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NEEA Standards Update – 3rd Quarter 2013

Created 10/21/2013 by David Cohan
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Standards Update – 3rd Quarter 2013

Federal Level

In a long-expected flurry of activity, DOE issued a number of proposals that were bottled up at OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Also, several rulemaking comment periods closed in the third quarter, with NEEA weighing in on virtually all of them.

The highlight of the quarter from our perspective was the publication of the Final Rule for the Residential Clothes Dryer Test Procedure. After a long period of deliberation and supplemental proposals, DOE published Appendix D2 of 10 CFR Part 430 on August 14th. The good news is that the new test procedure will provide a much more accurate estimate of the energy a clothes dryer will actually use in the field. The bad news is that they made the new test procedure optional, and prohibited manufacturers from using Appendix D1 for certifying efficiency for one purpose (such as efficiency standards compliance) while using Appendix D2 for certifying performance for another purpose (such as Energy Star qualification). So if manufacturers use the new, improved Appendix D2 for certifying only their top-performing models (i.e. Energy Star models), and use Appendix D1 for all of the other models, we won’t have a comprehensive energy performance baseline based on Appendix D2 testing. This presents some significant barriers for clothes dryer efficiency initiatives or programs, but they are not insurmountable. To the extent that manufacturers bring models to market that can deliver energy savings when tested using the new Appendix D2, NEEA will collaborate with other efficiency stakeholders around the country to promote these models.

Some other highlights of DOE actions in the third quarter, with details in the active rulemaking section following this list. Details are provided in the individual rulemaking notes below:

  1. Issued a Proposed Rule for HID lamp efficiency standards.
  2. Issued a Proposed Rule for HID fixture efficiency standards (primarily ballast efficiency).
  3. Issued a Proposed Rule for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment efficiency standards. This is one that was bottled up at OIRA for over a year.
  4. Issued a Proposed Rule for Walk-in Cooler and Freezer efficiency standards. This one, too, was bottled up at OIRA for well more than a year.
  5. Issued a Proposed Rule for Refrigerator-freezer and Freezer test procedures. This new procedure, if adopted, includes the energy use for icemakers. NEEA submitted field monitoring data to help DOE estimate annual icemaking cycles.
  6. Issued a Final Rule for the Clothes Dryer Test Procedures (published on 8/14/13). As discussed above, this was a bit of a bombshell.
  7. Issued a Final Rule for the Television Test Procedures (sent to the Federal Register on 9/30/13).

The list of active rulemakings has grown even longer since last quarter. Here are some details about the status and importance of the individual rulemakings:

  • Automatic Commercial Icemaker Standards. Still behind schedule, waiting on a Proposed Rule, which is reportedly hung up at OMB – the Office of Management & Budget.
  • Commercial A/C & HP system standards. Nothing new to report on this one.
  • Residential Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems Test Procedure. Still behind schedule, still waiting on a Final Rule.
  • Battery Charger Efficiency Standards. Ongoing, and still substantially behind schedule.
  • Ceiling Fans & Ceiling Fan Light Kits. No new developments here since the Framework document was published in March 2013. A few of the larger members of the industry have started a publicity campaign to discredit the idea of regulating the efficiency of the fans themselves, as only the lighting kits are regulated presently.
  • Residential Clothes Dryer Test Procedures. As discussed above, the new Appendix D2 test procedure is voluntary and available for use now. The proposed Energy Star specification, published a few days after the new test procedure, would require the use of Appendix D2 for the purposes of certifying Energy Star compliance. The result is likely to be that we have very few products certified using the new test procedure, and so will not have an efficiency baseline based on the same test procedure as for those products being certified for Energy Star or other efficiency programs. Stay tuned as we figure out how to deal with this strange set of circumstances.
  • 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. No word yet on a NOPR, which is now substantially overdue. The savings from this one could be very large. The Test Procedure Proposed Rule, published June 26th, 2013 was a good one, in general, and will help keep the standards process moving along.
  • · Fan, Blower and Fume Hood Standards. These products have never been regulated before, so the Framework document published on February 1st is important. It will establish the product classes that will be regulated and the metrics to be used for ratings, among other things. Comments on the framework document in association with other energy advocates were submitted on May 28th. A two-day meeting with AMCA (Air Movement and Control Association), DOE and energy advocates to discuss a negotiated rulemaking was held in Chicago in mid-June. Another two-day meeting between the energy advocates and AMCA was held at ACEEE in Washington DC. DOE contractors attended meeting but were not part of the negotiations. Some of the metrics for measuring fan energy efficiency along with many fan classes were agreed upon. AMCA provided data on fan sales based upon fan classes and horse power ratings. Energy advocates are waiting on further data before suggesting efficiency levels and whether a weighted efficiency is better than peak fan efficiency.
  • Residential Furnace Fan Test Procedure and Efficiency Standards. Ongoing. Though the Final Rule for the Test Procedure has not yet been published, DOE did send a Notice of Proposed Rule – NOPR – for efficiency standards to the Federal Register at the end of September. The proposed standards appear to be quite stringent, essentially requiring either a constant torque or constant flow electronically commutated permanent magnet – ECPM – motor for all unweatherized residential furnaces and air handlers. More on our estimate of regional savings at the end of the year.
  • General Service Fluorescent Lamps (GSFLs) and Incandescent Reflector Lamps (IRLs). Ongoing. At issue in this rulemaking will also be the continuation, or not, of the 2-year waivers from the July 2012 standards for many 700 series GSFL lamps. The last thing published, in February 2013, was the Preliminary Technical Support Document – PTSD.
  • High Intensity Discharge Lamp Test Procedure and Efficiency Standards. DOE held a public meeting at the end of February to discuss interim technical support document (ITSD) for high-intensity discharge lamps. NEEA attended the meeting and provided comments on the ITSD for HID lamps on May 17. No new action as of the third quarter.
  • Efficiency Standards for Certain Incandescent Reflector Lamps (ER, BR & small diameter). Still significantly overdue on a Proposed Rule for the Standards, which is still hung up, with so many others, at OIRA. The last thing published, in March 2013, was a shipments forecast and Notice of Data Availability – NODA.
  • Metal Halide Fixture Efficiency Standards. DOE published a Notice of Proposed Rule – NOPR – on August 20, 2013. DOE held a public meeting September 27 to discuss NOPR for high-intensity discharge lamps. NEEA attended the meeting and will provide comments on the NOPR for Metal halide Fixtures.
  • Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Standards. Ongoing.
  • Commercial and Industrial Pump Standards. Following stakeholder negotiations, DOE opened a rulemaking for these products with a Framework document published on February 1st. The classes of products being regulated may be limited, but there still may be significant savings potential. Meetings were held with the Hydraulics Institute, the main trade association, prior to submission of framework comments by NEEA on May 2. DOE has decided to turn the rulemaking for pumps into a negotiated rulemaking. NEEA has submitted an application to be in the work group.
  • · Energy Efficiency Descriptor for Small, Large and Very Large Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment. DOE issued an RFI on the consideration of replacing the energy descriptor of EER to IEER. NEEA provided comments.
  • Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Efficiency Standards. DOE finally published the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rule on September 11, 2013. There are large regional savings at stake in this one, which we’ll try to estimate by the end of the year. DOE held a public meeting October 3rd to discuss NOPR for commercial refrigeration. NEEA attended the meeting and will provide comments on the NOPR.
  • Commercial Clothes Washer Efficiency Standards. Still nothing new on this one.
  • Set-top Box Test Procedures. Ongoing, with nothing new to add this quarter. In the meantime, the California Energy Commission has begun their own rulemaking on these products, and will likely complete the process before DOE. See the State standards update below. Also in the meantime, a group of industry players from the cable, satellite and telecom industries have finalized a Voluntary Agreement that they hope will displace regulation at the state and federal levels. The verdict is still out on whether or not there are significant energy savings associated with this VA. More news on this at the end of the year.
  • Television Test Procedures and Efficiency Standards. DOE sent the Final Rule for the television Test Procedure to the Federal Register on September 30, 2013. It appears to be a significant improvement over the previously used procedure – specified for the Energy Star program. We believe that the energy use and on-mode power levels that will come out of the new procedure will more accurately reflect actual performance in homes. The timing should be good with regard to the release of manufacturers’ 2014 models, and ratings should all reflect the use of the new procedure.
  • Vending Machine Standards. No new progress on this one.
  • Walk-in Cooler & Freezer Efficiency Standards. Along with a few other rules held up at OMB’s OIRA, this one was sprung by a threatened lawsuit by New York and the three West Coast states. The Proposed Rule was published on September 11, 2013. We’ll estimate the savings by the end of the year which we believe will be substantial for the region. The effective date has been proposed as 3 years after the publication of the Final Rule, but could be as long as 5 years.
  • Standby & Off-Mode Test Procedures for Residential Water Heaters. Still awaiting the completion of proposed test procedure changes by the ASHRAE SP118.2 Committee. They should have a public review draft on the street before the end of the year, and by that time we expect the DOE rulemaking to have resumed its progress, with other test procedure condition changes up for consideration there (such as ambient temperature conditions, water heater setpoint, etc.).
  • DOE proposed a negotiated rulemaking on Certification of Commercial Equipment including Refrigeration Equipment. Air Handler and Water Heater. NEEA submitted an application to be in the work group and was accepted as one of 22 members of the 37 that applied. During May, June, July and August NEEA participated in the work group to determine Alternative Efficiency Determination Methods and certification requirements for this equipment. The recommendation by the working group for AEDMs and commercial certification for covered equipment was submitted to the ASRAC committee for the negotiated rulemaking in late August. The working group was considered a success and met it goals but an additional desired goal of setting up a verification program was not able to be negotiated. The accuracy of the efficiency rating of non-tested equipment has a large impact on energy use.
  • Residential & Commercial Water Heater Uniform Efficiency Metrics. Ongoing, with no updates this quarter.
  • Residential Water Heater Standards Waiver Process. With the Shaheen-Portman bill stalled in Congress for the time being, our focus on this issue has shifted back to the US DOE rulemaking with regard to a standards exemption for certain large electric resistance water heaters. There were no new developments in that process last quarter. In the meantime, NEEA is working with EWEB and Cowlitz PUD to demonstrate the demand response and energy storage capabilities of heat pump water heaters. These projects should be completed by the end of the year, with data and analysis to be submitted to USDOE early in 2014.

