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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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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) amends the Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule (“Rule”) to incorporate the latest figures for average unit energy costs as published by the Department of Energy (“DOE”) in the Federal Register on April 24, 2002. This rule sets forth the representative average unit energy costs for five residential energy sources, which the Commission revises periodically on the basis of updated information provided by DOE.

DATES:

The amendments are effective June 7, 2002. The mandatory dates for using these revised DOE cost figures in connection with the Appliance Labeling Rule are detailed in the Supplementary Information Section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hampton Newsome, Attorney, 202-326-2889, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580; E-mail: hnewsome@ftc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On November 19, 1979, the Commission issued a final rule in response to a directive in section 324 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“EPCA”), 42 U.S.C. 6201.[1] The Rule requires the disclosure of energy efficiency, consumption, or cost information on labels and in retail sales catalogs for eight categories of appliances, and mandates that the energy costs, consumption, or efficiency ratings be based on standardized test procedures developed by DOE. The cost information obtained by following the test procedures is derived by using the representative average unit energy costs provided by DOE. Table 1 in section 305.9(a) of the Rule sets forth the representative average unit energy costs to be used for all cost-related requirements of the Rule. As stated in section 305.9(b), the Table is to be revised periodically on the basis of updated information provided by DOE.

I. Representative Average Unit Energy Costs

On April 24, 2002, DOE published the most recent figures for representative average unit energy costs (67 FR 20104). These energy cost figures are for manufacturers to use, in accordance with the guidelines that appear below, to calculate the required secondary annual operating cost figures at the Start Printed Page 39270bottom of required EnergyGuides for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, water heaters, and room air conditioners. The energy cost figures also are for manufacturers of central air conditioners and heat pumps to use, also in accordance with the below guidelines, to calculate annual operating cost for required fact sheets and in approved industry directories listing these products.[2] The Commission is revising Table 1 to reflect these latest cost figures, as set forth below. The current and future obligations of manufacturers with respect to the use of DOE's cost figures are as follows:

A. For Labeling of Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, Freezers, Clothes Washers, Dishwashers, Water Heaters, and Room Air Conditioners [3]

Manufacturers of refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters, and room air conditioners must use the National Average Representative Unit Costs published today on labels for their products only after the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability for those products that are based on today's cost figures. In the meantime, they must continue to use past DOE cost figures as follows:

1. Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers

Manufacturers of refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers must continue to derive the operating cost disclosures on labels by using the 2001 National Average Representative Unit Costs (8.29 cents per kiloWatt-hour for electricity) published by DOE on March 8, 2001 (66 FR 13917), and by the Commission on May 21, 2001 (66 FR 27856), and that were in effect when the current 2001 ranges of comparability for these products were published.[4] Manufacturers must continue to use the foregoing DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

2. Room Air Conditioners

Manufacturers of room air conditioners must continue to derive the operating cost disclosures on labels by using the 1995 National Average Representative Unit Costs for electricity (8.67 cents per kiloWatt-hour) that were published by DOE on January 5, 1995 (60 FR 1773), and by the Commission on February 17, 1995 (60 FR 9296), and that were in effect when the current (1995) ranges of comparability for these products were published.[5] Manufacturers of room air conditioners must continue to use the 1995 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

3. Storage-Type Water Heaters

Manufacturers of storage-type water heaters must continue to use the 1994 DOE cost figures (8.41 cents per kiloWatt-hour for electricity, 60.4 cents per therm for natural gas, $1.05 per gallon for No. 2 heating oil, and 98.3 cents per gallon for propane) in determining the operating cost disclosures on the labels on their products. This is because the 1994 DOE cost figures were in effect when the 1994 ranges of comparability for storage-type water heaters were published, and those 1994 ranges are still in effect for those products.[6] Manufacturers of storage-type water heaters must continue to use the 1994 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

4. Heat Pump Water Heaters

Manufacturers of heat pump water heaters must continue to derive the operating cost disclosures on labels by using the 2000 National Average Representative Unit Costs for electricity (8.03 cents per kiloWatt-hour) that were published by DOE on February 7, 2000 (65 FR 5860), and by the Commission on April 17, 2000 (65 FR 20352), and that were in effect when the current (2000) ranges of comparability for these products were published.[7] Manufacturers of heat pump water heaters must continue to use the 2000 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

5. Gas-Fired Instantaneous Water Heaters

Manufacturers of gas-fired instantaneous water heaters must continue to base the required secondary operating cost disclosures on labels on the 1999 National Average Representative Unit Costs for natural gas (68.8 cents per therm) and propane (77 cents per therm) that were published by DOE on January 5, 1999 (64 FR 487), and by the Commission on February 17, 1999 (64 FR 7783), and that were in effect when the 1999 ranges of comparability for these products were published.[8] Manufacturers must continue to use the 1999 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

