Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Cooking Products, Notification of Petition for Rulemaking, 17944-17961 [2018-08641]

Download as PDF 17944 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 80 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Cooking Products, Notification of Petition for Rulemaking Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notification of petition for rulemaking; request for comment. AGENCY: On March 26, 2018, the Department of Energy (DOE) received a petition from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to withdraw, and immediately stay the effectiveness of, the conventional cooking top test procedure. Through this notification, DOE seeks comment on the petition, as well as any data or information that could be used in DOE’s determination whether to proceed with the petition. DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before June 25, 2018. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments, identified by ‘‘Test Procedure Cooking Products Petition,’’ by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Email: CookProducts2018TP0004@ ee.doe.gov. Include the docket number and/or RIN in the subject line of the message. Mail: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585– 0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 Telephone: (202) 586–6636. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Sher, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585. E-mail: Celia.Sher@ hq.doe.gov; (202) 287–6122. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq., provides among other things, that ‘‘[e]ach agency shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.’’ (5 U.S.C. 553(e)) DOE received a petition from AHAM, as described in this document and set forth verbatim below,1 requesting that DOE reconsider its final rule on Test Procedures for Cooking Products, Docket No. EERE–2012–BT–TP–0013, RIN 1904–AC71, 81 FR 91418 (Dec. 16, 2016) (Final Rule). In promulgating this petition for public comment, DOE is seeking views on whether it should grant the petition and undertake a rulemaking to consider the proposal contained in the petition. By seeking comment on whether to grant this petition, DOE takes no position at this time regarding the merits of the suggested rulemaking or the assertions in AHAM’s petition. In its petition, AHAM requests that DOE undertake rulemaking to withdraw the cooking top test procedure, while maintaining the repeal of the oven test procedure that was part of the Final Rule. And, in the interim, AHAM seeks an immediate stay of the effectiveness of the Final Rule, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test procedure to make energy related claims. Should DOE continue to pursue a revised cooking top test procedure, AHAM asserts that DOE should address repeatability and reproducibility and demonstrate, through round robin testing, that the test is repeatable and reproducible and, for gas cooking tops, accurate. AHAM 1 Attachments and data submitted by AHAM with its petition for rulemaking are available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=EERE-2018-BT-TP-0004. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 claims that its analyses show that the test procedure is not representative for gas cooking tops and, for gas and electric cooking tops, has such a high level of variation it will not produce accurate results for certification or enforcement purposes and will not assist consumers in making purchasing decisions based on energy efficiency. Although DOE welcomes comments on any aspect of the petition for reconsideration, DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments and views of interested parties concerning the following issues: (1) The repeatability and reproducibility of the test procedure for conventional electric and gas cooking tops. DOE previously presented results from round robin testing completed by the Department and by IEC in the docket of the test procedure rulemaking. DOE seeks comments on that data as well as the new data AHAM has supplied supporting its petition; (2) The accuracy of determining the simmer setting and turndown temperature; (3) The impact of heating element cycling during the initial heat-up phase of testing on the overall measured energy consumption of electric cooking tops, and the prevalence of such cycling in units available on the market. (4) The extent of any warpage which may have been observed at the bottom surface of test vessels during cooking top testing; (5) The impact of varying gas burner and grate systems on the representativeness of the water-heating test method for gas cooking tops; (6) The type of control system, heating element, and other product redesigns necessitated by changes in safety standards for electric cooking tops, and the impact of these new product designs on the repeatability, reproducibility, and representativeness of the electric cooking product test procedure; (7) Characteristics of a representative test sample for electric and gas cooking tops for use in any additional round robin testing to evaluate the applicability of the test procedure to the conventional cooking top market as a whole; (8) Information on how consumers cook differently on gas cooktops versus electric cooktops; (9) Information on how consumers use the simmer setting on a gas cooktop; and, E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS (10) The test burden associated with the test procedure for conventional electric and gas cooking tops, including the ability of testing laboratories to meet the required ambient test conditions. Submission of Comments DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by June 25, 2018 comments and information regarding this petition. Submitting comments via http:// www.regulations.gov. The http:// www.regulations.gov web page will require you to provide your name and contact information prior to submitting comments. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment. However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you include it in the comment or in any documents attached to your comment. 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However, if large volumes of comments are being processed simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to several weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that http:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment. Submitting comments via hand delivery, or mail. Comments and documents via hand delivery or mail will also be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov. If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact information on a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any comments. Include contact information in your cover letter each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. 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Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include (1) a description of the items, (2) whether PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17945 and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry, (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources, (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality, (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure, (6) when such information might lost its confidential character due to the passage of time, and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest. It is DOE’s policy that all comments may be included in the public docket, without change and as received, including any personal information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be exempt from public disclosure). DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of its process for considering rulemaking petitions. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the comment period. Interactions with and between members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and assist DOE in determining how to proceed with a petition. Anyone who wishes to be added to DOE mailing list to receive future notifications and information about this petition should contact Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 586–6636 or via email at CookProducts2018TP0004@ ee.doe.gov. Approval of the Office of the Secretary The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this notification of petition for rulemaking. Signed in Washington, DC, on April 18, 2018. Daniel Simmons, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Before the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy In the Matter of: Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Cooking Products Docket No. EERE–2012–BT–TP–0013 RIN 1904–AC71 PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) respectfully E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 17946 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS petitions the Department of Energy (DOE) for reconsideration of its final rule on Test Procedures for Cooking Products, Docket No. EERE–2012–BT– TP–0013 RIN 1904–AC71, 81 Fed. Reg. 91418 (Dec. 16, 2016) (Final Rule). AHAM believes that, overall, the adoption of a water-boil test procedure for cooking products is the appropriate procedure. And we thank DOE for making changes to its earlier proposed test procedure which would have used a hybrid block after AHAM demonstrated the practical difficulties associated with that test. But DOE adopted a final cooktop test procedure too hastily, especially in light of comments AHAM submitted that demonstrated the test’s lack of repeatability and reproducibility and questioned the use of a test procedure meant for electric cooktops for gas cooktops. AHAM has evaluated the Final Rule and conducted additional testing on gas cooktops. Our analyses show that the test procedure is not representative for gas cooktops and, for gas and electric cooktops, has such a high level of variation it will not produce accurate results for certification or enforcement purposes and will not assist consumers in making purchasing decisions based on energy efficiency. AHAM thus requests that DOE withdraw the cooktop test procedure. And, in the interim, we seek an immediate stay of the effectiveness, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test procedure to make energy related claims, of the cooktop test procedure. Should DOE continue to pursue an improved cooktop test procedure, DOE should address repeatability and reproducibility and demonstrate, through round robin testing, that the test is repeatable and reproducible and, for gas cooktops, representative. FACTS DOE began revisions to the cooktop test procedure with a notice of proposed rulemaking on January 30, 2013 (January 2013 NOPR) in which DOE proposed amendments to Appendix I to subpart B of 10 C.F.R. part 430 (Appendix I) that would allow for the measuring of active mode energy consumption of induction cooking products. Specifically, DOE proposed to require the use of test equipment— hybrid test blocks comprised of an aluminum body and a stainless steel base—compatible with induction technology. AHAM objected to DOE’s proposed amendments to the test procedure because the amendments did not VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 enhance the accuracy and/or representativeness of the test procedure. See AHAM Comments on DOE’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Test Procedures for Conventional Cooking Products With Induction Heating Technology (April 15, 2013). AHAM commented that any test procedure DOE adopts to measure induction heating technology must be both repeatable and reproducible. Id. AHAM cautioned that significant further study was necessary before DOE could adopt a test procedure that accurately measures induction cooktop energy efficiency. Id. More specifically, AHAM opposed the proposed test procedure because the proposal had a number of technical problems and ambiguities (e.g., ambiguous construction of hybrid test block); DOE’s data did not clearly identify one method (test block versus water heating) as being preferable to the other for induction units; and the proposed procedure would treat induction technology differently than other technologies, thereby penalizing it. Id. AHAM also questioned whether the test block method in general was representative of actual consumer use. Id. In response to stakeholder comments, DOE published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking modifying its proposal. 79 Fed. Reg. 71894 (Dec. 3, 2014) (December 2014 SNOPR). DOE’s modified proposal maintained a hybrid test block approach despite AHAM’s comments. DOE proposed to add a layer of thermal grease between the stainless steel base and aluminum body of the hybrid test block to facilitate heat transfer between the two pieces, and DOE proposed additional test equipment for electric surface units with large diameters and gas cooking top burners with high input rates. AHAM’s comments on the December 2014 SNOPR raised serious concerns about the hybrid test blocks and the thermal grease. See AHAM Comments on DOE’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Test Procedures for Conventional Cooking Products (Feb. 2, 2015). AHAM also raised questions about the testing of flexible cooking zone areas, testing units with flexible concentric burner sizes, and the use of the smallest dimension of a noncircular electric surface unit to determine block size. Id. Based on comments it received in response to the December 2014 SNOPR and a series of manufacturer interviews DOE conducted in February and March 2015, DOE subsequently withdrew its proposal for testing conventional cooktops with a hybrid test block in yet another supplemental notice of PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 proposed rulemaking. 81 Fed. Reg. 57374 (Aug. 22, 2016) (August 2016 SNOPR). In the August 2016 SNOPR, DOE instead proposed to modify its procedure to incorporate by reference the relevant sections of EN 60350– 2:2013 ‘‘Household electric cooking appliances Part 2: Hobs—Methods for measuring performance,’’ which uses a water-heating test method to measure energy consumption of electric cooktops. Despite the fact that the EN test procedure DOE cited applies only to electric cooktops, DOE also proposed to extend that method to gas cooktops. AHAM generally agreed and continues to agree with DOE that the best test method for cooktops is a water boil test and supported DOE’s abandoning of the hybrid test block method. See AHAM Comments on DOE’s SNOPR on Test Procedures for Cooking Products (Sept. 21, 2016). Nevertheless, AHAM commented extensively on potential sources of variation with DOE’s proposed procedure that needed to be resolved before DOE finalized a cooktop test procedure. Id. Prior to DOE proposing a waterheating test, AHAM conducted a round robin based on the Second Edition of IEC 60350–2 (2015), Household Electric Cooking Appliances—Part 2: Hobs— Methods for Measuring Performance. Id. The AHAM round robin consisted of four units encompassing a different combination of controls and heating elements. Id. AHAM assessed radiant, coil, and induction heating elements as well as infinite and step controls. Participating labs performed at least three full tests on the three electric technologies. The results demonstrated that the procedure was not reproducible from lab to lab. AHAM data demonstrated significant variation in the proposed test procedure— coefficients of variation of 9.2 percent for electric radiant cooktops, 7.1 percent for electric coil cooktops, and 8.4 percent for induction cooktops. Id. Based on that testing, AHAM commented that a significant amount of work remained to be done to finalize a test and to demonstrate that the final test is repeatable and reproducible. Id. Specifically, AHAM listed a number of items that needed to be resolved, including several potential sources of test procedure variation, before DOE could finalize the test procedure, and requested that DOE issue a notice of data availability or supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment: • Lack of a tolerance on staying ‘‘as close as possible’’ to 90° C; E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules • Variability in energy consumption during the simmering phase; • Variability in determining the turn down temperature; • Variability in determining the turn down setting; • Unit cycling; • Specifying a temperature sensor for measuring the water temperature; • A proposal to use a moving average for calculating the final result; • Limited suppliers of test pots; • No tool or tolerance specified for cooktop diameter measurement; • Test pots do not accommodate all grate designs; • Difficulty with placement of pots on gas cooktops; • Impact of gas burner system, geometry, spacing, and grates on repeatability and reproducibility; • Impact of using the electric test pots on gas cooktops; and • Overshoot temperature of the water can reach beyond 90° C for some gas cooktops. Id. AHAM also requested that DOE indicate how the changes to the test procedure would impact the proposed standards and allow stakeholders additional time to comment on those proposed standards based on the test procedure changes. Id. In response to AHAM’s comments, DOE sent AHAM a request for data on September 27, 2016. That data request was voluminous and overlapped with the comment period on the proposed standards for cooking products—which ended on November 2, 2016—and DOE proposed in parallel with the August 2016 SNOPR. See Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional Cooking Products, Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; 81 Fed Reg. 60784 (Sept. 2, 2016). Nevertheless, AHAM worked to answer DOE’s questions and, on November 23, 2016, filed a detailed response, including a significant amount of raw data DOE requested which AHAM submitted to Navigant Consulting under a confidentiality agreement. See AHAM Comments on DOE’s SNOPR on Test Procedures for Cooking Products (dated Nov. 22, 2016).1 AHAM informed DOE in advance that it would be submitting the response. Despite having asked for that data and having been informed AHAM would be providing it, DOE issued a final test procedure on that same day, November 23, 2016, which it published on December 16, 2016. The Final Rule adopted DOE’s proposed test procedure with some 1 We hereby incorporate into this petition by reference all data AHAM submitted to DOE and Navigant as part of the test procedure rulemaking. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 changes DOE believed would improve repeatability and reproducibility. In support of the final test procedure, DOE conducted additional testing. DOE conducted testing of five electric cooktops incorporating different heating technologies and control types. For each unit, DOE conducted testing on surface units capturing a range of heating element sizes. DOE conducted two to three tests per surface unit. For each individual test, DOE performed the full surface unit test method, including the preliminary test required to determine the turndown temperature and simmering setting for a given surface unit. DOE varied test operators for surface unit tests, but did not conduct testing in different laboratories. In addition, DOE included test results from previous tests of these units conducted in support of the August 2016 SNOPR. DOE relied on that minimal data to determine that the final test procedure, finalized only two months after DOE received voluminous comments from AHAM concerning a lack of repeatability and reproducibility as demonstrated through 27 tests on three units at three different laboratories. ARGUMENT The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (EPCA) requires that test procedures be reasonably designed to produce test results which measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated annual operating cost of a covered product during a representative average use cycle and shall not be unduly burdensome to conduct. 42 U.S.C. § 6293(b)(3). This requirement is meaningless if the test procedure is not repeatable and reproducible—only a repeatable and reproducible test procedure can produce accurate results that DOE can rely on for certification and verification purposes and that consumers can rely on to compare energy use or efficiency across products. AHAM appreciates that DOE made changes from the August 2016 SNOPR to the Final Rule in an attempt to address AHAM’s September 21, 2016 comments. AHAM also appreciates that DOE conducted additional testing to further assess the proposed and final test procedure. But DOE did not take the time or do the work necessary to finalize a test procedure that fully or satisfactorily addresses the significant issues AHAM raised in its comments or the data AHAM provided in response to DOE’s request. This is further demonstrated based on additional testing and analysis AHAM conducted after the Final Rule was published. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17947 DOE did not support the Final Rule with sufficient data to demonstrate that it is accurate, repeatable, and reproducible. More specifically, as discussed more fully below: b DOE has not demonstrated that the test procedure is representative for gas products. DOE did not demonstrate that its deviation from the international approach—testing gas cooktops using a different procedure than is used for testing electric cooktops—was warranted or would produce accurate, representative results. And DOE tested only a small sample that cannot be representative of the many different types of gas models on the market and the result is that the test may not adequately address the different systems available to consumers. Thus, DOE has not demonstrated that the test procedure is representative or accurate for gas products. b DOE’s testing of electric and gas cooktops was insufficient to evaluate repeatability and reproducibility and, thus, DOE’s conclusions are based on results with a low confidence level which is highlighted by AHAM’s conflicting results. Accordingly, DOE did not produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate that its test procedure is supported by data. b Although DOE tried to address variation by requiring recording of the simmering setting selection, AHAM’s testing demonstrates that that requirement does not in fact reduce variation. b Although DOE attempted to clarify when the simmering period starts, DOE’s clarification does not adequately reduce variation. b DOE improperly dismissed unit cycling’s contribution to variation. b DOE did not account for the fact that electric coil cooktops are currently undergoing significant redesign to comply with voluntary safety standards. It is possible that the new products will not respond the same way to the test. b DOE did not investigate the impact of pan warpage on test results. Initial data from a study done for AHAM shows pan warpage will contribute to variation. b Based on data from a round robin AHAM conducted with gas cooktops, the test procedure is not repeatable or reproducible for gas cooktops. Within unit and between unit variation also contributes to the total variation and DOE has not accounted for it. In addition, the test procedure is unduly burdensome to conduct. Based on AHAM’s experience to date, it takes on average 20 hours to conduct a single test on a four burner cooktop and requires the testing of every single E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 17948 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS burner or element individually. And, because the test requires the technician to determine the turn-down temperature before every test and the ambient conditions are quite tight, several runs are often required before a valid run can be achieved. Our testing, which is described more fully below, found that some tests took upward of five days for a single cooktop. Moreover, the test cost is much higher than DOE concluded in its Final Rule on both an up-front and ongoing basis. Because the final test procedure may not be representative for gas products and is not repeatable or reproducible for either gas or electric cooktops, it does not accurately measure cooktop energy efficiency and will not allow consumers to compare products on that basis. Thus, because the test is also unduly burdensome to conduct, the cooktop test procedure as a whole does not meet EPCA’s statutory requirement that test procedures be reasonably designed to produce representative results and are not unduly burdensome to conduct. Moreover, because DOE did not support the conclusions in the Final Rule with sufficient data, DOE’s Final Rule could be determined to be arbitrary and capricious. Accordingly, AHAM respectfully requests that DOE withdraw the Final Rule amending the cooktop test procedure. And, in the interim, we seek an immediate stay of the effectiveness, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test procedure to make energy related claims, of the Final Rule. To be clear, AHAM is not seeking reconsideration regarding DOE’s decision to repeal the oven test procedure. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 I. DOE Has Not Demonstrated That The Test Procedure Is Representative for Gas Cooktops. In the August 2016 SNOPR, DOE proposed to extend the electric test procedure in EN 60350–2:2013 ‘‘Household electric cooking appliances Part 2: Hobs—Methods for measuring performance’’ to gas cooktops. AHAM commented in its September 21, 2016 comments that there is no consumer data on the consumer representativeness of that method for gas cooktops. AHAM noted that DOE’s proposal, and now Final Rule, is not harmonized with the European approach, which uses a different test procedure and different test pots to test gas cooktops. DOE’s methodology is also different than ASTM F152, ‘‘Standard Test Methods for Performance of Range Tops,’’ which DOE reviewed during the test procedure rulemaking and is used by the commercial range industry. DOE dismissed ASTM F1521 because of the BTU range for commercial range tops, and AHAM is not arguing that it is the appropriate procedure for residential products. But the science behind the test setup in ASTM is similar to the EN gas test procedure which demonstrates that the basic methodology for testing gas products is well established. Accordingly, no manufacturer or third party test laboratory—in the U.S., Europe, or elsewhere in the world—had experience with DOE’s proposed test procedure for gas cooktops other than DOE’s minimal testing in one laboratory prior to the publishing of the Final Rule. Thus, neither DOE nor manufacturers have knowledge of whether this test will be representative for gas products. Accordingly, DOE does not have the necessary data to justify the use of this method on gas cooktops in the United PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 States, especially in light of the fact that Europe uses a different approach. In fact, AHAM believes that the evidence supports the opposite conclusion—i.e., that the cooktop test procedure is not representative for gas cooktops. The EN and ASTM standards use a different test procedure for gas cooktops and do so for good reason. Unlike electric cooktops, gas cooktops utilize a system approach—every component and design choice is connected to other components and design choices and they work together. The cooking heat out to the pot depends on the design of the burner, flow of gas, mass of the grate, and height of the grate from the burner. Gas testing is a science, and DOE did not do sufficient study to determine whether the electric test procedure it adopted would measure representative results for gas cooktops: 1. First, the purpose behind EN 60350–2:2013 was to establish a test to determine minimum energy for electric cooktops. The reason that the working group that developed the test decided to assess simmer for electric cooktops was to show the distinction in energy use between the different electric technologies, i.e. induction, radiant. For electric cooktops, technology has an impact on how much energy is used to get to boil and also how much energy it uses to keep a simmer temperature. Thus, some technologies may appear to be more or less efficient if just a time to boil was assessed. For electric, the simmer portion of the test is needed to accurately show the cooktop’s energy use and to allow comparison across the product types. Figure 1 below shows how the test distinguishes between electric technologies.2 2 CECED, E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 2012. 25APP1 2. In an attempt to keep one test method, DOE extended this electric method to gas cooktops. AHAM appreciates the attempt to reduce the number of test methods. But, in this case, there is no reason to use one type of test. There are not different types of gas technologies and so a simmer period is not needed to differentiate between technologies as it is in electric. The significant added burden of including the simmer setting (and the variation it introduces) is not likely balanced by a benefit in terms of energy savings. In addition, most consumers likely replace their cooktops with the same fuel that is already in their home. Based on a 2010 study conducted for AHAM, the vast majority of consumers surveyed replaced their cooktops and ranges with a similar unit. According to the study, nearly nine in ten households that bought a freestanding single oven range did a direct replacement. Homeowners were even more likely to do a direct replacement of this type of appliance, at 94 percent.3 So, it is unlikely that 3 Bellomy Research for AHAM, 2010 Major Appliance Consumer Research Survey, Cooking Appliances (2010). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 consumers are comparing gas and electric products. 3. The best comparison for comparing gas cooktops to other gas cooktops would be based on a simple bring to boil test, which is what Europe and the ASTM methods both use. DOE is the first to reinvent the wheel and require gas and electric cooktops to be tested in the same way. 4. On a gas unit, there is very little overshoot which means there is no retained heat. Electric cooktops, on the other hand, often have a significant amount of retained heat. A gas cooktop’s ability to maintain simmer in the absence of retained heat is largely a function of grate to burner relationships, burner design, valve design, and pan position. This relationship is not accounted for in the electric cooktop test because it does not need to be. But it does need to be addressed in a test applicable to gas cooktops. 5. More so than electric elements, gas burners are designed for a specific cooking purpose. For example: a. Small or semi-rapid burners are typically used for simmering. This simmering performance is developed for melting chocolate and fine sauces, not keeping water simmering. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17949 b. Ultra rapid or rapid burners are designed to reduce time to boil, or for frying. Often flame stability suffers at low rates, making simmering results poor. c. Other high input burners are designed for rapid cooking (i.e. Wok) and are not designed for simmering. Each of these burner types have been optimized in design to serve a particular cooking function for consumers. Thus, it may not make sense to apply a water boil test to all of them. For example, a consumer would not likely boil water on the small/semi-rapid burner that is meant to be used for melting chocolate or cooking fine sauces—the time to boil on such a burner would be extremely long, perhaps 40 minutes. In addition to not being representative, the test will drive significant variation in the assessment because DOE did not address this in the test procedure. DOE did, however, address this issue for electric cooktops—the test procedure removes certain burners from assessment. 