Notice of Petition for Waiver of GE Appliances From the Department of Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure, and Grant of Interim Waiver, 8238-8244 [2012-3371]

Download as PDF 8238 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices Note: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/ index.html. Dated:February 8, 2011. Cornelia S. Orr, Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Department of Education. [FR Doc. 2012–3314 Filed 2–13–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [Case No. RF–023] Notice of Petition for Waiver of GE Appliances From the Department of Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure, and Grant of Interim Waiver Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of petition for waiver, notice of grant of interim waiver, and request for comments. AGENCY: This notice announces receipt of and publishes the GE Appliances (GE) petition for waiver (hereafter, ‘‘petition’’) from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of certain specific electric refrigerators and refrigeratorfreezers. In its petition, GE provides an alternate test procedure and DOE solicits comments, data, and information concerning GE’s petition and the suggested alternate test procedure. Today’s notice also grants GE an interim waiver from the electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedure, subject to use of the alternative test procedure set forth in this notice. DATES: DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to the GE Petition until March 15, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by case number ‘‘RF–023,’’ by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Include the case number [Case No. RF– 023] in the subject line of the message. • Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 Technologies Program, Mailstop EE–2J/ 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–2945. Please submit one signed original paper copy. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper copy. Docket: For access to the docket to review the background documents relevant to this matter, you may visit the U.S. Department of Energy, 950 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC, 20024; (202) 586–2945, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Available documents include the following items: (1) This notice; (2) public comments received; (3) the petition for waiver and application for interim waiver; and (4) prior DOE waivers and rulemakings regarding similar refrigerator-freezer products. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards at the above telephone number for additional information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE–2J, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–0371. E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC–71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585–0103. Telephone: (202) 586–7796. E-mail: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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, as codified), established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances, which includes the electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers that are the focus of this notice.1 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 the energy 1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 efficiency, energy use, or estimated annual operating costs of a covered product, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for automatic electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1. The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that enable a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered products under certain conditions. In particular, the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) may grant a waiver if it is determined that (1) the basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevents testing of the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, 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(l). Petitioners must include in their 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). The Assistant Secretary may grant the waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m). Any interested person who has submitted a petition for waiver may also file an application for interim waiver of the applicable test procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). The Assistant Secretary may grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary 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(g). If granted, an interim waiver remains in effect for 180 days or until DOE issues its determination on the petition for waiver, whichever is sooner. DOE may extend an interim waiver for an additional 180 days. 10 CFR 430.27(h). II. Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure and Application for Interim Waiver On January 26, 2012, GE submitted a petition for waiver from the test procedure applicable to residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator- E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices freezers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, Subpart B, Appendix A1. GE is designing new refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. In its petition, GE seeks a waiver from the procedure provided in Appendix A1 because that test procedure does not account for products that use multiple defrost cycles. Therefore, GE has asked to use an alternate test procedure that is the same as the test procedure provisions for products with long time or variable defrost DOE published in an interim final rule (75 FR 78810, December 16, 2010). On January 27 and July 19, 2011, Samsung submitted similar petitions for waiver and requests for interim waiver for basic models of refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. After initially granting these interim waiver requests, DOE ultimately granted Samsung with a waiver for the products specified in those petitions through a final decision and order that adopted a modified version of the interim final rule’s procedure. 