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6. Standard-Size Dishwashers

Manufacturers of standard-size dishwashers must continue to base the required secondary operating cost disclosures on labels on the 1997 National Average Representative Unit Costs for electricity (8.31 cents per kiloWatt-hour) and natural gas (61.2 cents per therm) that were published by DOE on November 18, 1996 (61 FR 58679), and by the Commission on February 5, 1997 (62 FR 5316), and that were in effect when the 1997 ranges of comparability for these products were published.[9] Manufacturers of standard-size dishwashers must continue to use the 1997 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

7. Compact-Size Dishwashers

Manufacturers of compact-size dishwashers must continue to derive the operating cost disclosures on labels by using the 2001 National Average Representative Unit Costs for electricity (8.29 cents per kiloWatt-hour) and natural gas (83.7 cents per therm) that were published by DOE on March 8, 2001 (66 FR 13917), and by the Commission on May 21, 2001 (66 FR 27856), and that were in effect when the current (2001) ranges of comparability for these products were published.[10] Manufacturers of compact dishwashers must continue to use the 2001 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

8. Clothes Washers

Manufacturers of clothes washers must continue to derive the operating cost disclosures on labels by using the 2000 National Average Representative Unit Costs for electricity (8.03 cents per kiloWatt-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), and that were in effect when the current (2000) ranges of comparability for these products were published.[11] Manufacturers of clothes washers must continue to use the 2000 DOE cost figures until such time as the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figure for electricity then in effect.

B. For Operating Cost Information Relating to Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Disclosed on Fact Sheets and In Industry Directories

In the 2002 notice announcing whether there will be new ranges of comparability for central air conditioners and heat pumps, the Commission also will announce that operating cost disclosures for these products on fact sheets and in industry directories must be based on the 2002 DOE cost figure for electricity beginning on the effective date of that notice.

C. For Operating Cost Representations Respecting Products Covered By EPCA but Not By the Commission's Rule

Manufacturers of products covered by section 323(c) of EPCA, 42 U.S.C. 6293(c), but not by the Appliance Labeling Rule (clothes dryers, television sets, kitchen ranges and ovens, and space heaters) must use the 2002 DOE energy costs in all operating cost representations beginning September 5, 2002.

II. Administrative Procedure Act

The amendments published in this notice involve routine, technical and minor, or conforming changes to the Rule's labeling requirements. These technical amendments merely provide a routine change to the cost information in the Rule. Accordingly, the Commission finds for good cause that public comment and a 30-day effective date for these technical, procedural amendments are impractical and unnecessary (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A)(B) and (d)).

III. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act relating to a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis (5 U.S.C. 603-604) are not applicable to this proceeding because the amendments do not impose any new obligations on entities regulated by the Appliance Labeling Rule. These technical amendments merely provide a routine change to the cost information in the Rule. Thus, the amendments will not have a “significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” 5 U.S.C. 605. The Commission has concluded, therefore, that a regulatory flexibility analysis is not necessary, and certifies, under Section 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), that the amendments announced today will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

In the 1988 NPR, the Commission stated that the Rule contains disclosure and reporting requirements that constitute “information collection requirements” as defined by 5 CFR 1320.7(c), the regulation that implements the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”).[12] The Commission noted that the Rule had been reviewed and approved in 1984 by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) and assigned OMB Control No. 3084-0068. OMB has extended its approval for its recordkeeping and reporting requirements until September 30, 2004. The amendments now being adopted do not change the substance or frequency of the recordkeeping, disclosure, or reporting requirements and, therefore, do not require further OMB clearance.

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List of Subjects in 16 CFR part 305

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Accordingly,

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PART 305—[AMENDED]

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1. 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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2. Section 305.9(a) is revised to read as follows:

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Representative average unit energy costs.

(a) Table 1, to this paragraph contains the representative unit energy costs to be utilized for all requirements of this part. Start Printed Page 39272

Table 1.—Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for Five Residential Energy Sources (2002)