6. Additionally, because DOE extended a test meant for electric cooktops to gas cooktops, the test does not require preheating of the gas burner. A gas system will change rates and how E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 EP25AP18.006</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 17950 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules it performs as it warms. The European test for gas products has a 10 minute preheat because the working group that developed that test found that preheating improved the representativeness of the test results as well as repeatability and reproducibility. The ASTM test has a 30 minute stabilization period at 50 percent heat for the same reason. Thus, DOE’s failure to include preheating in the gas test ignores the wisdom generated by other groups’ extensive testing and experience and likely contributes to the high degree of variation we describe below. 7. The pots specified by the European electric test are different than the pots used in the European gas cooktop test. The gas pots are Aluminum test pans having a matt base and polished walls— that material is of the highest level of conduction. The electric test pans are a very thick stainless steel plate (6 mm) with thin stainless walls (1 mm) that are joined by a heat resistant glue. The pan construction is significantly different which will have an impact on heat transfer from the burner to the pan. The pot spacing of the large flat corner pans designed for electric cooktops will perform differently with the gas burners compared to the EN specified Aluminum pots and will not drive representative results. A gas flame heats a pot differently and this should be accounted for in the test. DOE did not assess a sufficient variety of gas cooktop designs to conclude that the test procedure it adopted is representative for gas products, especially in light of Europe’s use of a different procedure for residential gas products. As highlighted above, the residual heat loss of a gas burner on simmer is significantly different than simmer on electric unit where the electric unit retains heat from the cooktop. DOE also has specified stainless steel pans whereas the European procedure for gas cooktops uses Aluminum, which has a higher level of conduction. The pan construction is also different which will have an impact on heat transfer from the burner to the pan. AHAM has not been the only commenter to question the representativeness of extending the European electric test procedure to gas cooktops. During the test procedure rulemaking, Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison (collectively, the Southern California investor-owned utilities (SoCal IOUs)) commented that DOE should conduct a sensitivity analysis of the impact of ambient temperature and pressure VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 conditions on the test results for gas and electric cooking products in order to ensure consistent test results across various regions, climates, and altitudes. In addition, the SoCal IOUs commented that validating the ambient condition requirements would address the impact of the proposed correction to the gas heating value to standard temperature and pressure conditions. DOE responded only that it incorporated the ambient air pressure and temperature conditions specified in EN 60350– 2:2013 and thus believed that the results ‘‘should not’’ be impacted by tests being conducted in different locations.4 But DOE did not do any additional testing to determine if that is in fact the case and, as discussed below in Section II, AHAM’s testing demonstrates reproducibility issues which could be attributed, in part, to these differences. Moreover, efficiency for a gas cooktop depends heavily on the external environment, much more so than for electric products. Simmering is, thus, not the right parameter to measure the ability to keep the control in this technology. That is yet another reason why the European gas test does not include the simmer setting—it will be variable and inaccurate. In addition, the U.S. market consists of a wide array of grate and burner offerings to consumers and DOE did not sufficiently assess those offerings in developing the test procedure. DOE itself acknowledged 283 gas configurations.5 Yet DOE tested only five units. The varying designs available to consumers, most of which DOE did not assess, have offerings of a sealed/ unsealed burner, stacked burner, different burner shapes, a range of grate weight and shape, and different grate materials. DOE has not shown that the test procedure is repeatable and reproducible for the different designs on the marketplace. For DOE to conclude these issues do not exist simply because it did not observe them in its small test sample is illogical. DOE made assumptions that are not supported by sufficient data and are in direct conflict with the technical support for the European gas test and ASTM standard which drove those procedures to have a pre-heat requirement, to exclude a simmer assessment, and to use specifically constructed Aluminum pans. Until and unless DOE can demonstrate that data show the cooktop test procedure is representative of actual 4 See Final Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 91418, 91434 (Dec. 16, 2016). 5 Id. At 91438 (‘‘DOE surveyed 335 electric cooking tops and 283 gas cooking tops available on the market in the United States.’’). PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 U.S. consumer use of gas cooktops and will deliver accurate results, DOE should withdraw the test procedure. Keeping it in place will very likely result in inaccurate information to consumers and is contrary to EPCA’s and the Administrative Procedure Act’s requirements. II. DOE Has Not Demonstrated That The Test Procedure Is Repeatable or Reproducible For Gas Cooktops. A. Lab to Lab Variation Because of the short comment period on the August 2016 SNOPR, AHAM was not able to conduct a round robin to assess the repeatability and reproducibility of the test procedure for gas products. And DOE had no data regarding repeatability or reproducibility upon which to rely. DOE instead relied on a European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED) round robin conducted five years ago on electric cooktops. But, that round robin is irrelevant. As discussed above, Europe does not extend its electric cooktop test procedure to gas cooktops for good reason. DOE would be the first to do that. Thus, there is no historical data for that test procedure. Therefore, AHAM commented that DOE should evaluate its proposed procedure even more carefully and in more detail than the electric cooktop test procedure. Repeatability and reproducibility cannot be established based only on DOE’s limited within lab testing and complete lack of lab to lab testing. In order to address AHAM’s concerns, DOE conducted investigative testing on gas cooktops in support of the Final Rule. DOE conducted testing on five gas cooking tops that covered a range of burner input rates, installation widths (two 30 inch and three 36 inch), burner quantities (two four burner, three six burner), and grate weights. To evaluate variation in the test, DOE conducted two to three tests on each burner. For each individual test, DOE performed the full test method, including the preliminary test required to determine the turndown temperature and simmering setting for a given burner. DOE also included test results from previous testing conducted in support of the August 2016 SNOPR. The coefficient of variation DOE observed for the measured AEC for its test sample was, on average 1.0 percent. DOE also noted that the average per-cycle energy consumption coefficient of variation for each burner was 1.7 percent. DOE based its Final Rule conclusions regarding total variation of the entire plethora of cooktops in the marketplace on only this meager five unit sample E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules 17951 Moreover, this assessment looks at within lab variation and not total variation. As discussed below regarding DOE’s electric cooktop testing, DOE’s testing is insufficient to support a conclusion that the test procedure for gas cooktops is repeatable and reproducible and, thus, is insufficient to support the final test procedure. Moreover, because DOE tested such a small sample the confidence level of its results is low (the same is true for electric cooktops). For a sample size of five, trying to represent the millions of units that will be produced and the tens of different labs that will be doing testing this inherently has a large margin of error as shown in Figure 2.6 Based on this sample size, results can vary plus or minus 26 percent. We fully understand that a larger sample size is a function of cost and that there are limitations on the amount of further testing that can be done. Nevertheless, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that DOE’s sample size results in as much as 50 percent in variation on the expected results. Thus, it is no surprise that AHAM’s testing has shown significant variation that DOE’s did not. This large confidence interval, which the difference between DOE’s and AHAM’s test results bear out, further supports AHAM’s request that DOE withdraw the cooktop test procedure. A test procedure that could be required to demonstrate compliance with possible energy conservation standards should not be finalized with such a high confidence interval, particularly when conflicting data has been provided to highlight this high confidence interval. At a minimum, this demonstrates that DOE’s data alone and when added together with AHAM’s data raises significant questions about whether the test is repeatable and reproducible. Thus, DOE’s Final Rule is not supported by adequate data and could be considered arbitrary and capricious. Moreover, as with electric cooktops and discussed more fully below, DOE did not engage stakeholders—either manufacturer labs or third party labs— in its assessment of the Final Rule. Thus, based on DOE’s testing, neither DOE nor stakeholders have any idea what the actual test procedure total variation is. In order to assess whether the final test procedure for gas cooktops is repeatable and reproducible, after DOE issued the final test procedure rule, AHAM conducted a round robin on gas cooktops. It is likely that even more testing would be helpful in better understanding both the test procedure and its variation, but these results are enough to demonstrate that there is sufficient doubt regarding the gas cooktop test procedure’s accuracy such that DOE should withdraw it. AHAM’s gas cooktop round robin included four units (two cooktops and two ranges), with a range of product types.7 Four labs tested the burners with the highest and lowest burner input rates (i.e., one high capacity and one low capacity burner was tested for each unit).8 Each burner was tested three times each using the procedure specified in the DOE Final Rule. Labs recorded the simmering setting selection for the energy test cycle and the first laboratory marked the turn down temperature. AHAM’s test plan is attached in Exhibit B and AHAM provided Navigant with raw data under a confidentiality agreement. We note that some of the tests could not meet the specified ambient temperature requirements. Specifically, some of the laboratories were not able to hold the ambient temperature as required during the duration of the test. Manufacturers ran the tests in the tightest environments that are currently available at +/¥5 °F in their laboratories. The Final Rule requires new equipment to maintain +/¥2 °F, which is difficult or, in some cases, impossible to do in existing laboratories. Section IV below further discusses this point. The labs that ran the tests have been approved by the safety certification bodies and Canadian Energy Verification organization. We removed the most errant runs and included the test data to show the variation that was noticeable during our tests as it is representative of the current lab capability. Importantly, improving the ability to maintain ambient temperature will involve significant upgrades to laboratories, which will add cost and burden for manufacturers. As mentioned above, AHAM’s test plan called for running the test differently than the DOE test by having the first laboratory mark the turn down temperature it used. AHAM understands that this is not fully 6 See, e.g., www.surveysystem.com. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 7 A summary of the test unit characteristics is attached at Exhibit B and data in Exhibit C. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 8 Unit E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM A was tested by five labs. 25APP1 EP25AP18.007</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS and a simulated round robin. DOE’s testing did not truly test reproducibility from lab to lab because DOE simply used different technicians for some of its tests. DOE did not conduct testing on the same units in different labs. It makes sense that under those conditions— using the same laboratory equipment and test technicians trained in the same laboratory—variation would be lower. 17952 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules consistent with DOE’s test procedure. But, because the test procedure is unduly burdensome to conduct, as discussed below, this method was necessary to reduce the test burden— reducing the number of possible settings for the cooktop was seen as a worthwhile experiment. Importantly, it was not always possible for laboratories to use the marked temperature and so, in several instances, laboratories followed DOE’s test procedure to the letter. In the end, only half of the labs were able to follow AHAM’s test plan. The other half ran the test according to the DOE test procedure as written. Our data below differentiates these methods by referring to the tests that used the marked turndown temperature as the ‘‘truncated test’’ or ‘‘preset.’’ The DOE test procedure tried to address some of the variation that is not controllable in the methodology of its burdensome test procedure—e.g., heating values, different ambient temperatures, equipment, and technicians. AHAM’s methodology was an effort to determine if the extra burden aimed at reducing that variation reduced it enough to justify the extra time, labor, and cost. Our conclusion: it is not. Although neither method showed results with an acceptable level of variation, the runs that used the truncated test resulted in less variation. Regardless, the results cast significant doubt on DOE’s small amount of supporting data for the Final Rule and support AHAM’s request that DOE withdraw it. Good lab practice is that within lab variation should clearly be less than two percent. For current data acceptance programs within the appliance industry, it is common practice that data between labs should be no more than three percent variation. DOE’s data within its own lab fell within the target zone for variation for four of the five units DOE tested. DOE did not test at different labs, so the Final Rule is not based on any accurate lab-to-lab data showing an acceptable range of lab-to-lab variation. AHAM’s round robin shows similar results to DOE’s in terms of within lab variation. Significantly, however, as shown in Table 1, lab-to-lab variation considerably exceeds the three percent maximum lab-to-lab variation target regardless of whether the full DOE test was run or the truncated test was run. TABLE 1—AHAM GAS ROUND ROBIN SUMMARY RESULTS Width Number of burners Minimum input rate (Btu/hr) Maximum input rate (Btu/hr) 36 ........................ 30 ........................ 30 ........................ 30 ........................ 5 ........................ 4 ........................ 4 ........................ 5 ........................ 8,000 ........................ 5,000 ........................ 5,000 ........................ 5,500 ........................ 18,000 ........................ 15,000 ........................ 15,000 ........................ 18,000 ........................ Cooking unit AHAM AHAM AHAM AHAM AHAM AHAM AHAM AHAM A—set ............................................ A—Preset ...................................... B .................................................... B—Preset ...................................... C .................................................... C—Preset ...................................... D .................................................... D—Preset ...................................... Average annual energy consumption (kBtu/yr) 936.3 918.7 1,034.1 870.1 843.1 827.9 1,077.2 1,123 Coefficient of variation —1 lab (repeatability) (%) 0.89 0.68 9.20 1.70 2.70 1.80 0.78 1.59 Coefficient of variation across multiple labs (reproducibility) (%) 3.60 2.30 17.10 13.50 12.50 7.00 12.00 12.00 having an acceptable coefficient of variation across labs. Notably, the low input rate on that burner is 8,000 BTU. AHAM units B, C, and D all have low capacity burner rates of or about 5,000 BTU. DOE only tested one of its five units with a low capacity burner at 5,000 BTU. DOE’s coefficient of variation for that model was 1.40 percent. Some of the best AHAM single lab coefficients of variation for models at that rate are 0.78, 1.59, 1.70, and 1.80 percent. The AHAM data would appear to agree that one lab can repeat the same results, but that is not the full story. Focusing on the units with low simmer rates and digging deeper into the data, AHAM’s data show the following: • On all units except one, Unit B, the repeatability on the high capacity burner within the lab had acceptable variation but the reproducibility across labs did not. Overall, on the high capacity burner, the variation was higher using the DOE test procedure than it was using the truncated test and none of the variation was within an acceptable range from lab-to-lab. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 EP25AP18.008</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS This highlights the significant gap in the data DOE used to justify the rule. DOE assumed that low variation in one lab means repeatability and reproducibility across labs. But AHAM’s round robin demonstrates that this is not the case. Our round robin shows reproducibility is not present in the current procedure as demonstrated by only one of the three units, Unit A, Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules • On all units, the repeatability on the low capacity burner was marginal—25 percent of the time the variation was greater than the two percent maximum target. There is a distinct difference in the low capacity variation and the three units that had simmer at or near 5,000 BTU had significant repeatability and reproducibility issues. In some cases, using the truncated test actually improved lab-to-lab variation. This demonstrates that the burden associated with determining the turn down temperature in DOE’s full test procedure is not always justified—it does not categorically improve repeatability and reproducibility. Thus, not only is DOE’s final test procedure rule unsupported by sufficient data to demonstrate its reproducibility, but it is also unduly burdensome to conduct. In addition, this highlights the weakness in the DOE test procedure which conducts a water boil and simmer test on small burners that are not meant for either purpose. As discussed above in Section I, those burners are designed to provide a simmer only cooking function for melting chocolate and cooking sauces, not for boiling or simmering water. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS B. Within Unit And Between Unit Variation DOE did not evaluate or account for variation within units. There are issues inherent in testing gas cooktops and ranges that contribute significantly to within unit variation. For example, heating value, gas pressure, and atmospheric pressures all have an impact. More specifically, as atmospheric pressure changes due to weather, test results will vary even on the same unit from day to day. Also, gas pressure and atmospheric pressure can vary from run to run, and that can have an impact on how the gas is mixing within the burner port which then impacts burner combustion and energy creation. Moreover, heating values vary within a lab on a daily basis and likely vary greatly between labs. Thus, the same unit tested on different days in the same lab or in different labs will not perform the same unless the heating value of the gas is the same. That is statistically unlikely because values vary every day. It is not likely that the heating value is 1075, so there is a conversion from what it actually was to 1075 and this artificial adjustment induces variation. Each of these factors, among others, individually and collectively contribute to variation from test to test and DOE has made no effort 9 AHAM Comments on DOE’s SNOPR for Energy Conservation Standards for Residential VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 17953 to understand the impact of these factors. This inherent variation in gas cooking product testing has been known for decades and is the reason the safety test, ANSI Z21.1, requires certified technicians to drill testing orifices. The drilling of orifices achieves precise rates for nominal, high, and low values. Experience shows that certified gas technicians can dial in the precise values for assessment by using number sized drills but there are also factors the technician must manage in this process such as burrs from the drilling. AHAM is not suggesting that DOE require testing orifices be drilled for purposes of energy testing—the burden is significant to say the least and would make the test unduly burdensome to conduct. Although such burden is justified for purposes of ensuring the safety of cooking products, which carry inherent safety risks, it is not justified for purposes of energy testing. And, because safety testing is not similar to energy testing (for example, cooktops are tested on high for hours and products are over-stressed in abnormal conditions), it is not possible to re-use the units tested for safety purposes for energy testing. In addition, neither DOE nor AHAM have evaluated or accounted for the additional variation inherent in producing gas products, i.e., between unit variation. This is significant because it will add further variation on top of the within lab variation, lab to lab variation, and within unit variation. In order to ensure compliance with any future energy conservation standard, manufacturers will have to take this total variation into account. The result will likely be that it becomes difficult or impossible to meet standards because the buffer needed to ensure accurate ratings will require levels of efficiency that are not economically justified or technologically feasible. AHAM explored this concept in more detail in its comments on DOE’s proposed standards, which we hereby incorporate by reference.9 One of the test requirements that will vary within the unit is the simmer setting on gas products. Subsequent to AHAM’s round robin, Lab Three conducted some additional investigative testing to determine whether using the same simmering setting improves repeatability. The lab used two different operators to test a unit and provided both with the same instructions, which are identified in Exhibit A. The test plan was as follows: 1. Operator F conducted the test and found the simmer setting and gas flow; 2. Operator M conducted the test independently and found a simmer setting and gas flow; 3. Operator M repeated the test using the Operator F simmer setting; and 4. Operator F repeated the test using the Operator M simmer setting. The results show that technicians are likely to be able to work to achieve passing results on their own efforts to determine a simmering setting. But when given the target setting, the results show that it is likely that different technicians cannot recreate a first technician’s passing result about half of the time. The data also highlight that there are more issues with finding the right simmer setting on low capacity burners—the Lab Three technicians each failed the first time they tried to set the low capacity burner. Also, see in Exhibit A where an additional experiment was run with one of Lab Four’s technicians developing the simmer setting without using the previously provided information. This resulted in different energy average and lower variation values between the two Lab 4 technicians. According to these results, relying on a given setting actually increased variation and retests due to failing performance. Thus, though recording the turn down temperature as required by the Final Rule may help understand differences in results between labs, it does not reduce variation. And it does not seem that simply following the test procedure to the letter, as DOE suggested in response to AHAM’s comments and discussed in Section II below, reduces variation. AHAM’s test results demonstrate that additional efforts to reduce variation on turndown settings were unsuccessful—even standardizing the simmering setting does not drive sufficient variation reduction. (Moreover, for gas products, it will not be possible to specify turndown settings for gas products due to orifice variation, which is discussed in more detail below). Accordingly, because DOE’s final test procedure does not sufficiently reduce total variation, DOE should withdraw the cooktop test procedure. Conventional Cooking Products; Docket No. EERE– 2014–BT–STD–0005; RIN 1904–AD15 (Nov. 2, 2016). PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 C. Full Population and Total Variation As stated previously, DOE’s small sample size could not address the full population or total variation. Table 2 below lists the units have been tested to the final test procedure as specified E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 17954 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules from both DOE’s sample and AHAM’s sample and Figure 3 shows the samples and their results graphically. TABLE 2—DOE AND AHAM TEST SAMPLES COMBINED daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS DOE 1 ......... DOE 2 ......... DOE 3 ......... DOE 4 ......... DOE 5 ......... AHAM A ...... AHAM B ...... AHAM C ...... AHAM D ...... Width 30 30 36 36 36 36 30 30 30 Number of burners 4 4 6 6 6 5 4 4 5 Minimum input rate (Btu/hr) Maximum input rate (Btu/hr) 9,000 5,000 18,000 9,200 15,000 8,000 5,000 5,000 5,500 9,000 15,000 18,000 15,000 18,500 18,000 15,000 15,000 18,000 Figure 3 shows the units tested and what their AAEC number is versus their lowest burner capacity rating. It highlights how skewed the DOE sampling was, especially as compared to AHAM’s. As discussed above in Section I, DOE identified that nearly half of the models in the market had a 5,000 BTU burner. Yet, DOE selected only one unit with a burner of that capacity. Aside from the fact that DOE’s sample inadequately represents the market, this demonstrates that DOE’s test procedure will produce inaccurate results for most of the gas products on the market. The test has a high degree of variation for those products, as shown above, and, thus, the test will not allow consumers to compare across products. Neither DOE nor AHAM have evaluated or accounted for the all of the variation inherent in producing gas products, i.e., total variation across the population. It is a large task and assuming the small amount of work applies to the total picture is not acceptable and further supports the withdrawal of the test procedure. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 Burner configuration Grate type open ............................ Sealed ......................... Sealed—stacked ......... Sealed—stacked ......... Sealed ......................... Sealed—stacked? ....... Sealed ......................... Sealed ......................... Sealed ......................... Steel-wire ......................... Cast Iron .......................... Cast Iron .......................... Cast iron—Continuous ..... Cast iron—Continuous ..... Cast iron—Continuous ..... Cast Iron .......................... Cast Iron .......................... Cast Iron .......................... III. DOE Has Not Demonstrated That The Test Procedure Is Repeatable Or Reproducible For Electric Cooktops. As discussed above, in response to the August 2016 SNOPR, based on roundrobin testing, AHAM identified several sources of potential variation that needed to be resolved prior to DOE finalizing a cooktop test procedure. DOE conducted additional testing in order to evaluate AHAM’s concerns and made clarifications to attempt to address many of them. Unfortunately, DOE’s testing was not sufficient to demonstrate that the final test procedure significantly reduced the high degree of total variation AHAM identified in its comments. AHAM does not agree that the final test procedure is sufficiently repeatable and reproducible. Accordingly, AHAM respectfully requests that DOE withdraw the cooktop test procedure. A. DOE’s Testing DOE did not do enough testing to verify that its clarifications resulted in a final test procedure that is repeatable and reproducible and, so, the Final Rule PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Grate weight per burner lbs) Average annual energy consumption (kBtu/yr) 0.5 3.7 4.4 5.8 7 ? ? ? ? 640.4 854.4 974.8 963.5 893.1 936.3 1,034.1 843.1 1,077.2 Coefficient of variation —1 lab (repeatability) (%) 2.40 1.40 0.40 0.30 0.30 0.89 9.20 2.70 0.78 Coeffiecient of variation across multiple labs (reproducibility) (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3.60 17.10 12. 