Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.
Notice of petition for waiver, notice of grant of interim waiver, and request for comments.
This notice announces receipt of and publishes the LG Electronics USA, Inc. (LG) petition for waiver (hereafter, “petition”) from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of clothes washers. Today's notice also grants an interim waiver of the clothes washer test procedure. Through this notice, DOE also solicits comments with respect to the LG petition.
DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to the LG petition until, but no later than December 27, 2010.
You may submit comments, identified by case number CW-016, by any of the following methods:Start Printed Page 71681
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
- E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov Include “Case No. CW-016” in the subject line of the message.
- Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J/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., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper copy.
Instructions: All submissions received should include the agency name and case number for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, 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 electronic signature of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).
Any person submitting written comments must also send a copy to the petitioner, pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(d). The contact information for the petitioner is: John I. Taylor, Vice President, Government Relations and Communications, LG Electronics USA, Inc., 1776 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006; (202) 719-3490; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit two copies to DOE: One copy of the document including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.
Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include: (1) A description of the items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure; (6) a date upon which such information might lose its confidential nature due to the passage of time; and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.
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., (Resource Room of the Building Technologies Program), Washington, DC, 20024; (202) 586-2945, between 9 a.m. and 4 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 regarding visiting the Resource Room.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Dr. Michael G. Raymond, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-2J, Forrestal Building,
1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9611. E-mail: Michael.Raymond@ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. E-mail: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
I. Background and Authority
Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“EPCA”) sets forth a variety of provisions concerning energy efficiency. Part A of Title III provides for the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309). Part A includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part A authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results which 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 automatic and semi-automatic clothes washers is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J1.
The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that enable a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered consumer products. A waiver will be granted by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) if it is determined that the basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevents testing of the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, or if the 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(l). Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii). The Assistant Secretary may grant the waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).
The waiver process also allows the Assistant Secretary to grant an interim waiver from test procedure requirements to manufacturers that have petitioned DOE for a waiver of such prescribed test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). An interim waiver remains in effect for 180 days or until DOE issues its determination on the petition for waiver, whichever is sooner. An interim waiver may be extended for an additional 180 days. 10 CFR 430.27(h).
II. Application for Interim Waiver and Petition for Waiver
On September 24, 2010, LG filed a petition for waiver and application for interim waiver from the test procedure applicable to automatic and semi-automatic clothes washers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J1. In particular, LG requested a waiver to test its clothes washers with basket volumes greater than 3.8 cubic feet on the basis of the residential test procedures contained in 10 CFR part 430, Subpart B, Appendix J1, with a revised Table 5.1 which extends the range of container volumes beyond 3.8 cubic feet.
LG's petition seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure because the mass of the test load used in the procedure, which is based on the basket volume of the test unit, is currently not defined for Start Printed Page 71682basket sizes greater than 3.8 cubic feet. LG manufactures basic models with capacities greater than 3.8 cubic feet, and it is for these basic models that LG seeks a waiver from DOE's test procedure.
Table 5.1 of Appendix J1 defines the test load sizes used in the test procedure as linear functions of the basket volume. LG has submitted a revised table to extend the maximum basket volume from 3.8 cubic feet to 6.0 cubic feet, a table is similar to one developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). AHAM provided calculations to extrapolate Table 5.1 of the DOE test procedure to larger container volumes. DOE believes that this is a reasonable procedure because the DOE test procedure defines test load sizes as linear functions of the basket volume. AHAM's extrapolation was performed on the load weight in pounds, and AHAM seems to have used the conversion formula of 1/2.2 (or 0.45454545) to convert pounds to kilograms. LG requests to use a table similar to the table proposed by Samsung in its petition, rounding the results in kilograms to two decimal places. 75 FR 57937 (September 23, 2010). However, this table does contain small rounding errors which were corrected in the table included in DOE's clothes washer test procedure notice of proposed rulemaking. See discussion in the Alternate Test Procedure section, below.
An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the application for interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. (10 CFR 430.27(g)). DOE determined that LG's application for interim waiver does not provide sufficient market, equipment price, shipments, and other manufacturer impact information to permit DOE to evaluate the economic hardship LG might experience absent a favorable determination on its application for interim waiver. Previously, however, DOE granted an interim test procedure waiver to Whirlpool for three of Whirlpool's clothes washer models with container capacities greater than 3.8 ft3. (71 FR 48913, August 22, 2006). This notice contained an alternate test procedure, which extended the linear relationship between maximum test load size and clothes washer container volume in Table 5.1 to include a maximum test load size of 15.4 pounds (lbs) for clothes washer container volumes of 3.8 to 3.9 ft3. On September 16, 2010, DOE granted interim waivers to General Electric (75 FR 57915, September 23, 2010) and Samsung (75 FR 57937, September 23, 2010) for similar products. The alternate test procedure in the GE petition was the same as that granted to Whirlpool in its interim waiver, while the alternate test procedure in the Samsung petition used the slightly different and more accurate conversion factor discussed above.
