Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.
Decision and order.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of its decision and order (Case No. RF-031) granting Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America (PAPRSA) a waiver from the DOE electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures for determining the energy consumption of residential refrigerator-freezers for the basic models set forth in its petition for waiver. Under today's decision and order, PAPRSA shall be required to test and rate its hybrid wine chiller/beverage center basic models using an alternate test procedure that requires PAPRSA to test the wine chiller compartment at 55 °F instead of the prescribed temperature of 38 °F. PAPRSA shall also use the K factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 Start Printed Page 57140when calculating the energy consumption.
This Decision and Order is effective September 17, 2013.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371, Email: Bryan.Berringer@ee.doe.gov.
Mr. Michael Kido, 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) 586-8145. Email: Michael.Kido@hq.doe.govmailto:.
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In accordance with Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 430.27(l)), DOE gives notice of the issuance of its decision and order as set forth below. The decision and order grants PAPRSA a waiver from the applicable residential refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures found in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1 for certain basic models of hybrid wine chiller/beverage center products, provided that PAPRSA tests and rates such products using the alternate test procedure described in this notice. Today's decision prohibits PAPRSA from making representations concerning the energy efficiency of these products unless the product has been tested in a manner consistent with the provisions and restrictions in the alternate test procedure set forth in the decision and order below, and the representations fairly disclose the test results.
Distributors, retailers, and private labelers are held to the same standard when making representations regarding the energy efficiency of these products. 42 U.S.C. 6293(c).
Issued in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Decision and Order
In the Matter of:
Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America (Case No. RF-031)
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 residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers that are the focus of this notice.
Part B includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, 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 that 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 residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1.
DOE's regulations for covered products contain provisions allowing a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for a particular basic model for covered consumer products when (1) the petitioner's basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) when 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(a)(1). 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 characteristics.
The Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) may grant a 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).
Any interested person who has submitted a petition for waiver may also file an application for interim waiver of the applicable test procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). The Assistant Secretary will grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the 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 on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(g).
II. PAPRSA's Petition for Waiver: Assertions and Determinations
On April 29, 2013, PAPRSA submitted a petition for waiver and application for interim waiver (petition) from the test procedure applicable to residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers set forth in 10 CFR Part 430, subpart B, appendix A1. In its petition, PAPRSA seeks a waiver from the existing DOE test procedure applicable to refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers under 10 CFR Part 430 for PAPRSA's hybrid models that consist of single-cabinet units with a refrigerated beverage compartment in the top portion and a wine storage compartment in the bottom of the units. DOE issued guidance that clarified the test procedures to be used for hybrid products such as the PAPRSA models at issue here: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/pdfs/refrigerator_definition_faq.pdf This guidance specifies that basic models such as the ones PAPRSA identifies in its petition, which do not have a separate wine storage compartment with a separate exterior door, are to be tested according to the DOE test procedure in Appendix A1, with the temperatures specified therein. PAPRSA asserts that the wine storage compartment cannot be tested at the prescribed temperature of 38 °F, because the minimum compartment temperature is 45 °F. PAPRSA submitted an alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its wine chiller/beverage centers. That alternate procedure would test the wine chiller compartment at 55 °F, instead of the prescribed 38 °F. To justify the use of this standardized temperature for testing, PAPRSA stated in its petition that it designed these models to provide an average temperature of 55 to 57 °F, which it determined is a commonly recommended temperature for wine storage, suggesting that this temperature is presumed to be representative of expected consumer use. 77 FR 19656. DOE notes that the test procedures for wine chillers adopted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), California Energy Commission (CEC), and Natural Resources Canada all use a standardized compartment temperature of 55 °F for wine chiller compartments, which is consistent with PAPRSA's approach.
After careful consideration of all the material submitted by PAPRSA, it is ordered that:
(1) The petition for waiver submitted by the Panasonic Appliances Start Printed Page 57141Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America (Case No. RF-031) is hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.
(2) PAPRSA shall be required to test and rate the following PAPRSA models according to the alternate test procedure set forth in paragraph (3) below.
(3) PAPRSA shall be required to test the products listed in paragraph (2) above according to the test procedures for electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR part 430, Appendix A1, except that, for the PAPRSA products listed in paragraph (2) only, test the wine chiller compartment at 55 °F, instead of the prescribed 38 °F.
PAPRSA shall also use the K factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 when calculating the energy consumption of one of the models listed above. Therefore, the energy consumption is defined by the higher of the two values calculated by the following two formulas (according to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix A1):
Energy consumption of the wine compartment:
EWine = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) × (55 °F-TW1)/(TW2-TW1)] *0.85
Energy consumption of the refrigerated beverage compartment:
EBeverage Compartment = ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) × (38 °F-TBC1)/(TBC2-TBC1)].
(4) Representations. PAPRSA may make representations about the energy use of its hybrid wine chiller/beverage center products for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such products have been tested in accordance with the provisions outlined above and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing.
(5) This waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).
(6) This waiver is issued on the condition that the statements, representations, and documentary materials provided by the petitioner are valid. DOE may revoke or modify this waiver at any time if it determines the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver is incorrect, or the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption characteristics.
(7) This waiver applies only to those basic models set out in PAPRSA's April 29, 2013 petition for waiver. Grant of this waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429.
Issued in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable. Energy.
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[FR Doc. 2013-22582 Filed 9-16-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P