5 12.00 is not supported by sufficient data. DOE conducted testing of five electric cooktops incorporating different heating technologies (one coil element cooktop, two radiant element cooktops, and two induction cooktops) and control types (four with step controls and one with infinite). For each unit, DOE conducted testing on surface units capturing a range of heating element sizes. DOE conducted two to three tests per surface unit. For each individual test, DOE performed the full surface unit test method, including the preliminary test required to determine the turndown temperature and simmering setting for a given surface unit. DOE varied test operators for surface unit tests, but did not test at different laboratories. DOE also included test results from previous tests of these units conducted in support of the August 2016 SNOPR. AHAM appreciates that DOE conducted this testing. But it is not enough to justify finalizing the test procedure. DOE did not complete full tests—it tested only two to three burners. Although that is helpful in assessing potential variation, AHAM is E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 EP25AP18.009</GPH> Cooking unit Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS concerned that DOE would finalize a rule based on the results of only partial tests. DOE’s testing demonstrates a low average coefficient of variation of 1.2 percent. It is uncertain whether those results are accurate given that DOE did assess the full IAEC for an entire cooktop. But, assuming that the partial tests do give a reasonable understanding of repeatability and reproducibility, DOE has not identified why DOE’s coefficient of variation was so much lower than AHAM’s. One potential reason is that DOE’s testing did not truly test reproducibility from lab to lab—DOE simply used different technicians for some of its tests. DOE did not conduct testing on the same units in different labs. It makes sense that under those conditions— using the same laboratory equipment and test technicians trained in the same laboratory—variation would be lower. DOE’s test parameters did not accurately simulate reproducibility. The simulation run by DOE only changed the test technician. It is unclear from DOE’s analysis if those technicians had previous knowledge of the procedure or were allowed to imprint their interpretation on the execution of the test. DOE did not simulate running the test with different equipment and a different environment, as would be run in a true round robin. Conversely, AHAM’s tests were conducted on the same units in three (now four) different laboratories. Those laboratories have different technicians with different training, different equipment, and, potentially, different interpretations of the test procedure. These true round robin conditions are far more likely to reveal ambiguity in the test and sensitivities that cause variation. They also replicate a real scenario—one lab attempting to verify the results of a different lab. As discussed above in Section II, the testing conducted to date, necessarily, has a low confidence level and the differences between AHAM’s and DOE’s results demonstrate that. AHAM’s testing resulted in significantly higher variation than DOE’s and the large confidence interval that results supports AHAM’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 request for DOE to withdraw the cooktop test procedure. Moreover, DOE did not engage stakeholders—either manufacturer labs or third party labs—in its assessment of the Final Rule. Thus, based on DOE’s testing, neither DOE nor stakeholders have any idea what the actual total test procedure variation is. The test laboratory DOE used to run the tests in support of the proposed and final rules will not be a lab that regularly runs the test procedure when reporting and/or compliance with standards is potentially required. (The labs that participated in AHAM’s round robin, will, of course, be conducting testing to demonstrate compliance with any potential future standards). Thus, because DOE’s reproducibility testing is essentially theoretical and only simulates a round robin test, DOE’s testing is helpful, but not enough to determine the repeatability and reproducibility of the test. B. Determining the Simmering Setting AHAM commented that there is variability in determining the simmering setting for the simmering phase of the test and noted that the simmering setting plays an important role in the overshoot temperature and the ability to maintain a temperature as close as possible to 90 °C during the simmering phase of the test. DOE responded that it expects that correctly following the methodology— starting with the lowest simmering setting and repeating the test as necessary with the next highest setting until the setting that maintains the water temperature above, but as close as possible to 90 °C, is identified—will result in only a single appropriate simmering setting for a given surface unit. DOE agreed with AHAM that the selection of the simmering setting has a significant impact on the overall energy consumption of a surface unit and amended Appendix I to require that the simmering setting selection for the energy test cycle of each cooking area/ zone be recorded. AHAM appreciates that DOE required recording the simmering setting selection—it will PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17955 help in enforcement/verification actions to understand differences in test results. Unfortunately, recording the setting will do nothing to decrease variation or prevent false findings of potential noncompliance. AHAM acknowledges that in its initial round robin, laboratories did not start at the lowest simmering setting— laboratories started at the lowest setting they believed would be able to maintain a water temperature above and as close as possible to 90 °C. AHAM is a proponent of conducting the test that way in order to reduce test burden which, as discussed further below, is already significant. Nevertheless, in order to understand if variation would decrease by following the letter of the test procedure as DOE suggested in the Final Rule, AHAM, in conducting a round robin on gas cooktops, required participating laboratories to (a) follow the DOE test procedure for selection of the simmering setting; (b) record their simmering setting; and (c) for the first lab, mark the turn down temperature on the unit itself.10 Our data, which are discussed above in Section II, show that following the letter of the test procedure does not sufficiently reduce variation. In particular, lab-to-lab variation remains high for gas cooktops and AHAM’s round robin testing for electric cooktops provided data to support a conclusion that it is likely also high for electric cooktops. DOE did not adequately address AHAM’s concern in its Final Rule and AHAM’s gas testing casts further doubt on this question. AHAM incorporates by reference the data we submitted to DOE during the rulemaking regarding our electric round robin, which is summarized in the below tables. These data highlight that the simmer setting is a significant source of variation. Because DOE has not yet adequately addressed it, and, thus has not sufficiently demonstrated that its test procedure is valid, DOE should withdraw the cooktop test procedure. 10 Results of the AHAM gas round robin are discussed in Section II. E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS C. Spiking Temperatures When Reaching 90 °C AHAM commented that our round robin demonstrated difficulty in determining when the water temperature first reaches 90 °C to start the 20-minute simmering phase of the test because, when the temperature first reaches that temperature, it may oscillate slightly above or below it. DOE’s testing showed similar fluctuations. Thus, DOE amended Appendix I to clarify that the 20-minute simmering period starts when the water temperature first reaches 90 °C and does not drop below 90 °C for more than 20 seconds after initially reaching 90 °C. AHAM thanks DOE for making this clarification which seems like it could reduce variation. DOE’s testing— completed in a single lab and with technicians trained in the same lab— does not, however, adequately demonstrate that this clarification sufficiently reduces variation and improves reproducibility. AHAM’s members were not able to dedicate resources to re-performing a round robin to verify DOE’s findings on a single unit. Without knowing whether total variation has, in fact, been reduced, DOE should not have finalized the test procedure and DOE cannot rely on assumptions that this change will VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 reduce total variation—to do so could be considered arbitrary and capricious. Total variation is made up of within lab and between lab variations AND within and between units variations. DOE only addressed some of the within lab variation causes, meaning that other causes of variation are unaddressed. DOE does not have sufficient data to demonstrate that the test procedure is reproducible and should withdraw the test. D. Heating Element Cycling AHAM commented that cycling of power to the heating element is unpredictable and causes variation in test results. It is unknown if the surface unit will cycle the heating element off during a critical phase of the test—i.e., at the start of the simmering phase or when determining the simmering setting. In response to DOE’s September 27, 2016 data request, AHAM provided further data on how this was observed during our testing. DOE could not have reviewed or considered that data in drafting the Final Rule given that the Final Rule was issued the same day AHAM provided the data. AHAM incorporates the data we submitted on November 23, 2016, in this petition by reference. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DOE did, however, examine its own data. DOE indicated that it observed only one electric smooth-radiant cooktop in its sample for which the heater cycled on and off during the heatup phase of the test. That particular unit cycled back on within a few seconds of cycling off and, as a result, the water temperature continued to rise at a ‘‘fairly steady state.’’ Thus, DOE concluded that it was infrequent for heating elements to cycle during the heat-up phase and, so, it was unlikely that other electric smooth-radiant cooktops would require any substantive amount of heating element cycling to protect the glass surface. DOE indicated that it did not expect any measurable impacts of heating element cycling on the total measured per-cycle energy consumption. DOE based its conclusions on the single unit in its sample and is guessing that because only one unit in its small sample did not cycle on and off during the heat-up phase, it must not occur frequently and/or if it does, it will not have a measurable impact on the total per-cycle energy consumption. But AHAM also observed element cycling during its testing. Thus, in only the small amount of testing conducted in the U.S. to date, unit cycling during the heat-up phase has been observed twice. E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 EP25AP18.012</GPH> 17956 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS That is not insignificant. Almost 20 percent of units in the combined AHAM and DOE tested sample experienced unit cycling. Moreover, AHAM submitted additional data to DOE regarding the unit cycling it observed. As mentioned in that data submission, AHAM tested two eight-inch coil elements on different cooktops with the same model number to evaluate unit to unit variation. One cooktop cycled during the T70 turndown test and the other did not. The unit that cycled resulted in a higher turn down temperature when compared to the test that did not cycle. The unit did not cycle on either test run during the final T90 simmer test. The high Tc value caused one test run to have a higher overshoot and allowed for a lower turn down during the simmer phase driving unit to unit variation. This resulted in 36 watts less power on the unit with the lower turn down. This is six percent of the normalized power level. Six percent is not insignificant and demonstrates the potential difference between the energy measured on two units of the same construction. DOE should withdraw the Final Rule for cooktops and review and consider the data AHAM submitted. This issue must be addressed in order to reduce total variation. Furthermore, DOE did not address the arguments AHAM made about the uncertainty regarding how unit cycling will impact test results and test burden—this is a significant concern and could drive redesign of products. Heating element cycling is key to cooking performance for electric ranges because the algorithm that governs heating element cycling controls the temperature of the food being cooked. If the temperature is not properly maintained, the consistency of the food VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 can change. Moreover, for smooth top electric ranges, heating element cycling also serves a safety function. Such cooktops are equipped with a glass break sensor to monitor temperature. That sensor will dictate when a unit needs to cycle down to avoid glass breakage. AHAM is concerned that the test procedure, as finalized by DOE, could drive changes to the algorithm for heating element cycling design. Any such changes will result in significant product development efforts which have not been accounted for in DOE’s test procedure rulemaking. A test procedure change should not dictate this sort of design change simply to manage uncertainty and variation.11 For these reasons, DOE should withdraw the cooktop test procedure due to total variation that is not fully understood and, from available data, appears to be at an unacceptable level. E. Upcoming New Cooktop Designs As AHAM has commented to DOE many times, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard 858 will soon require a new test for electric coil element cooktops. The change to the voluntary safety standard, which AHAM developed and proposed to UL with the support of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will require electric coil element cooktops and ranges to monitor 11 It is possible, for example, consumers often jump from one side (rolling boil) to the other side (boil action lost) a couple of times before they understand where to set the dial to maintain their desired simmering temperature. If manufacturers make the dials more precise in order to reduce variation in the energy test, that could result in more settings and consumers could change back and forth more times because they see less impact in adjusting the knob. This could actually drive consumers to use more energy in the field. Accordingly, DOE should examine potential unintended consequences of addressing this uncertainty. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17957 and limit pan bottom temperature and is aimed at reducing the incidences of unattended cooking fires. It represents a major redesign for all electric coil cooktops by every manufacturer. The change will be required to show compliance on coil cooktops with the updated voluntary safety standard as of June 15, 2018. Given the date of this requirement, it is certain that any cooktop standard DOE may promulgate (and AHAM opposes any change to the existing standards for conventional cooking products) would apply to these newly designed products. But, because these products are still in development, DOE has not done testing on products using these controls and neither have manufacturers. Because company designs to comply with the UL 858 requirements may involve cycling of the element, it is quite possible that heating element cycling will be different than it is for existing products. Thus, DOE’s data, even as supplemented by AHAM’s data, on heating element cycling may be irrelevant because it does not represent products that will be on the market if the test is required to demonstrate compliance with possible energy conservation standards. As shown in Figure 4, initial data, based on testing conducted by Primaria LLC to develop UL 858’s new requirements, show that though time to boil water may not increase significantly using temperature limiting controls on coil cooktops, the difference could be enough to further impact the current assumptions on variation. And, the control cycling could be somewhat different as well. DOE should understand how the energy test will respond to these new technologies. E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 17958 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Although DOE sought feedback on the degree to which the heating element or cookware may deform and impact the heat transfer between the two surfaces in its rulemaking on energy conservation standards for cooktops, DOE did not investigate the impact of pan warpage on the repeatability and reproducibility of the test procedure. The UL 858 test for coil cooktops initially required use of an aluminum pan. But, based on manufacturer VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 experience doing significant testing, AHAM proposed a cast iron alternative to aluminum pans for the test. UL published this update in August of 2017. The shift is to account for warping and the variation and lack of repeatability it is driving in the safety assessment. There is no reason to believe this variation will not also extend to energy testing. The data from the UL 858 work with Primaira show that any variation in pans of the same type will drive variation that the energy testing has not PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 yet shown because the pans have yet to warp substantially. Significantly, using a warped stainless steel pan on a ceramic cooktop did increase the boil time with the cooktop fire mitigation control active (that control cycles the element on and off per an algorithm). And, warpage on stainless steel pans style will cause a difference in energy use on units without a limiting control as shown in Figure 5. DOE’s failure to further investigate this issue means that its test procedure is not adequately supported. E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 EP25AP18.010</GPH> F. Pan Warpage Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules IV. The Cooktop Test Procedure Is Unduly Burdensome To Conduct. The discussion in the sections above highlights several significant burdens associated with conducting DOE’s cooktop test procedure that AHAM believes make it unduly burdensome to conduct. Specifically: • The test procedure takes about 20 hours for an average four burner cooktop and requires the testing of every single burner or element individually. And, because the test requires the technician to determine the turn-down temperature before every test and the ambient conditions are quite tight, several runs are often required before a valid run can be achieved. Our testing found that some tests took upward of five days for a single cooktop. • As indicated by AHAM’s truncated gas test plan, it is burdensome to determine the turn down temperature for each individual test and burner. And doing so does not serve any purpose as it appears that it does not decrease variation. • The ambient temperature requirements are incredibly tight and it is difficult or impossible for some laboratories to meet them without investing in lab improvements. Some companies had difficulty maintaining the ambient conditions and AHAM could not use their data in its round robin results. • Test pots will warp during testing and will need to either be repaired or replaced frequently. • The test procedure variation means that manufacturers will need to add a larger than usual ‘‘buffer’’ to any eventual energy conservation standards ratings, which will effectively increase the stringency of any future standard, probably by a large amount. In addition to the test burden itself, there is also substantial cost associated 17959 with the test procedure. DOE determined that the test procedure would cost $700 per test for labor, with a one-time investment of $2,000 for new test equipment, which was split between test pots and other instrumentation. AHAM collected data from its members on the cost of the test procedure, both ongoing and initial investments. This data is based on company experience with the test through AHAM’s round robins and in testing in Europe, on the number of models each company has, and on the potential need for third party testing. AHAM’s data show that DOE significantly underestimated the cost associated with running the cooktop test procedure. Table 3 below shows the difference between DOE’s estimates in the Final Rule and AHAM’s data. TABLE 3—PER TEST COSTS (DOE ESTIMATE V. AHAM DATA) Cooktop full product line One time (initial year) DOE AHAM DOE AHAM Labor Costs ..................................................................................................... Instrumentation (equipment for testing) ........................................................... Test pots (vessels) .......................................................................................... Testing structures ............................................................................................ Transducer (for ambient air temp.) .................................................................. $700 15 152 8 2 $970 1,432 113 159 N/A ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ $970 1 38 2 209 3 43 0 Total .......................................................................................................... 876 2,673 700 1,260 Note: On average, 543 tests will be required to certify companies’ full product lines. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 EP25AP18.011</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Per test costs (per manufacturer) On-going (annual) 17960 1 This Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules includes equipment maintenance (new/existing and calibrations for testing equipment). will require ongoing replacement of test pots due to warping. includes increased/new annual costs from third party labs and/or UL and ISO (re) certification. 2 Manufacturers 3 This One of the significant differences between DOE’s estimate and AHAM’s data is the total number of tests required and the number of models to be tested. It is difficult for manufacturers to determine at this stage how many basic models they would have. DOE’s proposed energy conservation standards for cooktops, which AHAM strongly opposes, would be the first time manufacturers would need to certify compliance with standards and determine basic models. To do that may require testing of all models in order to determine likely model families, particularly because cooking products are complex. It will be difficult to determine which models can be grouped together in a basic model. That said, AHAM understands that not each individual model will need to be tested. Thus, it is likely that something between DOE’s estimate and AHAM’s data would be the actual average total number of models tested. Nevertheless, the difference in the number of tests and number of models to be tested is shown below in Table 4. DOE cost estimations (particularly for labor) are on a per-test basis. As described above, it is difficult to determine the total number of tests to be performed in the initial year. Comparing the DOE estimation of number of tests to AHAM member data shows a signficant difference or wide range. As a result, total costs are substantially higher when considering the average number of tests required according to AHAM member data. TABLE 4—AVERAGE NUMBER OF TESTS AND MODELS TO BE TESTED Estimated total cost Tests/models comparison DOE AHAM DOE daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Average total number of tests required ........................................................... Average total number of models tested .......................................................... Another important difference is that DOE did not address upfront investments made in order for manufacturers to be able to perform the test procedure. But those costs should not be ignored. Manufacturers identified significant investments in specialized equipment to perform the test procedure successfully. For example, all respondants to AHAM’s survey expressed frustration in obtaining the necessary test pots because the supplier is overseas. Acquiring even one set is difficult, as AHAM has discussed in previous comments, and the cost is about $9,500 excluding shipping and handling. Manufacturers indicated they would require between three and 24 sets to do certification testing. DOE concluded that it would cost about $500 to fabricate existing testing structures. But manufacturers identified significantly higher costs. AHAM’s members consistently cited investments to redesign entire lab stations and expand facility space. These changes would be needed to control for ambient temperature at the tight levels DOE’s test requires, cool test units, add new equipment, and account for much higher volumes of testing. AHAM also believes that third party testing (for certification only) could cost over $2,500 per model. Table 5 details the comprehensive costs. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 66 21 543 166 $46,000 58,000 AHAM $1,100,000 1,450,000 average consumers were outweighed by the risk that certain consumers would not realize the savings and the adverse Overall per company costs loss of industry net present value, Cooktop full product line among other things. Thus, DOE AHAM prescribed standards consisting of prescriptive design standards, not Labor costs (annual total sal1 $272,186 energy performance standards. As we aries) ................................. Instrumentation (equipment have commented previously, AHAM 2 376,635 for testing) ......................... does not believe anything has changed 3 84,200 Test pots (vessels) ............... since 2009 to justify amended 4 368,100 Testing structures ................. standards.12 The available technology Transducer (for ambient air options have not changed. The energy temp.) ................................ N/A savings opportunities remain small. Total .................................. 1,101,121 Thus, the cooktop test procedure is not necessary and its burden is not balanced Note: Overall costs may not align with per- by any benefit to consumers. test costs due to reporting measures and Given the extraordinary regulatory averaging. 1 Annual salary for full-time technicians burden the cooktop test procedure will across multiple labs (1 to 5, up to 13 stations/ place on manufacturers, the procedure chambers). is an ideal candidate for repeal 1 Annual salary for full-time technicians across multiple labs (1 to 5, up to 13 stations/ consistent with Executive Order 13771, TABLE 5—COMPREHENSIVE COSTS chambers). 2 Specialized equipment (designed/purchased) to complete test procedure. 3 Companies require on average 3 sets of test pots to be replaced over multiple years. 4 Combination of costs from third party labs, certifications (UL/CSA/ISO), retrofitting existing facilities. The test and cost burden associated with the cooktop test procedure is not likely justified by any balancing benefit to consumers or the environment. In 2009, DOE determined that none of the trial standards levels that included efficiency standards instead of just prescriptive design standards had benefits that were outweighed by the economic burden that would be placed on consumers. DOE found that the potential economic savings realized by PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 12 See AHAM Comments on DOE’s Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Cooking Products, Request for Information; Docket No. EERE–2014–BT–STD–0005; RIN 1904–AD15 (Apr. 14, 2014) (AHAM does not, however, believe that energy conservation standards different from those currently in place for conventional cooking products are technologically feasible or economically justified. There have been no significant changes since the existing standards for gas cooking tops and ‘‘no standard’’ standard for other conventional cooking products were promulgated that would result in justified standards. The available technology options have not changed, the energy savings opportunity remains small, and consumer cooking behavior still plays a significant role in the energy use of cooking products. In addition, AHAM believes that the introduction of new standards for cooking products could have a significant impact on the utility of cooking products . . .’’). E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / Proposed Rules Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which requires agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one issued and offset the costs. Because, as AHAM has demonstrated above, DOE’s cooktop test procedure may be considered arbitrary and capricious because it is not supported by sufficient data and likely has a high degree of total variation, the test procedure does not benefit consumers. It serves only to burden manufacturers who must comply with a test procedure that does not adequately represent products and, due to variation, will require manufacturers to make conservative claims. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CONCLUSION SUMMARY: daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Because AHAM’s testing shows that DOE did not sufficiently demonstrate that the cooktop test procedure is repeatable or reproducible for gas and electric cooktops, because DOE has yet to demonstrate—as EPCA requires it to do—that the final test procedure is representative for gas cooktops, and because the test procedure is unduly burdensome to conduct, we respectfully request that DOE withdraw the final cooktop test procedure while maintaining the repeal of the oven test procedure that was part of this same Final Rule. Even absent an energy conservation standard for cooktops that requires use of the test procedure, manufacturers are required to report energy use via a test procedure DOE has not demonstrated is representative of consumer use for all product types and AHAM has demonstrated is not reproducible. This means that reported energy values for some products could be inaccurate and, for all products, will not be directly comparable to each other across manufacturers. Thus, consumers could be misled when evaluating and comparing energy claims. Accordingly, we also seek an immediate stay of the effectiveness of the cooktop test procedure, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test procedure to make energy related claims. Respectfully submitted, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers By: Jennifer Cleary, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, 1111 19th St. NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20036, 202-872-5955 x314. [FR Doc. 2018–08641 Filed 4–24–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Apr 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No. FDA–2018–D–0075] The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products: Draft Guidance for Industry; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Notification of availability; extension of comment period. ACTION: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is extending the comment period for the notification of availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled ‘‘The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products: Guidance for Industry’’ that appeared in the Federal Register of March 2, 2018. The draft guidance, when finalized, will advise food manufacturers of our intent to exercise enforcement discretion related to the use in the Nutrition Facts label of a symbol ‘‘†’’ immediately after the added sugars percent Daily Value information on certain foods. The symbol would lead the reader to truthful and nonmisleading statements outside the Nutrition Facts label to provide additional information regarding the added sugars present in particular foods. We are taking this action in response to requests for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments. DATES: We are extending the comment period on the document that published in the Federal Register of March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8953). Submit either electronic or written comments by June 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments as follows: Electronic Submissions Submit electronic comments in the following way: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https:// www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17961 anyone else’s Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov. • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see ‘‘Written/Paper Submissions’’ and ‘‘Instructions’’). Written/Paper Submissions Submit written/paper submissions as follows: • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA–305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in ‘‘Instructions.’’ Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA– 2018–D–0075 for ‘‘The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products: Guidance for Industry.’’ Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as ‘‘Confidential Submissions,’’ publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states ‘‘THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.’’ The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you E:\FR\FM\25APP1.SGM 25APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 80 (Wednesday, April 25, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17944-17961]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-08641]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 80 / Wednesday, April 25, 2018 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 17944]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 429 and 430


Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Cooking 
Products, Notification of Petition for Rulemaking

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

ACTION: Notification of petition for rulemaking; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: On March 26, 2018, the Department of Energy (DOE) received a 
petition from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to 
withdraw, and immediately stay the effectiveness of, the conventional 
cooking top test procedure. Through this notification, DOE seeks 
comment on the petition, as well as any data or information that could 
be used in DOE's determination whether to proceed with the petition.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested on or before June 
25, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments, 
identified by ``Test Procedure Cooking Products Petition,'' by any of 
the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: [email protected]. Include the docket number 
and/or RIN in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence 
Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all 
items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to 
include printed copies.
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, 
U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant 
Plaza SW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-6636. 
If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not 
necessary to include printed copies.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or 
comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Sher, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, 
DC 20585. E-mail: [email protected]; (202) 287-6122.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 
U.S.C. 551 et seq., provides among other things, that ``[e]ach agency 
shall give an interested person the right to petition for the issuance, 
amendment, or repeal of a rule.'' (5 U.S.C. 553(e)) DOE received a 
petition from AHAM, as described in this document and set forth 
verbatim below,\1\ requesting that DOE reconsider its final rule on 
Test Procedures for Cooking Products, Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0013, 
RIN 1904-AC71, 81 FR 91418 (Dec. 16, 2016) (Final Rule). In 
promulgating this petition for public comment, DOE is seeking views on 
whether it should grant the petition and undertake a rulemaking to 
consider the proposal contained in the petition. By seeking comment on 
whether to grant this petition, DOE takes no position at this time 
regarding the merits of the suggested rulemaking or the assertions in 
AHAM's petition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Attachments and data submitted by AHAM with its petition for 
rulemaking are available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EERE-2018-BT-TP-0004.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In its petition, AHAM requests that DOE undertake rulemaking to 
withdraw the cooking top test procedure, while maintaining the repeal 
of the oven test procedure that was part of the Final Rule. And, in the 
interim, AHAM seeks an immediate stay of the effectiveness of the Final 
Rule, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test 
procedure to make energy related claims. Should DOE continue to pursue 
a revised cooking top test procedure, AHAM asserts that DOE should 
address repeatability and reproducibility and demonstrate, through 
round robin testing, that the test is repeatable and reproducible and, 
for gas cooking tops, accurate. AHAM claims that its analyses show that 
the test procedure is not representative for gas cooking tops and, for 
gas and electric cooking tops, has such a high level of variation it 
will not produce accurate results for certification or enforcement 
purposes and will not assist consumers in making purchasing decisions 
based on energy efficiency.
    Although DOE welcomes comments on any aspect of the petition for 
reconsideration, DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments 
and views of interested parties concerning the following issues:
    (1) The repeatability and reproducibility of the test procedure for 
conventional electric and gas cooking tops. DOE previously presented 
results from round robin testing completed by the Department and by IEC 
in the docket of the test procedure rulemaking. DOE seeks comments on 
that data as well as the new data AHAM has supplied supporting its 
petition;
    (2) The accuracy of determining the simmer setting and turndown 
temperature;
    (3) The impact of heating element cycling during the initial heat-
up phase of testing on the overall measured energy consumption of 
electric cooking tops, and the prevalence of such cycling in units 
available on the market.
    (4) The extent of any warpage which may have been observed at the 
bottom surface of test vessels during cooking top testing;
    (5) The impact of varying gas burner and grate systems on the 
representativeness of the water-heating test method for gas cooking 
tops;
    (6) The type of control system, heating element, and other product 
redesigns necessitated by changes in safety standards for electric 
cooking tops, and the impact of these new product designs on the 
repeatability, reproducibility, and representativeness of the electric 
cooking product test procedure;
    (7) Characteristics of a representative test sample for electric 
and gas cooking tops for use in any additional round robin testing to 
evaluate the applicability of the test procedure to the conventional 
cooking top market as a whole;
    (8) Information on how consumers cook differently on gas cooktops 
versus electric cooktops;
    (9) Information on how consumers use the simmer setting on a gas 
cooktop; and,

