Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Residential and Commercial Clothes Washers, 31065-31082 [2020-09990]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules compliance decision for this federal action. Federal Assistance Programs The title and number of the Federal assistance programs, as found in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, to which this NOFA applies is CFAP and 10.130. Stephen L. Censky, Vice Chairman, Commodity Credit Corporation, and Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture. [FR Doc. 2020–11155 Filed 5–20–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 430 and 431 [EERE–2016–BT–TP–0011] RIN 1904–AD95 Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Residential and Commercial Clothes Washers Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Energy (‘‘DOE’’) is initiating a data collection process through this request for information (‘‘RFI’’) to consider whether to amend its test procedures for clothes washers. As part of this RFI, DOE seeks comment on whether there have been changes in product testing methodology or new products on the market since the last test procedure update that may create the need to make amendments to the test procedure for clothes washers. DOE also seeks data and information that could enable the agency to propose that the current test procedure produces results that are representative of an average use cycle for the product and is not unduly burdensome to conduct, and therefore does not need amendment. DOE requests comment on specific aspects of the current test procedure, including product definitions and configurations, testing conditions and instrumentation, measurement methods, representative usage and efficiency factors, and metric definitions. DOE also seeks comment on any additional topics that may inform DOE’s decision whether to conduct a future test procedure rulemaking, including methods to ensure that the test procedure is reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use and is not unduly burdensome to conduct. DOE welcomes SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not raised in this RFI). DATES: Written comments and information are requested and will be accepted on or before June 22, 2020. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE–2016–BT–TP–0011, by any of the following methods: 1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. 2. Email: ResClothesWasher2016TP0011@ ee.doe.gov. Include docket number EERE–2016–BT–TP–0011 in the subject line of the message. 3. Postal 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. Telephone: (202) 287–1445. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (‘‘CD’’), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. 4. 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) 287–1445. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on this process, see section IV of this document. Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at http:// www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the http:// www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available. The docket web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=EERE-2016-BT-TP-0011. The docket web page contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. See section IV for information on how to submit PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31065 comments through http:// www.regulations.gov. Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586– 0371. Email: ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC–33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–7796. Email: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov. For further information on how to submit a comment or review other public comments and the docket, contact the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 287– 1445 or by email: ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction A. Authority B. Rulemaking History II. Request for Information and Comments A. Scope & Definitions B. Test Procedure 1. Connected Clothes Washers 2. Testing Conditions, Instrumentation, and Installation 3. Test Cloth 4. Capacity Measurement Alternatives 5. Cycle Selection and Settings 6. Wash/Rinse Temperature Selections for Semi-Automatic Clothes Washers 7. Usage Factors 8. Associated Equipment Efficiencies 9. Non-Conventional Features C. Metrics 1. Energy Efficiency Metric 2. Water Efficiency Metric 3. Annual Energy Calculation III. Other Comments, Data, and Information IV. Submission of Comments I. Introduction Residential clothes washers (‘‘RCWs’’) are included in the list of ‘‘covered products’’ for which DOE is authorized to establish and amend energy conservation standards and test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(7)) DOE’s test procedures for RCWs are prescribed at 10 CFR 430.23(j) and appendices J1, J2, and J3 to subpart B of 10 CFR part 430. Commercial clothes washers (‘‘CCWs’’) are included in the list of ‘‘covered equipment’’ for which DOE is authorized to establish and amend energy conservation standards and test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(H)) The test procedures for CCWs must be the E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31066 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules same as those for established for RCWs. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(8)) The following sections discuss DOE’s authority to establish and amend test procedures for RCWs and CCWs, as well as relevant background information regarding DOE’s consideration of test procedures for these products. A. Authority The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (‘‘EPCA’’) 1 authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a number of consumer products and certain industrial equipment, among other things. (42 U.S.C. 6291–6317) Title III, Part B 2 of EPCA established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, which sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. These consumer products include RCWs. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(7)) Title III, Part C 3 of EPCA, added by Public Law 95–619, Title IV, section 441(a), established the Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment. This equipment includes CCWs. (42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(H)) Both RCWs and CCWs are the subject of this RFI. The energy conservation program under EPCA consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. Relevant provisions of the Act specifically include definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291; 42 U.S.C. 6311), energy conservation standards (42 U.S.C. 6295; 42 U.S.C. 6313), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293; 42 U.S.C. 6314), labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294; 42 U.S.C. 6315), and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296; 42 U.S.C. 6316). Federal energy efficiency requirements for covered products and covered equipment established under EPCA generally supersede State laws and regulations concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and standards. (42 U.S.C. 6297; 42 U.S.C. 6316(a) and (b)) DOE may, however, grant waivers of Federal preemption for particular State laws or regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions of EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d); 42 U.S.C. 6316(b)(2)(D)) 1 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Public Law 115–270 (October 23, 2018). 2 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was redesignated Part A. 3 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part C was redesignated Part A–1. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 The Federal testing requirements consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered products and covered equipment must use as the basis for: (1) Certifying to DOE that their products or equipment comply with the applicable energy conservation standards adopted pursuant to EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6295(s); 42 U.S.C. 6316(a)), and (2) making representations about the efficiency of those covered products or equipment (42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 42 U.S.C. 6314(d)). Similarly, DOE must use these test procedures to determine whether the products or equipment comply with relevant standards promulgated under EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6295(s); 42 U.S.C. 6316(a)) Under 42 U.S.C. 6293, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures DOE must follow when prescribing or amending test procedures for covered products. EPCA requires that any test procedures prescribed or amended under this section 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 or period of use and not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) If DOE determines that a test procedure amendment is warranted, it must publish proposed test procedures and offer the public an opportunity to present oral and written comments on them. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(2)) In addition, EPCA requires that DOE amend its test procedures for all covered products, including RCWs, to integrate measures of standby mode and off mode energy consumption into the overall energy efficiency, energy consumption, or other energy descriptor, taking into consideration the most current versions of Standards 62301 and 62087 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (‘‘IEC’’), unless the current test procedure already incorporates the standby mode and off mode energy consumption, or if such integration is technically infeasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)) 4 5 If an integrated test procedure is technically infeasible, DOE must prescribe separate standby mode and off mode energy use test procedures for the covered product, if a separate test is technically feasible. (Id.) As described in the following sections, DOE’s current clothes washer test procedure includes provisions for 4 IEC Standard 62087 addresses the methods of measuring the power consumption of audio, video, and related equipment and is not relevant to clothes washers. 5 EPCA does not contain an analogous provision for commercial equipment. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 measuring energy consumption in standby mode and off mode. EPCA also requires that, at least once every 7 years, DOE evaluate test procedures for each type of covered product, including clothes washers, to determine whether amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the requirements for the test procedures to not be unduly burdensome to conduct and be reasonably designed to produce test results that reflect energy efficiency, energy use, and estimated operating costs during a representative average use cycle or period of use. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A)) If the Secretary determines, on his own behalf or in response to a petition by any interested person, that a test procedure should be prescribed or amended, the Secretary shall promptly publish in the Federal Register proposed test procedures and afford interested persons an opportunity to present oral and written data, views, and arguments with respect to such procedures. The comment period on a proposed rule to amend a test procedure shall be at least 60 days and may not exceed 270 days. In prescribing or amending a test procedure, the Secretary shall take into account such information as the Secretary determines relevant to such procedure, including technological developments relating to energy use or energy efficiency of the type (or class) of covered products involved. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(2)) If DOE determines that test procedure revisions are not appropriate, DOE must publish its determination not to amend the test procedures. DOE is publishing this RFI to collect data and information to inform its decision pursuant to the 7year review requirement specified in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A)) Additionally, EPCA requires the test procedures for CCWs to be the same as the test procedures established for RCWs. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(8)) As with the test procedures for RCWs, EPCA requires that DOE evaluate, at least once every 7 years, the test procedures for CCWs to determine whether amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the requirements for the test procedures to not be unduly burdensome to conduct and be reasonably designed to produce test results that reflect energy efficiency, energy use, and estimated operating costs during a representative average use cycle. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(1)) This document also seeks input from the public to assist in a determination as to whether amendments to test procedures are necessary in the context of CCWs. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules B. Rulemaking History DOE originally established its clothes washer test procedure, codified at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J (‘‘Appendix J’’), in a September 1977 final rule. 42 FR 49802 (Sept. 28, 1977). Since that time, the test procedure has undergone a number of amendments. In August 1997, DOE published a final rule (‘‘August 1997 Final Rule’’) amending Appendix J to include a measurement of remaining moisture content (‘‘RMC’’) to account for more efficient water extraction and to reflect changes in clothes washer features and consumer usage patterns, among other changes. 62 FR 45484 (Aug. 27, 1997). The August 1997 Final Rule also established an appendix J1 at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B (‘‘Appendix J1’’), which included a new definition of the energy test cycle, new energy test cloth pre-conditioning requirements, the use of a third load size (average load) for adaptive water fill control systems, a load size table for all clothes washers (including clothes washers with manual water fill control systems), and a simplified Temperature Use Factor (‘‘TUF’’) 6 table, among other minor technical changes. Id. In the January 2001 Final Rule, DOE provided further minor technical amendments to Appendix J and Appendix J1, as well as a sunset provision specifying that the provisions of Appendix J would expire on December 31, 2003. 66 FR 3313. Additional amendments to Appendix J1 included, among other things, a methodology for developing correction factors for each new lot of test cloth to reduce variability in the RMC measurement due to differences in test cloth lots. Id. In March 2012, DOE published a final rule (‘‘March 2012 Final Rule’’) amending Appendix J1 to expand the load size table to accommodate clothes washers with capacities up to 6 cubic feet (‘‘cu.ft.’’) as well as some other minor changes. 77 FR 13887 (March 7, 2012). The March 2012 Final Rule also established a new test procedure at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J2 (‘‘Appendix J2’’), which incorporated the following amendments: (1) Provisions for measuring energy consumption in standby mode and off mode; (2) a more comprehensive efficiency metric for water consumption; (3) a more accurate reflection of consumer usage patterns; (4) revisions to the energy test cycle 6 As described in more detail later in this document, TUFs are weighting factors that represent the percentage of wash cycles for which consumers choose a particular wash/rinse temperature selection. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 definition; (5) revisions to the capacity measurement method; (6) revisions related to the test cloth, including the preconditioning detergent and test equipment; (7) clarification of certain testing conditions and certain provisions of the test procedure; and (8) revisions to the calculation for annual operating cost. 77 FR 13887, 13891. The March 2012 Final Rule also removed the obsolete Appendix J. 77 FR 13887, 13892. On August 5, 2015, DOE published a final rule (‘‘August 2015 Final Rule’’) that provided clarifying edits to Appendix J1 and Appendix J2. 80 FR 46729. The August 2015 Final Rule also moved the test cloth qualification procedures from Appendix J1 and Appendix J2 to a new test procedure at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J3 (‘‘Appendix J3’’). The test cloth qualification procedure specifies a standard extractor RMC test to evaluate the moisture absorption and retention characteristics, and to develop a unique correction curve for each new lot of test cloth, which helps ensure that a consistent RMC measurement is obtained for any test cloth lot used during testing. This procedure is performed for each new lot of test cloth before the cloths can be used in the test procedure provisions that measure clothes washer performance; it is not performed as part of the testing required for any particular unit under test. Therefore, DOE moved the test cloth qualification procedure to the new Appendix J3 as a standalone test method to improve the clarity and overall logical flow of the Appendix J1 and Appendix J2 test procedures. Id. The correction factors developed for each new cloth lot are used to adjust the RMC measurements obtained when performing an Appendix J1 or Appendix J2 test on an individual clothes washer unit. The current version of the test procedure at Appendix J2 includes provisions for determining modified energy factor (‘‘MEF’’) and integrated modified energy factor (‘‘IMEF’’) in cubic feet per kilowatt-hour per cycle (‘‘cu.ft./kWh/cycle’’); and water factor (‘‘WF’’) and integrated water factor (‘‘IWF’’) in gallons per cycle per cubic feet (‘‘gal/cycle/cu.ft.’’). RCWs manufactured on or after January 1, 2018 must meet current energy conservation standards, which are based on IMEF and IWF, as determined using Appendix J2. 10 CFR 430.23(j)(2)(ii) and (4)(ii); 430.32(g)(4) CCWs manufactured on or after January 1, 2018 must meet energy conservation standards for this PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31067 equipment based on MEF 7 and IWF, which are also determined using Appendix J2. 10 CFR 431.154 and 10 CFR 431.156(b) II. Request for Information and Comments As an initial matter, DOE seeks comment on whether there have been changes in product testing methodology or new products on the market since the last test procedure update. DOE also seeks data and information that could enable the agency to propose that the current test procedure produces results that are representative of an average use cycle for the product and is not unduly burdensome to conduct, and therefore does not need amendment. DOE also seeks information on whether an existing private-sector developed test procedure would produce such results and should be adopted by DOE rather than DOE establishing its own test procedure, either entirely or by adopting only certain provisions of one or more private-sector developed tests. In the following sections, DOE has also identified a variety of issues on which it seeks input to determine whether amended test procedures for clothes washers would more accurately or fully comply with the requirements in EPCA that test procedures: (1) Be reasonably designed to produce test results which reflect energy use during a representative average use cycle, and (2) not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3), 6314(a)(2)) Additionally, DOE welcomes comments on other issues relevant to the conduct of this process that may not be specifically identified in this document. In particular, DOE notes that under Executive Order 13771, ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,’’ Executive Branch agencies such as DOE are directed to manage the costs associated with the imposition of expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations. 82 FR 9339 (Feb. 3, 2017). Consistent with that Executive Order, DOE also encourages the public to provide input on measures DOE could take to lower the cost of its regulations applicable to RCWs and CCWs, consistent with the requirements of EPCA. 7 For CCWs, the energy conservation standards at 10 CFR 431.156 refer to MEF as ‘‘MEFJ2’’ to distinguish MEF as calculated using Appendix J2 from MEF as calculated from Appendix J1, which was the basis for energy conservation standards prior to January 1, 2018. Due to several differences (e.g., the capacity measurement and the drying energy calculation), the MEF metrics in Appendices J1 and J2 are not equivalent. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31068 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules A. Scope & Definitions DOE defines ‘‘clothes washer’’ as a consumer product designed to clean clothes, utilizing a water solution of soap and/or detergent and mechanical agitation or other movement, and must be one of the following classes: Automatic clothes washers, semiautomatic clothes washers, and other clothes washers. 