[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 235 (Thursday, December 6, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72763-72766]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29486]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 235 / Thursday, December 6, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 72763]]


10 CFR Parts 429 and 431

[Docket Number: EERE-2012-BT-CE-0048]
RIN 1904-AC90

Energy Conservation Program: Certification of Commercial and 
Industrial HVAC, Refrigeration and Water Heating Equipment

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the ``Department'') 
proposes to amend the compliance dates for revisions to its 
certification regulations for certain commercial and industrial 
equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, 
as amended (EPCA or the ``Act''). Specifically, DOE is proposing a 12-
month extension to the compliance date for the certification provisions 
of commercial refrigeration equipment; commercial heating, ventilating, 
air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment; and commercial water heating 
equipment. DOE is proposing to retain a December 31, 2012 certification 
date for automatic commercial ice makers. Lastly, DOE is proposing a 
correction in the packaged terminal equipment standards table, which 
would impact standard-size packaged terminal air conditioners and 
packaged terminal heat pumps with a cooling capacity of 15,000 Btu/h.

DATES: DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding the 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) postmarked no later than December 
21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested persons 
may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2012-BT-CE-0048, 
by any of the following methods:
     Email: to [email protected]. Include EERE-2012-
BT-CE-0048 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Revisions to Energy 
Efficiency Enforcement Regulations, EERE-2012-BT-CE-0048, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585- 0121. Phone: (202) 586-
2945. Please submit one signed paper original.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one 
signed paper original.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or RIN for this rulemaking.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or 
comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies Program, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 202-586-6590. Email: 
[email protected]; and Ms. Laura Barhydt, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Forrestal Building, GC-32, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: (202) 287-
5772. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 7, 2011, DOE published a final rule 
in the Federal Register that, among other things, modified the 
requirements regarding manufacturer submission of compliance statements 
and certification reports to DOE (hereafter referred to as the March 
2011 Final Rule) (76 FR 12421). These certification provisions are 
central to the Department's regulatory framework for ensuring that 
covered products and equipment sold in the Unites States comply with 
existing Federal energy conservation standards and associated 
    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. See 
76 FR 12428-12429 for more information. This reflected a basic 
requirement of the Department's longstanding self-certification 
compliance regime--that efficiency certifications and representations 
must be supported by either testing or an approved alternative method 
of estimating efficiency.
    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 \1\ stated 
that, for a variety of reasons, they would be unable to meet that 
deadline. As a result, the Department extended the compliance date for 
certification of commercial refrigeration equipment; commercial HVAC 
equipment; commercial WH equipment; and walk-in coolers and freezers. 
See 76 FR 38287 (hereafter referred to as the June 30 Final Rule). DOE 
also acknowledged in the June 30 Final Rule that numerous manufacturers 
for certain types of commercial equipment appear to have been making 
representations of efficiency and determining compliance with the 
applicable energy conservation standards without testing products in 
accordance with all of the provisions of the DOE test procedures, which 
include sampling plans and certification testing tolerances.

    \1\ These products included commercial warm air furnaces, 
commercial packaged boilers, and commercial air conditioners and 
heat pumps (collectively referred to as commercial HVAC equipment); 
commercial refrigeration equipment; commercial water heaters, 
commercial hot water supply boilers, and unfired hot water storage 
tanks (collectively referred to as commercial WH equipment); walk-in 
coolers; walk-in freezers; and automatic commercial ice makers.

    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

[[Page 72764]]

to populate the certification reports and certify compliance with DOE's 
regulations, including the existing testing and sampling procedures. 
DOE also emphasized that all covered equipment must meet the applicable 
energy conservation standard and that all testing procedures and 
sampling provisions were unaffected by the final rule.
    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.\2\

    \2\ The U.S. Department of Energy Convening Report on the 
Feasibility of a Negotiated Rulemaking to Revise the Certification 
Program for Commercial Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning, and 
Commercial Refrigeration Equipment can be found at http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/pdfs/convening_report_hvac_cre.pdf.

    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).

Further Information on Submitting Comments

    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

[[Page 72765]]

passage of time, and (7) why disclosure of the information would be 
contrary to the public interest.

I. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    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).

B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires 
preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IFRA) for 
any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the 
agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
As required by Executive Order 13272, ``Proper Consideration of Small 
Entities in Agency Rulemaking,'' (67 FR 53461, August 16, 2002), DOE 
published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that 
the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly 
considered during the DOE rulemaking process (68 FR 7990). DOE has made 
its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General 
Counsel's Web site: http://www.energy.gov/gc.
    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.

C. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act

    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 et seq.) and DOE's 
implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this rule 
amends an existing rule without changing its environmental effect and, 
therefore, is covered by the Categorical Exclusion in 10 CFR part 1021, 
subpart D, paragraph A5. Accordingly, neither an environmental 
assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

II. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of today's NOPR.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Parts 429 and 431

    Administrative practice and procedure, Energy conservation, 
Commercial equipment, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.

    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 

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    2. In Sec.  429.12, revise paragraph (i) to read as follows:

Sec.  429.12  General requirements applicable to certification reports.

* * * * *
    (i) Compliance dates. For any product subject to an applicable 
energy conservation standard for which the compliance date has not yet 
occurred, a certification report must be submitted not later than the 
compliance date for the applicable energy conservation standard. The 
covered products are subject to the stated compliance dates for 
certification 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 

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    4. In Sec.  431.97, paragraph (c), revise Table 5 to read as 

Sec.  431.97  Energy efficiency standards and their compliance dates.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

                Table 5 to Sec.   431.97--Updated Minimum Efficiency Standards for PTAC and PTHP
                                                                                     Compliance date: Products
  Equipment type     Cooling capacity       Sub-category       Efficiency level      manufactured on and after
PTAC.............  Standard Size......  <7,000 Btu/h.......  EER = 11.7.........  October 8, 2012.
                                        >=7,000 Btu/h and    EER = 13.8-(0.3 x    October 8, 2012.
                                         <= 15,000 Btu/h.     Cap\1\).
                                        >15,000 Btu/h......  EER = 9.3..........  October 8, 2012.
                   Non-Standard Size..  <7,000 Btu/h.......  EER = 9.4..........  October 7, 2010.
                                        >=7,000 Btu/h and    EER = 10.9-(0.213 x  October 7, 2010.
                                         <= 15,000 Btu/h.     Cap\1\).
                                        >15,000 Btu/h......  EER = 7.7..........  October 7, 2010.
PTHP.............  Standard Size......  <7,000 Btu/h.......  EER = 11.9.........  October 8, 2012.
                                                             COP = 3.3..........
                                        >=7,000 Btu/h and    EER = 14.0 - (0.3 x  October 8, 2012.
                                         <= 15,000 Btu/h.     Cap\1\)
                                                             COP = 3.7 - (0.052
                                                              x Cap\1\).

[[Page 72766]]

                                        >15,000 Btu/h......  EER = 9.5            October 8, 2012.
                                                             COP = 2.9..........
                   Non-Standard Size..  <7,000 Btu/h.......  EER = 9.3..........  October 7, 2010.
                                                             COP = 2.7..........
                                        >=7,000 Btu/h and    EER = 10.8 - (0.213  October 7, 2010.
                                         <=15,000 Btu/h.      x Cap\1\).
                                                             COP = 2.9 - (0.026
                                                              x Cap\1\).
                                        >15,000 Btu/h......  EER = 7.6..........  October 7, 2010.
                                                             COP = 2.5..........
\1\ ``Cap'' means cooling capacity in thousand Btu/h at 95[emsp14][deg]F outdoor dry-bulb temperature.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-29486 Filed 12-5-12; 8:45 am]