[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 16 (Tuesday, January 26, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4270-4274]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01496]



[[Page 4270]]

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

[Docket Number: EERE-2016-BT-WAV-0001; Case No. RF-043]


Notice of Interim Waiver and Request for Waiver From Panasonic 
Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America Corporation 
(PAPRSA) From the Department of Energy Refrigerator and Refrigerator-
Freezer Test Procedures

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

ACTION: Notice of Granting of Interim Waiver; Notice of Request for 
Waiver; Request for Public Comment.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt of a request for an extension to 
hybrid basic model PR6180WBC of a previously granted waiver and for an 
interim waiver from Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems 
Corporation of America (Case No. RF-043) with respect to the U.S. 
Department of Energy's electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer 
test procedures. Panasonic seeks to apply the alternative test 
procedure for measuring the energy usage of similar hybrid wine 
chiller/beverage center basic models, which DOE required in response to 
prior waiver requests. Because of a an error discovered in the equation 
used to calculate the energy usage of these products, DOE has rescinded 
the prior waivers and is proposing to correct this equation to ensure 
the accuracy of the calculations provided under the alternative test 
procedure. DOE solicits comments on its proposed modifications to 
correct the procedure contained in prior waivers issued to PAPRSA. DOE 
has issued an interim waiver for hybrid basic model PR6180WBC and all 
other PAPRSA hybrid basic models previously subject to a waiver.

DATES: DOE will accept comments, data, and information with regard to 
the proposed modification until February 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Case Number RF-043, 
by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected] Include ``Case No. 
RF-043'' 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., Room 
6094, 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 waivers and 
rulemakings regarding similar clothes washer products. 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, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 
586-0371, Email: Bryan.Berr[email protected].
    Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, Mail Stop GC-33, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated August 21, 2015, 
Panasonic Appliances Refrigerator Systems Corporation of America 
(``PAPRSA'') requested that the U.S. Department of Energy (``DOE'') 
permit PAPRSA to extend the use of an alternative test procedure to a 
new basic model. PAPRSA also sought an interim waiver to apply this 
alternative test procedure immediately. The basic model at issue is a 
hybrid wine chiller/beverage center model that employs technology and 
design characteristics that prevent the testing of this basic model 
according to the applicable test procedure found in 10 CFR part 430, 
subpart B, appendix A. During the course of a negotiated rulemaking 
that DOE conducted under the auspices of the Appliance Standards 
Rulemaking Advisory Committee (``ASRAC''), DOE discovered that the 
alternative test procedure relied on by PAPRSA contained an error in 
one of the equations used to calculate the energy usage of hybrid 
products. See 80 FR 17355 (April 1, 2015) (announcing DOE's intention 
to form a working group to discuss and negotiate potential energy 
conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products). In 
accordance with 10 CFR 430.27(k), DOE gives notice of its proposed 
modification of the prior waivers as set forth below. DOE issued an 
interim waiver and seeks comment on a waiver that would apply to the 
new basic model and the basic models covered by the prior waivers.

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 that measure 
energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that 
are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test 
procedure for electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is set 
forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A.
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, Part B of EPCA was codified as Part A 
in the U.S. Code.
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    DOE's regulations allow a person to seek a waiver from the test 
procedure requirements for a particular basic model of a type of 
covered consumer product when (1) the petitioner's basic model for 
which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design 
characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test 
procedure, or (2) when 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(a)(1). A petitioner must include in its 
petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to 
evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy 
consumption characteristics.
    The granting of a waiver is subject to conditions, including 
adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2). As soon as 
practicable after the granting of any waiver, DOE will

