[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 243 (Monday, December 20, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71019-71021]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-32894]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 305


Disclosures Regarding Energy Consumption and Water Use of Certain 
Home Appliances and Other Products Required Under the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act (``Appliance Labeling Rule'')

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission (Commission) amends is Appliance 
Labeling Rule (the Rule) by publishing new ranges of comparability to 
be used on required labels for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters, 
by deleting the range chart for oil-fired instantaneous water heaters, 
and by publishing new ranges of comparability to be used on required 
labels for compact dishwashers (the ranges of comparability for 
standard dishwashers remain unchanged). The Commission also announces 
that the current ranges of comparability for room air conditioners, 
storage-type water heaters, heat pump water heaters, pool heaters, 
furnaces, boilers, standard-sized dishwashers, central air 
conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and 
freezers will remain in effect until further notice. Finally, the 
Commission amends the portions of Appendices H (Cooling Performance and 
Cost for Central Air Conditioners) and I (Heating Performance and Cost 
for Central Air Conditioners) to Part 305 that contain cost calculation 
formulas. These last amendments change the figures in the formulas to 
reflect the current Representative Average Unit Cost of Electricity 
that was published on January 5, 1999 (64 FR 487) by the Department of 
Energy (DOE), and on February 17, 1999 (64 FR 7783) by the Commission.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 22, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Mills, Attorney, Division of 
Enforcement, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580 (202-326-
3035); jmills@ftc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Rule was issued by the Commission in 
1979 (44 FR 66466 (Nov. 19, 1979)) in response to a directive in the 
Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.\1\ The Rule covers eight 
categories of major household appliances; refrigerators and 
refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, water 
heaters (this category includes storage-type water heaters, gas-fired 
instantaneous water heaters, and heat pump water heaters), room air 
conditioners, furnaces (this category includes boilers), and central 
air conditioners (this category includes heat pumps). The Rule also 
covers pool heaters (59 FR 49556 (Sept. 28, 1994)), and contains 
requirements that pertain to fluorescent lamp ballasts (54 FR 28031 
(July 5, 1989)), certain plumbing products (58 FR 54955 (Oct. 25, 
1993)), and certain lighting products (59 FR 25176 (May 13, 1994)).
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    \1\ 42 U.S.C. 6294. The statute also requires DOE to develop 
test procedures that measure how much energy the appliances use, and 
to determine the representative average cost a consumer pays for the 
different types of energy available.
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    The Rule requires manufacturers of all covered appliances and pool 
heaters to disclose specific energy consumption or efficiency 
information (derived from test procedures promulgated by DOE) at the 
point of sale in the form of an ``EnergyGuide'' label and in catalogs. 
It also requires manufacturers of furnaces, boilers central air 
conditioners, and heat pumps either to provide fact sheets showing 
additional cost information, or to be listed in an industry directory 
showing the cost information for their products. The Rule requires that 
manufacturers include, on labels and fact sheets, an energy consumption 
or efficiency figure and a ``range of comparability'' scale. This scale 
shows the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiencies for all 
comparable appliance models so consumers can compare the energy 
consumption or efficiency of other models (perhaps competing brands) 
similar to the labeled model. The Rule requires that manufacturers also 
include, on labels for some products, a secondary energy usage 
disclosure in the form of an estimated annual operating cost based on a 
specified DOE national average cost for the fuel the appliance uses.
    Section 305.8(b) of the Rule requires manufacturers, after filing 
an initial report, annually (by specified dates for each product type) 
\2\ the estimated annual energy consumption or energy efficiency 
ratings for the appliances derived from tests performed pursuant to the 
DOE test procedures. Because manufacturers regulatory add new models to 
their lines, improve existing models, and drop others, the data base 
from which the ranges of comparability are calculated is constantly 
changing. Under Section 305.10 of the rule, to keep the required 
information on labels consistent with these changes, the Commission 
publishes new ranges (but not more often than annually) if an analysis 
of the new information indicates that the upper or lower limits of the 
ranges have changed by more than 15%. Otherwise, the Commission 
publishes a statement that the prior ranges remain in effect for the 
next year.
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    \2\ Reports for room air conditioners, water heaters (storage-
type, gas-fired instantaneous, and heat pump-type), furnaces, 
boilers, and pool heaters are due May 1; reports for dishwashers are 
due June 1; reports for central air conditioners and heat pumps are 
due July 1; reports for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and 
freezers are due August 1.
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    The annual submissions of data for room air conditioners, water 
heaters (including storage-type, gas-fired instantaneous, and heat pump 
water heaters), furnaces, boilers, pool heaters, dishwashers, central 
air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and 
freezers have been made and have been analyzed by the Commission.
    The ranges of comparability for room air conditioners, storage-type 
water heaters, heat pump water heaters, furnaces, boilers, pool 
heaters, central air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, 
refrigerator-freezers, freezers, and standard-sized dishwashers have 
not changed by more