[[Page 17945]]

    (10) The test burden associated with the test procedure for 
conventional electric and gas cooking tops, including the ability of 
testing laboratories to meet the required ambient test conditions.

Submission of Comments

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2018 comments and information regarding this petition.
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Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this 
notification of petition for rulemaking.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on April 18, 2018.
Daniel Simmons,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy.

Before the

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    In the Matter of: Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures 
for Cooking Products

Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0013

RIN 1904-AC71

PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION

    The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) respectfully

[[Page 17946]]

petitions the Department of Energy (DOE) for reconsideration of its 
final rule on Test Procedures for Cooking Products, Docket No. EERE-
2012-BT-TP-0013 RIN 1904-AC71, 81 Fed. Reg. 91418 (Dec. 16, 2016) 
(Final Rule).
    AHAM believes that, overall, the adoption of a water-boil test 
procedure for cooking products is the appropriate procedure. And we 
thank DOE for making changes to its earlier proposed test procedure 
which would have used a hybrid block after AHAM demonstrated the 
practical difficulties associated with that test. But DOE adopted a 
final cooktop test procedure too hastily, especially in light of 
comments AHAM submitted that demonstrated the test's lack of 
repeatability and reproducibility and questioned the use of a test 
procedure meant for electric cooktops for gas cooktops. AHAM has 
evaluated the Final Rule and conducted additional testing on gas 
cooktops. Our analyses show that the test procedure is not 
representative for gas cooktops and, for gas and electric cooktops, has 
such a high level of variation it will not produce accurate results for 
certification or enforcement purposes and will not assist consumers in 
making purchasing decisions based on energy efficiency.
    AHAM thus requests that DOE withdraw the cooktop test procedure. 
And, in the interim, we seek an immediate stay of the effectiveness, 
including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test 
procedure to make energy related claims, of the cooktop test procedure. 
Should DOE continue to pursue an improved cooktop test procedure, DOE 
should address repeatability and reproducibility and demonstrate, 
through round robin testing, that the test is repeatable and 
reproducible and, for gas cooktops, representative.

FACTS

    DOE began revisions to the cooktop test procedure with a notice of 
proposed rulemaking on January 30, 2013 (January 2013 NOPR) in which 
DOE proposed amendments to Appendix I to subpart B of 10 C.F.R. part 
430 (Appendix I) that would allow for the measuring of active mode 
energy consumption of induction cooking products. Specifically, DOE 
proposed to require the use of test equipment--hybrid test blocks 
comprised of an aluminum body and a stainless steel base--compatible 
with induction technology.
    AHAM objected to DOE's proposed amendments to the test procedure 
because the amendments did not enhance the accuracy and/or 
representativeness of the test procedure. See AHAM Comments on DOE's 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Test Procedures for Conventional 
Cooking Products With Induction Heating Technology (April 15, 2013). 
AHAM commented that any test procedure DOE adopts to measure induction 
heating technology must be both repeatable and reproducible. Id. AHAM 
cautioned that significant further study was necessary before DOE could 
adopt a test procedure that accurately measures induction cooktop 
energy efficiency. Id. More specifically, AHAM opposed the proposed 
test procedure because the proposal had a number of technical problems 
and ambiguities (e.g., ambiguous construction of hybrid test block); 
DOE's data did not clearly identify one method (test block versus water 
heating) as being preferable to the other for induction units; and the 
proposed procedure would treat induction technology differently than 
other technologies, thereby penalizing it. Id. AHAM also questioned 
whether the test block method in general was representative of actual 
consumer use. Id.
    In response to stakeholder comments, DOE published a supplemental 
notice of proposed rulemaking modifying its proposal. 79 Fed. Reg. 
71894 (Dec. 3, 2014) (December 2014 SNOPR). DOE's modified proposal 
maintained a hybrid test block approach despite AHAM's comments. DOE 
proposed to add a layer of thermal grease between the stainless steel 
base and aluminum body of the hybrid test block to facilitate heat 
transfer between the two pieces, and DOE proposed additional test 
equipment for electric surface units with large diameters and gas 
cooking top burners with high input rates.
    AHAM's comments on the December 2014 SNOPR raised serious concerns 
about the hybrid test blocks and the thermal grease. See AHAM Comments 
on DOE's Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Test Procedures 
for Conventional Cooking Products (Feb. 2, 2015). AHAM also raised 
questions about the testing of flexible cooking zone areas, testing 
units with flexible concentric burner sizes, and the use of the 
smallest dimension of a noncircular electric surface unit to determine 
block size. Id.
    Based on comments it received in response to the December 2014 
SNOPR and a series of manufacturer interviews DOE conducted in February 
and March 2015, DOE subsequently withdrew its proposal for testing 
conventional cooktops with a hybrid test block in yet another 
supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking. 81 Fed. Reg. 57374 (Aug. 
22, 2016) (August 2016 SNOPR). In the August 2016 SNOPR, DOE instead 
proposed to modify its procedure to incorporate by reference the 
relevant sections of EN 60350-2:2013 ``Household electric cooking 
appliances Part 2: Hobs--Methods for measuring performance,'' which 
uses a water-heating test method to measure energy consumption of 
electric cooktops. Despite the fact that the EN test procedure DOE 
cited applies only to electric cooktops, DOE also proposed to extend 
that method to gas cooktops.
    AHAM generally agreed and continues to agree with DOE that the best 
test method for cooktops is a water boil test and supported DOE's 
abandoning of the hybrid test block method. See AHAM Comments on DOE's 
SNOPR on Test Procedures for Cooking Products (Sept. 21, 2016). 
Nevertheless, AHAM commented extensively on potential sources of 
variation with DOE's proposed procedure that needed to be resolved 
before DOE finalized a cooktop test procedure. Id.
    Prior to DOE proposing a water-heating test, AHAM conducted a round 
robin based on the Second Edition of IEC 60350-2 (2015), Household 
Electric Cooking Appliances--Part 2: Hobs--Methods for Measuring 
Performance. Id. The AHAM round robin consisted of four units 
encompassing a different combination of controls and heating elements. 
Id. AHAM assessed radiant, coil, and induction heating elements as well 
as infinite and step controls. Participating labs performed at least 
three full tests on the three electric technologies. The results 
demonstrated that the procedure was not reproducible from lab to lab. 
AHAM data demonstrated significant variation in the proposed test 
procedure--coefficients of variation of 9.2 percent for electric 
radiant cooktops, 7.1 percent for electric coil cooktops, and 8.4 
percent for induction cooktops. Id.
    Based on that testing, AHAM commented that a significant amount of 
work remained to be done to finalize a test and to demonstrate that the 
final test is repeatable and reproducible. Id. Specifically, AHAM 
listed a number of items that needed to be resolved, including several 
potential sources of test procedure variation, before DOE could 
finalize the test procedure, and requested that DOE issue a notice of 
data availability or supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to 
provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment:
     Lack of a tolerance on staying ``as close as possible'' to 
90[deg] C;

[[Page 17947]]

     Variability in energy consumption during the simmering 
phase;
     Variability in determining the turn down temperature;
     Variability in determining the turn down setting;
     Unit cycling;
     Specifying a temperature sensor for measuring the water 
temperature;
     A proposal to use a moving average for calculating the 
final result;
     Limited suppliers of test pots;
     No tool or tolerance specified for cooktop diameter 
measurement;
     Test pots do not accommodate all grate designs;
     Difficulty with placement of pots on gas cooktops;
     Impact of gas burner system, geometry, spacing, and grates 
on repeatability and reproducibility;
     Impact of using the electric test pots on gas cooktops; 
and
     Overshoot temperature of the water can reach beyond 
90[deg] C for some gas cooktops. Id.

AHAM also requested that DOE indicate how the changes to the test 
procedure would impact the proposed standards and allow stakeholders 
additional time to comment on those proposed standards based on the 
test procedure changes. Id.
    In response to AHAM's comments, DOE sent AHAM a request for data on 
September 27, 2016. That data request was voluminous and overlapped 
with the comment period on the proposed standards for cooking 
products--which ended on November 2, 2016--and DOE proposed in parallel 
with the August 2016 SNOPR. See Energy Conservation Program: Energy 
Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional Cooking Products, 
Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; 81 Fed Reg. 60784 (Sept. 2, 
2016). Nevertheless, AHAM worked to answer DOE's questions and, on 
November 23, 2016, filed a detailed response, including a significant 
amount of raw data DOE requested which AHAM submitted to Navigant 
Consulting under a confidentiality agreement. See AHAM Comments on 
DOE's SNOPR on Test Procedures for Cooking Products (dated Nov. 22, 
2016).\1\ AHAM informed DOE in advance that it would be submitting the 
response. Despite having asked for that data and having been informed 
AHAM would be providing it, DOE issued a final test procedure on that 
same day, November 23, 2016, which it published on December 16, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ We hereby incorporate into this petition by reference all 
data AHAM submitted to DOE and Navigant as part of the test 
procedure rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Final Rule adopted DOE's proposed test procedure with some 
changes DOE believed would improve repeatability and reproducibility. 
In support of the final test procedure, DOE conducted additional 
testing. DOE conducted testing of five electric cooktops incorporating 
different heating technologies and control types. For each unit, DOE 
conducted testing on surface units capturing a range of heating element 
sizes. DOE conducted two to three tests per surface unit. For each 
individual test, DOE performed the full surface unit test method, 
including the preliminary test required to determine the turndown 
temperature and simmering setting for a given surface unit. DOE varied 
test operators for surface unit tests, but did not conduct testing in 
different laboratories. In addition, DOE included test results from 
previous tests of these units conducted in support of the August 2016 
SNOPR. DOE relied on that minimal data to determine that the final test 
procedure, finalized only two months after DOE received voluminous 
comments from AHAM concerning a lack of repeatability and 
reproducibility as demonstrated through 27 tests on three units at 
three different laboratories.

ARGUMENT

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (EPCA) 
requires that test procedures be reasonably designed to produce test 
results which measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated 
annual operating cost of a covered product during a representative 
average use cycle and shall not be unduly burdensome to conduct. 42 
U.S.C. Sec.  6293(b)(3). This requirement is meaningless if the test 
procedure is not repeatable and reproducible--only a repeatable and 
reproducible test procedure can produce accurate results that DOE can 
rely on for certification and verification purposes and that consumers 
can rely on to compare energy use or efficiency across products.
    AHAM appreciates that DOE made changes from the August 2016 SNOPR 
to the Final Rule in an attempt to address AHAM's September 21, 2016 
comments. AHAM also appreciates that DOE conducted additional testing 
to further assess the proposed and final test procedure. But DOE did 
not take the time or do the work necessary to finalize a test procedure 
that fully or satisfactorily addresses the significant issues AHAM 
raised in its comments or the data AHAM provided in response to DOE's 
request. This is further demonstrated based on additional testing and 
analysis AHAM conducted after the Final Rule was published.
    DOE did not support the Final Rule with sufficient data to 
demonstrate that it is accurate, repeatable, and reproducible. More 
specifically, as discussed more fully below:
    [squ] DOE has not demonstrated that the test procedure is 
representative for gas products. DOE did not demonstrate that its 
deviation from the international approach--testing gas cooktops using a 
different procedure than is used for testing electric cooktops--was 
warranted or would produce accurate, representative results. And DOE 
tested only a small sample that cannot be representative of the many 
different types of gas models on the market and the result is that the 
test may not adequately address the different systems available to 
consumers. Thus, DOE has not demonstrated that the test procedure is 
representative or accurate for gas products.
    [squ] DOE's testing of electric and gas cooktops was insufficient 
to evaluate repeatability and reproducibility and, thus, DOE's 
conclusions are based on results with a low confidence level which is 
highlighted by AHAM's conflicting results. Accordingly, DOE did not 
produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate that its test procedure is 
supported by data.
    [squ] Although DOE tried to address variation by requiring 
recording of the simmering setting selection, AHAM's testing 
demonstrates that that requirement does not in fact reduce variation.
    [squ] Although DOE attempted to clarify when the simmering period 
starts, DOE's clarification does not adequately reduce variation.
    [squ] DOE improperly dismissed unit cycling's contribution to 
variation.
    [squ] DOE did not account for the fact that electric coil cooktops 
are currently undergoing significant redesign to comply with voluntary 
safety standards. It is possible that the new products will not respond 
the same way to the test.
    [squ] DOE did not investigate the impact of pan warpage on test 
results. Initial data from a study done for AHAM shows pan warpage will 
contribute to variation.
    [squ] Based on data from a round robin AHAM conducted with gas 
cooktops, the test procedure is not repeatable or reproducible for gas 
cooktops. Within unit and between unit variation also contributes to 
the total variation and DOE has not accounted for it.
    In addition, the test procedure is unduly burdensome to conduct. 
Based on AHAM's experience to date, it takes on average 20 hours to 
conduct a single test on a four burner cooktop and requires the testing 
of every single

[[Page 17948]]

burner or element individually. And, because the test requires the 
technician to determine the turn-down temperature before every test and 
the ambient conditions are quite tight, several runs are often required 
before a valid run can be achieved. Our testing, which is described 
more fully below, found that some tests took upward of five days for a 
single cooktop. Moreover, the test cost is much higher than DOE 
concluded in its Final Rule on both an up-front and ongoing basis.
    Because the final test procedure may not be representative for gas 
products and is not repeatable or reproducible for either gas or 
electric cooktops, it does not accurately measure cooktop energy 
efficiency and will not allow consumers to compare products on that 
basis. Thus, because the test is also unduly burdensome to conduct, the 
cooktop test procedure as a whole does not meet EPCA's statutory 
requirement that test procedures be reasonably designed to produce 
representative results and are not unduly burdensome to conduct. 
Moreover, because DOE did not support the conclusions in the Final Rule 
with sufficient data, DOE's Final Rule could be determined to be 
arbitrary and capricious. Accordingly, AHAM respectfully requests that 
DOE withdraw the Final Rule amending the cooktop test procedure. And, 
in the interim, we seek an immediate stay of the effectiveness, 
including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test 
procedure to make energy related claims, of the Final Rule. To be 
clear, AHAM is not seeking reconsideration regarding DOE's decision to 
repeal the oven test procedure.

