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 a petition for waiver from Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Samsung) seeking an exemption from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of residential clothes washers. Samsung seeks to use an alternate test procedure to address certain issues involved in testing one clothes washer basic model, as identified in its petition, with a container volume between 6.0 cubic feet and 8.0 cubic feet. Samsung contends the basic model cannot be accurately tested using the currently applicable DOE test procedure. DOE solicits comments, data, and information concerning Samsung's petition and its suggested alternate test procedure. This notice also grants Samsung an interim waiver from the residential clothes washer test procedure for the specified basic model, subject to use of the alternative test procedure set forth in this notice.
DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to the Samsung petition until January 3, 2017.
You may submit comments, identified by Case Number CW-027, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Email: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Include “Case No. CW-027” in the subject line of the message.
Mail: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, Petition for Waiver Case No. CW-027, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.
Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-6636. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.
Docket: The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-5B, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: Bryan.Berringer@ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-33, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. Email: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.
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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), established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program that includes the clothes washers 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, Start Printed Page 87031energy use, or estimated operating costs during a representative average-use cycle, 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 (both residential and commercial) is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J2, Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Automatic and Semi-automatic Clothes Washers.
DOE's regulations set forth at 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that allow a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for a particular basic model of a type of covered consumer product 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) 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(a)(1). A petitioner must include in its 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).
DOE may grant a waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2). As soon as practicable after the granting of any waiver, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its regulations so as to eliminate any need for the continuation of such waiver. As soon thereafter as practicable, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a final rule. 10 CFR 430.27(l).
The waiver process also allows DOE to grant an interim waiver if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted and/or if DOE 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(e)(2). Within one year of issuance of an interim waiver, DOE will either: (i) Publish in the Federal Register a determination on the petition for waiver; or (ii) publish in the Federal Register a new or amended test procedure that addresses the issues presented in the waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(h)(1). When DOE amends the test procedure to address the issues presented in a waiver, the waiver will automatically terminate on the date on which use of that test procedure is required to demonstrate compliance. 10 CFR 430.27(h)(2).
II. Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure and Application for Interim Waiver
On August 24, 2016, Samsung submitted a petition for waiver from the DOE test procedure applicable to automatic and semi-automatic clothes washers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J2. Samsung requested the waiver 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 6.0 cubic feet. In its petition, Samsung seeks a waiver for a specified basic model with a capacity greater than 6.0 cubic feet. Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 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.
Samsung also requests an interim waiver from the existing DOE test procedure. An interim waiver may be granted if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or if DOE determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. See 10 CFR 430.27(e)(2).
DOE understands that absent an interim waiver, Samsung's products cannot be tested and rated for energy consumption on a basis representative of their true energy consumption characteristics. DOE has reviewed the alternate procedure suggested by Samsung and concludes that, generally, it will allow for the accurate measurement of the energy use of these products, while alleviating the testing problems associated with Samsung's implementation of clothes washer containers larger than 6.0 cubic feet. Consequently, DOE has determined that Samsung's petition for waiver will likely be granted. Furthermore, as explained below, DOE has granted similar waivers to Samsung and other manufacturers, and has determined that it is desirable for public policy reasons to grant Samsung immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver.
DOE recently granted a waiver to Whirlpool under Decision and Order (81 FR 26251, May 2, 2016) to allow for the testing of certain basic models of clothes washers with container volumes between 6.0 cubic feet and 8.0 cubic feet. DOE also granted a waiver to Samsung for a similar request under Decision and Order Samsung (76 FR 13169, Mar. 10, 2011; 76 FR 50207, Aug. 12, 2011) to allow for the testing of certain basic models of clothes washers with container volumes between 3.8 cubic feet and 6.0 cubic feet. In addition, DOE granted waivers to LG (CW-016 (76 FR 11233, Mar. 1, 2011), CW-018 (76 FR 21879, Apr. 19, 2011), and CW-021 (76 FR 64330, Oct. 18, 2011); General Electric (75 FR 76968, Dec. 10, 2010), Whirlpool (75 FR 69653, Nov. 15, 2010), and Electrolux (76 FR 11440, Mar. 2, 2011) to allow for the testing of certain basic models of clothes washers with container volumes between 3.8 cubic feet and 6.0 cubic feet.
The current DOE test procedure specifies test load sizes only for machines with capacities up to 6.0 cubic feet. (77 FR 13888, Mar. 7, 2012; the “March 2012 Final Rule”) For the reasons set forth in DOE's March 2012 Final Rule, DOE concludes 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 6.0 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 LG, GE, Electrolux and Whirlpool, as well as the previous waivers granted to Samsung for similar requests, 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 6.0 cubic feet specified in its petition for waiver. DOE also provides for the use of an alternative test procedure extending the linear relationship between test load size and container capacity, as described below.
III. Summary of Grant of Interim Waiver
For the reasons stated above, DOE has granted Samsung's application for interim waiver from testing for its specified clothes washer basic models. The substance of DOE's Interim Waiver Order is summarized below.
Samsung is required to test and rate the clothes washer basic model Samsung WA63M97**A* according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in section IV, “Alternate Test Procedure.”
