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Proposed Rule

Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of public meeting and availability of the Framework Document.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating this rulemaking and data collection process to consider amending energy conservation standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts. To inform interested parties and to facilitate this process, DOE has prepared a Framework Document that details the analytical approach and scope of coverage for the rulemaking, and identifies several issues on which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments. DOE will hold a public meeting to discuss and receive comments on its planned analytical approach and issues it will address in this rulemaking proceeding. DOE welcomes written comments and relevant data from the public on any subject within the scope of this rulemaking. A copy of the Framework Document is available at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/​buildings/​appliance_​standards/​rulemaking.aspx?​ruleid=​110.

DATES:

Comments: DOE will accept written comments, data, and information regarding the Framework Document before and after the public meeting, but no later than August 7, 2015.

Meeting: DOE will hold a public meeting on Friday, July 17, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Washington, DC. Additionally, DOE plans to conduct the public meeting via webinar. You may attend the public meeting via webinar, and registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE's Web site at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/​buildings/​appliance_​standards/​Start Printed Page 35887rulemaking.aspx?​ruleid=​110. Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

DOE must receive requests to speak at the public meeting before 4:00 p.m., July 6, 2015. DOE must receive an electronic copy of the statement with the name and, if appropriate, the organization of the presenter to be given at the public meeting before 4:00 p.m., July 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Regina Washington at (202) 586-1214 or by email: Regina.Washington@ee.doe.gov so that the necessary procedures can be completed. Please note that any person wishing to bring a laptop computer into the Forrestal Building will be required to obtain a property pass. Visitors should avoid bringing laptops, or allow an extra 45 minutes. As noted above, persons may also attend the public meeting via webinar.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments electronically. However, comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: FluorLampBallast2015STD0006@ee.doe.gov. Include docket number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0006 and/or regulatory identification number (RIN) 1904-AD51 in the subject line of the message. All comments should clearly identify the name, address, and, if appropriate, organization of the commenter. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption.
  • Postal Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-5B, Framework Document for Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts, Docket No. EERE-2015-BT-STD-0006 and/or RIN 1904-AD51, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. [Please note that comments sent by mail are often delayed and may be damaged by mail screening processes.]
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Sixth Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number and/or RIN for this rulemaking. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

Docket: The docket is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include Federal Register notices, framework document, notice of proposed rulemaking, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials throughout the rulemaking process. The regulations.gov Web page contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. The docket can be accessed by searching for docket number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0006 on the regulations.gov Web site. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Lucy deButts, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1604. Email: fluorescent_lamp_ballasts@ee.doe.gov.

Ms. Sarah Butler, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-1777. Email: Sarah.Butler@hq.doe.gov.

For information on how to submit or review public comments and on how to participate in the public meeting, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone (202) 586-2945. Email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title III, Part B[a] of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163, (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency and established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering major household appliances (collectively referred to as “covered products”).[b] Part C of title III (42 U.S.C. 6311-6317) establishes an energy conservation program for certain industrial and commercial equipment. EPCA authorizes DOE to establish technologically feasible, economically justified energy conservation standards for covered products or equipment that would be likely to result in significant national energy savings. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(I)-(VII))

Additional amendments to EPCA have given DOE the authority to regulate the energy efficiency of several products, including certain fluorescent lamp ballasts—the products that are the subject of this document. Amendments to EPCA in the National Appliance Energy Conservation Amendments of 1988 (NAECA 1988), Public Law 100-357, established energy conservation standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts. (42 U.S.C. 6295(g)(5)) These same amendments also required that DOE: (1) Conduct two rulemaking cycles to determine whether these standards should be amended; and (2) for each rulemaking cycle, determine whether the standards in effect for fluorescent lamp ballasts should be amended so that they would be applicable to additional fluorescent lamp ballasts. (42 U.S.C. 6295(g)(7)(A)-(B)) DOE completed these two rulemaking cycles in 2000 and 2011. 65 FR 56740 (Sept. 19, 2000) and 76 FR 70548 (Nov. 14, 2011).

EPCA mandates that within six years of the publication of the previous final rule, DOE is required to publish either a notice of determination that standards do not need to be amended or a notice of proposed rulemaking including new proposed standards. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)) This notice and the associated public meeting represent the first step in the process to consider whether to amend energy conservation standards for fluorescent ballasts in that six year review process.

DOE has prepared the Framework Document to explain the relevant issues, analyses, and processes it anticipates Start Printed Page 35888using when considering new or amended energy conservation standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts. The focus of the public meeting noted above will be to discuss the information presented and issues identified in the Framework Document. At the public meeting, DOE will make presentations and invite discussion on the rulemaking process as it applies to fluorescent lamp ballasts. DOE will also solicit comments, data, and information from participants and other interested parties.

DOE is planning to conduct in-depth technical analyses in the following areas: (1) Engineering; (2) energy use; (3) product price; (4) life-cycle cost and payback period; (5) national impacts; (6) manufacturer impacts; (7) emission impacts; (8) utility impacts; (9) employment impacts; and (10) regulatory impacts. DOE will also conduct several other analyses that support those previously listed, including the market and technology assessment, the screening analysis (which contributes to the engineering analysis), and the shipments analysis (which contributes to the national impact analysis).

DOE encourages those who wish to participate in the public meeting to obtain the Framework Document and to be prepared to discuss its contents. A copy of the Framework Document is available at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/​buildings/​appliance_​standards/​rulemaking.aspx?​ruleid=​110.

Public meeting participants need not limit their comments to the issues identified in the Framework Document. DOE is also interested in comments on other relevant issues that participants believe would affect energy conservation standards for these products, applicable test procedures, or the preliminary determination on the scope of coverage. DOE invites all interested parties, whether or not they participate in the public meeting, to submit in writing by August 7, 2015, comments and information on matters addressed in the Framework Document and on other matters relevant to DOE's consideration of coverage of and standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts.

The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, facilitated, conference style. There shall be no discussion of proprietary information, costs or prices, market shares, or other commercial matters regulated by U.S. antitrust laws. A court reporter will record the proceedings of the public meeting, after which a transcript will be available for purchase from the court reporter and placed on the DOE Web site at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/​buildings/​appliance_​standards/​rulemaking.aspx?​ruleid=​110.

After the public meeting and the close of the comment period on the Framework Document, DOE will collect data, conduct the analyses as discussed in the Framework Document and at the public meeting, and review the public comments it receives.

DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of the process for determining whether to establish or amend energy conservation standards and, if so, in setting those new or amended standards. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the comment period at each stage of the rulemaking process. Beginning with the Framework Document, and during each subsequent public meeting and comment period, interactions with and among members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues to assist DOE in the standards rulemaking process. Accordingly, anyone who wishes to participate in the public meeting, receive meeting materials, or be added to the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about this rulemaking should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945, or via email at Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on June 17, 2015.

Kathleen B. Hogan,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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Footnotes

a.  For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was redesignated Part A.

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b.  All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA), Public Law 112-210 (Dec. 18, 2012).

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[FR Doc. 2015-15383 Filed 6-22-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P