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 in Case No. RF-032 that grants to Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Samsung) a waiver from the DOE electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures for specific basic models set forth in its petition for waiver. In its petition, Samsung provides an alternate test procedure that is identical to the test procedure DOE published in a final rule dated January 25, 2012 (77 FR 3559) that manufacturers will be required to use starting in 2014. Under today's decision and order, Samsung shall be required to test and rate these refrigerator-freezers using an alternate test procedure as adopted in that January 2012 final rule, which accounts for multiple defrost cycles when measuring energy consumption.
This Decision and Order is effective November 1, 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.gov
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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 Samsung with a waiver from the applicable residential refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1 for certain basic models of refrigerator-freezers with multiple defrost cycles, provided that Samsung tests and rates such products using the alternate test procedure described in this notice. Today's decision prohibits Samsung 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).
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Issued in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Decision and Order
In the Matter of: Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Case No. RF-032)
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 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 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. Samsung's Petition for Waiver: Assertions and Determinations
On August 2, 2013, Samsung submitted a petition for waiver from the test procedure applicable to residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1. Samsung is designing new refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. In its petition, Samsung seeks a waiver from the existing DOE test procedure applicable to refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers under 10 CFR part 430 because the existing test procedure does not account for multiple defrost cycles. Therefore, Samsung has asked to use an alternate test procedure that is the same as the one manufacturers will be required to use in 2014 for products with long time or variable defrost. See 77 FR 3559 (Jan. 25, 2012) (final rule). On January 27, 2011; July 19, 2011; December 14, 2011; December 11, 2012; and February 5, 2013, Samsung had submitted similar petitions for waiver and requests for interim waiver for other basic models of refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. DOE subsequently granted a waiver for the products specified in these petitions. 77 FR 1474 (Jan. 10, 2012), 77 FR 75428 (Dec. 20, 2012), June 14, 2013 (78 FR 35901), and 78 FR 35898 (June 14, 2013).
Samsung's petition included an alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its refrigerator-freezer models with multiple defrost cycles. The alternate test procedure specified by Samsung is the same as the test procedure that DOE finalized in January 2012. See 77 FR 3359. Among other things, the notice to that final rule addressed comments received on the Samsung petitions that were the subject of the previous waiver, as well as the interim final rule that had previously been issued. See 75 FR 78810 (Dec. 16, 2010). The alternate test procedure that Samsung has requested permission to use as part of its waiver petition is, as with its prior waiver petitions noted above, identical to the test procedure provisions for products with long time or variable defrost DOE adopted in the final test procedure rule that manufacturers will be required to use starting in 2014.
Because the currently applicable test procedure cannot be used to test the basic models at issue or would otherwise lead to materially inaccurate results, DOE previously granted a waiver to Samsung for other basic models incorporating multiple defrost technology. See 77 FR 1474, 77 FR 75428, 78 FR 35901, and 78 FR 35898. DOE has determined that it is desirable to have similar basic models, such as those addressed by the Samsung petition addressed in this notice, tested in a consistent manner and is adopting the same approach laid out in its prior decision by permitting Samsung to use the alternate test procedure specified in this Decision and Order.
III. Consultations With Other Agencies
DOE consulted with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff concerning the Samsung petition for waiver. The FTC staff did not have any objections to granting a waiver to Samsung.
After careful consideration of all the material that was submitted by Samsung and consultation with the FTC staff, it is ordered that:
(1) The petitions for waiver submitted by the Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Case No. RF-032) are hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.
(2) Samsung shall be required to test and rate the following Samsung models according to the alternate test procedure set forth in paragraph (3) of this section.
(3) Samsung shall be required to test the products listed in paragraph (2) of this section according to appendix A1 to subpart B of 10 CFR part 430 except that the test cycle shall be identical to the test procedure provisions for products with long-time or variable defrost located in section 4.2.1 of appendix A to subpart B of 10 CFR part 430, as adopted in DOE's final rule dated January 25, 2012 (77 FR 3559).Start Printed Page 65625
(4) Representations. Samsung may make representations about the energy use of its refrigerator-freezer 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 Samsung's August 2, 2013 petition for waiver. Grant of this waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429.
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Issued in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2013-26088 Filed 10-31-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P