[[Page 4271]]

publish in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to 
amend its regulations so as to eliminate any need for the continuation 
of such waiver. As soon thereafter as practicable, DOE will publish in 
the Federal Register a final rule. 10 CFR 430.27(l). The waiver process 
also allows the granting of an interim waiver from test procedure 
requirements to manufacturers that have petitioned DOE for a waiver of 
such prescribed test procedures upon a finding that it appears likely 
that the petition for waiver will be granted and/or if DOE determines 
that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate 
relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 
430.27(e). Within one year of issuance of an interim waiver, DOE will 
either: (i) Publish in the Federal Register a determination on the 
petition for waiver; or (ii) Publish in the Federal Register a new or 
amended test procedure that addresses the issues presented in the 
waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(h)(1).
    A petitioner may request that DOE extend the scope of a waiver or 
an interim waiver to include additional basic models employing the same 
technology as the basic model(s) set forth in the original petition. 
DOE will publish any such extension in the Federal Register. 10 CFR 
430.27(g).

II. PAPRSA's Extension of Waiver Request: Assertions and Determinations

    On August 21, 2015, PAPRSA requested an extension of its previous 
waivers (Case Nos. RF-022, RF-031 and RF-041) (``2015 waiver request'') 
under 10 CFR 430.27(g) to its hybrid wine chiller/beverage center basic 
model, PR6180WBC, with respect to appendix A to subpart B of 10 CFR 
part 430 (appendix A). PAPRSA, similar to its prior waiver requests, 
seeks to use a modified version of the test procedure that would 
specify the use of a higher fresh food compartment temperature during 
testing. DOE is publishing at the end of this notice PAPRSA's request 
in its entirety.
    DOE granted a waiver, similar to that requested in PAPRSA's 2015 
waiver request, to Sanyo E&E Corporation (Sanyo) \2\ in a Decision and 
Order (77 FR 49443 (August 16, 2012)) under Case No. RF-022. On October 
4, 2012, DOE issued a notice of correction to the Decision and Order 
incorporating a K factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 when 
calculating the energy consumption (77 FR 60688) (``the 2012 waiver''). 
DOE granted another waiver to PAPRSA for an additional basic model in a 
Decision and Order (78 FR 57139 (September 17, 2013)) under Case No. 
RF-031 (``the 2013 waiver''). These two waivers required testing under 
the now-obsolete Appendix A1 but with modifications. DOE later granted 
a waiver (79 FR 55769 (September 17, 2014)) to PAPRSA for another basic 
model under Case No. RF-041 (``the 2014 waiver''); this waiver required 
testing under Appendix A with modifications.
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    \2\ Sanyo E&E Corporation has since changed its corporate name 
to PAPRSA.
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    In its original petition, PAPRSA sought a waiver from the DOE test 
procedure applicable to refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers under 
10 CFR part 430 for PAPRSA's hybrid models that consist of single-
cabinet units with a refrigerated beverage compartment (i.e., a ``fresh 
food compartment'') in the top portion and a wine storage compartment 
(i.e., a ``chiller compartment'') in the bottom of the units.\3\ DOE 
had issued guidance that specified that basic models such as the ones 
PAPRSA identified in its petition, which do not have a separate chiller 
compartment with a separate exterior door, are to be tested according 
to the current DOE test procedure (at that time, appendix A1) with the 
temperatures specified therein. PAPRSA asserted that the chiller 
compartment could not be tested at the prescribed temperature because 
the minimum compartment temperature is 45 [deg]F. PAPRSA submitted an 
alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its 
wine chiller/beverage centers. As requested, that alternate procedure 
would test the chiller compartment at 55 [deg]F, instead of the 
prescribed 38 [deg]F. To justify the use of this standardized 
temperature for testing, PAPRSA stated in its petition that it designed 
these models to provide an average temperature of 55 to 57 [deg]F, 
which it determined is a commonly recommended temperature for wine 
storage, suggesting that this temperature is presumed to be 
representative of expected consumer use. 77 FR 19656. In granting the 
petition, DOE noted that the test procedures for wine chillers adopted 
by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), California 
Energy Commission (CEC), and Natural Resources Canada all use a 
standardized compartment temperature of 55 [deg]F for wine chiller 
compartments, which is consistent with PAPRSA's approach.
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    \3\ In this notice and in the Order, DOE uses the term ``fresh 
food compartment'' to refer to a compartment of a refrigerator that 
can be tested at the test temperature specified in 10 CFR part 430, 
subpart B, Appendix A. DOE uses the term ``chiller compartment'' to 
refer to a compartment of a refrigerator that cannot be tested at 
the test temperature specified in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, 
Appendix A. Although these terms were recommended by the 
Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group to apply to a new 
product type, miscellaneous refrigeration products, DOE believes 
that it would be beneficial to adopt terminology in this Case that 
parallels that negotiated by a wide range of interested parties in 
the Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group. For more 
information, see the docket at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043.
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    DOE, however, recently became aware of a typographical error 
regarding one aspect of the equations in the 2012 waiver, the 2013 
waiver, and the 2014 waiver, to be used when calculating the energy 
usage of a unit under test. The equation at issue--which addresses the 
energy use of the fresh food compartment and that DOE had previously 
prescribed for use as part of the calculation detailed in section 
6.2.2.2 of appendix A--did not apply the specified correction factor 
(0.85) to the equation as intended. The equations in the waivers were 
as follows:
    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:

    EBeverage Compartment = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (39 [deg]F-TBC1)/(TBC2-
TBC1)]

    Section 6.2.2.2 of appendix A requires that the average per-cycle 
energy consumption be calculated based on the higher of the two 
separate compartment calculations. With the 0.85 K factor applied only 
to the chiller compartment calculation as detailed in PAPRSA's current 
waiver request, the fresh food compartment would result in the higher 
per-cycle energy consumption for nearly all test units and the final 
energy use calculation would not incorporate the 0.85 K factor. The 
0.85 K factor should have also been included to similar calculations of 
energy consumption in sections 6.2.2.1 and 6.2.2.3 of appendix A. In 
addition, for consistency with the equations in sections 6.2.2.1 to 
6.2.2.3 of appendix A, the waiver equations should also have included 
an energy adder (known as ``IET'') for any products that include an 
automatic icemaker.
    To address these issues, and pursuant to DOE's authority under 10 
CFR 430.27(k), DOE is correcting the formulas noted above to read as 
follows:

    For section 6.2.2.1 of appendix A:

    E = (ET1 x 0.85) + IET

    For section 6.2.2.2 of appendix A:

    Energy consumption of the cooler compartment:


[[Page 4272]]


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

    Energy consumption of the fresh food compartment:

    EFreshFood Compartment= (ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (39 [deg]F-TBC1)/(TBC2-
TBC1)]) * 0.85 + IET

    For section 6.2.2.3 of appendix A:

    E = (Ex x 0.85) + IET

    Under the interim waiver, the corrected equations must be used, 
going forward, with respect to all of the basic models for which DOE 
has granted a waiver previously and the basic model PAPRSA identified 
in its new petition.
    In addition to the errors in the equations, the 2012 waiver and the 
2013 waiver reference Appendix A1, which is obsolete. Finally, to 
update the waivers to reflect the current test procedure and to modify 
the equations, DOE is consolidating all of the basic models under one, 
new, corrected interim waiver, which is subject to comment. PAPRSA must 
begin using a modified test procedure for the new basic model and all 
of the basic models of hybrid wine chiller/beverage centers that had 
previously been subject to a waiver. The prior, erroneous waivers are 
rescinded, and a new, modified, waiver is issued as an interim waiver 
subject to comment. Rescission of the prior waiver does not affect or 
invalidate tests conducted pursuant to that waiver while it was in 
effect.

