Energy and Water Use Labeling for Consumer Products Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“Energy Labeling Rule”), 78736-78738 [2014-30572]

Download as PDF 78736 Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 19, 2014. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2014–30722 Filed 12–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 305 RIN 3084–AB15 Energy and Water Use Labeling for Consumer Products Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (‘‘Energy Labeling Rule’’) Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission). ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Commission seeks comments on labeling for several miscellaneous refrigeration products not covered by existing labeling requirements. The Commission seeks comments on whether labels for these products would assist consumers in their purchasing decisions. Preliminary DOE analysis suggests labeling would benefit consumers and be economically and technologically feasible. DATES: Comments must be received by March 3, 2015. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Dec 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 miscrefrigerator online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ miscrefrigerator by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex N), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex N), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hampton Newsome, (202) 326–2889, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The Commission’s Energy Labeling Rule (Rule) (16 CFR part 305), issued pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) (42 U.S.C. 6291), requires energy labeling for major PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 household appliances and other consumer products to help consumers compare competing models. The Commission implements its labeling program in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s efficiency standards program for consumer products, which is also instituted pursuant to EPCA. When first published in 1979, the Rule applied to eight product categories: Refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, water heaters, clothes washers, room air conditioners, and furnaces. The Commission has since expanded the Rule’s coverage to include central air conditioners, heat pumps, plumbing products, lighting products, ceiling fans, certain types of water heaters, and televisions. The Rule requires manufacturers to attach yellow EnergyGuide labels on many of these products, and prohibits retailers from removing the labels or rendering them illegible. In addition, the Rule directs sellers, including retailers, to post label information on Web sites and in paper catalogs from which consumers can order products. EnergyGuide labels for covered products must contain three key disclosures: Estimated annual energy cost (for most products); a product’s energy consumption or energy efficiency rating as determined based on Department of Energy (DOE) test procedures; and a comparability range displaying the highest and lowest energy costs or efficiency ratings for all similar models. The Rule requires manufacturers to use E:\FR\FM\31DEP1.SGM 31DEP1 EP31DE14.003</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules national average costs for applicable energy sources (e.g., electricity, natural gas, and oil) as calculated by DOE. The Rule sets a five-year schedule for updating comparability ranges and average unit energy cost information.1 The Commission updates the range information based on manufacturer data submitted pursuant to the Rule’s reporting requirements. II. DOE Authority To Add New Covered Products EPCA gives DOE authority to add product categories to its energy conservation program beyond those already listed under the statute.2 DOE may classify additional consumer product types upon a determination that: (1) Product coverage is either necessary or appropriate to carry out EPCA’s purposes; and (2) the average annual per-household energy use by products of such type is likely to exceed 100 kWh per year.3 III. DOE Proposed Coverage of Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Pursuant to this authority, DOE recently proposed to cover several types of refrigeration products excluded by existing DOE definitions, including cooled cabinets, non-compressor refrigerators, hybrid refrigerators, compact hybrid refrigerators, hybrid freezers, and residential ice makers.4 In 78737 DOE’s view, coverage of these products is both necessary and appropriate to carry out EPCA’s goals for conserving energy supplies and improving consumer product energy efficiency.5 DOE proposed to consolidate these various product groups into a single, new refrigeration product type distinct from the existing product type that includes refrigerators, refrigeratorfreezers, and freezers.6 DOE concluded that minimum efficiency standards for these products should lead to efficiency improvements. Table 1 contains detailed information from DOE about the products included in the new proposed refrigeration category. TABLE 1—DOE ENERGY ESTIMATES FOR MISCELLANEOUS REFRIGERATION PRODUCTS 7 Estimated annual kWh Cooled Cabinets ................................... Non-Compressor Refrigerators ............. Hybrid Refrigerators .............................. Compact Hybrid Refrigerators .............. Hybrid Freezers .................................... Residential Ice Makers ......................... 336 669 516 429 413 363 IV. FTC Proposed Labeling In conjunction with DOE’s proposal, the Commission seeks comments on proposed labeling requirements. Under EPCA, the Commission has discretion to require labeling for new covered products designated by DOE if it determines such labeling will likely assist consumers in making purchasing decisions and be economically and technologically feasible.8 Although this labeling authority is discretionary, EPCA directs the Commission to publish a proposed rule 30 days after DOE issues a proposed test procedure.9 Thus, the Commission now seeks comments on whether labels for these products would assist consumers in their purchasing decisions. Preliminary DOE analysis suggests labeling would benefit consumers and be economically and technologically feasible. According to DOE, the various types of refrigerators under consideration are available to 1 16 CFR 305.10. U.S.C. 6292. 3 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1). 4 DOE began this rulemaking proceeding in November 2011, when DOE proposed to add noncompression-equipped residential refrigerators to the list of products covered by its conservation programs. 76 FR 69147 (Nov. 8, 2011). On February 13, 2012, DOE published an additional notice discussing potential energy conservation standards and test procedures for other refrigeration products not currently covered by DOE requirements. 77 FR 7547 (Feb. 13, 2012). Late last year, DOE issued a tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 2 42 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Dec 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 Estimated annual cost (12¢/kWh) $40 80 62 51 50 44 National stock estimate Estimated lifetime in years 12,300,000 4,900,000 2,200,000 1,400,000 900,000 5,500,000 Annual sales in units 4.3 4.3 17 5.6 22 1.7 2,900,000 1,100,000 130,000 250,000 40,000 3,200,000 Range of energy use (per year) 104 to 803 kWh. 451 to 832 kWh. No estimate. 365 to 445 kWh. No estimate. 