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Rule Concerning Disclosures Regarding Energy Consumption and Water Use OF Certain Home Appliances and Other Products Required Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“Appliance Labeling Rule”)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) announces that the current ranges of comparability for clothes washers will remain in effect until further notice. Under the Appliance Labeling Rule (“Rule”), each required label on a covered appliance must show a range, or scale, indicating the range of energy costs or efficiencies for all models of a size or capacity comparable to the labeled model. The Commission publishes the ranges annually in the Federal Register if the upper or lower limits of the range change by 15% or more from the previously published range. If the Commission does not publish a revised range, it must publish a notice that the prior range will apply until new ranges are published. The Commission is today announcing that the ranges published on May 11, 2000 will remain in effect until new ranges are published.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

April 12, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hampton Newsome, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580 (202-326-2889); hnewsome@ftc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Rule was issued by the Commission in 1979,44 FR 66466 (Nov. 19, 1979), in response to a directive in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.[1] The Rule covers eight categories of major household appliances, including clothes washers. The Rule also covers pool heaters, 59 FR 49556 (Sept. 28, 1994), and contains requirements that pertain to fluorescent lamp ballasts, 54 FR 28031 (July 5, 1989), certain plumbing products, 58 FR 54955 (Oct. 25, 1993), and certain lighting products, 59 FR 25176 (May 13, 1994, eff. May 15, 1995).

The Rule requires manufacturers of all covered appliances and pool heaters to disclose specific energy consumption or efficiency information (derived from the DOE test procedures) at the point of sale in the form of an “EnergyGuide” label and in catalogs. It also requires manufacturers of furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps either to provide fact sheets showing additional cost information, or to be listed in an industry directory showing the cost information for their products. The Rule requires manufacturers to include, on labels and fact sheets, an energy consumption or efficiency figure and a “range of comparability.” This range shows the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiencies for all comparable appliance models so consumers can compare the energy consumption or efficiency of other models (perhaps competing brands) similar to the labeled mode. The Rule also requires manufacturers to include, Start Printed Page 17937on labels for some products, a secondary energy usage disclosure in the form of an estimated annual operating cost based on a specified DOE national average cost for the fuel the appliance uses.

Section 305.8(b) of the Rule requires manufacturers, after filing an initial report, to report certain information annually to the Commission by specified dates for each product type.[2] These reports, which are to assist the Commission in preparing the ranges of comparability, contain the estimated annual energy consumption or energy efficiency ratings for the appliances derived from tests performed pursuant to the DOE test procedures. Because manufacturers regularly add new models to their lines, improve existing models, and drop others, the data base from which the ranges of comparability are calculated is constantly changing. To keep the required information consistent with these changes, under Section 305.10 of the Rule, the Commission will publish new ranges if an analysis of the new information indicates that the upper or lower limits of the ranges have changed by more than 15%. Otherwise, the Commission will publish a statement that the prior ranges remain in effect for the next year.

The annual reports for clothes washers have been received and analyzed by the Commission. The ranges of comparability for clothes washers have not changed by more than 15% from the current ranges for this product category. Therefore, the current ranges for clothes washers, published on May 11, 2000 (65 FR 30351), will remain in effect. Manufacturers must continue to base the disclosures of estimated annual operating cost required at the bottom of the EnergyGuide for clothes washers on the 2000 Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for electricity (8.03 cents per kilo Watt-hour) and natural gas (68.8 cents per therm) that were published by DOE on February 7, 2000 (65 FR 5860), and by the Commission on April 17, 2000 (65 FR 20352).

For up-to-date tables showing current range and cost information for all covered appliances, see the Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule web page at http://www.ftc.gov/​appliances.

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List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 305

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

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6294.

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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  42 U.S.C. 6294. The statute also requires the Department of Energy (“DOE”) to develop test procedures that measure how much energy the appliances use, and to determine the representative average cost a consumer pays for the different types of energy available.

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2.  Reports for clothes washers are due March 1.

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[FR Doc. 02-8859 Filed 4-11-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-M