77 FR 1474 (Jan. 10, 2012). That modified procedure was also adopted by DOE as part of a recently published rule that finalized the test procedures that electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer manufacturers must use starting in 2014. See 77 FR 3559 (Jan. 25, 2012). GE also requests an interim waiver from the existing DOE test procedure. An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the application for interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. (10 CFR 430.27(g). DOE has determined that GE’s application for interim waiver does not provide sufficient market, equipment price, shipments and other manufacturer impact information to permit DOE to evaluate the economic hardship GE might experience absent a favorable determination on its application for interim waiver. DOE has determined, however, that it is likely GE’s petition will be granted, and that it is desirable for public policy reasons to grant GE relief pending a determination on the petition. Previously, DOE granted a waiver to Samsung for other basic models incorporating multiple defrost technology (77 FR 1474, Jan. 10, 2012), and DOE has determined that it is desirable to have similar basic models tested in a consistent manner. VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 GE’s petition requested an alternate test procedure to account for the energy consumption of its refrigerator-freezer models with multiple defrost cycles. The alternate test procedure requested by GE is the same as the test procedure published in the interim final rule referenced above. As noted above, DOE recently published a final test procedure for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers (77 FR 3559, Jan. 25, 2012). The alternate test procedure sought by GE is identical to the interim final rule test procedure provisions for products with long-time or variable defrost adopted in the final test procedure rule. Because DOE has finalized a test procedure that accounts for products that employ these long-time or variable defrost control strategies, DOE is granting GE’s request but requiring that the company use the more recently finalized procedure in order to ensure testing consistency for all manufacturers when measuring the energy consumption of these types of products. For the reasons stated above, DOE grants GE’s application for interim waiver from testing of its refrigeratorfreezer product line containing multiple defrost cycles. Therefore, it is ordered that: The application for interim waiver filed by GE is hereby granted for the specified GE refrigerator-freezer basic models that incorporate multiple defrost cycles, subject to the specifications and conditions below. GE shall be required to test or rate the specified refrigeratorfreezer products according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in section III, ‘‘Alternate Test Procedure.’’ The interim waiver applies to the following basic model groups: CYE24T****** CFE29T****** DFE29J****** GNE26G****** GFE27G****** GFE27H****** GFE29H****** PWE23K****** PYE24K****** PYE24P****** PFE27K****** PFE29P****** PFH29P****** DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may be manufactured by the petitioner. GE may submit a subsequent petition for waiver and request for grant of interim waiver, as appropriate, for additional models of refrigerator-freezers for which it seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure. In addition, DOE notes that grant of an PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8239 interim waiver or waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429. III. Alternate Test Procedure EPCA requires that manufacturers use DOE test procedures to make representations about the energy consumption and energy consumption costs of products covered by the statute. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c)) Consistent representations are important for manufacturers to use in making representations about the energy efficiency of their products and 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, DOE will consider setting an alternate test procedure for GE in a subsequent Decision and Order. During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, GE shall test the products listed above according to the test procedures for residential electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR art 430, Subpart B, Appendix A1, except that, for the GE products listed above only, include: 1. In section 1, Definitions, the following definition: ‘‘Defrost cycle type’’ means a distinct sequence of control whose function is to remove frost and/or ice from a refrigerated surface. There may be variations in the defrost control sequence such as the number of defrost heaters energized. Each such variation establishes a separate distinct defrost cycle type. However, defrost achieved regularly during the compressor ‘‘off’’ cycles by warming of the evaporator without active heat addition is not a defrost cycle type. 2. In section 4, Test Period, the following: 4.2.1 Long-time Automatic Defrost. If the model being tested has a long-time automatic defrost system, the two-part test described in this section may be used. The first part is a stable period of compressor operation that includes no portions of the defrost cycle, such as precooling or recovery, that is otherwise the same as the test for a unit having no defrost provisions (section 4.1). The second part is designed to capture the energy consumed during all of the events occurring with the defrost control sequence that are outside of stable operation. 