State Level

As we mentioned in our last quarterly report, new state efficiency standards were enacted in Oregon for battery chargers, televisions and high-wattage, double-ended quartz halogen lamps.

 Standards for small battery charger systems and televisions go into effect on January 1st, 2014. Standards for high-wattage double-ended quartz halogen lamps go into effect on January 1st, 2016, and larger commercial/industrial battery chargers systems standards go into effect on January 1st, 2017.

The Oregon Department of Energy is conducting a follow-up rulemaking now to specify the test procedures that must be used to certify compliance with the standards.

The California Energy Commission’s next appliance standards docket continues. Standards proposals were submitted by July 29th, and are under review now by CEC staff. A subset of the following list of products will continue through the full rulemaking process, tentatively scheduled to be completed in late fall 2014:

  1. Air Filter Labeling
  2. Commercial Clothes Dryers
  3. Computers
  4. Dimming Ballasts
  5. Electronic Displays
  6. Faucets
  7. Game Consoles
  8. Quality LED Lamps
  9. Pools (pumps and filter systems)
  10. Spas
  11. Small Diameter Directional Lamps (such as MR16s)
  12. Set Top Boxes
  13. Small Network Equipment
  14. Toilets
  15. Urinals
  16. Water Meters

NEEA will continue to closely monitor the progress of the CEC process, and will submit data on selected products from our RBSA field metering project. If all goes well, we’ll bring these standards to Oregon and Washington in 2015.


Now that the OMB/OIRA dam has burst, it will unleash an enormous amount of standards activity for the next 9 months or so. The energy savings from several of these rulemakings will be substantial for the region, so look for the estimates as headlines in next quarter’s report. If you would like more detail on any of these rulemakings, don’t hesitate to contact us (for residential and consumer products, contact Charlie Stephens at 503 688-5457 or cstephens@neea.org, and for commercial and industrial products, contact Louis Starr at 503 688-5438 or lstarr@neea.org).

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