I. DOE Has Not Demonstrated That The Test Procedure Is Representative 
for Gas Cooktops.

    In the August 2016 SNOPR, DOE proposed to extend the electric test 
procedure in EN 60350-2:2013 ``Household electric cooking appliances 
Part 2: Hobs--Methods for measuring performance'' to gas cooktops. AHAM 
commented in its September 21, 2016 comments that there is no consumer 
data on the consumer representativeness of that method for gas 
cooktops. AHAM noted that DOE's proposal, and now Final Rule, is not 
harmonized with the European approach, which uses a different test 
procedure and different test pots to test gas cooktops. DOE's 
methodology is also different than ASTM F152, ``Standard Test Methods 
for Performance of Range Tops,'' which DOE reviewed during the test 
procedure rulemaking and is used by the commercial range industry. DOE 
dismissed ASTM F1521 because of the BTU range for commercial range 
tops, and AHAM is not arguing that it is the appropriate procedure for 
residential products. But the science behind the test setup in ASTM is 
similar to the EN gas test procedure which demonstrates that the basic 
methodology for testing gas products is well established.
    Accordingly, no manufacturer or third party test laboratory--in the 
U.S., Europe, or elsewhere in the world--had experience with DOE's 
proposed test procedure for gas cooktops other than DOE's minimal 
testing in one laboratory prior to the publishing of the Final Rule. 
Thus, neither DOE nor manufacturers have knowledge of whether this test 
will be representative for gas products. Accordingly, DOE does not have 
the necessary data to justify the use of this method on gas cooktops in 
the United States, especially in light of the fact that Europe uses a 
different approach.
    In fact, AHAM believes that the evidence supports the opposite 
conclusion--i.e., that the cooktop test procedure is not representative 
for gas cooktops. The EN and ASTM standards use a different test 
procedure for gas cooktops and do so for good reason. Unlike electric 
cooktops, gas cooktops utilize a system approach--every component and 
design choice is connected to other components and design choices and 
they work together. The cooking heat out to the pot depends on the 
design of the burner, flow of gas, mass of the grate, and height of the 
grate from the burner.
    Gas testing is a science, and DOE did not do sufficient study to 
determine whether the electric test procedure it adopted would measure 
representative results for gas cooktops:
    1. First, the purpose behind EN 60350-2:2013 was to establish a 
test to determine minimum energy for electric cooktops. The reason that 
the working group that developed the test decided to assess simmer for 
electric cooktops was to show the distinction in energy use between the 
different electric technologies, i.e. induction, radiant. For electric 
cooktops, technology has an impact on how much energy is used to get to 
boil and also how much energy it uses to keep a simmer temperature. 
Thus, some technologies may appear to be more or less efficient if just 
a time to boil was assessed. For electric, the simmer portion of the 
test is needed to accurately show the cooktop's energy use and to allow 
comparison across the product types. Figure 1 below shows how the test 
distinguishes between electric technologies.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ CECED, 2012.

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

[[Page 17949]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.006

    2. In an attempt to keep one test method, DOE extended this 
electric method to gas cooktops. AHAM appreciates the attempt to reduce 
the number of test methods. But, in this case, there is no reason to 
use one type of test. There are not different types of gas technologies 
and so a simmer period is not needed to differentiate between 
technologies as it is in electric. The significant added burden of 
including the simmer setting (and the variation it introduces) is not 
likely balanced by a benefit in terms of energy savings.
    In addition, most consumers likely replace their cooktops with the 
same fuel that is already in their home. Based on a 2010 study 
conducted for AHAM, the vast majority of consumers surveyed replaced 
their cooktops and ranges with a similar unit. According to the study, 
nearly nine in ten households that bought a freestanding single oven 
range did a direct replacement. Homeowners were even more likely to do 
a direct replacement of this type of appliance, at 94 percent.\3\ So, 
it is unlikely that consumers are comparing gas and electric products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Bellomy Research for AHAM, 2010 Major Appliance Consumer 
Research Survey, Cooking Appliances (2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. The best comparison for comparing gas cooktops to other gas 
cooktops would be based on a simple bring to boil test, which is what 
Europe and the ASTM methods both use. DOE is the first to reinvent the 
wheel and require gas and electric cooktops to be tested in the same 
way.
    4. On a gas unit, there is very little overshoot which means there 
is no retained heat. Electric cooktops, on the other hand, often have a 
significant amount of retained heat. A gas cooktop's ability to 
maintain simmer in the absence of retained heat is largely a function 
of grate to burner relationships, burner design, valve design, and pan 
position. This relationship is not accounted for in the electric 
cooktop test because it does not need to be. But it does need to be 
addressed in a test applicable to gas cooktops.
    5. More so than electric elements, gas burners are designed for a 
specific cooking purpose. For example:
    a. Small or semi-rapid burners are typically used for simmering. 
This simmering performance is developed for melting chocolate and fine 
sauces, not keeping water simmering.
    b. Ultra rapid or rapid burners are designed to reduce time to 
boil, or for frying. Often flame stability suffers at low rates, making 
simmering results poor.
    c. Other high input burners are designed for rapid cooking (i.e. 
Wok) and are not designed for simmering.
    Each of these burner types have been optimized in design to serve a 
particular cooking function for consumers. Thus, it may not make sense 
to apply a water boil test to all of them. For example, a consumer 
would not likely boil water on the small/semi-rapid burner that is 
meant to be used for melting chocolate or cooking fine sauces--the time 
to boil on such a burner would be extremely long, perhaps 40 minutes. 
In addition to not being representative, the test will drive 
significant variation in the assessment because DOE did not address 
this in the test procedure. DOE did, however, address this issue for 
electric cooktops--the test procedure removes certain burners from 
assessment.
    6. Additionally, because DOE extended a test meant for electric 
cooktops to gas cooktops, the test does not require preheating of the 
gas burner. A gas system will change rates and how

[[Page 17950]]

it performs as it warms. The European test for gas products has a 10 
minute preheat because the working group that developed that test found 
that preheating improved the representativeness of the test results as 
well as repeatability and reproducibility. The ASTM test has a 30 
minute stabilization period at 50 percent heat for the same reason. 
Thus, DOE's failure to include preheating in the gas test ignores the 
wisdom generated by other groups' extensive testing and experience and 
likely contributes to the high degree of variation we describe below.
    7. The pots specified by the European electric test are different 
than the pots used in the European gas cooktop test. The gas pots are 
Aluminum test pans having a matt base and polished walls--that material 
is of the highest level of conduction. The electric test pans are a 
very thick stainless steel plate (6 mm) with thin stainless walls (1 
mm) that are joined by a heat resistant glue. The pan construction is 
significantly different which will have an impact on heat transfer from 
the burner to the pan. The pot spacing of the large flat corner pans 
designed for electric cooktops will perform differently with the gas 
burners compared to the EN specified Aluminum pots and will not drive 
representative results. A gas flame heats a pot differently and this 
should be accounted for in the test.
    DOE did not assess a sufficient variety of gas cooktop designs to 
conclude that the test procedure it adopted is representative for gas 
products, especially in light of Europe's use of a different procedure 
for residential gas products. As highlighted above, the residual heat 
loss of a gas burner on simmer is significantly different than simmer 
on electric unit where the electric unit retains heat from the cooktop. 
DOE also has specified stainless steel pans whereas the European 
procedure for gas cooktops uses Aluminum, which has a higher level of 
conduction. The pan construction is also different which will have an 
impact on heat transfer from the burner to the pan.
    AHAM has not been the only commenter to question the 
representativeness of extending the European electric test procedure to 
gas cooktops. During the test procedure rulemaking, Southern California 
Gas Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison 
(collectively, the Southern California investor-owned utilities (SoCal 
IOUs)) commented that DOE should conduct a sensitivity analysis of the 
impact of ambient temperature and pressure conditions on the test 
results for gas and electric cooking products in order to ensure 
consistent test results across various regions, climates, and 
altitudes. In addition, the SoCal IOUs commented that validating the 
ambient condition requirements would address the impact of the proposed 
correction to the gas heating value to standard temperature and 
pressure conditions. DOE responded only that it incorporated the 
ambient air pressure and temperature conditions specified in EN 60350-
2:2013 and thus believed that the results ``should not'' be impacted by 
tests being conducted in different locations.\4\ But DOE did not do any 
additional testing to determine if that is in fact the case and, as 
discussed below in Section II, AHAM's testing demonstrates 
reproducibility issues which could be attributed, in part, to these 
differences. Moreover, efficiency for a gas cooktop depends heavily on 
the external environment, much more so than for electric products. 
Simmering is, thus, not the right parameter to measure the ability to 
keep the control in this technology. That is yet another reason why the 
European gas test does not include the simmer setting--it will be 
variable and inaccurate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See Final Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 91418, 91434 (Dec. 16, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the U.S. market consists of a wide array of grate and 
burner offerings to consumers and DOE did not sufficiently assess those 
offerings in developing the test procedure. DOE itself acknowledged 283 
gas configurations.\5\ Yet DOE tested only five units. The varying 
designs available to consumers, most of which DOE did not assess, have 
offerings of a sealed/unsealed burner, stacked burner, different burner 
shapes, a range of grate weight and shape, and different grate 
materials. DOE has not shown that the test procedure is repeatable and 
reproducible for the different designs on the marketplace. For DOE to 
conclude these issues do not exist simply because it did not observe 
them in its small test sample is illogical. DOE made assumptions that 
are not supported by sufficient data and are in direct conflict with 
the technical support for the European gas test and ASTM standard which 
drove those procedures to have a pre-heat requirement, to exclude a 
simmer assessment, and to use specifically constructed Aluminum pans. 
Until and unless DOE can demonstrate that data show the cooktop test 
procedure is representative of actual U.S. consumer use of gas cooktops 
and will deliver accurate results, DOE should withdraw the test 
procedure. Keeping it in place will very likely result in inaccurate 
information to consumers and is contrary to EPCA's and the 
Administrative Procedure Act's requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Id. At 91438 (``DOE surveyed 335 electric cooking tops and 
283 gas cooking tops available on the market in the United 
States.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. DOE Has Not Demonstrated That The Test Procedure Is Repeatable or 
Reproducible For Gas Cooktops.

A. Lab to Lab Variation
    Because of the short comment period on the August 2016 SNOPR, AHAM 
was not able to conduct a round robin to assess the repeatability and 
reproducibility of the test procedure for gas products. And DOE had no 
data regarding repeatability or reproducibility upon which to rely. DOE 
instead relied on a European Committee of Domestic Equipment 
Manufacturers (CECED) round robin conducted five years ago on electric 
cooktops. But, that round robin is irrelevant. As discussed above, 
Europe does not extend its electric cooktop test procedure to gas 
cooktops for good reason. DOE would be the first to do that. Thus, 
there is no historical data for that test procedure. Therefore, AHAM 
commented that DOE should evaluate its proposed procedure even more 
carefully and in more detail than the electric cooktop test procedure. 
Repeatability and reproducibility cannot be established based only on 
DOE's limited within lab testing and complete lack of lab to lab 
testing.
    In order to address AHAM's concerns, DOE conducted investigative 
testing on gas cooktops in support of the Final Rule. DOE conducted 
testing on five gas cooking tops that covered a range of burner input 
rates, installation widths (two 30 inch and three 36 inch), burner 
quantities (two four burner, three six burner), and grate weights. To 
evaluate variation in the test, DOE conducted two to three tests on 
each burner. For each individual test, DOE performed the full test 
method, including the preliminary test required to determine the 
turndown temperature and simmering setting for a given burner. DOE also 
included test results from previous testing conducted in support of the 
August 2016 SNOPR. The coefficient of variation DOE observed for the 
measured AEC for its test sample was, on average 1.0 percent. DOE also 
noted that the average per-cycle energy consumption coefficient of 
variation for each burner was 1.7 percent.
    DOE based its Final Rule conclusions regarding total variation of 
the entire plethora of cooktops in the marketplace on only this meager 
five unit sample

[[Page 17951]]

and a simulated round robin. DOE's testing did not truly test 
reproducibility from lab to lab because DOE simply used different 
technicians for some of its tests. DOE did not conduct testing on the 
same units in different labs. It makes sense that under those 
conditions--using the same laboratory equipment and test technicians 
trained in the same laboratory--variation would be lower. Moreover, 
this assessment looks at within lab variation and not total variation. 
As discussed below regarding DOE's electric cooktop testing, DOE's 
testing is insufficient to support a conclusion that the test procedure 
for gas cooktops is repeatable and reproducible and, thus, is 
insufficient to support the final test procedure.
    Moreover, because DOE tested such a small sample the confidence 
level of its results is low (the same is true for electric cooktops). 
For a sample size of five, trying to represent the millions of units 
that will be produced and the tens of different labs that will be doing 
testing this inherently has a large margin of error as shown in Figure 
2.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See, e.g., www.surveysystem.com.
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.007
    
    Based on this sample size, results can vary plus or minus 26 
percent. We fully understand that a larger sample size is a function of 
cost and that there are limitations on the amount of further testing 
that can be done. Nevertheless, it is important not to lose sight of 
the fact that DOE's sample size results in as much as 50 percent in 
variation on the expected results. Thus, it is no surprise that AHAM's 
testing has shown significant variation that DOE's did not. This large 
confidence interval, which the difference between DOE's and AHAM's test 
results bear out, further supports AHAM's request that DOE withdraw the 
cooktop test procedure. A test procedure that could be required to 
demonstrate compliance with possible energy conservation standards 
should not be finalized with such a high confidence interval, 
particularly when conflicting data has been provided to highlight this 
high confidence interval. At a minimum, this demonstrates that DOE's 
data alone and when added together with AHAM's data raises significant 
questions about whether the test is repeatable and reproducible. Thus, 
DOE's Final Rule is not supported by adequate data and could be 
considered arbitrary and capricious.
    Moreover, as with electric cooktops and discussed more fully below, 
DOE did not engage stakeholders--either manufacturer labs or third 
party labs--in its assessment of the Final Rule. Thus, based on DOE's 
testing, neither DOE nor stakeholders have any idea what the actual 
test procedure total variation is.
    In order to assess whether the final test procedure for gas 
cooktops is repeatable and reproducible, after DOE issued the final 
test procedure rule, AHAM conducted a round robin on gas cooktops. It 
is likely that even more testing would be helpful in better 
understanding both the test procedure and its variation, but these 
results are enough to demonstrate that there is sufficient doubt 
regarding the gas cooktop test procedure's accuracy such that DOE 
should withdraw it.
    AHAM's gas cooktop round robin included four units (two cooktops 
and two ranges), with a range of product types.\7\ Four labs tested the 
burners with the highest and lowest burner input rates (i.e., one high 
capacity and one low capacity burner was tested for each unit).\8\ Each 
burner was tested three times each using the procedure specified in the 
DOE Final Rule. Labs recorded the simmering setting selection for the 
energy test cycle and the first laboratory marked the turn down 
temperature. AHAM's test plan is attached in Exhibit B and AHAM 
provided Navigant with raw data under a confidentiality agreement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ A summary of the test unit characteristics is attached at 
Exhibit B and data in Exhibit C.
    \8\ Unit A was tested by five labs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We note that some of the tests could not meet the specified ambient 
temperature requirements. Specifically, some of the laboratories were 
not able to hold the ambient temperature as required during the 
duration of the test. Manufacturers ran the tests in the tightest 
environments that are currently available at +/-5 [deg]F in their 
laboratories. The Final Rule requires new equipment to maintain +/-2 
[deg]F, which is difficult or, in some cases, impossible to do in 
existing laboratories. Section IV below further discusses this point. 
The labs that ran the tests have been approved by the safety 
certification bodies and Canadian Energy Verification organization. We 
removed the most errant runs and included the test data to show the 
variation that was noticeable during our tests as it is representative 
of the current lab capability. Importantly, improving the ability to 
maintain ambient temperature will involve significant upgrades to 
laboratories, which will add cost and burden for manufacturers.
    As mentioned above, AHAM's test plan called for running the test 
differently than the DOE test by having the first laboratory mark the 
turn down temperature it used. AHAM understands that this is not fully

[[Page 17952]]

consistent with DOE's test procedure. But, because the test procedure 
is unduly burdensome to conduct, as discussed below, this method was 
necessary to reduce the test burden--reducing the number of possible 
settings for the cooktop was seen as a worthwhile experiment. 
Importantly, it was not always possible for laboratories to use the 
marked temperature and so, in several instances, laboratories followed 
DOE's test procedure to the letter. In the end, only half of the labs 
were able to follow AHAM's test plan. The other half ran the test 
according to the DOE test procedure as written. Our data below 
differentiates these methods by referring to the tests that used the 
marked turndown temperature as the ``truncated test'' or ``preset.''
    The DOE test procedure tried to address some of the variation that 
is not controllable in the methodology of its burdensome test 
procedure--e.g., heating values, different ambient temperatures, 
equipment, and technicians. AHAM's methodology was an effort to 
determine if the extra burden aimed at reducing that variation reduced 
it enough to justify the extra time, labor, and cost. Our conclusion: 
it is not. Although neither method showed results with an acceptable 
level of variation, the runs that used the truncated test resulted in 
less variation. Regardless, the results cast significant doubt on DOE's 
small amount of supporting data for the Final Rule and support AHAM's 
request that DOE withdraw it.
    Good lab practice is that within lab variation should clearly be 
less than two percent. For current data acceptance programs within the 
appliance industry, it is common practice that data between labs should 
be no more than three percent variation. DOE's data within its own lab 
fell within the target zone for variation for four of the five units 
DOE tested. DOE did not test at different labs, so the Final Rule is 
not based on any accurate lab-to-lab data showing an acceptable range 
of lab-to-lab variation.
    AHAM's round robin shows similar results to DOE's in terms of 
within lab variation. Significantly, however, as shown in Table 1, lab-
to-lab variation considerably exceeds the three percent maximum lab-to-
lab variation target regardless of whether the full DOE test was run or 
the truncated test was run.