4.2.1.1 Cycling Compressor System. For a system with a cycling compressor, the second part of the test starts at the termination of the last regular compressor ‘‘on’’ cycle. The average E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 8240 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices the first part of the test by more than 0.5 °F (0.3 °C), these compressor cycles are not considered regular compressor cycles and must be included in the second part of the test. As an example, a ‘‘precooling’’ cycle, which is an extended compressor cycle that lowers the temperature(s) of one or both compartments prior to energizing the defrost heater, must be included in the second part of the test. The test period for the second part of the test ends at the termination of the first regular compressor ‘‘on’’ cycle after both compartment temperatures have fully recovered to their stable conditions. The average temperatures of the compartments measured from this termination of the first regular compressor ‘‘on’’ cycle until the termination of the next regular compressor ‘‘on’’ cycle must both be within 0.5 °F (0.3 °C) of their average temperatures measured for the first part of the test. See Figure 1. 4.2.4 Systems with Multiple Defrost Frequencies. This section applies to models with long-time automatic or variable defrost control with multiple defrost cycle types, such as models with single compressors and multiple evaporators in which the evaporators have different defrost frequencies. The two-part method in 4.2.1 shall be used. The second part of the method will be conducted separately for each distinct defrost cycle type. 3. In section 5, Test Measurements, the following: 5.2.1.5 Long-time or Variable Defrost Control for Systems with Multiple Defrost cycle Types. The energy consumption in kilowatt-hours per day shall be calculated equivalent to: VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 EN14FE12.045</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES temperatures of the fresh food and freezer compartments measured from the termination of the previous compressor ‘‘on’’ cycle to the termination of the last regular compressor ‘‘on’’ cycle must both be within 0.5 °F (0.3 °C) of their average temperatures measured for the first part of the test. If any compressor cycles occur prior to the defrost heater being energized that cause the average temperature in either compartment to deviate from its average temperature for Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1440 is defined in 5.2.1.1 and EP1, T1, and 12 are defined in 5.2.1.2; i is a variable that can equal 1, 2, or more that identifies the distinct defrost cycle types applicable for the refrigerator or refrigerator-freezer; EP2i = energy expended in kilowatt-hours during the second part of the test for defrost cycle type i; T2i = length of time in minutes of the second part of the test for defrost cycle type i; CTi is the compressor run time between instances of defrost cycle type i, for longtime automatic defrost control equal to a fixed time in hours rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour, and for variable defrost control equal to (CTLi × CTMi)/(F × (CTMi ∼ CTLi) + CTLi); CTLi = least or shortest compressor run time between instances of defrost cycle type i in hours rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour (CTL for the defrost cycle type with the longest compressor run time between defrosts must be greater than or equal to 6 but less than or equal to 12 hours); CTMi = maximum compressor run time between instances of defrost cycle type i in hours rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour (greater than CTLi but not more than 96 hours); For cases in which there are more than one fixed CT value (for long-time defrost models) or more than one CTM and/or VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 CTL value (for variable defrost models) for a given defrost cycle type, an average fixed CT value or average CTM and CTL values shall be selected for this cycle type so that 12 divided by this value or values is the frequency of occurrence of the defrost cycle type in a 24 hour period, assuming 50% compressor run time. F = default defrost energy consumption factor, equal to 0.20. For variable defrost models with no values for CTLi and CTMi in the algorithm, the default values of 6 and 96 shall be used, respectively. D is the total number of distinct defrost cycle types. IV. Summary and Request for Comments Through today’s notice, DOE announces receipt of GE’s petition for waiver from certain parts of the test procedure that apply to clothes washers and grants an interim waiver to GE. DOE is publishing GE’s petition for waiver in its entirety pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains confidential information. The petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure to measure the energy consumption of refrigerator-freezer basic models that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv), 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: David N. Baker, Counsel, Government Regulations & Regulatory Compliance, GE Appliances, Appliance Park, AP2–225, Louisville, KY 40225. All submissions received must include the agency name and case number for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, 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 February 7, 2012. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BILLING CODE 6450–01–P E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 EN14FE12.046</GPH> Where: 8241 VerDate Mar<15>2010 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 EN14FE12.047</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 8242 VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 8243 EN14FE12.048</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 14, 2012 / Notices [FR Doc. 2012–3371 Filed 2–13–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–C VerDate Mar<15>2010 21:57 Feb 13, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 EN14FE12.049</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 8244