[[Page 71020]]

than 15% from the current ranges for these products. Therefore, the 
current ranges for these products will remain in effect until further 
notice.\3\
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    \3\ The current ranges for storage-type water heaters, furnaces, 
and boilers were published on September 23, 1994 (59 FR 48796). The 
current ranges for heat pump water heaters, pool heaters, and room 
air conditioners (originally) were published on August 21, 1995 (60 
FR 43367). A corrected version of the ranges for room air 
conditioners was published on November 13, 1995 (60 FR 56945, at 
56949). The current ranges for central air conditioners and heat 
pumps were published on September 16, 1996 (61 FR 48620). The 
current ranges for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and 
freezers were published on December 2, 1998 (63FR 66428).
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    This means that manufacturers of storage-type water heaters, 
furnaces, and boilers must continue to use the ranges that were 
published on September 23, 1994, and that manufacturers of storage-type 
water heaters must continue to base the disclosures of estimated annual 
operating cost required at the bottom of EnergyGuides for these 
products on the 1994 Representative Average Unit Costs of energy for 
electricity (8.41 cents per kilowatt-hour), natural gas (60.4 cents per 
therm), propane (98 cents per gallon), and/or heating oil ($1.05 per 
gallon) that were published by DOE on December 29, 1993 (58 FR 68901), 
and by the Commission on February 8, 1994 (59 FR 5699).
    Manufacturers of heat pump water heaters and pool heaters must 
continue to use the ranges that were published on August 21, 1995. 
Manufacturers of room air conditioners must continue to use the 
corrected ranges for room air conditioners that were published on 
November 13, 1995. Manufacturers of heat pump water heaters, pool 
heaters, and room air conditioners must continue to base the 
disclosures of estimated annual operating cost required at the boom of 
EnergyGuides for these products on the 1995 Representative Average Unit 
Costs of Energy for electricity (8.67 cents per kilowatt-hour), natural 
gas (63 cents per therm), propane (98.5 cents per gallon), and/or 
heating oil ($1.008 per gallon) that were published by DOE on January 
5, 1995 (60 FR 1773), and by the Commission on February 17, 1995 (60 FR 
9295).
    Manufacturers of refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers 
must continue to use the ranges of comparability that were published on 
December 2, 1998. They must continue to base the disclosures of 
estimated annual operating cost required at the bottom of EnergyGuides 
for these products on the 1998 Representative Average Unit Cost for 
electricity (8.42 cents per kilowatt-hour), that was published by DOE 
on December 8, 1997 (62 FR 64574), and by the Commission on December 
29, 1997 (62 FR 67560).
    The data submissions for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters have 
resulted in new ranges of comparability figures for these products, 
which appear below. In addition, the capacity measurement for gas-fired 
instantaneous water heaters in the range chart is now expressed in 
terms of maximum flow rate, instead of first hour rating, to be 
consistent with amendments to the Department of Energy's test procedure 
that were published in the Federal Register on May 11, 1998, at 63 FR 
25996, with an extended effective date of June 5, 1999 (63 FR 71630 
(Dec. 29, 1998)). These new ranges of comparability supersede the 
current ranges for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters.\4\ As of the 
effective date of these new ranges, manufacturers of gas-fired 
instantaneous water heaters must base the disclosures of estimated 
annual operating cost required at the bottom of EnergyGuides for gas-
fired instantaneous water heaters on the 1999 Representative Average 
Unit Costs of Energy for natural gas (68.8 cents per therm) and propane 
(77 cents per gallon) that were published by DOE on January 5, 1999 (64 
FR 487), and by the Commission on February 17, 1999 (64 FR 7783).
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    \4\ The current ranges for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters 
(Appendix D4) were published on August 28, 1998 (63 FR 45942), 
having first been published in 1995 (60 FR 43367 (Aug. 21, 1995)). 
In 1995, the Commission also published a range chart for oil-fired 
instantaneous water heaters (Appendix D5) because, even though the 
DOE test did not yet cover these products, DOE had proposed in 1995 
to develop a test to cover them. Because no data for oil-fired 
instantaneous water heaters has ever been submitted, the range chart 
for these products shows ``no data submitted'' for all size 
categories. DOE withdrew its proposal to develop a final test for 
oil-fired instantaneous water heaters in the May 11, 1998 amendments 
to the water heater test procedure (63 FR 25996 at 25998). 
Therefore, the Commission today deletes the range chart for oil-
fired instantaneous water heaters.
