[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 17, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55772-55775]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-22227]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

[Case No. RF-040]


Notice of Petition for Waiver of Sub-Zero From the Department of 
Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure 
and Grant of Interim Waiver

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

ACTION: Notice of Petition for Waiver, Notice of Granting Application 
for Interim Waiver, and Request for Public Comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt and publication of a petition 
for waiver submitted by the Sub-Zero Group, Inc. from specified 
portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for 
determining the energy consumption of electric refrigerators and 
refrigerator-freezers. Sub-Zero's request pertains to the specific 
hybrid refrigerated ``storage-wine storage'' basic models set forth in 
its petition. Sub-Zero

[[Page 55773]]

seeks permission to use an alternate test procedure to test the wine 
chiller compartment of these devices at 55[emsp14][deg]F instead of the 
prescribed temperature of 39[emsp14][deg]F. That procedure would apply 
a K factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 when calculating the 
energy consumption of a tested model and replace the energy consumption 
calculation currently required under 10 CFR Part 430, Appendix A. DOE 
solicits comments, data, and information concerning Sub-Zero's petition 
and the suggested alternate test procedure. Today's notice also grants 
Sub-Zero with an interim waiver from the electric refrigerator-freezer 
test procedure, subject to use of the alternative test procedure set 
forth in this notice.

DATES: DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to 
the Sub-Zero Petition until October 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by case number ``RF-
040,'' by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]. 
Include the case number [Case No. RF-040] in the subject line of the 
message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-5B/1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Please 
submit one signed original paper copy.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 
600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper 
copy.
    Docket: For access to the docket to review the background documents 
relevant to this matter, you may visit the U.S. Department of Energy, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024; (202) 586-2945, between 
9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. Available documents include the following items: (1) This 
notice; (2) public comments received; (3) the petition for waiver and 
application for interim waiver; and (4) prior DOE rulemakings regarding 
similar refrigerator-freezers. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards at the 
above telephone number for additional information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-5B, Forrestal 
Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: [email protected].
    Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 
(EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), 
established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other 
Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances, 
which includes the electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers 
that are the focus of this notice.\1\ Part B includes definitions, test 
procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the 
authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. 
Further, Part B authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test 
procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results which 
measure the energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated annual 
operating costs of a covered product, and that are not unduly 
burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for 
electric refrigerators and electric refrigerator-freezers is contained 
in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A.
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
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    The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27, which were recently 
amended, contain provisions that enable a person to petition DOE to 
obtain a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered 
products. See 79 FR 26591 (May 9, 2014) (revising 10 CFR 430.27, 
effective June 9, 2014). (DOE notes that while the previous version of 
10 CFR 430.27 was effective at the time of Sub-Zero's submission, the 
substantive aspects of this regulation have not been changed by the May 
9th rule.) Under 10 CFR 430.27, the Assistant Secretary for Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) will grant a 
waiver if it is determined that the basic model for which the petition 
for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics 
that prevents testing of the basic model according to the prescribed 
test procedures, or if the 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(l). 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. DOE may grant the 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 the Assistant Secretary to grant an 
interim waiver from test procedure requirements to manufacturers that 
have petitioned DOE for a waiver of such prescribed test procedures. 10 
CFR 430.27(g). An interim waiver remains in effect for 180 days or 
until DOE issues its determination on the petition for waiver, 
whichever occurs earlier. DOE may extend an interim waiver for an 
additional 180 days. 10 CFR 430.27(h).

II. Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure

    Sub-Zero is seeking a waiver from the test procedure applicable to 
residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers set forth 
in 10 CFR part 430, Subpart B, Appendix A. In its petition, Sub-Zero 
explained that it produces a hybrid refrigerator basic model (i.e. 
refrigerators that have a combination of one or more refrigerated 
storage compartments and a wine storage compartment). Sub-Zero asserts 
that the DOE test procedure does not contain a method to test these 
types of hybrid products in a manner that would ``truly represent[ ] 
the energy-consumption characteristics of these products'' and offered 
an alternate test procedure that Sanyo E&E Corporation (Sanyo), now 
Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America 
(PAPRSA), used in prior waiver requests. See 77 FR 49443 (Aug. 16, 
2012) and 78 FR 57139 (Sept. 17, 2013). (On October 4, 2012, a 
correction notice to the August 16, 2012 Decision and Order was 
published. See 77 FR 60688.) These earlier decisions incorporated a K 
factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 when calculating the energy 
consumption of a tested model (77 FR 60688). Sub-Zero is requesting 
that it be permitted to apply the same procedure when testing the 
energy usage of its hybrid refrigerated storage-wine storage models.
    Against this background, DOE had previously issued guidance in 2011 
that clarified the test procedures to be used for hybrid products such 
as the Sub-Zero models at issue. That guidance is available at the 
following link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/
appliance_standards/residential/pdfs/

