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Standards Update 4th quarter 2012

Created 1/25/2013 by David Cohan
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Federal rulemaking activity in the fourth quarter ground to a halt for the political season. There was literally no official activity during this quarter.

However, a number of activities were undertaken by efficiency stakeholders in preparation for CY 2013.

In November, NEEA standards staff met with the other energy efficiency stakeholders convened by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) at its annual meeting at ACEEE in Washington, DC. We reviewed the rulemaking activities completed in 2012, and the activities expected in 2013. We also heard from Roland Risser, Program Manager for USDOE’s Building Technologies Program at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). He reviewed DOE’s recent activities, and helped us understand what DOE plans to do in the near term on new and upgraded standards and test procedures. The result of the ASAP meetings is a plan of action for CY 2013, and the identification of areas where additional work or data will be needed in order to successfully advocate for the new standards and test procedures we need.

The list of active rulemakings remains the same as in the third quarter, except that DOE will add a NOPR for residential clothes dryers in 2013 as a result of information received in response to their RFI issued on August 12th, 2011, and has begun a commercial clothes washer standards rulemaking:

  • Automatic Commercial Icemaker Standards (behind schedule, waiting on a Proposed Rule)
  • Residential Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems Test Procedure (behind schedule, waiting on a Final Rule)
  • Battery Charger Efficiency Standards (ongoing, still scheduled for a Final Rule in January 2013)
  • Distribution Transformer Efficiency Standards for low-voltage dry-type, and medium voltage dry-type and liquid-immersed (ongoing; the stakeholder negotiations did not produce a consensus recommendation except for low-voltage products. DOE did not meet its court-ordered requirement to publish its own decisions on new Standards by October 1st, 2012 and there was still no word on the Final Rule at the time of publication of this update)
  • Large Electric Motor Efficiency Standards, 1-200 hp (ongoing, with the joint stakeholders having formally petitioned DOE to publish their proposal as the core of a Direct Final Rule by the end of the year)
  • Residential Furnace Fan Test Procedure and Efficiency Standards (ongoing, with the Preliminary Analysis for Standards and the Final Rule for the Test Procedure due any week now)
  • General Service Fluorescent and Incandescent Reflector Lamps (ongoing, with a Preliminary Analysis for Standards due any week now)
  • High Intensity Discharge Lamp Test Procedure and Efficiency Standards (significantly overdue for both the Test Procedure Final Rule and the Preliminary Analysis for Standards)
  • Efficiency Standards for Certain Incandescent Reflector Lamps (ER, BR & small diameter) (significantly overdue on a Proposed Rule for the Standards for these products, which provided a loophole in earlier standards for certain R-lamps and PAR lamps)
  • Metal Halide Fixture Efficiency Standards (significantly overdue on a Proposed Rule)
  • Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Efficiency Standards (overdue on a Proposed Rule; was to have been completed by the end of the year, but wasn’t)
  • Commercial Clothes Washers Equipment Efficiency Standards (overdue on Commercial Clothes Washers Standard)
  • Television Test Procedures and Efficiency Standards (still significantly overdue on a Test Procedure Final Rule and Framework document for Efficiency Standards)
  • Walk-in Cooler & Freezer Efficiency Standards (still significantly overdue on a Proposed Rule, rumored to be sequestered at OMB with a number of other proposals and rules)
  • Standby & Off-Mode Test Procedures for Residential Water Heaters ( still significantly overdue on a Final Rule; development of the elements of a new on-mode Test Procedure is ongoing at ASHRAE and AHAM; a proposal on new draw patterns is imminent)


  • Commercial and Industrial Pumps (no current DOE standard). The Hydraulics Institute (HI) and an efficiency stakeholder pump group (NEEA is a member) have entered negotiations for the purpose of developing recommendations to DOE for a federal pump standard. Recently NEEA has been asked to work as a co-lead on developing pump labeling schemes.  NEEA has also been asked to work as a co-lead on developing standards for “extended products,” such as HVAC circulator pumps, that would allow for substantial savings in pump systems rather than just the pump itself.
  • Commercial and Industrial Fans, Blowers, and Fume Hoods. The Air Movement and Control Assoc. (AMCA) and an efficiency stakeholder fan group (NEEA is a member) have entered negotiations for the purpose of developing recommendations to DOE for a federal fan standard.
  • Commercial AC/HP for ASHRAE 90.1 IEER levels. NEEA and other efficiency advocates negotiated successfully for higher IEER levels for commercial air conditioners and heat pumps in the final ASHRAE 90.1 2013 standard in October than were initially submitted by AHRI in May of this year.
  • Commercial automatic ice makers. AHRI and an efficiency stakeholder icemaker group entered negotiations ahead of the DOE’s release of a Proposed Rule on standards for ice making equipment. Our recommended standards included potable water use requirements (not in DOE’s original scope) and energy use based on capacity-based equations rather than single values.

State Level

At the state level, NEEA worked with efficiency advocates and state executive and legislative branch staff in Oregon and Washington to draft and advocate for state-level efficiency standards for a handful of products, including battery chargers (some of these products will not be covered by proposed federal standards), plumbing fixtures, certain high-wattage halogen lamps, and in Oregon, televisions. We’ll keep you posted on how things go in the upcoming legislative sessions in these states. If television standards are enacted in Oregon, at least one state in the Pacific Northwest will join California and British Columbia in setting an efficiency floor for these important consumer electronic products. In the longer run, this will finally capture the remaining savings associated with NEEA’s significant investments in regional television efficiency, completing the first round of market transformation for these important consumer products.

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