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Notice

Notice of Petition for Waiver of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. From the Department of Energy Residential Clothes Washer Test Procedure, and Grant of Interim Waiver

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AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Notice of petition for waiver, notice of grant of interim waiver, and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces receipt of and publishes the Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Samsung) petition for waiver and application for interim 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 Samsung petition.

DATES:

DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to the Samsung petition until September 7, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by case number CW-020, by any of the following methods:

  • 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-020” 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: Michael Moss, Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., 18600 Broadwick Street, Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220.

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.

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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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Authority

Title III, part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances, which includes the clothes washers that are the focus of this notice.[1] Part B includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation Start Printed Page 48150standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, part B 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 part 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. DOE may extend an interim waiver for an additional 180 days. 10 CFR 430.27(h).

On December 23, 2010, DOE issued enforcement guidance on the application of waivers for large-capacity clothes washers and announced steps to improve the waiver process and refrain from certain enforcement actions. This guidance can be found on DOE's Web site at http://www.gc.energy.gov/​1661.htm.

II. Application for Interim Waiver and Petition for Waiver

On July 20, 2010, Samsung 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, Samsung requested a waiver to test its clothes washers for certain specified basic models with basket volumes greater than 3.8 cubic feet on the basis of the aforementioned residential test procedures, using a revised Table 5.1 which extends the range of container volumes beyond 3.8 cubic feet. This petition was granted on March 10, 2011. 76 FR 13169. On February 11, 2011, Samsung filed an additional petition for waiver and application for interim waiver to expand the number of models subject to the alternative test procedure set forth in the company's July 2010 petition for waiver. The interim waiver was granted on April 19, 2011. 76 FR 21881. Samsung filed the instant petition for waiver for additional products on June 20, 2011.

Samsung's current 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 basket sizes greater than 3.8 cubic feet. In its petition, Samsung seeks a waiver for the specified basic models with capacities greater than 3.8 cubic feet.

Table 5.1 of Appendix J1 defines the test load sizes used in the test procedure as linear functions of the basket volume. Samsung requests that DOE grant a waiver for testing and rating based on a revised Table 5.1, the same table as set forth in the waiver granted to Samsung on March 10, 2011. 76 FR 13169. The table is identical to the Table 5.1 found in DOE's clothes washer test procedure Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR). 75 FR 57556 (September 21, 1010), which was altered slightly (to correct rounding errors) by the supplemental proposed rule issued on July 26, 2011 http://www.eere.energy.gov/​buildings/​appliance_​standards/​residential/​pdfs/​rcw_​tp_​snopr.pdf.

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 has determined that Samsung'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 Samsung might experience absent a favorable determination on its application for interim waiver. Previously, however, DOE granted an interim test procedure waivers to Whirlpool (75 FR 69653 (November 15, 2010)), General Electric Company (GE) (75 FR 76968 (December 10, 2010)), LG (76 FR 11233 (March 1, 2011)), and Electrolux (76 FR 11440 (March 2, 2011)) for products with capacities larger than currently specified in the test procedure. As stated above, DOE granted a previous waiver to Samsung on March 10, 2011, and a further interim waiver on April 19, 2011. In these waivers, DOE established an alternate test procedure extending the linear relationship between the maximum test load size and clothes washer container volume up to 6.0 cubic feet, the same test procedure set forth in DOE's September 2010 test procedure NOPR and requested by Samsung in its June 2011 petition.

The current DOE test procedure specifies test load sizes only for machines with capacities up to 3.8 cubic feet. For the reasons set forth in DOE's September 2010 NOPR, DOE believes that extending the linear relationship between test load size and container capacity to larger capacities is valid. 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 these considerations, and the waivers granted to Whirlpool, GE, Electrolux and LG, as well as the previous waiver and interim waiver granted to Samsung for similar models, it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted. As a result, DOE grants an interim waiver to Samsung for 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, described below. Therefore, it is ordered that:

The application for interim waiver filed by Samsung is hereby granted for the specified Samsung clothes washer basic models, subject to the specifications and conditions below.Start Printed Page 48151

1. Samsung 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. Samsung 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: WF501 ***

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. Samsung 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 part 429.