III. Conclusion

    Therefore, DOE has issued an Order, stating:
    After careful consideration of all the material submitted by PAPRSA 
in this matter, DOE grants an interim waiver regarding basic models 
PR6180WBC,\4\ KBCS24RSBS, SR6180BC,\5\ SR5180JBC,\6\ and PR5180JKBC.\7\ 
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that:
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    \4\ New basic model in Case No. RF-043.
    \5\ DOE notes that PAPRSA's petition in Case No. RF-022 
identified the relevant basic models as: JUB248LB, JUB248RB, 
JUB248LW, JUB248RW, KBCO24LS, KBCS24LS, KBCO24RS, KBCS24RS, and 
MBCM24FW. Upon further review, however, DOE has determined that 
these are individual model numbers, rather than basic model numbers. 
The correct basic model designations, as determined through a review 
of PAPRSA's filings with DOE's Compliance Certification Management 
System, are KBCS24RSBS (which covers JUB248LB, JUB248RB, JUB248LW, 
JUB248RW, KBCO24LS, KBCS24LS, KBCO24RS, and KBCS24RS) and SR6180BC 
(which covers MBCM24FW).
    \6\ Originally from Case No. RF-031.
    \7\ Originally from Case No. RF-041.
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    (1) The waivers previously granted under Case RF-022, Case RF-031 
and Case RF-041 are rescinded due to erroneous formulae and because the 
waivers in RF-022 and RF-031 reference an obsolete DOE test procedure.
    (2) PAPRSA must, going forward, test and rate the following PAPRSA 
basic models as set forth in paragraph (3) below.

    PR6180WBC;
    KBCS24RSBS;
    SR6180BC;
    SR5180JBC; and
    PR5180JKBC.

    (3) The applicable method of test for the PAPRSA basic models 
listed in paragraph (2) is the test procedure for electric 
refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR part 430, Appendix A, 
except that the test temperature for the ``cooler compartment'' (i.e., 
the compartment designed to store wine) is 55 [deg]F, instead of the 
prescribed 39 [deg]F.
    The K factor (correction factor) value is 0.85. The test must 
include (where applicable) the icemaking energy usage as defined in 10 
CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A, sec. 6.2.2.1.
    Therefore, the energy consumption is defined by:
    If compartment temperatures are below their respective standardized 
temperatures for both test settings (according to 10 CFR part 430, 
subpart B, Appendix A, sec. 6.2.2.1):

    E = (ET1 x 0.85) + IET.

    If compartment temperatures are not below their respective 
standardized temperatures for both test settings, the higher of the two 
values calculated by the following two formulas (according to 10 CFR 
part 430, subpart B, Appendix A, sec. 6.2.2.2):
    Energy consumption of the ``cooler compartment'':

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

    Energy consumption of the ``fresh food compartment'':

    EFreshFood Compartment = (ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (39 [deg]F-TBC1)/
(TBC2-TBC1)]) * 0.85 + IET.

    If the optional test for models with two compartments and user 
operable controls is used (according to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, 
Appendix A, sec. 6.2.2.3):

    E = (Ex x 0.85) + IET.

    (5) Representations. PAPRSA may make representations about the 
energy use of its hybrid wine chiller/beverage center products for 
compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such 
products have been tested in accordance with the provisions set forth 
above and such representations fairly disclose the results of such 
testing in accordance with 10 CFR 429.14(a).
    (6) This interim waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the 
provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(h) and (l).
    (7) This interim waiver is issued on the condition that the 
statements, representations, and documentary materials provided by the 
petitioner are valid. DOE may revoke or modify this waiver at any time 
if it determines the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver 
is incorrect, or the results from the alternate test procedure are 
unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption 
characteristics.
    (8) Granting of this interim waiver does not release PAPRSA from 
the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429.