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 14, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8238-8244]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3371]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

[Case No. RF-023]


Notice of Petition for Waiver of GE Appliances From the 
Department of Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer 
Test Procedure, and Grant of Interim Waiver

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. 
Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of petition for waiver, notice of grant of interim 
waiver, and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt of and publishes the GE 
Appliances (GE) petition for waiver (hereafter, ``petition'') from 
specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test 
procedure for determining the energy consumption of certain specific 
electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers. In its petition, GE 
provides an alternate test procedure and DOE solicits comments, data, 
and information concerning GE's petition and the suggested alternate 
test procedure. Today's notice also grants GE an interim waiver from 
the electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedure, 
subject to use of the alternative test procedure set forth in this 
notice.

DATES: DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to 
the GE Petition until March 15, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by case number ``RF-
023,'' by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Include the case 
number [Case No. RF-023] in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J/1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Please 
submit one signed original paper copy.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 
600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper 
copy.
    Docket: For access to the docket to review the background documents 
relevant to this matter, you may visit the U.S. Department of Energy, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC, 20024; (202) 586-2945, between 
9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 
Available documents include the following items: (1) This notice; (2) 
public comments received; (3) the petition for waiver and application 
for interim waiver; and (4) prior DOE waivers and rulemakings regarding 
similar refrigerator-freezer products. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards 
at the above telephone number for additional information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-2J, Forrestal 
Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Telephone: (202) 586-0371. E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. E-mail: 
Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

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, as codified), 
established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other 
Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances, 
which includes the electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers 
that are the focus of this notice.\1\ 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 
the energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated annual operating costs 
of a covered product, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. 
(42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for automatic electric 
refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is contained in 10 CFR part 
430, subpart B, appendix A1.
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
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    The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that 
enable a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements 
for covered products under certain conditions. In particular, the 
Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the 
Assistant Secretary) may grant a waiver if it is determined that (1) 
the basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted 
contains one or more design characteristics that prevents testing of 
the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, 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(l). 
Petitioners must include in their 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).
    The Assistant Secretary may grant the waiver subject to conditions, 
including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). 
Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 
430.27(m).
    Any interested person who has submitted a petition for waiver may 
also file an application for interim waiver of the applicable test 
procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). The Assistant Secretary 
may grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the 
applicant will experience economic hardship if the interim waiver is 
denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be 
granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary 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(g). If granted, 
an interim waiver remains in effect for 180 days or until DOE issues 
its determination on the petition for waiver, whichever is sooner. DOE 
may extend an interim waiver for an additional 180 days. 10 CFR 
430.27(h).

II. Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure and Application for Interim 
Waiver

    On January 26, 2012, GE submitted a petition for waiver from the 
test procedure applicable to residential electric refrigerators and 
refrigerator-

[[Page 8239]]

freezers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, Subpart B, Appendix A1. GE is 
designing new refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost 
cycles. In its petition, GE seeks a waiver from the procedure provided 
in Appendix A1 because that test procedure does not account for 
products that use multiple defrost cycles. Therefore, GE has asked to 
use an alternate test procedure that is the same as the test procedure 
provisions for products with long time or variable defrost DOE 
published in an interim final rule (75 FR 78810, December 16, 2010). On 
January 27 and July 19, 2011, Samsung submitted similar petitions for 
waiver and requests for interim waiver for basic models of 
refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. After 
initially granting these interim waiver requests, DOE ultimately 
granted Samsung with a waiver for the products specified in those 
petitions through a final decision and order that adopted a modified 
version of the interim final rule's procedure. 77 FR 1474 (Jan. 10, 
2012). That modified procedure was also adopted by DOE as part of a 
recently published rule that finalized the test procedures that 
electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer manufacturers must use 
starting in 2014. See 77 FR 3559 (Jan. 25, 2012).
    GE also requests an interim waiver from the existing DOE test 
procedure. An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that 
the applicant will experience economic hardship if the application for 
interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for 
waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that 
it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate 
relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. (10 CFR 
430.27(g).
    DOE has determined that GE's application for interim waiver does 
not provide sufficient market, equipment price, shipments and other 
manufacturer impact information to permit DOE to evaluate the economic 
hardship GE might experience absent a favorable determination on its 
application for interim waiver. DOE has determined, however, that it is 
likely GE's petition will be granted, and that it is desirable for 
public policy reasons to grant GE relief pending a determination on the 
petition. Previously, DOE granted a waiver to Samsung for other basic 
models incorporating multiple defrost technology (77 FR 1474, Jan. 10, 
2012), and DOE has determined that it is desirable to have similar 
basic models tested in a consistent manner.
    GE's petition requested an alternate test procedure to account for 
the energy consumption of its refrigerator-freezer models with multiple 
defrost cycles. The alternate test procedure requested by GE is the 
same as the test procedure published in the interim final rule 
referenced above. As noted above, DOE recently published a final test 
procedure for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers (77 FR 
3559, Jan. 25, 2012). The alternate test procedure sought by GE is 
identical to the interim final rule test procedure provisions for 
products with long-time or variable defrost adopted in the final test 
procedure rule. Because DOE has finalized a test procedure that 
accounts for products that employ these long-time or variable defrost 
control strategies, DOE is granting GE's request but requiring that the 
company use the more recently finalized procedure in order to ensure 
testing consistency for all manufacturers when measuring the energy 
consumption of these types of products.
    For the reasons stated above, DOE grants GE's application for 
interim waiver from testing of its refrigerator-freezer product line 
containing multiple defrost cycles. Therefore, it is ordered that:
    The application for interim waiver filed by GE is hereby granted 
for the specified GE refrigerator-freezer basic models that incorporate 
multiple defrost cycles, subject to the specifications and conditions 
below. GE shall be required to test or rate the specified refrigerator-
freezer products according to the alternate test procedure as set forth 
in section III, ``Alternate Test Procedure.''
    The interim waiver applies to the following basic model groups:

CYE24T******
CFE29T******
DFE29J******
GNE26G******
GFE27G******
GFE27H******
GFE29H******
PWE23K******
PYE24K******
PYE24P******
PFE27K******
PFE29P******
PFH29P******
    DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those 
models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may 
be manufactured by the petitioner. GE may submit a subsequent petition 
for waiver and request for grant of interim waiver, as appropriate, for 
additional models of refrigerator-freezers for which it seeks a waiver 
from the DOE test procedure. In addition, DOE notes that grant of an 
interim waiver or waiver does not release a petitioner from the 
certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429.

III. Alternate Test Procedure

    EPCA requires that manufacturers use DOE test procedures to make 
representations about the energy consumption and energy consumption 
costs of products covered by the statute. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c)) 
Consistent representations are important for manufacturers to use in 
making representations about the energy efficiency of their products 
and 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, DOE 
will consider setting an alternate test procedure for GE in a 
subsequent Decision and Order.
    During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, GE 
shall test the products listed above according to the test procedures 
for residential electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 
CFR art 430, Subpart B, Appendix A1, except that, for the GE products 
listed above only, include:
    1. In section 1, Definitions, the following definition:
    ``Defrost cycle type'' means a distinct sequence of control whose 
function is to remove frost and/or ice from a refrigerated surface. 
There may be variations in the defrost control sequence such as the 
number of defrost heaters energized. Each such variation establishes a 
separate distinct defrost cycle type. However, defrost achieved 
regularly during the compressor ``off'' cycles by warming of the 
evaporator without active heat addition is not a defrost cycle type.
    2. In section 4, Test Period, the following:
    4.2.1 Long-time Automatic Defrost. If the model being tested has a 
long-time automatic defrost system, the two-part test described in this 
section may be used. The first part is a stable period of compressor 
operation that includes no portions of the defrost cycle, such as 
precooling or recovery, that is otherwise the same as the test for a 
unit having no defrost provisions (section 4.1). The second part is 
designed to capture the energy consumed during all of the events 
occurring with the defrost control sequence that are outside of stable 
operation.
    4.2.1.1 Cycling Compressor System. For a system with a cycling 
compressor, the second part of the test starts at the termination of 
the last regular compressor ``on'' cycle. The average