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    The data submissions for dishwashers show a significant change in 
both the high and low ends of the ranges of comparability scale for 
compact models, but only a slight change in the high end of the range 
scale for standard models and no change in the low end for standard 
models. The change in the compact ranges has resulted from the deletion 
of the only model available prior to 1999 and the addition of two new 
models. Thus, the new numbers reflect entirely new models, and it is 
appropriate to publish new ranges of comparability to reflect these 
changes. As just noted, however, the ranges for standard-sized 
dishwashers have changed only slightly. Moreover, the vast majority of 
dishwashers fall into the standard category; relatively few are offered 
in the compact category.
    The Commission's classification of ``standard'' and ``compact'' 
dishwashers is based on internal capacity.\5\ Thus, the Commission 
believes that consumers looking for a standard model are unlikely to be 
interested in a compact model, and vice-versa. Rather than require new 
ranges for the vast majority of dishwashers when only the few in the 
compact category have changed significantly, therefore, the Commission 
has decided to publish new ranges of comparability only for compact 
dishwashers, to inform consumers better about the compact dishwasher 
models currently being manufactured. These new ranges of comparability 
supersede the current ranges for compact-sized dishwashers.\6\ As of 
the effective date of these new ranges, manufacturers of compact-sized 
dishwashers must base the disclosures of estimated annual operating 
cost required at the bottom of EnergyGuides for compact-sized 
dishwashers on the 1999 Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for 
electricity (8.22 cents per kilowatt-hour) and natural gas (68.8 cents 
per therm) that were published by DOE on January 5, 1999 (64 FR 487), 
and by the Commission on February 17, 1999 (64 FR 7783).
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    \5\ Appendix C of the Commission's Rule defines ``Compact'' as 
including countertop dishwasher models with a capacity of fewer than 
eight (8) place settings and ``Standard'' as including portable or 
built-in dishwasher models with a capacity of eight (8) or more 
place settings. Place settings are to be determined in accordance 
with appendix C to 10 CFR Part 430, subpart B, of DOE's energy 
conservation standards program. In contrast, DOE's program defines 
``standard'' and ``compact'' on the basis of external cabinet width.
    \6\ The current ranges for compact-sized (and standard-sized) 
dishwashers (Appendix C) were published on August 25, 1997 (62 FR 
44890).
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    The Commission is leaving the current 1997 ranges of comparability 
for standard-sized dishwashers in place. This means that manufacturers 
of standard-sized dishwashers must continue to use the ranges of 
comparability that were published on August 25, 1997, and must continue 
to base the disclosures of estimated annual operating cost required at 
the bottom of EnergyGuides for these products on the 1997 
Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for electricity (8.31 cents 
per kilowatt-hour) and natural gas (61.2 cents per therm) that were 
published by DOE on November 18, 1996 (61 FR 58679), and by the 
Commission on February 5, 1997 (62 FR 5316).
    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission revises 
Appendices C and D4 of part 305 by publishing the

[[Page 71021]]

following ranges of comparability for use in required disclosures 
(including labeling) for compact-size dishwashers and gas-fired 
instantaneous water heaters beginning March 22, 2000; amends the cost 
calculation formulas in Appendices H and I to Part 305 that 
manufacturers of central air conditioners and heat pumps must include 
on fact sheets and in directories, effective March 22, 2000; and 
deletes Appendix D5 of Part 305, effective immediately.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act relating to a 
Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis (5 U.S.C. 603-604) are not 
applicable to this proceeding because the amendments do not impose any 
new obligations on entities regulated by the Appliance Labeling Rule. 
Thus, the amendments will not have a ``significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.'' 5 U.S.C. 605. The Commission 
has concluded, therefore, that a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
necessary, and certifies, under Section 605 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), that the amendments announced today 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 305

    Advertising, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Labeling, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
    Accordingly, 16 CFR Part 305 is amended as follows:

PART 305--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for Part 305 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6294.