IV. Summary and Request for Comments

    DOE has granted PAPRSA an interim waiver from the specified 
portions of the test procedure for certain basic models of PAPRSA 
hybrid wine chiller/beverage centers and announces receipt of PAPRSA's 
request for extension of the existing waivers from those same portions 
of the test procedure. DOE is publishing PAPRSA's request for an 
extension of waiver in its entirety. The petition contains no 
confidential information. The petition includes a suggested alternate 
test procedure to determine the energy consumption of PAPRSA's 
specified hybrid refrigerators.
    DOE solicits comments from interested parties on the request to 
extend the waiver to basic model PR6180WBC, including the suggested 
alternate test procedure, calculation methodology and proposed 
modifications to correct the procedure that PAPRSA would use going 
forward. In addition, DOE solicits comments from interested parties on 
DOE's issuing a new waiver, reflecting corrected the equations and the 
current DOE test procedure, for the basic models subject to the 2012, 
2013, and 2014 waivers. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(d), 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 Sean R. Blixseth, Senior Legal Counsel, Panasonic Corporation of 
North America, 2055 Sanyo Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154-6229. All comment 
submissions to DOE must include the Case Number RF-043 for this 
proceeding. Submit electronic comments in 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

[[Page 4273]]

electronic signature of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles 
(faxes).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 13, 2016.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.

BEFORE THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Washington, DC 20585

    In the Matter of: Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems 
Corporation of America, Petitioner

Case Number: RF-022; RF-031; RF-041

REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF WAIVER AND INTERIM WAIVER

    Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America 
(``PAPRSA'') respectfully submits this Request for Extension of Waiver 
and Interim Waiver (``Request'') pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(g). PAPRSA 
intends to introduce a new basic hybrid wine chiller beverage center 
model (``hybrid model'') that employs technology and design 
characteristics that prevent testing of the basic model according to 
the test procedures prescribed in 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix A and 
that are substantially the same as the technology and design 
characteristics for which PAPRSA received two previous waivers and an 
extension of waiver as a result.\8\ As provided in further detail 
below, the Department of Energy (``DOE'') has previously granted PAPRSA 
\9\ two separate waivers and an extension of waiver from DOE's electric 
refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures for determining 
the energy consumption of substantially similar hybrid models in Case 
Nos. RF-022, RF-031, and RF-041 (the ``waiver hybrid models''). Like 
the waiver hybrid models, PAPRSA has developed a new basic hybrid 
model, PR6180WBC, that employs substantially the same technology and 
design characteristics as its waiver hybrid models that make it 
impossible to certify, rate, and sell this new hybrid model under the 
existing testing procedures. PAPRSA therefore respectfully requests 
that DOE extend the previously granted waivers and interim waivers to 
this new basic hybrid model and that it be permitted to use the 
alternative testing method for this new basic hybrid model that has 
already been approved by DOE for the waiver hybrid models.
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    \8\ All current references to the test procedures cite to 10 CFR 
430, subpart B, ``appendix A,'' which became effective on September 
15, 2014. References to testing procedures in effect prior to that 
date cite to 10 CFR 430, subpart B, ``appendix A1.''
    \9\ The first waiver granted in Case No. RF-022 was issued to 
SANYO E&E Corporation. Effective April 1, 2013, SANYO E&E 
Corporation changed its corporate name to Panasonic Appliances 
Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America. Throughout this 
Petition, PAPRSA will be used to refer to both SANYO E&E Corporation 
and Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of 
America, unless otherwise indicated.
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1. Existing Waiver Background and Product Characteristics of PAPRSA's 
Hybrid Models