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 the statute. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c)) Consistent representations are important for manufacturers to use in making representations about the energy efficiency of their products and to demonstrate compliance with applicable DOE energy conservation standards. Pursuant to its regulations applicable to waivers and interim waivers from applicable test procedures at 10 CFR 430.27, DOE will consider setting an alternate test procedure for Samsung in a subsequent Decision and Order.

The alternate procedure approved today is intended to allow Samsung to make valid representations regarding its clothes washers with basket capacities larger than provided for in the current test procedure. This alternate test procedure is based on the expanded Table 5.1 of Appendix J1 that appears in DOE's clothes washer test procedure NOPR. 75 FR 57556 (September 21, 1010), altered slightly to correct rounding errors as specified in DOE's supplemental proposal issued on July 26, 2011.

During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, Samsung 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.

Table 5.1—Test Load Sizes

Container volumeMinimum loadMaximum loadAverage load
cu. ft.literlbkglbkglbkg
≥ <≥ <
0-0.80-22.73.001.363.001.363.001.36
0.80-0.9022.7-25.53.001.363.501.593.251.47
0.90-1.0025.5-28.33.001.363.901.773.451.56
1.00-1.1028.3-31.13.001.364.301.953.651.66
1.10-1.2031.1-34.03.001.364.702.133.851.75
1.20-1.3034.0-36.83.001.365.102.314.051.84
1.30-1.4036.8-39.63.001.365.502.494.251.93
1.40-1.5039.6-42.53.001.365.902.684.452.02
1.50-1.6042.5-45.33.001.366.402.904.702.13
1.60-1.7045.3-48.13.001.366.803.084.902.22
1.70-1.8048.1-51.03.001.367.203.275.102.31
1.80-1.9051.0-53.83.001.367.603.455.302.40
1.90-2.0053.8-56.63.001.368.003.635.502.49
2.00-2.1056.6-59.53.001.368.403.815.702.59
2.10-2.2059.5-62.33.001.368.803.995.902.68
2.20-2.3062.3-65.13.001.369.204.176.102.77
2.30-2.4065.1-68.03.001.369.604.356.302.86
2.40-2.5068.0-70.83.001.3610.004.546.502.95
2.50-2.6070.8-73.63.001.3610.504.766.753.06
2.60-2.7073.6-76.53.001.3610.904.946.953.15
2.70-2.8076.5-79.33.001.3611.305.137.153.24
2.80-2.9079.3-82.13.001.3611.705.317.353.33
2.90-3.0082.1-85.03.001.3612.105.497.553.42
3.00-3.1085.0-87.83.001.3612.505.677.753.52
3.10-3.2087.8-90.63.001.3612.905.857.953.61
3.20-3.3090.6-93.43.001.3613.306.038.153.70
3.30-3.4093.4-96.33.001.3613.706.218.353.79
3.40-3.5096.3-99.13.001.3614.106.408.553.88
3.50-3.6099.1-101.93.001.3614.606.628.803.99
3.60-3.70101.9-104.83.001.3615.006.809.004.08
3.70-3.80104.8-107.63.001.3615.406.999.204.17
3.80-3.90107.6-110.43.001.3615.807.169.404.26
3.90-4.00110.4-113.33.001.3616.207.349.604.35
4.00-4.10113.3-116.13.001.3616.607.539.804.45
4.10-4.20116.1-118.93.001.3617.007.7210.004.54
4.20-4.30118.9-121.83.001.3617.407.9010.204.63
4.30-4.40121.8-124.63.001.3617.808.0910.404.72
4.40-4.50124.6-127.43.001.3618.208.2710.604.82
4.50-4.60127.4-130.33.001.3618.708.4610.854.91
4.60-4.70130.3-133.13.001.3619.108.6511.055.00
4.70-4.80133.1-135.93.001.3619.508.8311.255.10
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4.80-4.90135.9-138.83.001.3619.909.0211.455.19
4.90-5.00138.8-141.63.001.3620.309.2011.655.28
5.00-5.10141.6-144.43.001.3620.709.3911.855.38
5.10-5.20144.4-147.23.001.3621.109.5812.055.47
5.20-5.30147.2-150.13.001.3621.509.7612.255.56
5.30-5.40150.1-152.93.001.3621.909.9512.455.65
5.40-5.50152.9-155.73.001.3622.3010.1312.655.75
5.50-5.60155.7-158.63.001.3622.8010.3212.905.84
5.60-5.70158.6-161.43.001.3623.2010.5113.105.93
5.70-5.80161.4-164.23.001.3623.6010.6913.306.03
5.80-5.90164.2-167.13.001.3624.0010.8813.506.12
5.90-6.00167.1-169.93.001.3624.4011.0613.706.21
Notes: (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 Samsung's petition for waiver from certain parts of the test procedure that apply to clothes washers and grants an interim waiver to Samsung. DOE is publishing Samsung'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 cubic feet specified 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 August 2, 2011.