                                                      Table 1--AHAM Gas Round Robin Summary Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                       Coefficient of    Coefficient of
                                                                                                      Average annual   variation --1    variation across
            Cooking unit                   Width         Number of     Minimum input   Maximum input      energy            lab          multiple labs
                                                          burners      rate (Btu/hr)   rate (Btu/hr)    consumption   (repeatability)  (reproducibility)
                                                                                                         (kBtu/yr)          (%)               (%)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AHAM A--set.........................              36               5           8,000          18,000           936.3             0.89               3.60
AHAM A--Preset......................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............           918.7             0.68               2.30
AHAM B..............................              30               4           5,000          15,000         1,034.1             9.20              17.10
AHAM B--Preset......................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............           870.1             1.70              13.50
AHAM C..............................              30               4           5,000          15,000           843.1             2.70              12.50
AHAM C--Preset......................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............           827.9             1.80               7.00
AHAM D..............................              30               5           5,500          18,000         1,077.2             0.78              12.00
AHAM D--Preset......................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............           1,123             1.59              12.00
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This highlights the significant gap in the data DOE used to justify 
the rule. DOE assumed that low variation in one lab means repeatability 
and reproducibility across labs. But AHAM's round robin demonstrates 
that this is not the case. Our round robin shows reproducibility is not 
present in the current procedure as demonstrated by only one of the 
three units, Unit A, having an acceptable coefficient of variation 
across labs. Notably, the low input rate on that burner is 8,000 BTU. 
AHAM units B, C, and D all have low capacity burner rates of or about 
5,000 BTU. DOE only tested one of its five units with a low capacity 
burner at 5,000 BTU. DOE's coefficient of variation for that model was 
1.40 percent. Some of the best AHAM single lab coefficients of 
variation for models at that rate are 0.78, 1.59, 1.70, and 1.80 
percent. The AHAM data would appear to agree that one lab can repeat 
the same results, but that is not the full story.
    Focusing on the units with low simmer rates and digging deeper into 
the data, AHAM's data show the following:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.008

     On all units except one, Unit B, the repeatability on the 
high capacity burner within the lab had acceptable variation but the 
reproducibility across labs did not. Overall, on the high capacity 
burner, the variation was higher using the DOE test procedure than it 
was using the truncated test and none of the variation was within an 
acceptable range from lab-to-lab.

[[Page 17953]]

     On all units, the repeatability on the low capacity burner 
was marginal--25 percent of the time the variation was greater than the 
two percent maximum target. There is a distinct difference in the low 
capacity variation and the three units that had simmer at or near 5,000 
BTU had significant repeatability and reproducibility issues. In some 
cases, using the truncated test actually improved lab-to-lab variation. 
This demonstrates that the burden associated with determining the turn 
down temperature in DOE's full test procedure is not always justified--
it does not categorically improve repeatability and reproducibility. 
Thus, not only is DOE's final test procedure rule unsupported by 
sufficient data to demonstrate its reproducibility, but it is also 
unduly burdensome to conduct. In addition, this highlights the weakness 
in the DOE test procedure which conducts a water boil and simmer test 
on small burners that are not meant for either purpose. As discussed 
above in Section I, those burners are designed to provide a simmer only 
cooking function for melting chocolate and cooking sauces, not for 
boiling or simmering water.
B. Within Unit And Between Unit Variation
    DOE did not evaluate or account for variation within units. There 
are issues inherent in testing gas cooktops and ranges that contribute 
significantly to within unit variation. For example, heating value, gas 
pressure, and atmospheric pressures all have an impact. More 
specifically, as atmospheric pressure changes due to weather, test 
results will vary even on the same unit from day to day. Also, gas 
pressure and atmospheric pressure can vary from run to run, and that 
can have an impact on how the gas is mixing within the burner port 
which then impacts burner combustion and energy creation. Moreover, 
heating values vary within a lab on a daily basis and likely vary 
greatly between labs. Thus, the same unit tested on different days in 
the same lab or in different labs will not perform the same unless the 
heating value of the gas is the same. That is statistically unlikely 
because values vary every day. It is not likely that the heating value 
is 1075, so there is a conversion from what it actually was to 1075 and 
this artificial adjustment induces variation. Each of these factors, 
among others, individually and collectively contribute to variation 
from test to test and DOE has made no effort to understand the impact 
of these factors.
    This inherent variation in gas cooking product testing has been 
known for decades and is the reason the safety test, ANSI Z21.1, 
requires certified technicians to drill testing orifices. The drilling 
of orifices achieves precise rates for nominal, high, and low values. 
Experience shows that certified gas technicians can dial in the precise 
values for assessment by using number sized drills but there are also 
factors the technician must manage in this process such as burrs from 
the drilling. AHAM is not suggesting that DOE require testing orifices 
be drilled for purposes of energy testing--the burden is significant to 
say the least and would make the test unduly burdensome to conduct. 
Although such burden is justified for purposes of ensuring the safety 
of cooking products, which carry inherent safety risks, it is not 
justified for purposes of energy testing. And, because safety testing 
is not similar to energy testing (for example, cooktops are tested on 
high for hours and products are over-stressed in abnormal conditions), 
it is not possible to re-use the units tested for safety purposes for 
energy testing.
    In addition, neither DOE nor AHAM have evaluated or accounted for 
the additional variation inherent in producing gas products, i.e., 
between unit variation. This is significant because it will add further 
variation on top of the within lab variation, lab to lab variation, and 
within unit variation. In order to ensure compliance with any future 
energy conservation standard, manufacturers will have to take this 
total variation into account. The result will likely be that it becomes 
difficult or impossible to meet standards because the buffer needed to 
ensure accurate ratings will require levels of efficiency that are not 
economically justified or technologically feasible. AHAM explored this 
concept in more detail in its comments on DOE's proposed standards, 
which we hereby incorporate by reference.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ AHAM Comments on DOE's SNOPR for Energy Conservation 
Standards for Residential Conventional Cooking Products; Docket No. 
EERE-2014-BT-STD-0005; RIN 1904-AD15 (Nov. 2, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One of the test requirements that will vary within the unit is the 
simmer setting on gas products. Subsequent to AHAM's round robin, Lab 
Three conducted some additional investigative testing to determine 
whether using the same simmering setting improves repeatability. The 
lab used two different operators to test a unit and provided both with 
the same instructions, which are identified in Exhibit A. The test plan 
was as follows:
    1. Operator F conducted the test and found the simmer setting and 
gas flow;
    2. Operator M conducted the test independently and found a simmer 
setting and gas flow;
    3. Operator M repeated the test using the Operator F simmer 
setting; and
    4. Operator F repeated the test using the Operator M simmer 
setting.
    The results show that technicians are likely to be able to work to 
achieve passing results on their own efforts to determine a simmering 
setting. But when given the target setting, the results show that it is 
likely that different technicians cannot recreate a first technician's 
passing result about half of the time.
    The data also highlight that there are more issues with finding the 
right simmer setting on low capacity burners--the Lab Three technicians 
each failed the first time they tried to set the low capacity burner. 
Also, see in Exhibit A where an additional experiment was run with one 
of Lab Four's technicians developing the simmer setting without using 
the previously provided information. This resulted in different energy 
average and lower variation values between the two Lab 4 technicians.
    According to these results, relying on a given setting actually 
increased variation and retests due to failing performance. Thus, 
though recording the turn down temperature as required by the Final 
Rule may help understand differences in results between labs, it does 
not reduce variation. And it does not seem that simply following the 
test procedure to the letter, as DOE suggested in response to AHAM's 
comments and discussed in Section II below, reduces variation. AHAM's 
test results demonstrate that additional efforts to reduce variation on 
turndown settings were unsuccessful--even standardizing the simmering 
setting does not drive sufficient variation reduction. (Moreover, for 
gas products, it will not be possible to specify turndown settings for 
gas products due to orifice variation, which is discussed in more 
detail below). Accordingly, because DOE's final test procedure does not 
sufficiently reduce total variation, DOE should withdraw the cooktop 
test procedure.
C. Full Population and Total Variation
    As stated previously, DOE's small sample size could not address the 
full population or total variation. Table 2 below lists the units have 
been tested to the final test procedure as specified

[[Page 17954]]

from both DOE's sample and AHAM's sample and Figure 3 shows the samples 
and their results graphically.

                                                                           Table 2--DOE and AHAM Test Samples Combined
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                               Coefficient of   Coeffiecient of
                                                             Minimum      Maximum                                                   Grate     Average annual   variation --1    variation across
           Cooking unit              Width     Number of    input rate   input rate  Burner configuration       Grate type        weight per      energy            lab          multiple labs
                                                burners      (Btu/hr)     (Btu/hr)                                               burner lbs)    consumption   (repeatability)  (reproducibility)
                                                                                                                                                 (kBtu/yr)          (%)               (%)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DOE 1............................         30            4        9,000        9,000  open................  Steel-wire..........          0.5           640.4             2.40               N/A
DOE 2............................         30            4        5,000       15,000  Sealed..............  Cast Iron...........          3.7           854.4             1.40               N/A
DOE 3............................         36            6       18,000       18,000  Sealed--stacked.....  Cast Iron...........          4.4           974.8             0.40               N/A
DOE 4............................         36            6        9,200       15,000  Sealed--stacked.....  Cast iron--                   5.8           963.5             0.30               N/A
                                                                                                            Continuous.
DOE 5............................         36            6       15,000       18,500  Sealed..............  Cast iron--                     7           893.1             0.30               N/A
                                                                                                            Continuous.
AHAM A...........................         36            5        8,000       18,000  Sealed--stacked?....  Cast iron--                     ?           936.3             0.89              3.60
                                                                                                            Continuous.
AHAM B...........................         30            4        5,000       15,000  Sealed..............  Cast Iron...........            ?         1,034.1             9.20             17.10
AHAM C...........................         30            4        5,000       15,000  Sealed..............  Cast Iron...........            ?           843.1             2.70             12. 5
AHAM D...........................         30            5        5,500       18,000  Sealed..............  Cast Iron...........            ?         1,077.2             0.78             12.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                               [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.009
                                                                                                                                                                               
    Figure 3 shows the units tested and what their AAEC number is 
versus their lowest burner capacity rating. It highlights how skewed 
the DOE sampling was, especially as compared to AHAM's. As discussed 
above in Section I, DOE identified that nearly half of the models in 
the market had a 5,000 BTU burner. Yet, DOE selected only one unit with 
a burner of that capacity. Aside from the fact that DOE's sample 
inadequately represents the market, this demonstrates that DOE's test 
procedure will produce inaccurate results for most of the gas products 
on the market. The test has a high degree of variation for those 
products, as shown above, and, thus, the test will not allow consumers 
to compare across products.
    Neither DOE nor AHAM have evaluated or accounted for the all of the 
variation inherent in producing gas products, i.e., total variation 
across the population. It is a large task and assuming the small amount 
of work applies to the total picture is not acceptable and further 
supports the withdrawal of the test procedure.

III. DOE Has Not Demonstrated That The Test Procedure Is Repeatable Or 
Reproducible For Electric Cooktops.

    As discussed above, in response to the August 2016 SNOPR, based on 
round-robin testing, AHAM identified several sources of potential 
variation that needed to be resolved prior to DOE finalizing a cooktop 
test procedure. DOE conducted additional testing in order to evaluate 
AHAM's concerns and made clarifications to attempt to address many of 
them. Unfortunately, DOE's testing was not sufficient to demonstrate 
that the final test procedure significantly reduced the high degree of 
total variation AHAM identified in its comments. AHAM does not agree 
that the final test procedure is sufficiently repeatable and 
reproducible. Accordingly, AHAM respectfully requests that DOE withdraw 
the cooktop test procedure.
A. DOE's Testing
    DOE did not do enough testing to verify that its clarifications 
resulted in a final test procedure that is repeatable and reproducible 
and, so, the Final Rule is not supported by sufficient data. DOE 
conducted testing of five electric cooktops incorporating different 
heating technologies (one coil element cooktop, two radiant element 
cooktops, and two induction cooktops) and control types (four with step 
controls and one with infinite). For each unit, DOE conducted testing 
on surface units capturing a range of heating element sizes. DOE 
conducted two to three tests per surface unit. For each individual 
test, DOE performed the full surface unit test method, including the 
preliminary test required to determine the turndown temperature and 
simmering setting for a given surface unit. DOE varied test operators 
for surface unit tests, but did not test at different laboratories. DOE 
also included test results from previous tests of these units conducted 
in support of the August 2016 SNOPR.
    AHAM appreciates that DOE conducted this testing. But it is not 
enough to justify finalizing the test procedure. DOE did not complete 
full tests--it tested only two to three burners. Although that is 
helpful in assessing potential variation, AHAM is

[[Page 17955]]

concerned that DOE would finalize a rule based on the results of only 
partial tests.
    DOE's testing demonstrates a low average coefficient of variation 
of 1.2 percent. It is uncertain whether those results are accurate 
given that DOE did assess the full IAEC for an entire cooktop. But, 
assuming that the partial tests do give a reasonable understanding of 
repeatability and reproducibility, DOE has not identified why DOE's 
coefficient of variation was so much lower than AHAM's.
    One potential reason is that DOE's testing did not truly test 
reproducibility from lab to lab--DOE simply used different technicians 
for some of its tests. DOE did not conduct testing on the same units in 
different labs. It makes sense that under those conditions--using the 
same laboratory equipment and test technicians trained in the same 
laboratory--variation would be lower. DOE's test parameters did not 
accurately simulate reproducibility. The simulation run by DOE only 
changed the test technician. It is unclear from DOE's analysis if those 
technicians had previous knowledge of the procedure or were allowed to 
imprint their interpretation on the execution of the test. DOE did not 
simulate running the test with different equipment and a different 
environment, as would be run in a true round robin.
    Conversely, AHAM's tests were conducted on the same units in three 
(now four) different laboratories. Those laboratories have different 
technicians with different training, different equipment, and, 
potentially, different interpretations of the test procedure. These 
true round robin conditions are far more likely to reveal ambiguity in 
the test and sensitivities that cause variation. They also replicate a 
real scenario--one lab attempting to verify the results of a different 
lab. As discussed above in Section II, the testing conducted to date, 
necessarily, has a low confidence level and the differences between 
AHAM's and DOE's results demonstrate that. AHAM's testing resulted in 
significantly higher variation than DOE's and the large confidence 
interval that results supports AHAM's request for DOE to withdraw the 
cooktop test procedure.
    Moreover, DOE did not engage stakeholders--either manufacturer labs 
or third party labs--in its assessment of the Final Rule. Thus, based 
on DOE's testing, neither DOE nor stakeholders have any idea what the 
actual total test procedure variation is. The test laboratory DOE used 
to run the tests in support of the proposed and final rules will not be 
a lab that regularly runs the test procedure when reporting and/or 
compliance with standards is potentially required. (The labs that 
participated in AHAM's round robin, will, of course, be conducting 
testing to demonstrate compliance with any potential future standards). 
Thus, because DOE's reproducibility testing is essentially theoretical 
and only simulates a round robin test, DOE's testing is helpful, but 
not enough to determine the repeatability and reproducibility of the 
test.
B. Determining the Simmering Setting
    AHAM commented that there is variability in determining the 
simmering setting for the simmering phase of the test and noted that 
the simmering setting plays an important role in the overshoot 
temperature and the ability to maintain a temperature as close as 
possible to 90 [deg]C during the simmering phase of the test.
    DOE responded that it expects that correctly following the 
methodology--starting with the lowest simmering setting and repeating 
the test as necessary with the next highest setting until the setting 
that maintains the water temperature above, but as close as possible to 
90 [deg]C, is identified--will result in only a single appropriate 
simmering setting for a given surface unit.
    DOE agreed with AHAM that the selection of the simmering setting 
has a significant impact on the overall energy consumption of a surface 
unit and amended Appendix I to require that the simmering setting 
selection for the energy test cycle of each cooking area/zone be 
recorded. AHAM appreciates that DOE required recording the simmering 
setting selection--it will help in enforcement/verification actions to 
understand differences in test results. Unfortunately, recording the 
setting will do nothing to decrease variation or prevent false findings 
of potential noncompliance.
    AHAM acknowledges that in its initial round robin, laboratories did 
not start at the lowest simmering setting--laboratories started at the 
lowest setting they believed would be able to maintain a water 
temperature above and as close as possible to 90 [deg]C. AHAM is a 
proponent of conducting the test that way in order to reduce test 
burden which, as discussed further below, is already significant.
    Nevertheless, in order to understand if variation would decrease by 
following the letter of the test procedure as DOE suggested in the 
Final Rule, AHAM, in conducting a round robin on gas cooktops, required 
participating laboratories to (a) follow the DOE test procedure for 
selection of the simmering setting; (b) record their simmering setting; 
and (c) for the first lab, mark the turn down temperature on the unit 
itself.\10\ Our data, which are discussed above in Section II, show 
that following the letter of the test procedure does not sufficiently 
reduce variation. In particular, lab-to-lab variation remains high for 
gas cooktops and AHAM's round robin testing for electric cooktops 
provided data to support a conclusion that it is likely also high for 
electric cooktops. DOE did not adequately address AHAM's concern in its 
Final Rule and AHAM's gas testing casts further doubt on this question.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Results of the AHAM gas round robin are discussed in 
Section II.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AHAM incorporates by reference the data we submitted to DOE during 
the rulemaking regarding our electric round robin, which is summarized 
in the below tables. These data highlight that the simmer setting is a 
significant source of variation. Because DOE has not yet adequately 
addressed it, and, thus has not sufficiently demonstrated that its test 
procedure is valid, DOE should withdraw the cooktop test procedure.

