHRI would be necessary. Further, the potential for issues raised by manufacturers to be addressed through a negotiated rulemaking also suggests that the time requested by AHRI may be longer than necessary. Accordingly, the Department is proposing a 12-month delay in the compliance date for submission of a certification report for commercial refrigeration equipment, commercial HVAC equipment, and commercial WH equipment. However, DOE is requesting comment on its assumption regarding the existence of test data. We also seek comment on whether a longer or shorter period of time would be more appropriate.
If the Department adopts in a final rule a delayed compliance date for submission of certification reports, DOE will also implement an enforcement policy to encourage voluntary certifications. Specifically, during the interim period, DOE would not perform random assessment tests (as defined at 10 CFR 429.104) of basic models of commercial HVAC, refrigeration, or WH equipment that are voluntarily certified in accordance with DOE's regulations set forth in 10 CFR Parts 429 and 431. This approach would acknowledge the efforts of manufacturers that have been working toward completing the necessary testing to develop certified ratings in accordance with the December 31, 2012 deadline. Even under this approach, DOE would continue to conduct enforcement testing of any basic model pursuant to 10 CFR 429.110 when it has a reason to believe a given basic model may be non-compliant with the applicable Federal standard.
The preamble to the June 30 Final Rule stated that the compliance date for submitting a certification report for automatic commercial ice makers (ACIM) was also extended; however, the regulatory text did not extend the compliance date for that product (76 FR 38287). DOE has not enforced the certification requirements for ACIM. Information available to DOE does not suggest any issues with the compliance date for ACIMs; therefore, DOE is proposing to modify the regulatory text to require submission of a certification report for each basic model of ACIM by December 31, 2012, as contemplated by the June 30 Final Rule. DOE requests comment, however, regarding whether the compliance date for ACIM certification should also be extended.
The compliance dates for certification requirements for walk-in coolers and freezers, distribution transformers, and metal halide lamp ballasts have passed, and manufacturers of those products are now submitting certification reports. The proposed regulatory text would reflect that these products are now required to be certified by removing the delayed compliance dates.
Lastly, the Department is proposing to correct a technical drafting error for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps that was implemented in the reprinting of Table 5 in 10 CFR 431.97 in a final rule published on May 16, 2012 (77 FR 28994). More specifically, DOE adopted changes to the applicable energy conservation standards for standard size and non-standard size packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps with a cooling capacity of 15,000 Btu/h. DOE is proposing to correct this error in today's proposed rule and adopt the original standards for standard size and non-standard size packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps with a cooling capacity of 15,000 Btu/h as presented in a final rule evaluating and originally adopting the amended energy conservation for this equipment published on April 7, 2008 (73 FR 18915).
Under 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 including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about 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 by or available from other sources, (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality, (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure, (6) when such information might lose its confidential character due to the
This proposed rule has been determined not to be a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601
DOE reviewed this proposed rule under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. This proposed rule would merely extend the compliance date of a rulemaking already promulgated. To the extent such action has any economic impact it would be positive in that it would allow regulated parties additional time to come into compliance. DOE did undertake a full regulatory flexibility analysis of the original CCE rulemaking. That analysis considered the impacts of that rulemaking on small entities. As a result, DOE certifies that, if adopted, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
DOE has determined that this rule falls into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321
The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of today's NOPR.
Administrative practice and procedure, Energy conservation, Commercial equipment, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE is proposing to amend chapter II, subchapter D, of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, to read as set forth below:
1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as follows:
42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.
2. In § 429.12, revise paragraph (i) to read as follows:
(1) Automatic commercial ice makers, December 31, 2012;
(2) Commercial refrigeration equipment, December 31, 2013;
(3) Commercial heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment, December 31, 2013; and
(4) Commercial water heating equipment, December 31, 2013.
3. The authority citation for part 431 continues to read as follows:
42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.
4. In § 431.97, paragraph (c), revise Table 5 to read as follows:
(c) * * *