Kathleen Hogan,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Office of Technology Development, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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June 20, 2011

Dr. Henry Kelly, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585.

Re: Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver, Clothes Washers Capacity Greater than 3.8 Cubic Feet

Dear Assistant Secretary Kelly: Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung), respectfully submits this Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver to the Department of Energy (DOE) for the testing of clothes washers with capacity greater than 3.8 cubic feet.

The 10 CFR Part 430.27(a)(1) allows a person to submit a petition to waive for a particular basic model any requirements of § 430.23 upon the grounds that the basic model contains one or more design characteristics which either prevent testing of the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, or 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. Additionally, 10 CFR Part 430.27(b)(2) allows an applicant to request an Interim Waiver if economic hardship and/or competitive disadvantage is likely to result absent a favorable determination on the Application for Interim Waiver.

Reasoning

In order to meet current market demands, Samsung designed and will be marketing clothes washers with capacities greater than 3.8 cubic feet. Samsung expects that the majority of Samsung clothes washers will be greater than 3.8 cubic feet in capacity. The current test procedure, Appendix J1 to Subpart B of Part 430, Table 5.1, does not contain load sizes for capacities greater than 3.8 cubic feet, preventing Samsung from appropriately testing clothes washer models with capacity greater than 3.8 cubic feet. The Department recognized this test method deficiency in the Interim Waivers granted to Electrolux (76 FR 11440), LG (76 FR 11233), Whirlpool (75 FR 69653), General Electric (75 FR 76968), and Samsung (76 FR 21881).

The nature of this Application for Interim Waiver and Petition for Waiver does not differ from Samsung's original Application for Interim Waiver and Petition for Waiver as published in 75 FR 57937.

Conclusion

Samsung requests that DOE expeditiously grants the requested waiver for our Samsung clothes washer, model WF501***. This request is based upon the grounds that:

1. Current test methods for clothes washers do not allow testing of clothes washers with greater than 3.8 cubic feet capacity.

2. DOE has already granted Samsung an Interim Waiver in 75 FR 57937, per Table 5.1, for similar models.

Affected Persons

Primarily affected persons in the clothes washers category include Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC., BSH Home Appliances Corp., Electrolux Home Products, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Inc., GE Appliances, Haier America Trading, L.L.C., LG Electronics Inc., Miele Appliances, Inc., and Whirlpool Corporation. Samsung will notify all these entities as required by the Department's rules and provide them with a version of this Petition. A copy was also provided to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

  Sincerely,

Michael Moss,

Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs.

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, part B was re-designated part A.

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[FR Doc. 2011-20015 Filed 8-5-11; 8:45 am]

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