    2. Appendix C to Part 305 is removed and Appendices C1 and C2 are 
added to read as follows:

Appendix C1 to Part 305--Compact Dishwashers

Range Information

    ``Compact'' includes countertop dishwasher models with a 
capacity of fewer than eight (8) place settings. Place settings 
shall be in accordance with appendix C to 10 CFR part 430, subpart 
B. Load patterns shall conform to the operating normal for the model 
being tested.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Range of estimated
                                                         annual energy
                                                       consumption (kWh/
                      Capacity                               yr.)
                                                     -------------------
                                                         Low      High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Compact.............................................       277       426
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Cost Information

    When the above ranges of comparability are used on EnergyGuide 
labels for compact sized dishwashers, the estimated annual operating 
cost disclosure appearing in the box at the bottom of the labels 
must be derived using the 1999 Representative Average Unit Costs for 
electricity (8.22 cents per kilowatt-hour) and natural gas (68.8 
cents per therm), and the text below the box must identify the costs 
as such.

Appendix C2 to Part 305--Standard Dishwashers

Range Information

    ``Standard'' includes portable or built-in dishwasher models 
with a capacity of eight (8) or more place settings. Place settings 
shall be in accordance with appendix C to 10 CFR part 430, subpart 
B. Load patterns shall conform to the operating normal for the model 
being tested.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Range of estimated
                                                         annual energy
                                                       consumption (kWh/
                      Capacity                               yr.)
                                                     -------------------
                                                         Low      High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard............................................       344       699
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Cost Information

    When the above ranges of comparability are used on EnergyGuide 
labels for standard-sized dishwashers, the estimated annual 
operating cost disclosure appearing in the box at the bottom of the 
labels must be derived using the 1997 Representative Average Unit 
Costs for electricity (8.31 cents per kilowatt-hour) and natural gas 
(61.2 cents per therm), and the text below the box must identify the 
costs as such.

    3. Appendix D4 to Part 305 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix D4 to Part 305--Water Heaters--Instantaneous--Gas

Range Information

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Range of estimated annual
                                              energy consumption (therms/
                                                 yr. and gallons/yr.)
  Capacity (maximum flow rate); gallons per  ---------------------------
                minute (gpm)                   Natural gas     Propane
                                               therms/yr.    gallons/yr.
                                             ---------------------------
                                               Low    High   Low    High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Under 1.00..................................    233    233    256    256
1.00 to 2.00................................    230    234    252    256
2.01 to 3.00................................    188    218    206    239
Over 3.00...................................    187    238    197    260
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cost Information

    When the above ranges of comparability are used on EnergyGuide 
labels for instantaneous water heaters, the estimated annual 
operating cost disclosure appearing in the box at the bottom of the 
labels must be derived using the 1999 Representative Average Unit 
Costs for natural gas (68.8 cents per therm) and propane (77 cents 
per gallon), and the text below the box must identify the costs as 
such.

    4. Appendix D5 to Part 305 is removed.
    5. Appendix D6 to Part 305 is redesignated as Appendix D5.
    6. In section 2 of Appendix H of part 305, the text and formulas 
are amended by removing the figure ``8.42 cents'' wherever it appears 
and by adding, in its place,the figure ``8.22 cents''; and by removing 
the figure ``12.64 cents'' wherever it appears and by adding, in its 
place, the figure ``12.4 cents''.
    7. In section 2 of Appendix I of part 305, the text and formulas 
are amended by removing the figure ``8.42 cents'' wherever it appears 
and by adding, in its place, the figure ``8.22 cents''; and by removing 
the figure ``12.64 cents'' wherever it appears and by adding, in its 
place, the figure ``12.34 cents''.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 99-32894 Filed 12-17-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-M