Federal Trade Commission.
The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) amends its Appliance Labeling Rule (“Rule”) by publishing new ranges of comparability to be used on required labels for standard dishwashers. The Commission also announces that the current ranges of comparability for compact dishwashers, central air conditioners, and heat pumps will remain in effect until further notice. Finally, the Commission amends the portions of Appendices H (Cooling Performance and Cost for Central Air Conditioners) and I (Heating Performance and Cost for Central Air Conditioners) to reflect the current (2003) Representative Average Unit Cost of Electricity.
The amendments announced in this document will become effective November 10, 2003.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Hampton Newsome, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Federal Trade Start Printed Page 47450Commission, Washington, DC 20580 (202-326-2889).End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 (“EPCA”). The Rule covers several categories of major household appliances including dishwashers.
The Rule requires manufacturers of all covered appliances 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. 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 model. The Rule also requires manufacturers to include, on 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. 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 on labels consistent with these changes, 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.
I. 2003 Dishwasher Ranges
The Commission has analyzed the annual data submissions for dishwashers. The data submissions show a significant change in the low and high ends of the range of comparability scale for standard models. Accordingly, the Commission is publishing a new range of comparability for standard dishwashers in Appendix C2 of the Rule. The range for compact dishwashers has not changed significantly. The new range of comparability for standard dishwashers supersedes the current range, which was published on July 19, 2002 (67 FR 47443). Manufacturers of these dishwashers must base the disclosures of estimated annual operating cost required at the bottom of EnergyGuide labels for standard-sized dishwashers on the 2003 Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for electricity (8.41 cents per kiloWatt-hour) and natural gas (81.6 cents per therm) that were published by DOE on April 9, 2003 (68 FR 17361) and by the Commission on May 5, 2003 (68 FR 23584).
II. 2003 Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Information
The annual submissions of data for central air conditioners and heat pumps have been made to the Commission. The ranges of comparability for central air conditioners and heat pumps have not changed by more than 15% from the current ranges for these products. Therefore, the current ranges for these products, which were published on September 16, 1996 (61 FR 48620), will remain in effect until further notice.
III. Cost Figures for Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Fact Sheets
The Commission is amending the cost calculation formulas in Appendices H and I to Part 305 that manufacturers of central air conditioners and heat pumps must include on fact sheets and in directories to reflect this year's energy costs figures published by DOE. These routine amendments will become effective November 10, 2003.
IV. Administrative Procedure Act
The amendments published in this notice involve routine, technical and minor, or conforming changes to the labeling requirements in the Rule. These technical amendments merely provide a routine change to the range and cost information required on EnergyGuide labels and fact sheets. Accordingly, the Commission finds for good cause that public comment for these technical, procedural amendments is impractical and unnecessary (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A)(B) and (d)).
V. 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 range information required on EnergyGuide labels. 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.
VI. Paperwork Reduction Act
In a June 13, 1988 notice (53 FR 22106), 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. 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 reviewed the Rule and 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.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 305End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part
Accordingly,End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 305—[AMENDED]End Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for Part 305 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
2. Appendix C2 to Part 305 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Appendix
Appendix C2 to Part 305—Standard Dishwashers
“Standard” includes portable or built-in dishwasher models with a capacity of eight (8) or more place settings. Place settings shall be in accordance with appendix C to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B. Load patterns shall conform to the operating normal for the model being tested.
|Capacity||Range of estimated annual energy consumption (kWh/yr.)|
When the above ranges of comparability are used on EnergyGuide labels for standard-sized dishwashers, the estimated annual operating cost disclosure appearing in the box at the bottom of the labels must be derived using the 2003 Representative Average Unit Costs for electricity (8.41¢ per kiloWatt-hour) and natural gas (81.6¢ per therm), and the text below the box must identify the costs as such.End Appendix Start Amendment Part
3. Section 2 of Appendix H of Part 305 is amended as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
a. By removing the figure “8.28¢” wherever it appears and by adding, in its place, the figure “8.41¢”.End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
b. By removing the figure “12.42¢” wherever it appears and by adding, in its place, the figure “12.62¢” in theEnd Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
4. In section 2 of Appendix H of Part 305 the second formula is removed and the first and third formulas are revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Appendix
Appendix H to Part 305—Cooling Performance and Cost for Central Air Conditioners
5. In section 2 of Appendix I of Part 305, the text is amended by removing the figure “8.28¢” wherever it appears and by adding, in its place, the figure “8.41¢”. In addition, theEnd Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
6. In section 2 of Appendix I of Part 305, the formula is revised to read as follows in both places that it appears:End Amendment Part Start Appendix
Appendix I to Part 305—Heating Performance and Cost for Central Air Conditioners
7. Appendix L is amended by revising Sample Label 4 of part 305 to read as follows:End Amendment Part
By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
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.Back to Citation
2. Reports for dishwashers are due June 1. Reports for central air conditioners and heat pumps are due July 1.Back to Citation
3. The Commission's classification of “Standard” and “Compact” dishwashers is based on internal load capacity. Appendix C of the Commission's Rule defines “Compact” as including countertop dishwasher models with a capacity of fewer than eight (8) place settings and “Standard” as including portable or built-in dishwasher models with a capacity of eight (8) or more place settings. The Rule requires that place settings be determined in accordance with appendix C to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, of DOE's energy conservation standards program.Back to Citation
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
[FR Doc. 03-20372 Filed 8-8-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-C