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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”) revises Table 1 in section 305.9 of the Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule (“Rule”) to incorporate the latest figures for average unit energy costs as published by the Department of Energy Start Printed Page 23651(“DOE”) in the Federal Register on January 27, 2004. Table 1 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 published in this document are effective April 30, 2004. The mandatory dates for using these revised DOE cost figures in connection with the Appliance Labeling Rule are detailed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Section, below.

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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, DC 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. 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. Additional information about the Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule can be found at www.ftc.gov/​appliances.

I. Representative Average Unit Energy Costs

On January 27, 2004, DOE published the most recent figures for representative average unit energy costs (69 FR 3907). 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 bottom 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.[1] 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. Labeling of Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, Freezers, Clothes Washers, Dishwashers, Water Heaters, and Room Air Conditioners 2

Manufacturers must continue to use the DOE cost figures that were published and in effect the year the ranges of comparability last changed for the applicable covered product. The cost figures currently applicable to each product category are detailed below. Manufacturers must continue to use these figures until new ranges of comparability for an applicable product are published by the Commission in the future. For example, if the ranges of comparability for a given product last changed in the year 2001, manufacturers should continue to use the 2001 DOE energy cost figures until the Commission announces otherwise.

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 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), that were in effect when the current 2001 ranges of comparability for these products were published.[3] Manufacturers must continue to use the foregoing DOE cost figures until 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 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.[4] Manufacturers of room air conditioners must continue to use the 1995 DOE cost figures until 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 derive the operating cost on labels using 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), that were in effect when the 1994 ranges of comparability for storage-type water heaters were published.[5] Manufacturers of storage-type water heaters must continue to use the 1994 DOE cost figures until the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figures for energy 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 2002 Average Representative Start Printed Page 23652Unit Costs for electricity (8.28 cents per kiloWatt-hour) that were published by DOE on April 24, 2002 (67 FR 20104), and by the Commission on June 7, 2002 (67 FR 39269), and that were in effect when the current (2002) ranges of comparability for these products were published.[6] Manufacturers of heat pump water heaters must continue to use the 2002 DOE cost figures until 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 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.[7] Manufacturers must continue to use the 1999 DOE cost figures until the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figures for natural gas and propane then in effect.

6. Dishwashers

Manufacturers of compact dishwashers must continue to base the required secondary operating cost disclosures on labels on the 2002 Average Representative Unit Costs for electricity (8.28 cents per kiloWatt-hour) and natural gas (65.6 cents per therm) that were published by DOE on April 24, 2002 (67 FR 20104), and by the Commission on June 7, 2002 (67 FR 39269), and that were in effect when the 2002 ranges of comparability for these products were published. Manufacturers of standard 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).[8] Manufacturers of dishwashers must continue to use these cost figures until the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figures for electricity and natural gas then in effect.

7. Clothes Washers

Manufacturers of compact clothes washers must base the disclosures of estimated annual operating cost required at the bottom of EnergyGuide labels dfor 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). Manufacturers of standard clothes washers must continue to derive the operating cost disclosures on labels by using the 2000 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.[9] Manufacturers of clothes washers must continue to use the 2000 DOE cost figures until the Commission publishes new ranges of comparability and states that operating cost disclosures must be based on the DOE cost figures for electricity and natural gas then in effect.

B. Operating Cost Information for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Disclosed on Fact Sheets and in Industry Directories

In the 2004 document 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 2003 DOE cost figure for electricity beginning on the effective date of that document.

C. Operating Cost Representations for 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 2004 DOE energy costs in all operating cost representations beginning July 29, 2004.

II. Administrative Procedure Act

The amendments published in this document 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 a 1988 document (53 FR 22113), 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.[10] 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. Start Printed Page 236533084-0068. 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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PART 305 [AMENDED]

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Accordingly,

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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, below, contains the representative unit energy costs to be utilized for all requirements of this part.

Table 1.—Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy for Five Residential Energy Sources (2004)

Type of energyIn commonly used termsAs required by DOE test procedureDollars per million Btu 1
Electricity8.60 ¢/kWh 2,3$0.0860/kWh25.20
Natural Gas91.0 ¢/therm 4 or $9.35/MCF 5,60.00000910/Btu9.10
No. 2 heating oil$1.28/gallon 70.00000923/Btu9.23
Propane$1.23/gallon 80.00001346/Btu13.46
Kerosene$1.54/gallon 90.00001141/Btu$11.41
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.  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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2.  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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3.  The current (2001) ranges for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers were published on November 19, 2001 (66 FR 57867). On November 23, 2003 (68 FR 65631), the Commission announced that the 2001 ranges for these products would remain in effect.

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4.  The current (1995) ranges for room air conditioners were published on November 13, 1995 (60 FR 56945). On June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38175), the Commission announced that the 2004 ranges for room air conditioners would remain in effect.

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5.  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 June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38175), the Commission announced that the 1994 ranges for storage-type water heaters would remain in effect.

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6.  The current (2002) ranges of comparability for heat pump water heaters were published on June 24, 2002 (67 FR 42478). On June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38175), the Commission announced that the 1994 ranges for heat pump water heaters would remain in effect.

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7.  The current ranges for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters were published on December 20, 1999 (64 FR 71019). On June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38175), the Commission announced that the 1999 ranges for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters would remain in effect.

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8.  The current ranges for compact dishwashers were published on July 19, 2002 (67 FR 47443). The current ranges for standard dishwashers were published on August 11, 2003 (68 FR 47449).

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9.  The current (2003) ranges of comparability for compact clothes washers were published on November 24, 2003 (68 FR 65833). The current (2000) ranges of comparability for standard clothes washers were published on May 11, 2000 (65 FR 30351).

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[FR Doc. 04-9847 Filed 4-29-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P