89 to 1075 kWh. residential consumers in stores and online, and use a significant amount of energy. Moreover, DOE’s estimates suggest that competing models for most of these product categories exhibit variable amounts of energy use.10 In addition, because these products resemble refrigerators already covered by the Rule (16 CFR 305.11), labeling is likely to be economically or technologically feasible. The Commission has not proposed specific rule amendments in this Notice. However, should the Commission determine labeling is appropriate, any final requirements will likely resemble those applicable to currently covered refrigeration products, including requirements relating to testing (section 305.5), EnergyGuide labeling (section 305.11), recordkeeping (section 305.21), reporting (section 305.8), and catalog/ Web site disclosures (section 305.20). Accordingly, the Commission seeks comments on the application of these existing labeling requirements to the new refrigerator products. The Commission seeks comments on all aspects of this proposal. In particular, the Commission requests that commenters address the following questions: a. Benefits: Should the Commission require labeling or other energy disclosures for the miscellaneous refrigeration products described in this notice? Would labeling or other energy disclosures assist consumers in making purchasing decisions? What benefits, if any, would labeling or other energy disclosures for the products in question provide for consumers and businesses (including small businesses)? Would labeling promote the introduction of more energy-efficient products? What are the potential energy savings for consumers? b. Costs: Is there any evidence that labeling or other energy disclosures for these products would not assist formal proposal to cover the new types of refrigeration products (78 FR 65223, Oct. 31, 2013). On December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74894), DOE published proposed test procedures for these products. In that test procedure notice, DOE clarified the scope of the products to include those listed above. 5 78 FR 65223, 65224 (citing 42 U.S.C. 6201). 6 Id. 7 See 78 FR at 65224–65228, 79 FR 74894, and DOE’s ‘‘Preliminary Technical Support Document’’ at http://www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-00430024. 8 42 U.S.C. 6294(a)(3)&(b)(3). 9 See 42 U.S.C. 6294(b)(1)(B) (labeling for new products DOE designates pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)). EPCA also grants the Commission authority to require labeling or other disclosures for any consumer product not specified in the statute or designated by DOE if the Commission determines that ‘‘labeling for the product is likely to assist consumers in making decisions.’’ 42 U.S.C. 6294(a)(6). 10 78 FR at 65224–65228. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\31DEP1.SGM 31DEP1 78738 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2014 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS consumers in making purchasing decisions? Would labeling for these products be economically feasible? Would it be technologically feasible? What are the costs of testing these products? What costs would such labeling or other energy disclosures impose on consumers and businesses (including small businesses)? c. Energy Use Data: Is there energy use data regarding these refrigeration products beyond the information already provided by DOE? If so, is there data that shows a significant difference in the energy use of competing models? If so, is there a significant difference in the energy use of such models? What are the annual energy costs of these products? d. Format, Content, and Placement: If the Commission considers labeling or other energy disclosures for one or more of these products, what should the format, content, and placement be of such information? Should the labeling requirements for these products differ in any significant way from the EnergyGuide labels currently applicable to refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers? How do consumers purchase these products (e.g., in stores, online, or otherwise)? Are consumers likely to see the label for these products before purchase? Should disclosures appear on the products themselves, on packaging, in other point-of-purchase material, or through some other means? e. Internet and Catalog Disclosures: Should internet and other catalog disclosures for these products be any different than those for other covered products, such as refrigerators already covered by the Rule? f. Content: If labeling or other energy disclosures should be required, what types of information should such labels include? Should labeling provide the same information as the EnergyGuide label for other refrigerators (i.e., yearly operating costs, energy use, and comparative information)? Should the label require something different or additional? V. Request for Comments You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before March 3, 2015. Write ‘‘Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004’’ on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/ publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Dec 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, such as anyone’s Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,’’ as discussed in § 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ miscrefrigeration, by following the instruction on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http:// www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex N), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex N), Washington, DC 20024. If PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this NPRM and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before March 3, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. By direction of the Commission. Janice Podoll Frankle, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2014–30572 Filed 12–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1422 [CPSC Docket No. CPSC–2009–0087] Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs); Notice of Opportunity for Oral Presentation of Comments; Correction Consumer Product Safety Commission. ACTION: Notice of opportunity for oral presentation of comments; correction. AGENCY: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC, Commission) published a document in the Federal Register on December 3, 2014, announcing that on January 7, 2015, the Commission will provide an opportunity for interested persons to present oral comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) the Commission issued, which proposes a standard to reduce the risk of injury associated with recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs). The location for the meeting has changed. DATES: Effective December 31, 2014. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the Hearing Room, 4th floor of Bethesda Towers Building, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814. Requests to make oral presentations, and texts of oral presentations, should be captioned: ‘‘ROVs NPR; Oral Presentation’’ and submitted by email to cpsc-os@cpsc.gov, or mailed or delivered to the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\31DEP1.SGM 31DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 250 (Wednesday, December 31, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 78736-78738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30572]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 305