[[Page 55774]]

refrigeratordefinitionfaq.pdf. The guidance specifies 
that basic models that do not have a separate wine storage compartment 
with a separate exterior door, such as those models identified in Sub-
Zero's petition, are to be tested using the DOE test procedure in 
Appendix A, with the temperatures specified therein. Sub-Zero's waiver 
request seeks to replace the application of this general guidance with 
the more recent and specific approach outlined in determinations for 
similar hybrid products offered by Sanyo and PAPRSA when measuring the 
efficiency of these products.
    Sub-Zero also requests an interim waiver from the existing DOE test 
procedure. An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that 
the applicant will experience economic hardship if the application for 
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 of the petition for waiver. See 10 CFR 
430.27(g).
    For the reasons discussed above, DOE has determined that use of the 
currently required DOE test procedure would provide test results so 
unrepresentative as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 
Therefore, it appears likely that Sub-Zero's petition for waiver will 
be granted. For these same reasons, DOE has also determined that it is 
desirable for public policy reasons to grant Sub-Zero immediate relief 
pending a determination of the petition for waiver. DOE grants Sub-
Zero's application for interim waiver from testing of its hybrid 
refrigerated storage-wine storage basic models.
    Therefore, it is ordered that:
    The application for interim waiver filed by Sub-Zero is hereby 
granted for Sub-Zero's hybrid refrigerated storage-wine storage basic 
product lines are subject to the following specifications and 
conditions below. Sub-Zero shall be required to test and rate its 
hybrid refrigerated storage-wine storage product line according to the 
alternate test procedure as set forth in section III, ``Alternate test 
procedure.''
    The following basic models are included in Sub-Zero's petition:
    IW-30R
    DOE makes decisions on waivers for only those models specifically 
set out in the petition, not future models that may be manufactured by 
the petitioner. Sub-Zero may submit a subsequent petition for waiver 
for additional models of electric refrigerators and refrigerator-
freezers for which it seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure. In 
addition, DOE notes that the grant of a waiver does not release a 
petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 
429.
    Further, this interim waiver is conditioned upon the presumed 
validity of statements, representations, and documents provided by the 
petitioner. DOE may revoke or modify this interim waiver at any time 
upon a determination that the factual basis underlying the petition for 
waiver is incorrect, or upon a determination that the results from the 
alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true 
energy consumption characteristics.

III. Alternate Test Procedure

    Sub-Zero submitted an alternate test procedure to account for the 
energy consumption of its hybrid refrigerated storage-wine storage 
products. That alternate procedure would test this product according to 
the procedure specified in appendix A to subpart B of 10 CFR part 430 
except with a standardized temperature for the wine chiller compartment 
of 55[emsp14][deg]F, instead of the prescribed 39[emsp14][deg]F. Sub-
Zero shall also use the K factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 when 
calculating the energy consumption of the model listed and calculate 
the energy consumption of this model as follows:
    Energy consumption is defined by the higher of the two values 
calculated by the following two formulas (according to 10 CFR part 430, 
subpart B, Appendix A):
    Energy consumption of the wine compartment:

EWine = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (55 [deg]F-TW1)/(TW2-TW1)] *0.85

    Energy consumption of the refrigerated beverage compartment:

ERefrigerated Compartment = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (39 [deg]F-
TRC1)/(TRC2-TRC1)].

IV. Summary and Request for Comments

    Through today's notice, DOE grants Sub-Zero an interim waiver from 
the specified portions of the test procedure applicable to Sub-Zero's 
line of hybrid refrigerated storage-wine storage basic models and 
announces receipt of Sub-Zero's petition for waiver from those same 
portions of the test procedure. DOE is publishing Sub-Zero's petition 
for waiver in its entirety. The petition contains no confidential 
information. The petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure 
to determine the energy consumption of Sub-Zero's specified hybrid 
refrigerators. Sub-Zero is required to follow this alternate procedure 
as a condition of its interim waiver, and DOE is considering including 
this alternate procedure in its subsequent Decision and Order.
    DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the 
petition, including the suggested alternate test procedure and 
calculation methodology. Any person submitting written comments to DOE 
must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner. The contact 
information for the petitioner is: Paul V. Sikir, Vice President of 
Design Engineering, Sub-Zero Group, Inc., 4717 Hammersley Road, 
Madison, Wisconsin 53711. All submissions received must include the 
agency name and case number for this proceeding. Submit electronic 
comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Portable Document Format 
(PDF), or text (American Standard Code for Information Interchange 
(ASCII)) file format and avoid the use of special characters or any 
form of encryption. Wherever possible, include the electronic signature 
of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 10, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
SUB-ZERO GROUP, INC.
4717 Hammersley Road
Madison, WI 53711

May 19th, 2014

The Honorable David Danielson
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20585

Dear Secretary Danielson:

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27, Sub-Zero respectfully requests expedited 
attention to this Petition for both an interim and final waiver to 
modify the DOE test procedure (10 CFR 430 Subpart B Appendix A) for 
Sub-Zero hybrid refrigerated storage-wine storage products. Without 
this waiver, we are unable to certify models as compliant with new DOE 
minimum efficiency standards effective in 2014. This request is similar 
to past petitions for waivers that have been granted by DOE to Sanyo 
(77FR49443) and PAPRSA (78FR35894).
    The Department's regulations provide that the Assistant Secretary 
will grant a Petition upon ``determination that the basic model for 
which the waiver was requested contains a design characteristic which 
either prevents testing of the basic model according to the prescribed 
test procedures, or the