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temperatures of the fresh food and freezer compartments measured from 
the termination of the previous compressor ``on'' cycle to the 
termination of the last regular compressor ``on'' cycle must both be 
within 0.5 [deg]F (0.3 [deg]C) of their average temperatures measured 
for the first part of the test. If any compressor cycles occur prior to 
the defrost heater being energized that cause the average temperature 
in either compartment to deviate from its average temperature for the 
first part of the test by more than 0.5 [deg]F (0.3 [deg]C), these 
compressor cycles are not considered regular compressor cycles and must 
be included in the second part of the test. As an example, a 
``precooling'' cycle, which is an extended compressor cycle that lowers 
the temperature(s) of one or both compartments prior to energizing the 
defrost heater, must be included in the second part of the test. The 
test period for the second part of the test ends at the termination of 
the first regular compressor ``on'' cycle after both compartment 
temperatures have fully recovered to their stable conditions. The 
average temperatures of the compartments measured from this termination 
of the first regular compressor ``on'' cycle until the termination of 
the next regular compressor ``on'' cycle must both be within 0.5 [deg]F 
(0.3 [deg]C) of their average temperatures measured for the first part 
of the test. See Figure 1.
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    4.2.4 Systems with Multiple Defrost Frequencies. This section 
applies to models with long-time automatic or variable defrost control 
with multiple defrost cycle types, such as models with single 
compressors and multiple evaporators in which the evaporators have 
different defrost frequencies. The two-part method in 4.2.1 shall be 
used. The second part of the method will be conducted separately for 
each distinct defrost cycle type.
    3. In section 5, Test Measurements, the following:
    5.2.1.5 Long-time or Variable Defrost Control for Systems with 
Multiple Defrost cycle Types. The energy consumption in kilowatt-hours 
per day shall be calculated equivalent to:

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Where:

1440 is defined in 5.2.1.1 and EP1, T1, and 12 are defined in 
5.2.1.2;
i is a variable that can equal 1, 2, or more that identifies the 
distinct defrost cycle types applicable for the refrigerator or 
refrigerator-freezer;
EP2i = energy expended in kilowatt-hours during the 
second part of the test for defrost cycle type i;
T2i = length of time in minutes of the second part of the 
test for defrost cycle type i;
CTi is the compressor run time between instances of 
defrost cycle type i, for long-time automatic defrost control equal 
to a fixed time in hours rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour, 
and for variable defrost control equal to
(CTLi x CTMi)/(F x (CTMi ~ 
CTLi) + CTLi);
CTLi = least or shortest compressor run time between 
instances of defrost cycle type i in hours rounded to the nearest 
tenth of an hour (CTL for the defrost cycle type with the 
longest compressor run time between defrosts must be greater than or 
equal to 6 but less than or equal to 12 hours);
CTMi = maximum compressor run time between instances of 
defrost cycle type i in hours rounded to the nearest tenth of an 
hour (greater than CTLi but not more than 96 hours);
For cases in which there are more than one fixed CT value (for long-
time defrost models) or more than one CTM and/or 
CTL value (for variable defrost models) for a given 
defrost cycle type, an average fixed CT value or average 
CTM and CTL values shall be selected for this 
cycle type so that 12 divided by this value or values is the 
frequency of occurrence of the defrost cycle type in a 24 hour 
period, assuming 50% compressor run time.
F = default defrost energy consumption factor, equal to 0.20.
For variable defrost models with no values for CTLi and 
CTMi in the algorithm, the default values of 6 and 96 
shall be used, respectively.
D is the total number of distinct defrost cycle types.

IV. Summary and Request for Comments

    Through today's notice, DOE announces receipt of GE's petition for 
waiver from certain parts of the test procedure that apply to clothes 
washers and grants an interim waiver to GE. DOE is publishing GE's 
petition for waiver in its entirety pursuant to 10 CFR 
430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains confidential information. The 
petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure to measure the 
energy consumption of refrigerator-freezer basic models that 
incorporate multiple defrost cycles.
    DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the 
petition. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv), 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: David N. 
Baker, Counsel, Government Regulations & Regulatory Compliance, GE 
Appliances, Appliance Park, AP2-225, Louisville, KY 40225. All 
submissions received must include the agency name and case number for 
this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, 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 February 7, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P

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[FR Doc. 2012-3371 Filed 2-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-C