RIN 3084-AB15


Energy and Water Use Labeling for Consumer Products Under the 
Energy Policy and Conservation Act (``Energy Labeling Rule'')

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission).

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Commission seeks comments on labeling for several 
miscellaneous refrigeration products not covered by existing labeling 
requirements. The Commission seeks comments on whether labels for these 
products would assist consumers in their purchasing decisions. 
Preliminary DOE analysis suggests labeling would benefit consumers and 
be economically and technologically feasible.

DATES: Comments must be received by March 3, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/miscrefrigerator online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Miscellaneous 
Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004'' on your comment, and file 
your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/miscrefrigerator by following the instructions on the web-based form. 
If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``Miscellaneous 
Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004'' on your comment and on the 
envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 
CC-5610 (Annex N), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
N), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hampton Newsome, (202) 326-2889, 
Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 
Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Commission's Energy Labeling Rule (Rule) (16 CFR part 305), 
issued pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) (42 
U.S.C. 6291), requires energy labeling for major household appliances 
and other consumer products to help consumers compare competing models. 
The Commission implements its labeling program in conjunction with the 
Department of Energy's efficiency standards program for consumer 
products, which is also instituted pursuant to EPCA. When first 
published in 1979, the Rule applied to eight product categories: 
Refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, water 
heaters, clothes washers, room air conditioners, and furnaces. The 
Commission has since expanded the Rule's coverage to include central 
air conditioners, heat pumps, plumbing products, lighting products, 
ceiling fans, certain types of water heaters, and televisions.
    The Rule requires manufacturers to attach yellow EnergyGuide labels 
on many of these products, and prohibits retailers from removing the 
labels or rendering them illegible. In addition, the Rule directs 
sellers, including retailers, to post label information on Web sites 
and in paper catalogs from which consumers can order products. 
EnergyGuide labels for covered products must contain three key 
disclosures: Estimated annual energy cost (for most products); a 
product's energy consumption or energy efficiency rating as determined 
based on Department of Energy (DOE) test procedures; and a 
comparability range displaying the highest and lowest energy costs or 
efficiency ratings for all similar models. The Rule requires 
manufacturers to use