[[Page 55775]]

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.'' Sub-Zero requests 
that the Assistant Secretary grant this petition on both grounds.
    In granting the Sanyo petition, DOE acknowledged that wine storage 
compartments cannot be tested at the prescribed temperature of 38 
[deg]F (now 39 [deg]F in the revised Refrigerator Test Procedure), 
because the minimum wine compartment temperature is higher. Sanyo 
submitted an alternate test procedure to account for the energy 
consumption of its wine storage/beverage center models. That alternate 
procedure would test the wine storage compartment at 55 [deg]F, instead 
of the prescribed 38 [deg]F. To justify the use of this standardized 
temperature for testing; Sanyo stated in its petition that it designed 
these models to provide an average wine compartment temperature of 55 
to 57 [deg]F, which it determined is a commonly recommended temperature 
for wine storage. This temperature is presumed to be representative of 
expected consumer use. DOE also noted that the test procedures for wine 
products adopted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers 
(AHAM), California Energy Commission (CEC), and Natural Resources 
Canada all use the standardized temperature of 55 [deg]F for wine 
storage compartments; consistent with Sanyo's petition. Furthermore, 
DOE prescribed that Sanyo also use the proposed K factor (correction 
factor) value of 0.85 when calculating energy consumption.
    DOE granted Sanyo's waiver petition in 2012, acknowledging that the 
existing test procedure cannot properly measure the energy consumed in 
actual consumer usage. Thereafter in 2013, DOE granted PAPRSA's similar 
waiver application.
    Sub-Zero is a family-owned company that has been headquartered in 
Madison, Wisconsin for over 65 years. Sub-Zero developed the niche 
market for customized built-in residential refrigeration and 
manufactures all our products in the United States, with factories in 
Wisconsin and Arizona. While technically not a ``small business'' using 
DOE's definition, Sub-Zero is a small producer of refrigeration 
products striving to compete in an age of large, multi-national 
manufacturers and is one of the few remaining U.S. companies that 
produce all of its products here in the U.S. The company's future 
viability is clearly threatened by this situation and we sincerely ask 
DOE to grant immediate relief.

Issues with the DOE Test Procedure

    Sub-Zero is requesting a waiver to the test procedures for its 
hybrid models that consist of a combination of one or more refrigerated 
storage compartments and a wine storage compartment. While DOE 
considers such hybrid models as covered products, there is no current 
DOE test procedure appropriate to these hybrid models. Therefore, the 
current testing requirements do not measure energy usage in a manner 
that truly represents the energy-consumption characteristics of these 
products. Further, it is not even possible to test these models under 
the existing testing procedures. DOE fully recognizes these issues 
associated with testing hybrid wine products and has initiated a 
rulemaking to address these products in the future. Therefore Sub-Zero 
requests this waiver until such time as DOE's rulemaking is complete.
    As explained in the Sanyo petition, wine connoisseurs recommend an 
average of 55-57 [deg]F for the long term storage of wine, and Sub-Zero 
has also designed the wine storage compartments of its products with 
this ideal average temperature in mind. Since various wines have 
different ideal drinking temperatures, products are designed such that 
the wine storage compartment can achieve a range of temperatures above 
39 [deg]F. DOE's test procedures (10 CFR 430 Subpart B Appendix A) 
specify that energy consumption be determined at a compartment 
temperature of 39 [deg]F and therefore cannot apply to a product that 
is designed to be incapable of achieving this temperature. Further, as 
described in the Sanyo petition, hybrid models will typically have 
door-opening usage aligned with household freezers and wine storage 
products. Thus, the K factor (correction factor) of .85 from CAN/CSA 
300-08 6.3.1.2 and AHAM/ANSI HRF-1 should be used to determine energy 
consumption.

Proposed Modified Test Procedure

    As in the two previously granted petitions, the wine storage 
compartment shall be tested at 55[emsp14][deg]F.
    Sub Zero shall use the K factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 
when calculating the energy consumption of the models listed below.
    The energy consumption is defined by the higher of the two values 
calculated by the following two formulas (according to 10 CFR Part 430, 
subpart B, Appendix A):
    Energy consumption of the wine compartment:

EWine = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (55 [deg]F-TW1)/(TW2-TW1)] *0.85
    Energy consumption of the refrigerated compartment:

ERefrigerated Compartment = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x 
(39[emsp14][deg]F-TRC1)/(TRC2-TRC1)].

Affected Models

    The basic models of Sub-Zero hybrid refrigerated storage-wine 
storage products affected are:
IW-30R
    In conclusion, this is a critical issue for our company and we 
request that DOE expedite the handling of this petition for an interim 
and final waiver. Sub-Zero would be pleased to discuss this waiver 
petition with DOE and provide any additional information that the 
Department might require. We will also notify all manufacturers known 
to us of similar domestically marketed products of this waiver 
petition.

    Sincerely,

Paul V. Sikir
Vice President of Design Engineering

Via email: [email protected]

[FR Doc. 2014-22227 Filed 9-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P