[[Page 17956]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.012

C. Spiking Temperatures When Reaching 90 [deg]C
    AHAM commented that our round robin demonstrated difficulty in 
determining when the water temperature first reaches 90 [deg]C to start 
the 20-minute simmering phase of the test because, when the temperature 
first reaches that temperature, it may oscillate slightly above or 
below it. DOE's testing showed similar fluctuations. Thus, DOE amended 
Appendix I to clarify that the 20-minute simmering period starts when 
the water temperature first reaches 90 [deg]C and does not drop below 
90 [deg]C for more than 20 seconds after initially reaching 90 [deg]C.
    AHAM thanks DOE for making this clarification which seems like it 
could reduce variation. DOE's testing--completed in a single lab and 
with technicians trained in the same lab--does not, however, adequately 
demonstrate that this clarification sufficiently reduces variation and 
improves reproducibility. AHAM's members were not able to dedicate 
resources to re-performing a round robin to verify DOE's findings on a 
single unit. Without knowing whether total variation has, in fact, been 
reduced, DOE should not have finalized the test procedure and DOE 
cannot rely on assumptions that this change will reduce total 
variation--to do so could be considered arbitrary and capricious. Total 
variation is made up of within lab and between lab variations AND 
within and between units variations. DOE only addressed some of the 
within lab variation causes, meaning that other causes of variation are 
unaddressed. DOE does not have sufficient data to demonstrate that the 
test procedure is reproducible and should withdraw the test.
D. Heating Element Cycling
    AHAM commented that cycling of power to the heating element is 
unpredictable and causes variation in test results. It is unknown if 
the surface unit will cycle the heating element off during a critical 
phase of the test--i.e., at the start of the simmering phase or when 
determining the simmering setting. In response to DOE's September 27, 
2016 data request, AHAM provided further data on how this was observed 
during our testing. DOE could not have reviewed or considered that data 
in drafting the Final Rule given that the Final Rule was issued the 
same day AHAM provided the data. AHAM incorporates the data we 
submitted on November 23, 2016, in this petition by reference.
    DOE did, however, examine its own data. DOE indicated that it 
observed only one electric smooth-radiant cooktop in its sample for 
which the heater cycled on and off during the heat-up phase of the 
test. That particular unit cycled back on within a few seconds of 
cycling off and, as a result, the water temperature continued to rise 
at a ``fairly steady state.'' Thus, DOE concluded that it was 
infrequent for heating elements to cycle during the heat-up phase and, 
so, it was unlikely that other electric smooth-radiant cooktops would 
require any substantive amount of heating element cycling to protect 
the glass surface. DOE indicated that it did not expect any measurable 
impacts of heating element cycling on the total measured per-cycle 
energy consumption.
    DOE based its conclusions on the single unit in its sample and is 
guessing that because only one unit in its small sample did not cycle 
on and off during the heat-up phase, it must not occur frequently and/
or if it does, it will not have a measurable impact on the total per-
cycle energy consumption. But AHAM also observed element cycling during 
its testing. Thus, in only the small amount of testing conducted in the 
U.S. to date, unit cycling during the heat-up phase has been observed 
twice.

[[Page 17957]]

That is not insignificant. Almost 20 percent of units in the combined 
AHAM and DOE tested sample experienced unit cycling.
    Moreover, AHAM submitted additional data to DOE regarding the unit 
cycling it observed. As mentioned in that data submission, AHAM tested 
two eight-inch coil elements on different cooktops with the same model 
number to evaluate unit to unit variation. One cooktop cycled during 
the T70 turndown test and the other did not. The unit that cycled 
resulted in a higher turn down temperature when compared to the test 
that did not cycle. The unit did not cycle on either test run during 
the final T90 simmer test. The high Tc value caused one test run to 
have a higher overshoot and allowed for a lower turn down during the 
simmer phase driving unit to unit variation. This resulted in 36 watts 
less power on the unit with the lower turn down. This is six percent of 
the normalized power level. Six percent is not insignificant and 
demonstrates the potential difference between the energy measured on 
two units of the same construction. DOE should withdraw the Final Rule 
for cooktops and review and consider the data AHAM submitted. This 
issue must be addressed in order to reduce total variation.
    Furthermore, DOE did not address the arguments AHAM made about the 
uncertainty regarding how unit cycling will impact test results and 
test burden--this is a significant concern and could drive redesign of 
products. Heating element cycling is key to cooking performance for 
electric ranges because the algorithm that governs heating element 
cycling controls the temperature of the food being cooked. If the 
temperature is not properly maintained, the consistency of the food can 
change. Moreover, for smooth top electric ranges, heating element 
cycling also serves a safety function. Such cooktops are equipped with 
a glass break sensor to monitor temperature. That sensor will dictate 
when a unit needs to cycle down to avoid glass breakage. AHAM is 
concerned that the test procedure, as finalized by DOE, could drive 
changes to the algorithm for heating element cycling design. Any such 
changes will result in significant product development efforts which 
have not been accounted for in DOE's test procedure rulemaking. A test 
procedure change should not dictate this sort of design change simply 
to manage uncertainty and variation.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ It is possible, for example, consumers often jump from one 
side (rolling boil) to the other side (boil action lost) a couple of 
times before they understand where to set the dial to maintain their 
desired simmering temperature. If manufacturers make the dials more 
precise in order to reduce variation in the energy test, that could 
result in more settings and consumers could change back and forth 
more times because they see less impact in adjusting the knob. This 
could actually drive consumers to use more energy in the field. 
Accordingly, DOE should examine potential unintended consequences of 
addressing this uncertainty.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For these reasons, DOE should withdraw the cooktop test procedure 
due to total variation that is not fully understood and, from available 
data, appears to be at an unacceptable level.
E. Upcoming New Cooktop Designs
    As AHAM has commented to DOE many times, Underwriters Laboratory 
(UL) Standard 858 will soon require a new test for electric coil 
element cooktops. The change to the voluntary safety standard, which 
AHAM developed and proposed to UL with the support of the Consumer 
Product Safety Commission, will require electric coil element cooktops 
and ranges to monitor and limit pan bottom temperature and is aimed at 
reducing the incidences of unattended cooking fires. It represents a 
major redesign for all electric coil cooktops by every manufacturer. 
The change will be required to show compliance on coil cooktops with 
the updated voluntary safety standard as of June 15, 2018.
    Given the date of this requirement, it is certain that any cooktop 
standard DOE may promulgate (and AHAM opposes any change to the 
existing standards for conventional cooking products) would apply to 
these newly designed products. But, because these products are still in 
development, DOE has not done testing on products using these controls 
and neither have manufacturers. Because company designs to comply with 
the UL 858 requirements may involve cycling of the element, it is quite 
possible that heating element cycling will be different than it is for 
existing products. Thus, DOE's data, even as supplemented by AHAM's 
data, on heating element cycling may be irrelevant because it does not 
represent products that will be on the market if the test is required 
to demonstrate compliance with possible energy conservation standards.
    As shown in Figure 4, initial data, based on testing conducted by 
Primaria LLC to develop UL 858's new requirements, show that though 
time to boil water may not increase significantly using temperature 
limiting controls on coil cooktops, the difference could be enough to 
further impact the current assumptions on variation. And, the control 
cycling could be somewhat different as well. DOE should understand how 
the energy test will respond to these new technologies.

[[Page 17958]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.010

F. Pan Warpage
    Although DOE sought feedback on the degree to which the heating 
element or cookware may deform and impact the heat transfer between the 
two surfaces in its rulemaking on energy conservation standards for 
cooktops, DOE did not investigate the impact of pan warpage on the 
repeatability and reproducibility of the test procedure.
    The UL 858 test for coil cooktops initially required use of an 
aluminum pan. But, based on manufacturer experience doing significant 
testing, AHAM proposed a cast iron alternative to aluminum pans for the 
test. UL published this update in August of 2017. The shift is to 
account for warping and the variation and lack of repeatability it is 
driving in the safety assessment. There is no reason to believe this 
variation will not also extend to energy testing.
    The data from the UL 858 work with Primaira show that any variation 
in pans of the same type will drive variation that the energy testing 
has not yet shown because the pans have yet to warp substantially. 
Significantly, using a warped stainless steel pan on a ceramic cooktop 
did increase the boil time with the cooktop fire mitigation control 
active (that control cycles the element on and off per an algorithm). 
And, warpage on stainless steel pans style will cause a difference in 
energy use on units without a limiting control as shown in Figure 5. 
DOE's failure to further investigate this issue means that its test 
procedure is not adequately supported.

[[Page 17959]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25AP18.011

IV. The Cooktop Test Procedure Is Unduly Burdensome To Conduct.

    The discussion in the sections above highlights several significant 
burdens associated with conducting DOE's cooktop test procedure that 
AHAM believes make it unduly burdensome to conduct. Specifically:
     The test procedure takes about 20 hours for an average 
four burner cooktop and requires the testing of every single burner or 
element individually. And, because the test requires the technician to 
determine the turn-down temperature before every test and the ambient 
conditions are quite tight, several runs are often required before a 
valid run can be achieved. Our testing found that some tests took 
upward of five days for a single cooktop.
     As indicated by AHAM's truncated gas test plan, it is 
burdensome to determine the turn down temperature for each individual 
test and burner. And doing so does not serve any purpose as it appears 
that it does not decrease variation.
     The ambient temperature requirements are incredibly tight 
and it is difficult or impossible for some laboratories to meet them 
without investing in lab improvements. Some companies had difficulty 
maintaining the ambient conditions and AHAM could not use their data in 
its round robin results.
     Test pots will warp during testing and will need to either 
be repaired or replaced frequently.
     The test procedure variation means that manufacturers will 
need to add a larger than usual ``buffer'' to any eventual energy 
conservation standards ratings, which will effectively increase the 
stringency of any future standard, probably by a large amount.
    In addition to the test burden itself, there is also substantial 
cost associated with the test procedure. DOE determined that the test 
procedure would cost $700 per test for labor, with a one-time 
investment of $2,000 for new test equipment, which was split between 
test pots and other instrumentation. AHAM collected data from its 
members on the cost of the test procedure, both ongoing and initial 
investments. This data is based on company experience with the test 
through AHAM's round robins and in testing in Europe, on the number of 
models each company has, and on the potential need for third party 
testing. AHAM's data show that DOE significantly underestimated the 
cost associated with running the cooktop test procedure.
    Table 3 below shows the difference between DOE's estimates in the 
Final Rule and AHAM's data.

                               Table 3--Per Test Costs (DOE Estimate v. AHAM Data)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Cooktop full product line                 One time (initial year)            On-going (annual)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Per test costs (per manufacturer)               DOE            AHAM             DOE            AHAM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Labor Costs.....................................            $700            $970  ..............            $970
Instrumentation (equipment for testing).........              15           1,432  ..............          \1\ 38
Test pots (vessels).............................             152             113  ..............         \2\ 209
Testing structures..............................               8             159  ..............          \3\ 43
Transducer (for ambient air temp.)..............               2             N/A  ..............               0
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................             876           2,673             700           1,260
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: On average, 543 tests will be required to certify companies' full product lines.

[[Page 17960]]

 
\1\ This includes equipment maintenance (new/existing and calibrations for testing equipment).
\2\ Manufacturers will require ongoing replacement of test pots due to warping.
\3\ This includes increased/new annual costs from third party labs and/or UL and ISO (re) certification.

    One of the significant differences between DOE's estimate and 
AHAM's data is the total number of tests required and the number of 
models to be tested. It is difficult for manufacturers to determine at 
this stage how many basic models they would have. DOE's proposed energy 
conservation standards for cooktops, which AHAM strongly opposes, would 
be the first time manufacturers would need to certify compliance with 
standards and determine basic models. To do that may require testing of 
all models in order to determine likely model families, particularly 
because cooking products are complex. It will be difficult to determine 
which models can be grouped together in a basic model. That said, AHAM 
understands that not each individual model will need to be tested. 
Thus, it is likely that something between DOE's estimate and AHAM's 
data would be the actual average total number of models tested.
    Nevertheless, the difference in the number of tests and number of 
models to be tested is shown below in Table 4. DOE cost estimations 
(particularly for labor) are on a per-test basis. As described above, 
it is difficult to determine the total number of tests to be performed 
in the initial year. Comparing the DOE estimation of number of tests to 
AHAM member data shows a signficant difference or wide range. As a 
result, total costs are substantially higher when considering the 
average number of tests required according to AHAM member data.

                            Table 4--Average Number of Tests and Models To Be Tested
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       Estimated total cost
             Tests/models comparison                    DOE            AHAM      -------------------------------
                                                                                        DOE            AHAM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average total number of tests required..........              66             543         $46,000      $1,100,000
Average total number of models tested...........              21             166          58,000       1,450,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another important difference is that DOE did not address upfront 
investments made in order for manufacturers to be able to perform the 
test procedure. But those costs should not be ignored. Manufacturers 
identified significant investments in specialized equipment to perform 
the test procedure successfully. For example, all respondants to AHAM's 
survey expressed frustration in obtaining the necessary test pots 
because the supplier is overseas. Acquiring even one set is difficult, 
as AHAM has discussed in previous comments, and the cost is about 
$9,500 excluding shipping and handling. Manufacturers indicated they 
would require between three and 24 sets to do certification testing.
    DOE concluded that it would cost about $500 to fabricate existing 
testing structures. But manufacturers identified significantly higher 
costs. AHAM's members consistently cited investments to redesign entire 
lab stations and expand facility space. These changes would be needed 
to control for ambient temperature at the tight levels DOE's test 
requires, cool test units, add new equipment, and account for much 
higher volumes of testing. AHAM also believes that third party testing 
(for certification only) could cost over $2,500 per model. Table 5 
details the comprehensive costs.

                      Table 5--Comprehensive Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Overall per
                                                           company costs
                Cooktop full product line                ---------------
                                                               AHAM
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Labor costs (annual total salaries).....................    \1\ $272,186
Instrumentation (equipment for testing).................     \2\ 376,635
Test pots (vessels).....................................      \3\ 84,200
Testing structures......................................     \4\ 368,100
Transducer (for ambient air temp.)......................             N/A
                                                         ---------------
  Total.................................................       1,101,121
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Overall costs may not align with per-test costs due to reporting
  measures and averaging.
\1\ Annual salary for full-time technicians across multiple labs (1 to
  5, up to 13 stations/chambers).
\2\ Specialized equipment (designed/purchased) to complete test
  procedure.
\3\ Companies require on average 3 sets of test pots to be replaced over
  multiple years.
\4\ Combination of costs from third party labs, certifications (UL/CSA/
  ISO), retrofitting existing facilities.

    The test and cost burden associated with the cooktop test procedure 
is not likely justified by any balancing benefit to consumers or the 
environment. In 2009, DOE determined that none of the trial standards 
levels that included efficiency standards instead of just prescriptive 
design standards had benefits that were outweighed by the economic 
burden that would be placed on consumers. DOE found that the potential 
economic savings realized by average consumers were outweighed by the 
risk that certain consumers would not realize the savings and the 
adverse loss of industry net present value, among other things. Thus, 
DOE prescribed standards consisting of prescriptive design standards, 
not energy performance standards. As we have commented previously, AHAM 
does not believe anything has changed since 2009 to justify amended 
standards.\12\ The available technology options have not changed. The 
energy savings opportunities remain small. Thus, the cooktop test 
procedure is not necessary and its burden is not balanced by any 
benefit to consumers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ See AHAM Comments on DOE's Energy Conservation Standards 
for Residential Cooking Products, Request for Information; Docket 
No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0005; RIN 1904-AD15 (Apr. 14, 2014) (AHAM does 
not, however, believe that energy conservation standards different 
from those currently in place for conventional cooking products are 
technologically feasible or economically justified. There have been 
no significant changes since the existing standards for gas cooking 
tops and ``no standard'' standard for other conventional cooking 
products were promulgated that would result in justified standards. 
The available technology options have not changed, the energy 
savings opportunity remains small, and consumer cooking behavior 
still plays a significant role in the energy use of cooking 
products. In addition, AHAM believes that the introduction of new 
standards for cooking products could have a significant impact on 
the utility of cooking products . . .'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given the extraordinary regulatory burden the cooktop test 
procedure will place on manufacturers, the procedure is an ideal 
candidate for repeal consistent with Executive Order 13771,

[[Page 17961]]

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which requires 
agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one issued and offset 
the costs. Because, as AHAM has demonstrated above, DOE's cooktop test 
procedure may be considered arbitrary and capricious because it is not 
supported by sufficient data and likely has a high degree of total 
variation, the test procedure does not benefit consumers. It serves 
only to burden manufacturers who must comply with a test procedure that 
does not adequately represent products and, due to variation, will 
require manufacturers to make conservative claims.

CONCLUSION

    Because AHAM's testing shows that DOE did not sufficiently 
demonstrate that the cooktop test procedure is repeatable or 
reproducible for gas and electric cooktops, because DOE has yet to 
demonstrate--as EPCA requires it to do--that the final test procedure 
is representative for gas cooktops, and because the test procedure is 
unduly burdensome to conduct, we respectfully request that DOE withdraw 
the final cooktop test procedure while maintaining the repeal of the 
oven test procedure that was part of this same Final Rule. Even absent 
an energy conservation standard for cooktops that requires use of the 
test procedure, manufacturers are required to report energy use via a 
test procedure DOE has not demonstrated is representative of consumer 
use for all product types and AHAM has demonstrated is not 
reproducible. This means that reported energy values for some products 
could be inaccurate and, for all products, will not be directly 
comparable to each other across manufacturers. Thus, consumers could be 
misled when evaluating and comparing energy claims. Accordingly, we 
also seek an immediate stay of the effectiveness of the cooktop test 
procedure, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final 
test procedure to make energy related claims.

Respectfully submitted,

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers By:

Jennifer Cleary,

Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, 1111 19th St. NW, Suite 402, 
Washington, DC 20036, 202-872-5955 x314.

[FR Doc. 2018-08641 Filed 4-24-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P