Type of energyIn commonly used termsAs required by DOE test procedureDollars per million Btu 1
Electricity8.28¢/kWh 2, 3$0.0828/kWh$24.27
Natural Gas65.6¢/therm 4 or $6.74/MCF 5, 6$0.00000656/Btu6.56
No. 2 heating oil$1.08/gallon 7$0.00000779/Btu7.79
Propane$0.87/gallon 8$0.00000953/Btu9.53
Kerosene$1.23/gallon 9$0.00000911/Btu9.11
1 Btu stands for British thermal unit.
2 kWh stands for kiloWatt hour.
3 1 kWh = 3,412 Btu.
4 1 therm = 100,000 Btu. Natural gas prices include taxes.
5 MCF stands for 1,000 cubic feet.
6 For the purposes of this table, 1 cubic foot of natural gas has an energy equivalence of 1,027 Btu.
7 For the purposes of this table, 1 gallon of No. 2 heating oil has an energy equivalence of 138,690 Btu.
8 For the purposes of this table, 1 gallon of liquid propane has an energy equivalence of 91,333 Btu.
9 For the purposes of this table, 1 gallon of kerosene has an energy equivalence of 135,000 Btu.
* * * * *
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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  44 FR 66466. Since its promulgation, the Rule has been amended five times to include new product categories—central air conditioners (52 FR 46888, Dec. 10, 1987), fluorescent lamp ballasts (54 FR 1182, Jan. 12, 1989), certain plumbing products (58 FR 54955, Oct. 25, 1993), certain lamp products (59 FR 25176, May 13, 1994), and pool heaters and certain residential water heater types (59 FR 49556, Sept. 28, 1994). Obligations under the Rule concerning fluorescent lamp ballasts, lighting products, plumbing products and pool heaters are not affected by the cost figures in this notice.

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2.  The DOE cost figures are not necessary for making data submissions to the Commission. The required energy use information that manufacturers of refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, and water heaters must submit under section 305.8 of the Rule is no longer operating cost; it is now energy consumption (kilowatt-hour use per year for electricity, therms per year for natural gas, or gallons per year for propane and oil).

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3.  Sections 305.11(a)(5)(i)(H)(2) and (3) of the Rule (16 CFR 305.11(a)(5)(i)(H)(2) and (3)) require that labels for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters, and room air conditioners contain a secondary energy usage disclosure in terms of an estimated annual operating cost (labels for clothes washers and dishwashers will show two such secondary disclosures—one based on operation with water heated by natural gas, and one on operation with water heated by electricity). The labels also must disclose, below this secondary estimated annual operating cost, the fact that the estimated annual operating cost is based on the appropriate DOE energy cost figure, and must identify the year in which the cost figure was published.

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4.  The current (2001) ranges for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers were published on November 19, 2001 (66 FR 57867).

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5.  The current (1995) ranges for room air conditioners were published on November 13, 1995 (60 FR 56945). On September 16, 1996 (61 FR 48620), August 25, 1997 (62 FR 44890), August 28, 1998 (63 FR 45941), December 20, 1999 (64 FR 71019), September 1, 2000 (65 FR 53163), and August 2, 2001 (66 FR 40110), the Commission announced that the 1995 ranges for room air conditioners would continue to remain in effect.

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6.  The 1994 DOE cost figures were published by DOE on December 29, 1993 (58 FR 68901), and by the Commission on February 8, 1994 (59 FR 5699). The current (1994) ranges of comparability for storage-type water heaters were published on September 23, 1994 (59 FR 48796). On August 21, 1995 (60 FR 43367), September 16, 1996 (61 FR 48620), August 25, 1997 (62 FR 44890), August 28, 1998 (63 FR 45941), December 20, 1999 (64 FR 71019), September 1, 2000 (65 FR 53163), and August 2, 2001 (66 FR 40110), the Commission announced that the 1994 ranges for storage-type water heaters would continue to remain in effect.

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7.  The current (2000) ranges of comparability for heat pump water heaters were published on September 1, 2000 (65 FR 53163). On August 2, 2001 (66 FR 40110), the Commission announced that the 2000 ranges for heat pump water heaters would continue to remain in effect.

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8.  The current ranges for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters were published on December 20, 1999 (64 FR 71019). On September 1, 2000 (65 FR 53165) and on August 2, 2001 (66 FR 40110), the Commission announced that the 1999 ranges for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters would continue to remain in effect.

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9.  The current ranges for standard-size dishwashers were published on August 25, 1997 (62 FR 44890). On August 28, 1998 (63 FR 45941), December 20, 1999 (64 FR 71019), September 1, 2000 (65 FR 53165), and September 28, 2001 (66 FR 49529), the Commission announced that the 1997 ranges for standard-size dishwashers would continue to remain in effect.

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10.  The current (2001) ranges of comparability for compact-size dishwashers were published on September 28, 2001 (66 Fed. Reg. 49529).

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11.  The current (2000) ranges of comparability for clothes washers were published on May 11, 2000 (65 FR 30351). On April 16, 2001 (66 FR 19389) and on April 12, 2002 (67 FR 17936), the Commission announced that the 2000 ranges for clothes washers would continue to remain in effect.

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[FR Doc. 02-14333 Filed 6-6-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P