There was one comment on the LG petition, from Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool urged that DOE process the LG waiver expeditiously, so that clothes washers with larger clothes containers can be tested and rated on a comparable basis.
The current test procedure specifies test load sizes only for machines with capacities up to 3.8 cubic feet. In addition, testing a basic model with a capacity larger than 3.8 cubic feet using the current procedure could evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. Based on this, and the interim waivers granted to Whirlpool, Samsung and GE, it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted. As a result, the Department of Energy grants an interim waiver to LG for all of the basic models of clothes washers with container volumes greater than 3.8 cubic feet specified in its petition for waiver, pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(g). DOE also provides for the use of an alternative test procedure extending the linear relationship between test load size and container capacity. Therefore, it is ordered that:
The application for interim waiver filed by LG is hereby granted for the specified LG clothes washer basic models, subject to the specifications and conditions below.
1. LG shall not be required to test or rate the specified clothes washer products on the basis of the test procedure under 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix J1.
2. LG shall be required to test and rate the specified clothes washer products according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in section IV, “Alternate test procedure.”
The interim waiver applies to the following basic model groups:
DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may or may not be manufactured by the petitioner. LG may submit a new or amended petition for waiver and request for grant of interim waiver, as appropriate, for additional models of clothes washers for which it seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure. In addition, DOE notes that grant of an interim waiver or waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR 430.62.
III. Alternate Test Procedure
EPCA requires that manufacturers use DOE test procedures to make representations about the energy consumption and energy consumption costs of products covered by EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c)) Consistent representations are important for manufacturers to make representations about the energy efficiency of their products and to demonstrate compliance with applicable DOE energy conservation standards. Pursuant to its regulations for the grant of a waiver or interim waiver from an applicable test procedure at 10 CFR 430.27, DOE is considering setting an alternate test procedure for LG in a subsequent Decision and Order. This alternate procedure is intended to allow manufacturers of clothes washers with basket capacities larger than provided for in the current test procedure to make valid representations. This test procedure is based on the expanded Table 5.1 of Appendix J1 submitted by LG. This Table 5.1 is not identical to the Table 5.1 submitted by LG in its petition—it is the Table 5.1 from DOE's clothes washer test procedure Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) (75 FR 57556, September 21, 1010). The NOPR Table 5.1 uses the accurate conversion factor 0.45359237 employed by LG and Samsung to convert from pounds to kilograms, and does not contain rounding errors. Furthermore, if DOE specifies an alternate test procedure for LG, DOE may consider applying the alternate test procedure to similar waivers for residential clothes washers.Start Printed Page 71683
During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, LG shall test its clothes washer basic models according to the provisions of 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix J1, except that the expanded Table 5.1 below shall be substituted for Table 5.1 of appendix J1.
|Container volume||Minimum load||Maximum load||Average load|
|cu. ft. ≥ <||liter ≥ <||lb||kg||lb||kg||lb||kg|
|(1) All test load weights are bone dry weights.|
|(2) Allowable tolerance on the test load weights are ± 0.10 lbs (0.05 kg).|
IV. Summary and Request for Comments
Through today's notice, DOE announces receipt of LG's petition for waiver from certain parts of the test procedure that apply to clothes washers and grants an interim waiver to LG. DOE is publishing LG's petition for waiver in its entirety pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains no confidential information. The petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure to measure the energy consumption of clothes washers with capacities larger than the 3.8 ft3 Start Printed Page 71684specified in the current DOE test procedure. DOE is interested in receiving comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition, including the suggested alternate test procedure and any other alternate test procedure.
Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv), any person submitting written comments to DOE must also send a copy to the petitioner, whose contact information is included in the ADDRESSES section above.Start Signature
Issued in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2010.
Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
September 24, 2010
The Honorable Catherine Zoi,
Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,
United States Department of Energy,
Mail Station EE-10, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585.
Re: Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver, Test Procedure for Clothes Washers
Dear Assistant Secretary Zoi:
LG Electronics, Inc. (LG) respectfully submits this Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver, pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27, as related to DOE's test procedure for clothes washers.
