[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 102 (Friday, May 29, 2009)]
[Pages 25732-25735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-12467]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0500; FRL-8910-4]

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. 
2193.02, OMB Control No. 2060-0586

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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 November 30, 2009. 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 July 28, 2009.

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.
     E-mail: [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., 

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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 consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. 
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 e-
mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, 
your e-mail 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.

Mailcode 6202J, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9162; fax 
number: (202) 343-2200; e-mail 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, home owners, home energy verification organizations, 
lenders, regional energy efficiency programs, home improvement 
contractors, and national, regional, state, or local government 
entities and other organizations that serve the home building or home 
improvement industries.
    Title: Information Collection Activities Associated with EPA's 
ENERGY STAR Program in the Residential Sector.
    ICR Numbers: EPA ICR No. 2193.02, OMB Control No. 2060-0586.
    ICR Status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on November 
30, 2009. 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: EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 to label energy 
efficient computers. Since then, EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) 
have expanded the ENERGY STAR Program to promote energy efficiency in 
products and commercial and residential buildings. Increased energy 
efficiency through ENERGY STAR provides cost savings to businesses and 
homeowners, reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and 
increases U.S. energy security and reliability.
    EPA announced ENERGY STAR for New Homes in 1995 as part of its 
effort to promote energy efficient construction in the new homes 
market. EPA rolled

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out its existing homes effort in 2000 to promote comprehensive, cost-
effective upgrades to the existing homes market. These two efforts 
promote home envelope improvements such as the proper installation of 
adequate insulation, sealing of holes and gaps that allow air into the 
home, and installation of energy efficient windows. In addition to the 
home envelope, EPA promotes energy efficient heating and cooling 
equipment, including sealing leaky ducts that distribute conditioned 
    EPA has developed this ICR to obtain authorization to collect 
information from the public for the activities described below.
    ENERGY STAR Partnership: An organization interested in joining 
ENERGY STAR as a partner is asked to submit a partnership agreement 
establishing its commitment to promoting ENERGY STAR. Partners agree to 
undertake efforts such as educating 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 logos. Partners are encouraged to undertake 
related activities for added benefit and/or public recognition, such as 
committing to build 100% ENERGY STAR qualified new homes or offering 
homebuyers ENERGY STAR's Advanced Lighting Package.
    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 the supply and demand for 
energy-efficient homes and home improvement products and services. For 
example, EPA periodically contacts a subset of partners about their 
participation in the ENERGY STAR Program to determine how it has 
impacted their organization and areas for improvement. EPA also 
provides tools to help educate homeowners about their homes' energy 
efficiency. For example, a homeowner can input basic information about 
their home and their utility costs into EPA's Home Energy Yardstick to 
compare their household's energy use to others and get recommendations 
for improvement. EPA would like to utilize some of this information to 
evaluate the tool's usefulness as well as evaluate the impact of energy 
efficiency improvements as well as other characteristics of the home on 
home energy efficiency.
    Quarterly Reporting: Partners are asked to submit information each 
calendar quarter to assist EPA in tracking and measuring progress and 
program implementation. This includes submitting quarterly updates on 
partners' level of activity in qualifying new homes for the ENERGY STAR 
label and activity in improving the energy efficiency of existing 
    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 
with public recognition and market differentiation. There is an 
application form that is submitted to EPA by partners interested in 
being eligible for an award.
    Outreach Partnership: Partners have the opportunity to participate 
in an outreach partnership with EPA to develop public education 
campaigns featuring the benefits of ENERGY STAR qualified homes. 
Partners interested in participating in the outreach program are asked 
to submit a form detailing their level of participation.
    Finally, organizations are encouraged to participate in other 
voluntary activities under the program, such as pilot projects designed 
to help EPA find better ways to encourage energy efficiency in new and 
existing homes.
    Burden Statement: The annual burden for joining ENERGY STAR and 
conducting related activities is estimated to range from about 1 to 100 
hours per respondent. This includes time for preparing and submitting 
the Partnership Agreement and related information, if requested, and 
carrying out specified activities under the partnership (e.g., 
verifying site-built homes to see if they qualify for an ENERGY STAR 
Label). The annual burden for partner evaluations is estimated to range 
from 15 minutes to 4 hours 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 range 
from about 3.5 to 10 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 range from about 
10.5 to 30 hours per respondent. This includes time for preparing and 
submitting the application materials and, if requested, an annual 
report. The annual burden for the outreach activities is estimated to 
range from about 1 to 40 hours per respondent. This includes time for 
preparing and submitting the commitment form and performing outreach 
activities under the partnership (e.g., implementing an outreach 
    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: 80,000.
    Frequency of response: Once, quarterly, annually, on occasion.
    Estimated total annual burden hours: 297,997.
    Estimated total annual costs: $18.7 million. This includes an 
estimated cost of approximately $18.6 million for labor and $0.1 
million for capital investment, operation and maintenance.

Are There Changes in the Estimates From the Last Approval?

    There is an increase of 122,548 hours in the total estimated 
respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently 
approved by OMB. This increase results partly from adjustments to EPA's 
burden estimates of its existing collections (e.g., updates to the 
number of respondents and activities). The increase also results from 
some new, voluntary programs that EPA would like to offer industry and 
homeowners to further promote energy efficiency in new and existing 
homes. For example, EPA intends to offer a voluntary, online tool for 
homeowners to compare their home's energy efficiency to other, similar 
homes. They would enter basic information from their utility bills and 
their home's size and location to derive comparative information. This 
would help them take steps to reduce their home's energy usage and 
costs. Because the tool would be user-friendly and yet beneficial, EPA

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estimates that many homeowners would use it (i.e., 75,000 homeowners/

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: May 21, 2009.
Kathleen Hogan,
Director, Climate Protection Partnerships Division.
[FR Doc. E9-12467 Filed 5-28-09; 8:45 am]