    In Case No. RF-022, PAPRSA submitted the initial petition for 
waiver on June 2, 2011 with respect to the test procedures for its 
waiver hybrid models that consist of a combination of a refrigerated 
``beverage'' compartment in the top portion of these single-cabinet 
units and a wine storage compartment on the bottom of the units, and 
for which an alternative testing procedure was necessary to certify, 
rate, and sell such models.
    As PAPRSA has explained for all of the waiver hybrid models, PAPRSA 
designed the wine storage compartments to operate between a minimum 
temperature of 45 [deg]F and a maximum temperature of 64 [deg]F, with 
an average temperature of 55 to 57 [deg]F. PAPRSA uses heaters to 
ensure that the temperature in the wine storage compartment never drops 
below the minimum temperature. If the temperature of a wine bottle 
falls below 45 [deg]F and approaches freezing, there is an increased 
risk of damage to wine from crystallization as well as possible damage 
to the cork. DOE's testing procedures contained in 10 CFR 430, subpart 
B, appendix A1, however, mandate that energy consumption be measured 
when the compartment temperature is set at 38 [deg]F. Based on the 
design characteristics of its waiver hybrid models, PAPRSA needed a 
waiver with respect to DOE's testing procedures in order to properly 
``certify, rate, and sell such models,'' because the existing test 
procedures contained in 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix A1, did not 
contemplate a product that is designed to be incapable of achieving a 
temperature below 45 [deg]F.
    On April 2, 2012, DOE published PAPRSA's previous petition for 
waiver and sought public comment, and DOE subsequently extended the 
deadline for comments after PAPRSA submitted a request for extension to 
clarify the scope of its original petition for waiver. See Federal 
Register, Vol. 77, No. 96, 29331-29333. No comments were filed opposing 
the relief requested in PAPRSA's petition for waiver.
    On August 9, 2012, DOE granted PAPRSA's waiver from DOE's electric 
refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures for determining 
the energy consumption of the basic models listed in the Case No. RF-
022 petition for waiver. See Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 159, 49443-
44. In permitting PAPRSA to test the wine chiller compartment at 55 
[deg]F, DOE noted ``that the test procedures for wine chillers adopted 
by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), California 
Energy Commission (CEC), and Natural Resources Canada all use a 
standardized compartment temperature of 55 [deg]F for wine chiller 
compartments, which is consistent with [PAPRSA's] approach.'' Id. at 
49444.
    On September 26, 2012, DOE issued a correction to its August 9, 
2012 order that incorporated the K factor (correction factor) value of 
.85 that PAPRSA should utilize when calculating the energy consumption 
of its waiver hybrid models. See Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 193, 
60688-89. Accordingly, DOE ultimately directed PAPRSA to utilize the 
following test procedure for its waiver hybrid models:
    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 A1):
    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:

EBeverage Compartment= ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (38 [deg]F-TBC1)/(TBC2-
TBC1)].

See Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 193 at 60689.
    On April 29, 2013 in Case No. RF-031, PAPRSA submitted a second 
petition for waiver and interim waiver for a substantially similar 
hybrid model, SR5180JBC, that shares the same design characteristics 
that led DOE to approve PAPRSA's waiver request in Case No. RF-022. No 
comments were filed opposing the relief requested in PAPRSA's second 
petition for waiver and interim waiver. On September 17, 2013, DOE 
again granted PAPRSA a waiver from DOE's electric refrigerator and 
refrigerator-freezer test procedures for determining the energy 
consumption of basic hybrid model SR5180JBC. See Federal Register, Vol. 
78, No. 180, 57139-41.
    On September 17, 2014 in Case No. RF-041, the DOE granted an 
Extension of Waiver to PAPRSA for hybrid model PR5180JKBC based on Case 
Nos. RF-022 and RF-031 but under the new procedures in 10 CFR 430, 
subpart B, appendix A. See Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 180, 55769--
55772.

[[Page 4274]]

PR5180JKBC employed the same technology and design characteristics as 
the basic hybrid models in Case Nos. RF-022 and RF-031 that led the DOE 
to grant waivers in those cases. No comments had been filed opposing 
the relief requested in PAPRSA petition for extension of waiver and 
interim waiver.