[[Page 78737]]

national average costs for applicable energy sources (e.g., 
electricity, natural gas, and oil) as calculated by DOE. The Rule sets 
a five-year schedule for updating comparability ranges and average unit 
energy cost information.\1\ The Commission updates the range 
information based on manufacturer data submitted pursuant to the Rule's 
reporting requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 16 CFR 305.10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. DOE Authority To Add New Covered Products

    EPCA gives DOE authority to add product categories to its energy 
conservation program beyond those already listed under the statute.\2\ 
DOE may classify additional consumer product types upon a determination 
that: (1) Product coverage is either necessary or appropriate to carry 
out EPCA's purposes; and (2) the average annual per-household energy 
use by products of such type is likely to exceed 100 kWh per year.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ 42 U.S.C. 6292.
    \3\ 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. DOE Proposed Coverage of Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products

    Pursuant to this authority, DOE recently proposed to cover several 
types of refrigeration products excluded by existing DOE definitions, 
including cooled cabinets, non-compressor refrigerators, hybrid 
refrigerators, compact hybrid refrigerators, hybrid freezers, and 
residential ice makers.\4\ In DOE's view, coverage of these products is 
both necessary and appropriate to carry out EPCA's goals for conserving 
energy supplies and improving consumer product energy efficiency.\5\ 
DOE proposed to consolidate these various product groups into a single, 
new refrigeration product type distinct from the existing product type 
that includes refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers.\6\ 
DOE concluded that minimum efficiency standards for these products 
should lead to efficiency improvements. Table 1 contains detailed 
information from DOE about the products included in the new proposed 
refrigeration category.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ DOE began this rulemaking proceeding in November 2011, when 
DOE proposed to add non-compression-equipped residential 
refrigerators to the list of products covered by its conservation 
programs. 76 FR 69147 (Nov. 8, 2011). On February 13, 2012, DOE 
published an additional notice discussing potential energy 
conservation standards and test procedures for other refrigeration 
products not currently covered by DOE requirements. 77 FR 7547 (Feb. 
13, 2012). Late last year, DOE issued a formal proposal to cover the 
new types of refrigeration products (78 FR 65223, Oct. 31, 2013). On 
December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74894), DOE published proposed test 
procedures for these products. In that test procedure notice, DOE 
clarified the scope of the products to include those listed above.
    \5\ 78 FR 65223, 65224 (citing 42 U.S.C. 6201).
    \6\ Id.

