2014-07-17 Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Computer and Battery Backup Systems; Notice of public meeting and availability of the Framework Document.

This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE)

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
10 CFR Part 430
[Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0025]
RIN 1904-AD04

Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Computer and Battery Backup Systems

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 establishing energy conservation standards for computer and battery backup systems (computer systems). 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. DOEwelcomes 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: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx/productid/81

Dates

Meeting: DOE will hold a public meeting on Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington, DC.

Comments: DOE will accept written comments, data, and information regarding the Framework Document before and after the public meeting, but no later than September 2, 2014.

Addresses

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/product.aspx/productid/81.

Participants are responsible for ensuring their systems are compatible with the webinar software.

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 planning to participate in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE of this fact as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 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: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: ComputerSystems2014STD0025@ee.doe.gov. Include docket number EERE-2014-BT-STD-0025 and/or regulatory identification number (RIN) 1904-AD04 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 Office, Mailstop EE-5B, Framework Document for Computer and Battery Backup Systems, Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0025 and/or RIN 1904-AD04, 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 Office, 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 includeFederal Registernotices, 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-2014-BT-STD-0025 on the regulations.gov Web site. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://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.

For information on how to submit a comment, review other public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

For Further Information Contact

Mr. Jeremy Dommu, 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) 586-9870. Email: DOE_computer_standards@ee.doe.gov.

Ms. Celia Sher, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-6122. Email: Celia.Sher@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.

Supplementary Information

Title III, Part A (1) 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”). (2) 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)) In addition to specifying a list of covered residential and commercial products, EPCA contains provisions that enable the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) to classify additional types of consumer products as covered products. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(20)) For a given product to be classified as a covered product, the Secretary must determine that classifying the product as a covered product is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA, and that the average annual per-household energy use by products of such type is likely to exceed 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. (42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1))

Under this authority, DOE published a notice of proposed determination which tentatively determined that computer systems meet the criteria for a covered product. 79 FR 11345 (Feb. 28, 2014). DOE received severalstakeholder comments in response to the proposed determination, many of which are addressed in this framework document. DOE will address any remaining stakeholder comments when it issues a final determination of coverage at a later stage in the rulemaking process.

If DOE issues a final determination that computer systems are a covered product, it may establish a test procedure and energy conservation standard for computer systems. DOE may prescribe test procedures to assess the energy consumption of covered products. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)) For the Secretary to prescribe an energy conservation standard pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p) for covered products added pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1), he must determine that:

(a) The average energy use of the products has exceeded 150 kWh per household for a 12-month period;

(b) The aggregate 12-month energy use of the products has exceeded 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours;

(c) Substantial improvement in energy efficiency is technologically feasible; and

(d) The application of a labeling rule under 42 U.S.C. 6294 is unlikely to be sufficient to induce manufacturers to produce, and consumers and other persons to purchase, covered products of such type (or class) which achieve the maximum energy efficiency which is technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1))

Today's framework document is the first step toward initiating this rulemaking process. DOE has prepared the framework document to explain the relevant issues, analyses, and processes it anticipates using when considering a new test procedure and energy conservation standard for computer systems. 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 computer systems. 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: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx/productid/81.

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 September 2, 2014, 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 computer systems.

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/product.aspx/productid/81.

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 energy conservation standards and, if so, in setting those new standards. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the omment 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.

Issued in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2014-16828 Filed 7-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P

Footnotes

(1) For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. code, Part B was re-designated Part A.

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

 
 
Comment Period Closed
Sep 2 2014, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: EERE-2014-BT-STD-0025-0002
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Date Posted: Jul 17, 2014
RIN: 1904-AD04
CFR: 10 CFR Part 430
Federal Register Number: 2014-16828
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