Samsung is permitted to make representations about the energy use of this basic model for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such products have been tested in accordance with the provisions set forth in the alternate test procedure Start Printed Page 87032and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing in accordance with 10 CFR 429.20.
DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those basic models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may be manufactured by the petitioner. Samsung may request that DOE extend the scope of a waiver or an interim waiver to include additional basic models employing the same technology as the basic model(s) set forth in the original petition consistent with 10 CFR 430.27(g). In addition, DOE notes that granting of an interim waiver or waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429. See also 10 CFR 430.27(a) and (i).
The interim waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(h). Furthermore, this interim waiver is conditioned upon the presumed validity of statements, representations, and documents provided by the petitioner. DOE may rescind or modify a waiver or interim waiver at any time upon a determination that the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver or interim waiver is incorrect, or upon a determination that the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic model's true energy consumption characteristics. See 10 CFR 430.27(k).
IV. Alternate Test Procedure
EPCA requires that manufacturers use DOE test procedures when making representations about the energy consumption and energy consumption costs of products and equipment covered by the statute. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 6314(d)) Consistent representations about the energy efficiency of covered products and equipment are important for consumers evaluating products when making purchasing decisions and for manufacturers 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 and after considering public comments on the petition, DOE will announce its decision as to 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 Samsung clothes washer basic model WA63M97**A*.
In the alternate test procedure described below, DOE has corrected an error in the proposed Samsung load size table:
- For the 6.80-6.90, the average load size was not calculated correctly. The average load size should be the numerical average of the minimum and maximum load sizes. It should have been 7.05 kg instead of 7.04 kg.
During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, Samsung must test clothes washer basic model WA63M97**A* according to the provisions of 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix J2, except that Samsung shall substitute the expanded Table 5.1 below for Table 5.1 of appendix J2.
Table 5.1—Test Load Sizes
|Container volume||Minimum load||Maximum load||Average load|
|cu. ft. ≥ <||liter ≥ <||lb||kg||lb||kg||lb||Kg|
|Start Printed Page 87033|
V. Summary and Request for Comments
Through this notice, DOE grants Samsung an interim waiver from the specified portions of the test procedure applicable to clothes washer basic model WA63M97**A*. and announces receipt of Samsung's petition for waiver from those same portions of the test procedure. DOE is publishing Samsung's petition for waiver pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains no confidential information. The petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure to determine the energy consumption of clothes washer basic model WA63M97**A*. DOE is considering including the corrected alternate procedure in its subsequent Decision and Order.
DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition, including the suggested alternate test procedure and calculation methodology. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(d), any person submitting written comments to DOE must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner. The contact information for the petitioner is Jenni Chun, Regulatory & Environmental Affairs Manager, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., QA Lab America. 19 Chapin Rd. Building D, Pine Brook, NJ 07058. All comment submissions to DOE must include the Case Number CW-027 for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in 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).
Issued in Washington, DC, on November 22, 2016.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
QA Lab America
19 Chapin Rd. Building D
Pine Brook, NJ 07058
August 24, 2016
The Honorable David Friedman
Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
United States Department of Energy
Forrestal Building (Mail Station EE-1)
1000 Independence Avenue SW.,
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Assistant Secretary Friedman:
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (“Samsung”) respectfully submits the Application for Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver to the Department of Energy (“DOE” or “the Department”) regards to Samsung's residential clothes washers with a capacity over 6.0 cubic feet.
The 10 CFR 431.401(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 Start Printed Page 87034consumption 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.
The current test procedure, Appendix J2 to Subpart B of Part 430 (“Appendix J2”) Table 5.1, does not contain load sizes for capacities greater than 6.0 cubic feet, preventing Samsung from appropriately testing the clothes washer models with capacity greater than 6.0 cubic feet. The Department previously granted a similar waiver to Whirlpool (75 FR 69653, Nov. 15, 2010 and 81 FR 26251, May 2, 2016).
Samsung also proposes an alternative procedure by extending the linear relationship between test load sizes and container volume in Table 5.1, as the following load size table for clothes washer with capacity between 6.0 cubic feet and 8.0 cubic feet:
Table 5.0—Test Load Sizes—Supplement
|Container volume||Minimum load||Maximum load||Average load|
|cu. ft. ≥ <||liter ≥ <||lb||kg||lb||kg||lb||kg|
In summary, Samsung respectfully requests to grant Samsung a Waiver and Interim Waiver to use the alternate expanded Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 that appears in DOE's clothes washer test procedure NOPR (79 FR 23061, April 25, 2014). Samsung is seeking the Department to grant a Waiver and Interim waiver for Samsung clothes washer basic model WA63M97**A*:
|Brand||Model name||Capacity load||Type||Reason|
|Samsung||WA63M97**A*||6.3 cu. ft||Top Load||Over 6.0 cu. ft.|
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver. I will be happy to discuss should any questions arise.
Regulatory & Environmental Affairs Manager.
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[FR Doc. 2016-28980 Filed 12-1-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P