LG is a manufacturer of clothes washers and other products sold worldwide, including in the United States. LG's U.S. operations are LG Electronics USA, Inc., with headquarters at 1000 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632 (tel. 201-816-2000). Its worldwide headquarters are located at LG Twin Towers 20, Yoido-dong, Youngdungpo-gu Seoul, Korea 150-721; (tel. 011-82-2-3777-1114); URL: http.www.LGE.com. LG's principal brands include LG® and OEM brands, including GE® and Kenmore®.
The test procedure under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq., provides for clothes washers to be tested with specified allowable test load sizes. See 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J1, Table 5.1. The largest average load under Table 5.1 is 9.20 lbs. LG believes that it is appropriate for DOE to grant a waiver that would allow for testing and rating of specified models (see Appendix 1 hereto) with larger test loads where the model has a container volume that is greater than the largest volume shown on Table 5.1.
DOE has already granted interim waivers to Whirlpool, General Electric, and Samsung for testing with larger test loads for specified models in excess of 3.8 cubic feet. 71 FR 48913 (Aug. 22, 2006) (Whirlpool); 75 FR 57915 (Sept. 23, 2010) (GE); id. 57937 (Sept. 23, 2010) (Samsung). The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has submitted comments to DOE suggesting that the DOE test procedure be amended to provide for testing with loads in excess of those shown in Table 5.1 when testing is done on clothes washers with volumes in excess of 3.8 cubic feet. See AHAM Comments on the Framework Document for Residential Clothes Washers; EERE-2008-BT-STD-0019; RIN 1904-AB90, at Appendix B—AHAM Proposed Changes to J1 Table 5.1 (Oct. 2, 2009). In addition, DOE has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to amend the DOE test procedure to adopt the AHAM proposed Table 5.1. 75 FR 57556 (Sept. 21, 2010).
We note that Samsung applied for a waiver using a Table 5.1 that DOE has characterized as using “a slightly more accurate conversion factor to convert pounds to kilograms than was used by AHAM and GE.” 75 FR at 57917. DOE has granted Samsung's request in this regard for the interim waiver and states that it “will consider adopting the more accurate Table 5.1 in the subsequent decision and order [for the GE waiver]” and may consider applying a test procedure using the more accurate conversion factor “to similar waivers for residential clothes washers.”
LG requests that DOE grant a waiver for testing and rating based on the revised Table 5.1 in Appendix 2 hereto (this is the Table 5.1 proposed by Samsung, which DOE believes uses a slightly more accurate conversion factor than used by AHAM and GE [see above]), and applied to its testing and rating of basic models specified in Appendix 1 hereto.
The waiver should continue until DOE adopts an applicable amended test procedure.
LG also requests an interim waiver for its testing and rating of the foregoing basic models manufactured after the grant of the interim waiver. The petition for waiver is likely to be granted, as evidenced not only by its merits, but also because DOE has granted interim waivers to other manufacturers (Whirlpool, GE, and Samsung) and has proposed a corresponding amendment to its test procedure. Hence, grant of an interim waiver for LG is appropriate.
We would be pleased to discuss this request with DOE and provide further information as needed.
We hereby certify that all manufacturers of domestically marketed units of the same product type have been notified by letter of this petition and application, copies of which letters are set forth in Appendix 3 hereto.
John I. Taylor,
Vice President, Government Relations and Communications, LG Electronics USA, Inc., 1776 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006, Phone: 202-719-3490, Fax: 847-941-8177, E-mail: email@example.com.
John A. Hodges,
Wiley Rein LLP, 1776 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006, Phone: 202-719-7000, Fax: 202-719-7049, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The waiver and interim waiver requested herein should apply to testing and rating of the following model series of LG-manufactured clothes washers. Please note that the actual model numbers will vary to account for such factors as year of manufacture, product color, or other features. Nonetheless, they will always have volumes in excess of 3.8 cubic feet.
(In the chart below, “#” represents a number; “*” represents a letter.)
|Container volume||Minimum load||Maximum load||Average load|
|cu. ft. ≥ <||(liter) ≥ <||lb||kg||lb||kg||lb||kg|
|Start Printed Page 71685|
|(1) All test load weights are bone dry weights.|
|(2) Allowable tolerance on the test load weights are +/−0.10 lbs (0.05 kg).|
[FR Doc. 2010-29606 Filed 11-23-10; 8:45 am]
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