2. Request to Extend Scope of Previously Granted Waivers, Interim 
Waivers, and Extension of Waiver to New Basic Hybrid Model under 
Previously Approved Alternative Testing Procedure

    As indicated above, PAPRSA has developed a new basic hybrid model, 
PR6180WBC, that shares the same design characteristics that led DOE to 
approve PAPRSA's two prior petitions for waiver and extension of 
waiver. This new basic hybrid model is a single cabinet hybrid model 
that would be classified as a compact refrigerator with automatic 
defrost without through-the-door ice service, but which has a wine-
chiller compartment designed for an average temperature of 55 to 57 
[deg]F. Just as with PAPRSA's waiver hybrid models, this new basic 
hybrid model contains a heater that prevents the temperature of the 
wine-chiller compartment from reaching a temperature below 45 [deg]F. 
Thus, testing this new hybrid model at 39 [deg]F is simply not possible 
and not representative of the energy consumption characteristics of 
this new basic hybrid model.
    Further, just as PAPRSA's waiver hybrid models, 0.85 should also be 
the employed K factor (correction factor) for this new basic hybrid 
model because it will have a door-opening usage aligned with household 
freezers. See Appendix B to Subpart 430, 5.2.1.1, because Subpart 430 
does not recognize wine chiller as a category.
    In short, there are no material differences between this new basic 
hybrid model and PAPRSA's waiver hybrid models as it impacts this 
Request. The design differences between the new basic hybrid model and 
the waiver hybrid models are the introduction of a more efficient 
compressor, other sealed system and electrical components for increased 
efficiency, improved venting, and new external aesthetic features. 
Although the new basic hybrid model will be more energy efficient, the 
design characteristics of the new basic hybrid model are the same as 
the characteristics of PAPRSA's waiver hybrid models that led DOE to 
grant the prior waivers. For these reasons, PAPRSA respectfully 
requests that it be permitted to use the following testing procedure 
for its new basic hybrid model:
    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:

EBeverage Compartment= ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) x (39 [deg]F-TBC1)/(TBC2-
TBC1)].

PAPRSA respectfully requests that it be permitted to use this approved 
alternative testing method to test, certify and rate the new basic 
hybrid models in the same manner as its waiver hybrid models subject to 
the existing waivers and extension of waiver.

3. Grounds for Interim Waiver

    Pursuant to 10 CFR part 430.27(b)(2), applicants for an interim 
waiver should address the likely success of their petition and what 
economic hardships and/or competitive disadvantages are likely to arise 
absent the grant of an interim waiver.
    As detailed above, it is highly likely that DOE will grant this 
Request, as PAPRSA is simply seeking to test a new basic hybrid model 
under the alternative testing procedure already approved by DOE for 
PAPRSA's waiver hybrid models subject to the existing waivers. The new 
basic hybrid model contains no materially different design 
characteristics that should warrant a different result.
    DOE has engaged in a rulemaking process to develop comprehensive 
test procedures for miscellaneous refrigeration products, which would 
apply to PAPRSA's new basic hybrid model, but the rulemaking process is 
not complete. As DOE has previously stated, ``[f]ully recognizing that 
product development occurs faster than the test procedure rulemaking 
process, the Department's rules permit manufacturers of models not 
contemplated by the test procedures . . . to petition for a test 
procedure waiver in order to certify, rate, and sell such models.'' GC 
Enforcement Guidance on the Application of Waivers and on the Waiver 
Process at 2 (rel. Dec. 23, 2010).\10\
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    \10\ Available at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/gcprod/documents/LargeCapacityRCW_guidance_122210.pdf.
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    Certain manufacturers design comparable hybrid models so that the 
beverage center compartment does not reach below 40 [deg]F, and thus 
are not covered products under DOE's regulations. Unless PAPRSA is 
granted an interim waiver, it will be at a competitive disadvantage by 
being unable to introduce the new basic hybrid model to compete with 
manufacturers that design their hybrid models in a manner that falls 
outside of DOE's jurisdiction.
    Given that this Request is likely to be granted and PAPRSA will 
face economic hardship unless an interim waiver is granted, permitting 
PAPRSA to immediately certify the new basic hybrid model under the 
alternative testing method already approved by DOE is in the public 
interest.

Respectfully submitted,

Sean R. Blixseth,

2055 Sanyo Avenue
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 739-4722
[email protected]

Counsel for Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of 
America
August 21, 2015

[FR Doc. 2016-01496 Filed 1-25-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P