                                       Table 1--DOE Energy Estimates for Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products \7\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Estimated                       Estimated
                                            Estimated      annual cost   National stock   lifetime  in    Annual sales    Range of energy use (per year)
                                           annual kWh    (12[cent]/kWh)     estimate          years         in units
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cooled Cabinets........................             336             $40      12,300,000             4.3       2,900,000  104 to 803 kWh.
Non-Compressor Refrigerators...........             669              80       4,900,000             4.3       1,100,000  451 to 832 kWh.
Hybrid Refrigerators...................             516              62       2,200,000              17         130,000  No estimate.
Compact Hybrid Refrigerators...........             429              51       1,400,000             5.6         250,000  365 to 445 kWh.
Hybrid Freezers........................             413              50         900,000              22          40,000  No estimate.
Residential Ice Makers.................             363              44       5,500,000             1.7       3,200,000  89 to 1075 kWh.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. FTC Proposed Labeling
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See 78 FR at 65224-65228, 79 FR 74894, and DOE's 
``Preliminary Technical Support Document'' at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-0043-0024.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In conjunction with DOE's proposal, the Commission seeks comments 
on proposed labeling requirements. Under EPCA, the Commission has 
discretion to require labeling for new covered products designated by 
DOE if it determines such labeling will likely assist consumers in 
making purchasing decisions and be economically and technologically 
feasible.\8\ Although this labeling authority is discretionary, EPCA 
directs the Commission to publish a proposed rule 30 days after DOE 
issues a proposed test procedure.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ 42 U.S.C. 6294(a)(3)&(b)(3).
    \9\ See 42 U.S.C. 6294(b)(1)(B) (labeling for new products DOE 
designates pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)). EPCA also grants the 
Commission authority to require labeling or other disclosures for 
any consumer product not specified in the statute or designated by 
DOE if the Commission determines that ``labeling for the product is 
likely to assist consumers in making decisions.'' 42 U.S.C. 
6294(a)(6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, the Commission now seeks comments on whether labels for these 
products would assist consumers in their purchasing decisions. 
Preliminary DOE analysis suggests labeling would benefit consumers and 
be economically and technologically feasible. According to DOE, the 
various types of refrigerators under consideration are available to 
residential consumers in stores and online, and use a significant 
amount of energy. Moreover, DOE's estimates suggest that competing 
models for most of these product categories exhibit variable amounts of 
energy use.\10\ In addition, because these products resemble 
refrigerators already covered by the Rule (16 CFR 305.11), labeling is 
likely to be economically or technologically feasible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ 78 FR at 65224-65228.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission has not proposed specific rule amendments in this 
Notice. However, should the Commission determine labeling is 
appropriate, any final requirements will likely resemble those 
applicable to currently covered refrigeration products, including 
requirements relating to testing (section 305.5), EnergyGuide labeling 
(section 305.11), recordkeeping (section 305.21), reporting (section 
305.8), and catalog/Web site disclosures (section 305.20). Accordingly, 
the Commission seeks comments on the application of these existing 
labeling requirements to the new refrigerator products. The Commission 
seeks comments on all aspects of this proposal. In particular, the 
Commission requests that commenters address the following questions:
    a. Benefits: Should the Commission require labeling or other energy 
disclosures for the miscellaneous refrigeration products described in 
this notice? Would labeling or other energy disclosures assist 
consumers in making purchasing decisions? What benefits, if any, would 
labeling or other energy disclosures for the products in question 
provide for consumers and businesses (including small businesses)? 
Would labeling promote the introduction of more energy-efficient 
products? What are the potential energy savings for consumers?
    b. Costs: Is there any evidence that labeling or other energy 
disclosures for these products would not assist

[[Page 78738]]

consumers in making purchasing decisions? Would labeling for these 
products be economically feasible? Would it be technologically 
feasible? What are the costs of testing these products? What costs 
would such labeling or other energy disclosures impose on consumers and 
businesses (including small businesses)?
    c. Energy Use Data: Is there energy use data regarding these 
refrigeration products beyond the information already provided by DOE? 
If so, is there data that shows a significant difference in the energy 
use of competing models? If so, is there a significant difference in 
the energy use of such models? What are the annual energy costs of 
these products?
    d. Format, Content, and Placement: If the Commission considers 
labeling or other energy disclosures for one or more of these products, 
what should the format, content, and placement be of such information? 
Should the labeling requirements for these products differ in any 
significant way from the EnergyGuide labels currently applicable to 
refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers? How do consumers 
purchase these products (e.g., in stores, online, or otherwise)? Are 
consumers likely to see the label for these products before purchase? 
Should disclosures appear on the products themselves, on packaging, in 
other point-of-purchase material, or through some other means?
    e. Internet and Catalog Disclosures: Should internet and other 
catalog disclosures for these products be any different than those for 
other covered products, such as refrigerators already covered by the 
Rule?
    f. Content: If labeling or other energy disclosures should be 
required, what types of information should such labels include? Should 
labeling provide the same information as the EnergyGuide label for 
other refrigerators (i.e., yearly operating costs, energy use, and 
comparative information)? Should the label require something different 
or additional?

V. Request for Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before March 3, 2015. 
Write ``Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004'' on 
your comment. Your comment--including your name and your state--will be 
placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the 
extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the 
Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from 
comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, such as anyone's Social Security 
number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state 
identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, 
financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also 
solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include 
any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not 
include any ``[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information 
which is . . . privileged or confidential,'' as discussed in Sec.  6(f) 
of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 
4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive 
information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, 
patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole 
discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the 
public interest.
    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/miscrefrigeration, by following the instruction on the web-based 
form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov, you also 
may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Miscellaneous 
Refrigeration Products, Matter No. R611004'' on your comment and on the 
envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 
CC-5610 (Annex N), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
N), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the 
Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
NPRM and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before March 3, 2015. You can find more information, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the 
Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.
Janice Podoll Frankle,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-30572 Filed 12-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P