10 CFR 430.2 An ‘‘automatic clothes washer’’ is a class of clothes washer that has a control system that is capable of scheduling a preselected combination of operations, such as regulation of water temperature, regulation of the water fill level, and performance of wash, rinse, drain, and spin functions without the need for user intervention subsequent to the initiation of machine operation. Some models may require user intervention to initiate these different segments of the cycle after the machine has begun operation, but they do not require the user to intervene to regulate the water temperature by adjusting the external water faucet valves. Id. A ‘‘semi-automatic clothes washer’’ is a class of clothes washer that is the same as an automatic clothes washer except that user intervention is required to regulate the water temperature by adjusting the external water faucet valves. Id. ‘‘Other clothes washer’’ means a class of clothes washer that is not an automatic or semi-automatic clothes washer. Id. ‘‘Commercial clothes washer’’ is defined as a soft-mount front-loading or soft-mount top-loading clothes washer that— (A) has a clothes container compartment that— (i) for horizontal-axis clothes washers, is not more than 3.5 cubic feet; and (ii) for vertical-axis clothes washers, is not more than 4.0 cubic feet; and (B) is designed for use in— (i) applications in which the occupants of more than one household will be using the clothes washer, such as multi-family housing common areas and coin laundries; or (ii) other commercial applications. (42 U.S.C. 6311(21); 10 CFR 431.452). B. Test Procedure 1. Connected Clothes Washers DOE is currently aware of several ‘‘connected’’ RCW models on the market, from at least four major manufacturers. These products offer optional wireless network connectivity to enable features such as remote monitoring and control via smartphone, as well as limited demand response VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 features 8 available through partnerships with a small number of local electric utilities. In addition, connected features are available via certain external communication modules for CCWs. However, DOE is not aware of any CCW models currently on the market that incorporate connected features directly into the unit. DOE recently published an RFI on the emerging smart technology appliance and equipment market. 83 FR 46886 (Sept. 17, 2018). In that RFI, DOE sought information to better understand market trends and issues in the emerging market for appliances and commercial equipment that incorporate smart technology. DOE’s intent in issuing the RFI was to ensure that DOE did not inadvertently impede such innovation in fulfilling its statutory obligations in setting efficiency standards for covered products and equipment. Issue II.B.1. DOE seeks comments, data and information on the issues presented in the ‘‘smart products’’ RFI as they may be applicable to RCWs and CCWs. Issue II.B.2. DOE requests feedback on its characterization of connected RCWs, and any CCWs, currently on the market. Specifically, DOE requests input on the types of features or functionality enabled by connected clothes washers that exist on the market or that are under development. Section 3.2.7 of Appendix J2 specifies using the manufacturer default settings for any cycle selections except temperature selection, wash water fill level, or spin speed; and section 3.9.1 of Appendix J2 specifies performing the combined low-power mode testing without changing any control panel settings used for the active mode wash cycle. With regard to the measurement of network mode energy use, however, DOE stated in its 2012 rule (a conclusion not affected by the 2015 amendments), that ‘‘DOE cannot thoroughly evaluate these [IEC Standard 62301 (Second Edition)] network mode provisions, as would be required to justify their incorporation into DOE’s test procedures at this time. DOE notes that although an individual appliance may consume some small amount of power in network mode, the potential exists for energy-related benefits that more than offset this additional power consumption if the appliance can be controlled by the ‘‘smart grid’’ to consume power during non-peak 8 ‘‘Demand response features’’ refers to product functionality that can be controlled by the ‘‘smart grid’’ to improve the overall operation of the electrical grid, for example by reducing energy consumption during peak periods and/or shifting power consumption to off-peak periods. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 periods. Although DOE is supportive of efforts to develop smart-grid and other network-enabled technologies in clothes washers, this final rule does not incorporate the network mode provisions due to the lack of available data that would be required to justify their inclusion.’’ 77 FR 13888, 13900 (Mar. 7, 2012). Consistent with the goals of the ‘‘smart products’’ RFI, DOE will ensure that it does not impede innovation in the development of smart or connected products in considering any amendments to the test procedure for clothes washers with regard to measuring the energy use of connected features. Issue II.B.3. DOE requests comment on whether changes to the current clothes washer test procedure would advance the goal of the ‘‘smart products’’ RFI. In particular, DOE seeks comment on adding a clarifying provision that would require testing to be conducted with any network functionality turned off, or without measuring or reporting the energy use of the clothes washer in network mode. Issue II.B.4. DOE requests data on the percentage of users purchasing connected RCWs who activate the connected capabilities, and, for those users, the percentage of the time when the connected functionality of the RCW is activated and using additional energy. DOE seeks to understand the potential effects of connected functionality as it relates to a clothes washer’s energy use or energy efficiency, including the following: • Hardware or software-related energy use implications of such features; for example, whether including communication chips on a circuit board could affect a product’s energy consumption in standby mode. • Consumer behavioral energy use implications of such features; for example, allowing the consumer to remotely activate a ‘‘wrinkle prevention’’ feature that periodically tumbles the drum after completion of a wash cycle would increase that cycle’s energy use. • Utility grid-level benefits enabled by such features; for example, using demand response capabilities to shift power loads from peak periods to offpeak periods and possibly automating cycle starts to coincide with periods of off-peak pricing. Issue II.B.5. DOE requests data on the amount of additional or reduced energy use by connected clothes washers. DOE also requests data on the pattern of additional or reduced energy use; for example, whether it is constant, periodic, or triggered by the user. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules Issue II.B.6. DOE requests information about which existing modes (e.g., active, standby, off) are affected by connected functionality. Issue II.B.7. DOE requests information on any existing testing protocols that account for connected features of clothes washers. 2. Testing Conditions, Instrumentation, and Installation a. Hot Water Supply Temperature Section 2.2 of Appendix J2 requires maintaining the hot water supply temperature between 130 degrees Fahrenheit (‘‘°F’’) (54.4 degrees Celsius (‘‘°C’’)) and 135 °F (57.2 °C), using 135 °F as the target temperature. DOE has revised the hot water supply temperature requirements several times throughout the history of the clothes washer test procedure to remain representative of household water temperatures at the time of its analysis. When establishing the original clothes washer test procedure at Appendix J in 1977, DOE specified a hot water supply temperature of 140 °F ± 5 °F. In the August 1997 Final Rule, DOE specified in Appendix J1 that for clothes washers in which electrical energy consumption or water energy consumption is affected by the inlet water temperature,9 the hot water supply temperature cannot exceed 135 °F (57.2 °C); and for other clothes washers, the hot water supply temperature is to be maintained at 135 °F ± 5 °F (57.2 °C ± 2.8 °C). 62 FR 45484, 45497. DOE maintained these same requirements in the original version of Appendix J2. In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE adjusted the allowable tolerance of the hot water supply temperature in section 2.2 of Appendix J2 to between 130 °F (54.4 °C) and 135 °F (57.2 °C) for all clothes washers, but maintained 135 °F as the target temperature. 80 FR 46729, 46734. DOE most recently analyzed household water temperatures as part of the consumer water heater test procedure rulemaking. In the July 11, 2014, consumer water heater test procedure final rule, DOE revised the hot water delivery temperature from 135 °F to 125 °F. 79 FR 40541, 40554. This change was primarily based on data available in DOE’s analysis for the April 16, 2010, consumer water heater energy conservation standards final rule, which found that the average set point temperature for consumer water heaters in the field is 124.2 °F (51.2 °C). 75 FR 20111. Additionally, a 2011 compilation of field data across the 9 For example, water-heating clothes washers or clothes washers with thermostatically controlled water valves. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 United States and southern Ontario by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (‘‘LBNL’’) 10 found a median daily outlet water temperature of 122.7 °F (50.4 °C). 79 FR 40541, 40554. Further, DOE noted in the consumer water heater energy conservation standards final rule that water heaters are commonly set with temperatures in the range of 120 °F to 125 °F. Id. Additionally, DOE’s consumer dishwasher test procedure, codified at 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix C1, specifies a hot water supply temperature of 120 °F ± 2 °F for waterheating dishwashers designed for heating water with a nominal inlet temperature of 120 °F, which includes nearly all consumer dishwashers currently on the U.S. market. Issue II.B.8. DOE requests comments on whether DOE should consider updating the hot water supply temperature for the clothes washer test procedure. DOE also requests information on the use of the current hot water supply temperature for clothes washers in relation to the consumer water heater and dishwasher test procedures. Specifically, DOE is interested in data and information on the hot water temperature used in practice, any potential impact to testing costs that may occur by harmonizing temperatures between the clothes washer and dishwasher test procedures, and the impacts on manufacturer burden associated with any changes to the hot water supply temperature. Based on experience working with third-party test laboratories, as well as its own testing experience, DOE recognizes that maintaining 135 °F as the target temperature for the hot water supply may be difficult given that the target temperature of 135 °F lies at the edge, rather than the midpoint, of the allowable temperature range of 130 °F to 135 °F. On electronic temperature mixing valves typically used by test laboratories, the output water temperature is maintained within an approximately two-degree tolerance above or below a target temperature programmed by the user (e.g., if the target temperature is set at 135 °F, the controller may provide water temperatures ranging from 133 °F to 137 °F). To ensure that the hot water inlet temperature remains within the allowable range of 130 °F to 135 °F, such a temperature controller would need to be programmed to 132.5 °F, the midpoint of the range, which conflicts 10 Lutz, JD, Renaldi, Lekov A, Qin Y, and Melody M., ‘‘Hot Water Draw Patterns in Single Family Houses: Findings from Field Studies,’’ LBNL Report number LBNL–4830E (May 2011). Available at http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/2k24v1kj. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31069 with the test procedure requirement to use 135 °F as the target temperature. An analogous difficulty exists for the cold water inlet temperature. Section 2.2 of appendix J2 specifies maintaining a cold water temperature between 55 °F and 60 °F, using 60 °F as the target. Issue II.B.9. DOE requests comments on whether it should consider any changes to the target temperature or allowable range of temperatures specified for the hot and cold water inlets, and if so what alternate specifications should be considered. Changing the hot water supply temperature could change the relative hot and cold water usage of clothes washers with thermostatically controlled mixing valves, which includes nearly all clothes washers in the current market. If DOE were to update the supply water temperature, DOE would also investigate what impact, if any, such a change would have on a clothes washer’s measured IMEF value. DOE seeks comment on such impact in response to this RFI. Issue II.B.10. DOE requests comments on how any changes to the hot water supply temperature would impact a clothes washer’s measured IMEF value. b. Measuring Wash Water Temperature In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE amended section 3.3 of Appendix J2, ‘‘Extra-Hot Wash/Cold Rinse,’’ to allow the use of non-reversible temperature indicator labels to confirm that a wash temperature greater than 135 °F has been achieved. 80 FR 46729, 46753. Since the publication of the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE has become aware that some third-party laboratories measure wash temperature using self-contained temperature sensors in a waterproof casing placed inside the clothes washer drum. Issue II.B.11. DOE requests comments on manufacturers’ or test laboratories’ experience with these or any other methods for determining the temperature during a wash cycle that may reduce manufacturer burden, including any information regarding the reliability and accuracy of those methods. c. Water Meter Resolution Appendix J2 requires the use of water meters to measure water flow and/or water consumption. Section 2.5.5 of Appendix J2 requires a resolution no larger than 0.1 gallons for the water meters, and a maximum error no greater than 2 percent of the measured flow rate. DOE has observed that some clothes washers use very small amounts of hot water on some temperature selections, on the order of 0.1 gallons or E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31070 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules less. For example, some clothes washers have both Cold and Tap Cold temperature selections, and the Cold selection may use a fraction of a gallon of hot water. DOE believes that Appendix J2 may not provide the necessary resolution to accurately and precisely measure the hot water usage of such temperature selections. Issue II.B.12. DOE requests comments on the benefits and test burden of requiring a water meter with a resolution more precise than 0.1 gallons. Additionally, DOE requests comments on manufacturers’ and testing laboratories’ experiences in testing with a water meter with a resolution more precise than 0.1 gallons, including information on related testing burden and benefits. d. Installation of Single-Inlet Clothes Washers Section 2.10 of Appendix J2 provides specifications for installing a clothes washer, referencing both the hot water and cold water inlets. Additionally, section 2.5.5 of Appendix J2 specifies that a water meter must be installed in both the hot and cold water lines. DOE is aware of RCWs on the market that have a single water inlet rather than separate hot and cold water inlets. DOE has observed two types of single-inlet RCWs: (1) Automatic clothes washers intended to be connected only to a cold water inlet, and which regulate the water temperature through the use of internal heating elements to generate any hot water used during the cycle; and (2) semi-automatic clothes washers that are intended to be connected to a kitchen or bathroom faucet, and which require user intervention to regulate the water temperature by adjusting the external water faucet valves. Issue II.B.13. DOE requests input on whether any other types of single-inlet clothes washers exist on the market today or are under development. For a single-inlet automatic clothes washer (i.e., the first example described above), DOE understands that a ‘‘Y’’shaped hose connector or other similar device may be provided by the manufacturer on some models to allow both water supply lines to be connected to the single inlet on the unit; however, other models may not include such a connector. DOE is considering whether testing single-inlet automatic clothes washers installed to only the cold water supply line during the test would be representative of the energy used during a representative average use cycle or period of use. Issue II.B.14. DOE requests comments or information on how single-inlet automatic clothes washers are typically VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 installed by customers. Specifically, DOE requests information on the percentage of single-inlet automatic clothes washers sold with a Y-shaped hose connector or similar such device; the extent that consumers use any provided device; and in instances in which no device is provided, whether it is typical for customers to connect the water inlet to a cold or hot water supply line. For single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washers (i.e., the second example described above), DOE has observed that these clothes washers are most often designed to be connected to a kitchen or bathroom faucet, with a single hose connecting the faucet to the single inlet on the clothes washer (i.e., both cold and hot water are supplied to the clothes washer through a single hose). The user regulates the water temperature externally by adjusting the faucet to provide cold, warm, or hot water temperatures for the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. Appendix J2 specifies the use of two separate water supply connections, one for cold water and one for hot water. Connecting a single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washer to only a single water supply would limit the available water temperature to either 60 °F (provided by the cold water supply) or 135 °F (provided by the hot water supply). In effect, only Cold Wash/Cold Rinse or Hot Wash/Hot Rinse could be tested with a single-hose installation. Appendix J2 does not provide explicit direction on how to connect a singleinlet semi-automatic clothes washer to allow testing at other wash/rinse temperatures. DOE seeks data on whether, and if so how, consumers using this type of clothes washer adjust the water temperature for the wash and rinse portions the cycle. Section II.B.6 of this document provides further details on wash/rinse temperature selections for semi-automatic clothes washers. DOE also seeks comment on how such clothes washers are currently tested. Issue II.B.15. DOE requests comments, data, and information on the typical connection and representative average use of single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washers. Additionally, DOE requests information on how manufacturers are currently testing single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washers under Appendix J2. e. Discarding Test Data Due to Anomalous Behavior of Unit Under Test Section 3.2.9 of appendix J2 specifies to ‘‘discard the data from a wash cycle that provides a visual or audio indicator to alert the user that an out-of-balance condition has been detected, or that PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 terminates prematurely if an out-ofbalance condition is detected, and thus does not include the agitation/tumble operation, spin speed(s), wash times, and rinse times applicable to the wash cycle under test.’’ Aside from out-ofbalance conditions, DOE seeks input on whether the test procedure should also require discarding data for wash cycles in which any other anomalous behavior may be observed. DOE also requests information on whether the test procedure should be clarified to explicitly require that any wash cycle for which data was discarded due to anomalous behavior must also be repeated to obtain data without the anomalous behavior to be included in the energy test cycle. Issue II.B.16. DOE requests comment on whether the test procedure should exclude data from wash cycles in which any other type of anomalous behavior aside from out-of-balance conditions is observed. If so, DOE requests further comment on how such anomalies could be defined in the test procedure and detected by the testing party, particularly when testing only a single unit of a basic model (i.e., with no basis for comparison against other units of the same basic model to determine whether the observed behavior is anomalous). DOE additionally requests comment on whether the test procedure should clarify that any wash cycle for which data was discarded due to anomalous behavior must be repeated to obtain valid data for that wash cycle without such anomalous behavior. 3. Test Cloth a. Specifications DOE originally developed the energy test cloth specifications as part of the January 2001 Final Rule, based on the results of a detailed investigation of the cloth material used for testing.11 In particular, DOE observed that the material properties of the energy test cloth had a significant effect on the RMC measurement,12 which was added to Appendix J1 to measure the effectiveness of the final spin cycle in 11 Development of a Standardized Energy Test Cloth for Measuring Remaining Moisture Content in a Residential Clothes Washer. U.S. Department of Energy: Buildings, Research and Standards. May 2000. Available online at http:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2006STD-0064-0277. 12 The RMC measurement is an important aspect of DOE’s clothes washer test procedure because the RMC value determines the drying energy, which is the biggest contributor to IMEF. Based on the Technical Support Documents from the March 2012 Final Rule, the drying energy represents 65 percent of the total energy for a 2015 baseline-level toploading standard RCW, and 72 percent for a 2015 baseline-level front-loading standard RCW. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules removing moisture from the wash load. As described in the test cloth report, the final specifications for the energy test cloth were developed to provide for the representativeness of the test cloth to a consumer load: A 50-percent cotton/50percent polyester blended material was specified to approximate the typical mix of cotton, cotton/polyester blend, and synthetic articles that are machinewashed by consumers. DOE also considered: • Manufacturability: A 50/50 cottonpolyester momie weave was specified because at the time, such cloth was produced in high volume, had been produced to a consistent specification for many years, and was expected to be produced on this basis for the foreseeable future. • Consistency in test cloth production: The cloth material properties were specified in detail, including fiber content, thread count, and fabric weight; as well as requirements to verify that water repellent finishes are not applied to the cloth. • Consistency of the RMC measurement among different lots: A procedure was developed to generate correction factors for each new ‘‘lot’’ (i.e., batch) of test cloth to normalize test results and ensure consistent RMC measurements regardless of which lot is used for testing. DOE understands that the qualification process for new test cloth lots may be burdensome and that delays in the process may periodically lead to shortages of test cloth available for purchase. Furthermore, it is possible that different energy test cloth specifications could more optimally balance the various factors addressed by the test cloth specification. Issue II.B.17. DOE requests comments on manufacturers’ and testing laboratories’ experience using the current test cloth specifications and whether DOE should consider any changes to the energy test cloth specifications to reduce burden and improve testing results. DOE also seeks comment on whether it is necessary to specify any qualification procedure that must be conducted on all new lots of energy test cloth prior to use of such test cloths, as opposed to simply providing requirements for the test cloth without specifying in DOE’s regulations the procedure for achieving those requirements. Industry could then continue with its current prequalification process, making changes as it determined necessary to improve that process, without the need to seek permission from DOE and participate in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 a rulemaking proceeding to make such improvements. b. Uniformity Test Appendix J3 specifies a qualification procedure that must be conducted on all new lots of energy test cloth prior to use of such test cloths. This qualification procedure provides a set of correction factors that correlate the measured RMC values of the new test cloth lot with a set of standard RMC values established as the historical reference point. These correction factors are applied to the RMC test results in section 3.8.2.6 of appendix J2 to ensure the repeatability and reproducibility of test results performed using different lots of test cloth. The measured RMC of each clothes washer has a significant impact on the final IMEF value. Industry has developed a process in which this qualification test is performed by a third-party laboratory, and the results are reviewed and approved by the AHAM Test Cloth Task Force, after which the new lot of test cloth is made available for purchase by manufacturers and test laboratories. DOE has received a request from members of the AHAM Test Cloth Task Force to add to Appendix J3 an additional qualification procedure that has historically been performed on each new lot of test cloth to ensure uniformity of RMC test results on test cloths from the beginning, middle, and end of each new lot. Industry practice is to perform this uniformity test before conducting the procedure to develop the RMC correction factors currently specified in the DOE test procedure, as described above. Specifically, the uniformity test involves performing an RMC measurement on nine bundles of sample cloth representing the beginning, middle, and end locations of the first, middle, and last rolls of cloth in a new lot. The coefficient of variation across the nine RMC values must be less than or equal to 1 percent for the test cloth lot to be considered acceptable for use. Issue II.B.18. DOE requests comments on whether it is necessary to incorporate the aforementioned test cloth uniformity test into Appendix J3, or whether the current regulations, with the existing requirements for test cloth and qualification procedure, are sufficient to ensure the quality of the test cloth. DOE requests comment on any burden that results from the current qualification procedure, or would result from incorporating the discussed uniformity test, particularly for small businesses. As noted above, DOE also seeks comment on whether it is necessary to specify any qualification procedure that PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31071 must be conducted on all new lots of energy test cloth prior to use of such test cloths, as opposed to simply providing requirements for the test cloth without specifying in DOE’s regulations the procedure for achieving those requirements. Industry could then continue with its current prequalification process, making changes as it determined necessary to improve that process, without the need to seek permission from DOE and participate in a rulemaking proceeding to make such improvements. c. Consolidation Into Appendix J3 Several provisions within Appendix J2 that pertain to the energy test cloth are applicable to each new lot of test cloth, but are not required to be conducted again for each individual clothes washer test performed under Appendix J2. For example, section 2.7.4.6 of Appendix J2 specifies performing American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (‘‘AATCC’’) Test Method 118–2007 and AATTCC Test Method 79–2010 (incorporated by reference in 10 CFR 430.3) to verify that water-repellent finishes, such as fluoropolymer stain resistant finishes, are not applied to the test cloth. Based on discussions with the AHAM Test Cloth Task Force, DOE is aware that these AATCC test methods, among other test cloth provisions in section 2.7 of Appendix J2, are performed by a third-party laboratory on each new lot of test cloth, along with the RMC tests described previously. Once the absence of water-repellent finishes has been verified for the new lot of test cloth, the AATCC tests do not need to be conducted again for each individual Appendix J2 clothes washer test performed by manufacturers or test laboratories. Issue II.B.19. DOE requests comments on whether to consolidate into Appendix J3 provisions from section 2.7 of Appendix J2 that relate only to the testing of the manufactured test cloth, and are not required to be performed for each individual Appendix J2 clothes washer test. DOE also seeks comment on whether to remove these provisions entirely (see Issues II.B.17 and II.B.18). 4. Capacity Measurement Alternatives Section 3.1 of Appendix J2 provides the procedure for measuring the clothes container capacity, which represents the maximum usable volume for washing clothes. In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE revised the clothes container capacity measurement to better reflect the actual usable capacity compared to the previous measurement procedures. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31072 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules 77 FR 13887, 13917. In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE further clarified the capacity measurement procedure by incorporating a revised description of the maximum fill volume for frontloading clothes washers, as well as illustrations of the boundaries defining the uppermost edge of the clothes container for top-loading vertical-axis clothes washers and the maximum fill volume for horizontal-axis clothes washers. 80 FR 46729, 46733. Measuring the clothes container capacity involves filling the clothes container with water and using the weight of the water to determine the volume of the clothes container. For front-loading clothes washers, this procedure requires positioning the clothes washer on its back surface such that the door opening of the clothes container faces upwards and is leveled horizontally. DOE is aware that for some frontloading clothes washers, positioning the clothes washer on its back surface may be impractical or unsafe, particularly for very large or heavy clothes washers or those with internal components that could be damaged by the procedures outlined in section 3.1 of Appendix J2. On other clothes washers, filling the clothes container volume as described could be difficult or impractical, particularly for clothes washers with concave or otherwise complex door geometries. Recognizing these challenges, DOE is considering whether to allow manufacturers to determine the clothes container capacity by performing a calculation of the volume based upon computer-aided design (‘‘CAD’’) models of the basic model in lieu of physical measurements of a production unit of the basic model. DOE allows a CADbased approach for consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, as specified at 10 CFR 429.27(c).13 Issue II.B.20. DOE requests comments on whether to allow CAD-based determination of clothes container capacity for clothes washers in lieu of physical measurements of a production unit of the basic model. DOE requests comments on the impacts on manufacturer burden associated with 13 Under this approach, any value of total refrigerated volume of a basic model reported to DOE in a certification of compliance in accordance with § 429.14(b)(2) must be calculated using the CAD-derived volume(s) and the applicable provisions in the test procedures in 10 CFR part 430 for measuring volume, and must be within two percent, or 0.5 cubic feet (0.2 cubic feet for compact products), whichever is greater, of the volume of a production unit of the basic model measured in accordance with the applicable test procedure in 10 CFR part 430. See 10 CFR 429.72(c) VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 any such change to the capacity measurement procedure. As the clothes washer market evolves to include clothes washers with increasingly larger capacities, DOE understands that for larger-capacity clothes washers, the capacity value as measured by Appendix J2, which is intended to reflect the maximum usable volume, may not necessarily result in a test method that measures the energy efficiency and water use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use. In addition, DOE understands that in Europe and elsewhere (e.g., the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand), clothes washer capacity is represented in terms of the weight of clothing (e.g., kilograms or pounds) that may be washed, rather than the physical volume of the clothes container. Furthermore, some international test procedures allow for the clothes washer capacity to be declared by the manufacturer, representing the maximum weight of clothing that the clothes washer is designed to successfully clean. Some of the alternate representations of clothes washer capacity that DOE could consider include: • A weight-based capacity, such as pounds of clothing, which could be derived from the measured volume of the clothes container in a similar manner to the way that the maximum test load is currently specified in Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 based on the measured clothes container volume. • A clothes container capacity that is declared by the manufacturer using an industry-standard methodology. For example, IEC Standard 60456, ‘‘Clothes washing machines for household use— Methods for measuring the performance’’ Edition 5.0 (‘‘IEC Standard 60456 Edition 5.0’’) provides two optional methodologies for determining test load mass, using either table tennis balls or water.14 Issue II.B.21. DOE requests comment on whether to consider any changes to the representation of clothes washer capacity, including, but not limited to, a weight-based capacity or manufacturer-declared capacity based on an industry-standard methodology. Specifically, DOE requests comment on whether the two methodologies provided in IEC Standard 60456 Edition 5.0 provide capacity measurements that result in a test method that measures the 14 For the table tennis ball approach, the clothes container is filled with specified table tennis balls, and an empirically determined equation is provided to convert the number of balls into a capacity value. The water approach is similar to the approach provided in section 3.1 of Appendix J2. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 energy use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use. 5. Cycle Selection and Settings a. Representative Average Use DOE recently issued an RFI to seek more information on whether its test procedures are reasonably designed, as required by EPCA, to produce results that measure the energy use or efficiency of a product during a representative average use cycle or period of use. 84 FR 9721 (Mar. 18, 2019). DOE seeks comment on this issue as it pertains to the test procedure for clothes washers, and specifically to all of the issues and comment requests set forth in the following paragraphs. b. Load Sizes for Available Minimum and Maximum Fill Levels Table 2.8 within section 2.8 of Appendix J2 requires that, for clothes washers with manual water fill control systems, each temperature selection that is part of the energy test cycle be tested using both the minimum and maximum water fill levels, using the minimum and maximum load sizes, respectively.15 Section 3.2.6 of Appendix J2 describes these water fill levels as the minimum and maximum water levels available for the wash cycle under test. DOE has observed at least one clothes washer with electronic controls in which the maximum water fill level on the unit cannot be selected (i.e., is ‘‘locked out’’) with one of the temperature selections required for testing; on that temperature setting, the maximum water fill that can be selected is one of the intermediate fill levels on the unit. The resulting water fill level (which is a significantly lower fill level) is thus misaligned with the maximum load size required for that particular cycle under test. Using a maximum load size with an intermediate water fill level may not provide results that measure energy efficiency and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use, since the locking out of the maximum water fill level indicates that the particular temperature selection is not intended to be used with a maximum load size. More generally, electronic controls on such a clothes washer could lock out either the minimum or maximum water fill level available on the unit from any of the 15 In calculating the weighted energy consumption of a clothes washer with a manual water control system, load usage factors are applied to the minimum test loads (0.28) and maximum test loads (0.72), as described further in section II.B.7.b of this RFI. The load usage factors were based on Procter & Gamble field usage data when Appendix J was initially established. 42 FR 49802, 49809 E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules temperature selections required for testing under Appendix J2, rendering the resulting water fill level for that temperature selection inappropriate for the maximum (or minimum) load size defined for the unit. DOE previously addressed the issue of locked-out water fill levels in a notice of proposed rulemaking (‘‘NOPR’’) published on May 24, 1995. 60 FR 27442, 27444. At that time, three manufacturers expressed concern about the possibility of a maximum water level being locked out. DOE stated that it was not aware of any products employing such lockout designs at that time, but should such designs emerge, they could be addressed in a future rulemaking. Id. DOE welcomes input from interested parties on how the test procedure should accommodate locked-out water fill levels required for testing. As discussed, the current test procedure requires that the maximum load size be tested with the maximum water fill level available in combination with the selected temperature selection, which may be a lower fill level than the maximum available on the machine and not intended for maximum size clothing loads. DOE would consider other approaches that would produce results that measure energy efficiency or water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use for this category of clothes washer. Issue II.B.22. DOE requests comments on how clothes washers with locked-out water fill levels could be tested. DOE also requests data on the water level that consumers use on this type of clothes washer when a specific water level is locked-out. c. Locked-Out Spin Settings Section 3.8.4 of Appendix J2 requires that for clothes washers that have multiple spin settings 16 available within the energy test cycle that result in different RMC values, the maximum and minimum extremes of the available spin settings must be tested on the Cold/ Cold temperature selection. The final RMC is the weighted average of the maximum and minimum spin settings, with the maximum spin setting weighted at 75 percent and the minimum spin setting weighted at 25 percent. DOE is aware of clothes washers on the market that offer multiple spin settings, but which offer only the maximum spin setting on the Cold/Cold temperature selection; i.e., the minimum spin setting is locked out 16 The term ‘‘spin settings’’ refers to spin times or spin speeds. The maximum spin setting results in a lower (better) RMC. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 of the Cold/Cold temperature selection. This results in the lower spin setting not being factored into the RMC calculation, despite being available at other temperature selections in the energy test cycle. According to the TUF Table 4.1.1 in Appendix J2, the Cold/Cold temperature selection represents 37 percent of consumer temperature selections, with the other available temperature selections, for which the lower spin settings are available, representing a combined 63 percent of clothes washer cycles. Issue II.B.23. DOE requests comment on testing for clothes washers that offer only the maximum spin setting on the Cold/Cold temperature selection but provide lower spin settings on other temperature selections. For example, RMC could be measured at the default spin setting for each temperature selection, and averaged using the TUFs. DOE requests data on the extent to which this or any other suggested approach measures the energy use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks data on the burden that may be added or reduced as a result of these other testing configurations. Issue II.B.24. DOE requests input on whether any changes to the RMC measurement are warranted to address the issue of locked-out spin settings, taking into account the requirements that the test procedure must be reasonably designed to measure the energy use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use and not be unduly burdensome to conduct. d. Four or More Warm/Cold Temperature Selections Section 3.5 of Appendix J2 states that for a clothes washer that offers four or more Warm Wash/Cold Rinse temperature selections, either all discrete selections shall be tested, or the clothes washer shall be tested at the 25percent, 50-percent, and 75-percent positions of the temperature selection device between the hottest hot (≤135 °F (57.2 °C)) wash and the coldest cold wash. If a selection is not available at the 25, 50 or 75-percent position, in place of each such unavailable selection, the next warmer temperature selection shall be used. Hereafter in this document, DOE refers to the latter provision as the ‘‘25/50/75 test.’’ DOE introduced the 25/50/75 test in the original version of Appendix J1, as established by the August 1997 Final Rule, out of concern regarding the test burden for clothes washers that offer a large number of intermediate warm wash temperature selections, if the test PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31073 procedure were to require testing all intermediate warm temperature selections. 62 FR 45484, 45497. DOE had originally proposed a similar method 17 in the April 22, 1996 supplemental NOPR (‘‘April 1996 SNOPR’’) preceding the August 1997 Final Rule, for clothes washers having infinite warm wash selections that are non-uniformly distributed. 61 FR 17589, 17599. In the August 1997 Final Rule, DOE agreed with a suggested option to consider clothes washers with more than three warm wash temperatures to be clothes washers with infinite warm wash temperature selections, therefore allowing them to also use the 25/50/75 test. 62 FR 45484, 45498. DOE concluded at that time that testing at the various test points of the temperature range, with a requirement to test to the next higher selection if a temperature selection is not available at a specified test point, would provide data representative of the warm wash temperature selection offerings. Id. DOE notes that the 25/50/75 test was adopted before the widespread use of electronic controls, which now allow for the assignment of wash water temperatures that may not reflect the physical spacing between temperature selections on the control panel. For example, with electronic controls, the 25-percent, 50-percent, and 75-percent positions on the dial may not necessarily correspond to 25-percent, 50-percent, and 75-percent temperature differences between the hottest and coldest selections. DOE is aware of clothes washers on the market with four or more warm wash temperature selections, in which the temperature selections located at the 25, 50, and 75percent positions are low-temperature cycles that have wash temperatures only a few degrees higher than the coldest wash temperature; whereas the temperature selection labeled ‘‘Warm’’ is located beyond the 75 percent position on the temperature selection dial and is therefore not included for testing under the 25/50/75 test. Issue II.B.25. DOE requests feedback on the representativeness of using the 25/50/75 test on clothes washers with electronic controls; particularly for clothes washers in which the 25percent, 50-percent, and 75-percent positions on the dial do not correspond to 25-percent, 50-percent, and 75percent temperature increments between the hottest and coldest selections. 17 The originally proposed test would have required testing at the 20/40/60/80 percent positions. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31074 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules Issue II.B.26. DOE also seeks information on alternative approaches for testing clothes washers with four or more Warm Wash/Cold Rinse temperature selections that would ensure that the test procedure is reasonably designed to measure the energy use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and is not unduly burdensome to conduct. Specifically, DOE requests comment on whether there is a less burdensome means for the test procedure to be reasonably designed to measure energy use or efficiency of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle. e. Clothes Washers That Generate All Hot Water Internally DOE is aware of clothes washers on the market that draw only cold water and internally generate all hot water that may be required for a cycle by means of internal heating elements. As observed on the market, these clothes washers offer cold, warm, hot, and extra hot temperature selections. As part of determining the Cold Wash/Cold Rinse temperature selection, the instruction box in the flowchart in Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 refers to ‘‘. . . multiple wash temperature selections in the Normal cycle [that] do not use any hot water for any of the water fill levels or test load sizes required for testing . . .’’ DOE is considering rephrasing the text in Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 to say ‘‘. . . use or internally generate any heated water . . .’’ (emphasis added) so that the wording of the Cold Wash/Cold Rinse flowchart in Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 explicitly addresses these clothes washers. This change would reflect DOE’s interpretation of the current Cold Wash/Cold Rinse flowchart and subsequent flowcharts for the Warm Wash and Hot Wash temperature selections for this type of clothes washer. Issue II.B.27. DOE requests input on revising the phrasing of Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 to specifically address the test method for clothes washers that internally generate all hot water used for a cycle by means of internal heating elements. DOE also seeks comment on whether and if so, to what extent, this change would affect the measured energy use of these clothes washers as compared to the current test procedure. f. Non-Conventional Water Fill Control Systems Classification of Water Fill Control Systems Table 2.8 of Appendix J2 prescribes the required test load sizes based on the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 type of water fill control system (‘‘WFCS’’) on the clothes washer. Appendix J2 defines two main types of WFCS: Manual WFCS and automatic WFCS, which includes adaptive WFCS and fixed WFCS. Section 3.2.6.2 of Appendix J2 further distinguishes between user-adjustable and not-useradjustable automatic WFCSs. Additionally, section 3.2.6.3 of Appendix J2 accommodates clothes washers that have both an automatic WFCS and an alternate manual WFCS. As electronic control panels become more sophisticated, determining which type of WFCS is used in a particular clothes washer can be difficult. Furthermore, the use of an electronic control panel enables a clothes washer to have combinations of WFCSs that were previously unforeseen and therefore not addressed in the test procedure (e.g., multiple different adaptive WFCSs, or both adaptive and fixed WFCSs). The following are examples of such clothes washers that DOE has observed on the market: Example #1: A clothes washer that uses an adaptive WFCS but includes an optional cycle modifier, most typically in the form of a control panel button, that affects the water level by adding either more or less water than would otherwise be used by the adaptive WFCS. DOE has observed several types of such optional cycle modifiers, such as ‘‘deep fill’’ and ‘‘water plus,’’ which use more water than the default adaptive WFCS; and ‘‘eco,’’ which uses less water than the default adaptive WFCS. Example #2: A clothes washer that defaults to a fixed maximum water level if the user takes no action (i.e., a fixed WFCS), and that offers a single optional button that provides a lower fill level than the default fill level if activated. Example #3: A clothes washer with a control panel that allows the user to choose between two separate automatic WFCSs: One of which is an adaptive WFCS, and the other is a fixed WFCS that provides the maximum fill level regardless of load size (e.g., ‘‘deep fill’’). Example #4: A clothes washer with a control panel that allows the user to choose between two separate adaptive WFCSs: One that provides more efficient performance; and the other that provides higher fill levels, both of which adapt to the size of the clothing load. Example #5: A clothes washer with a separate cycle labeled ‘‘deep fill,’’ as an alternative to the Normal cycle. Issue II.B.28. DOE requests input on whether any changes are warranted for the definitions of automatic WFCS, manual WFCS, adaptive WFCS, and PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 fixed WFCS, specifically in the context of clothes washers currently on the market, and whether the current definitions appropriately reflect the products currently available. DOE also requests input on whether a definition of user-adjustable automatic WFCS should be considered, and if so, how it could be defined to best reflect the type of user-adjustable WFCSs currently on the market. Comments are also welcome on whether a less complex method of WFCS differentiation could be used that would still result in the test procedure being reasonably designed to measure energy efficiency and water use of clothes washers during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and not be unduly burdensome to conduct. Issue II.B.29. As an alternative to considering revisions to the definitions of each type of WFCS, DOE could consider alternate approaches, such as using a flow chart—similar to the energy test cycle flowcharts in section 2.12 of Appendix J2—to guide the determination of which type of WFCS is available on a clothes washer. DOE requests comment on such an approach. Issue II.B.30. DOE requests input on an approach that would result in a measurement of energy and water use during a representative average use cycle for clothes washers with unconventional WFCSs, such as in the examples provided, including the impacts on manufacturer burden associated with any such approach. Test Cycles and Calculations Section 3.2.6.3 of Appendix J2 states that if a clothes washer with an automatic WFCS allows consumer selection of manual controls as an alternative, both the manual and automatic modes are tested. The energy and water consumption values are measured separately under each mode and then averaged; the average values are then used in the final calculations in section 4 of Appendix J2. The averaging of each value implies a 50-percent usage factor for each of the available WFCSs on the clothes washer. Section 3.2.6.2.2 of Appendix J2 provides instructions for a clothes washer with a user-adjustable automatic WFCS. For this type of WFCS, four tests are conducted: (1) The first test uses the maximum test load and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the most energy intensive result; (2) the second test uses the minimum test load and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the least energy intensive result; (3) the third test uses the average test load and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the most energy intensive result for the E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules given test load; and (4) the fourth test uses the average test load and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the least energy intensive result for the given test load. The energy and water consumption for the average test load are the average of the third and fourth tests’ results. Issue II.B.31. DOE requests comment on whether the above test procedure requiring four separate tests meets the EPCA requirements of measuring the energy and water use during a representative average use cycle and not being unduly burdensome to conduct, and whether an approach that required less than four tests would meet this EPCA requirement. Issue II.B.32. DOE requests comments on the representativeness of the WFCS setting and load size combinations tested for clothes washers with both automatic and manual WFCSs, as well as clothes washers with user-adjustable automatic WFCSs. g. Wash Time Setting Section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 defines how to select the wash time setting on a clothes washer. If no one wash time is prescribed for the wash cycle under test, the wash time setting is the higher of either the minimum or 70 percent of the maximum wash time available, regardless of the labeling of suggested dial locations. Hereafter in this document, DOE refers to this provision as the ‘‘70-percent test.’’ In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE added instructions to the wash time section of Appendix J1 and Appendix J2 that specified the direction of rotation of electromechanical dials, and that the 70percent test applies regardless of the labeling of suggested dial locations. 77 FR 13887, 13927. In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE specified that, if 70percent of the maximum wash time is not available on a dial with a discrete number of wash time settings, the nexthighest setting greater than 70-percent must be chosen. 80 FR 46729, 46745. DOE is considering, as described in the following sections, whether additional changes to section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 are warranted to provide further clarity, particularly with regard to how the wash time setting should be interpreted for electronic control dials. Clarification for Electronic Cycle Selection Dials DOE has observed on the market clothes washers that have an electronic cycle selection dial designed to visually simulate a conventional VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 electromechanical dial.18 In particular, DOE has observed clothes washers with an electronic dial that offers multiple Normal cycle selections; for example, ‘‘Normal-Light,’’ ‘‘Normal-Medium,’’ and ‘‘Normal-Heavy,’’ with the descriptor referring to the soil level of the clothing. On such clothes washers, the only difference between the three Normal cycles apparent to consumers when performing each cycle may be the wash time, although other less observable parameters may also differ. Although the electronic dial simulates the visual appearance of an electromechanical dial, the electronic dial is programmed with a preestablished set of wash cycle parameters, including wash time, for each of the discrete cycle selections presented on the machine. For this type of cycle selection dial, each of the discrete cycle selection options represents a selectable ‘‘wash cycle’’ as referred to in section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2, and a wash time is prescribed for each available wash cycle. Therefore, for clothes washers with this type of electronic dial, the wash cycle selected for testing must correspond to the wash cycle that meets the definition of Normal cycle in section 1.25 of Appendix J2. The wash time setting thus would be the prescribed wash time for the selected wash cycle; i.e., the 70percent test would not apply to this type of dial. DOE is considering whether any changes to section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 are warranted to qualify further which type of dial would be subject to the 70percent test. Issue II.B.33. DOE requests feedback on whether section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 should be further clarified regarding electronic cycle selection dials that visually simulate conventional electromechanical dials. Direction of Dial Rotation Section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 also states that, for clothes washers with electromechanical dials controlling wash time, the dial must be turned in the direction of increasing wash time to reach the appropriate wash time setting. DOE is aware that not all electromechanical dials currently on the market can be turned in the direction of increasing wash time. On such models, the dial can only be turned in the 18 On most electromechanical dials, the rotational position of the dial corresponds to the desired wash time. The user rotates the dial from the initial ‘‘off’’ position to the desired wash time position, and after starting the wash cycle, the dial rotates throughout the progression of the wash cycle until it reaches the off position at the end of the cycle. In contrast, an electronic dial contains a fixed number of selectable positions, and the dial remains in the selected position for the duration of the wash cycle. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31075 direction of decreasing wash time. DOE believes that the direction of rotation need only be prescribed on a clothes washer with an electromechanical dial that can rotate in both directions. Therefore, DOE is considering further amending section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 to clarify that the requirement to rotate the dial in the direction of increasing wash time applies only to dials that can rotate in both directions. Issue II.B.34. DOE requests comment on its understanding of the functioning of dials currently on the market, specifically with regard to the direction(s) of rotation and whether the wording of section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 warrants revision to clarify that the requirement to rotate the dial in the direction of increasing wash time applies only to dials that can rotate in both directions. ‘‘Wash Time’’ Terminology Finally, DOE is considering whether to state that the phrase ‘‘wash time’’ in section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 refers to the period of agitation or tumble. This clarification would be consistent with the historical context of this section of the test procedure. In Appendix J as established by the September 1977 Final Rule, section 2.10 Clothes washer setting defined ‘‘wash time’’ as the ‘‘period of agitation.’’ As part of the January 2001 Final Rule, DOE amended section 2.10 of Appendix J by renaming it Wash time (period of agitation or tumble) setting.19 66 FR 3313, 3330. When establishing Appendix J1 in the August 1997 Final Rule, DOE did not include reference to ‘‘period of agitation’’ in section 2.10 of Appendix J1. 62 FR 45484, 45510. DOE did not address this difference from Appendix J in the preamble of the August 1997 Final Rule or the NOPRs that preceded that final rule, but given the continued reference to ‘‘wash time’’ in Appendix J1, did not intend to change the general understanding that wash time refers to the wash portion of the cycle, which includes agitation or tumble time. DOE has since further amended section 2.10 of both Appendix J1 and Appendix J2 as part of the March 2012 Final Rule and August 2015 Final Rule (in which section 2.10 was renumbered as section 3.2.5), with no discussion in these final rules of the statement that remained in Appendix J, where wash time referred to agitation or tumble time. DOE further notes that in current RCW models on the market, agitation or tumble may be 19 In this context, ‘‘agitation’’ refers to the wash action of a top-loading clothes washer, whereas ‘‘tumble’’ refers to the wash action of a frontloading clothes washer. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31076 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules periodic or continuous during the wash portion of the cycle. Issue II.B.35. DOE requests feedback on whether DOE should consider reincorporating language into section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 to clarify that the term ‘‘wash time’’ refers to the wash portion of the cycle, including agitation or tumble time. h. Optional Cycle Modifiers Section 3.2.7 of Appendix J2 states that for clothes washers with electronic control systems, the manufacturer default settings must be used for any cycle selections, except for (1) the temperature selection, (2) the wash water fill levels, or (3) if necessary, the spin speeds on wash cycles used to determine RMC. Specifically, the manufacturer default settings must be used for wash conditions such as agitation/tumble operation, soil level, spin speed on wash cycles used to determine energy and water consumption, wash times, rinse times, optional rinse settings, water heating time for water-heating clothes washers, and all other wash parameters or optional features applicable to that wash cycle. Any optional wash cycle feature or setting (other than wash/rinse temperature, water fill level selection, or spin speed on wash cycles used to determine RMC) that is activated by default on the wash cycle under test must be included for testing unless the manufacturer instructions recommend not selecting this option, or recommend selecting a different option, for washing normally soiled cotton clothing. Issue II.B.36. DOE seeks comment on whether testing of cycle settings other than the manufacturer default settings would measure the energy efficiency and water use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks comment on whether the non-default selections required by the current DOE test procedure meet this requirement. DOE has observed a trend towards increased availability of optional cycle modifiers such as ‘‘deep fill,’’ as described previously in this document, and ‘‘extra rinse,’’ among others. These optional settings may significantly impact the water and/or energy consumption of the clothes washer when activated. DOE has observed that the default setting of these optional settings on the Normal cycle is most often in the off position; i.e., the least energy- and water-intensive setting. The growing presence of such features may, however, be indicative of an increase in consumer demand and/or usage of these features. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 Issue II.B.37. DOE requests information regarding how frequently consumers use ‘‘deep fill,’’ ‘‘extra rinse,’’ or other cycle modifiers, as well as whether (and if so, by how much) such modifiers may increase the energy or water consumption of a wash cycle compared to the default settings on the Normal cycle. DOE also requests comment on whether testing these features in the default settings would produce test results that measure energy efficiency and water use of clothes washers during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and the burden of such testing on manufacturers. 6. Wash/Rinse Temperature Selections for Semi-Automatic Clothes Washers Section II.B.2.d of this document discussed the installation of single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washers. This section discusses the wash/rinse temperature selections and TUFs applicable to all semi-automatic clothes washers. Semi-automatic clothes washers are defined at 10 CFR 430.2 as a class of clothes washer that is the same as an automatic clothes washer except that user intervention is required to regulate the water temperature by adjusting the external water faucet valves. DOE’s test procedure requirements at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(2)(ii) state that the use of Appendix J2 to determine IMEF is required for both automatic and semi-automatic clothes washers. Similarly, the IWF measurement requirements at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(3)(ii) apply to ‘‘clothes washer[s],’’ which is defined in 10 CFR 430.2 to include semi-automatic clothes washers. Semi-automatic clothes washers do not provide wash/rinse temperature selections on the control panel, and any combination of cold, warm, and hot wash temperatures and rinse temperatures can be implemented by the user. The following discussion provides relevant historical context on this issue. Section 6.1 of Appendix J–1977 20 and Appendix J–1997 provided TUFs for the following wash/rinse temperature combinations for semi-automatic clothes washers: Hot/Hot, Hot/Warm, Hot/Cold, Warm/Warm, Warm/Cold, and Cold/ Cold. The definition of these TUFs indicated that these six wash/rinse temperature combinations were 20 Throughout this section, to distinguish different versions of each test method, DOE uses the following nomenclature: Appendix [letter]-[year of amendment]. For example, the original version of Appendix J is referred to as Appendix J–1977. The version as amended by the August 1997 Final Rule is referred to as Appendix J–1997, and so forth. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 required for testing. Section 3.2.2.6 of Appendix J–1977 and Appendix J–1997 and section 3.2.3.1.6 of Appendix J1– 1997 and Appendix J1–2001 provided a table indicating the following external water faucet valve positions required to achieve each wash and rinse temperature selection: • Hot: Hot valve completely open, cold valve closed; • Warm: Hot valve completely open, cold valve completely open; and • Cold: Hot valve closed, cold valve completely open. Under Appendix J–1977 and Appendix J–1997, the Hot/Hot, Warm/ Warm, and Cold/Cold temperature combinations were tested for semiautomatic clothes washers without regulating the water temperature between the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. However, for the Hot/Warm, Hot/Cold, and Warm/Cold temperature combinations to be tested, Appendix J– 1977 and Appendix J–1997 required the test administrator to manually regulate the water temperature in between the wash and rinse portions of the cycle by adjusting the external water faucet valves. As reflected in DOE’s definition of semi-automatic clothes washer, user intervention is required to regulate the water temperature of all semi-automatic clothes washers (i.e., user regulation of water temperature is the distinguishing characteristic of a semi-automatic clothes washer). When it established Appendix J1– 1997, DOE combined all of the TUF tables—for both automatic and semiautomatic clothes washers—that were also provided in section 5 and section 6 of Appendix J–1997 into a single condensed table in Table 4.1.1 of Appendix J1–1997. 62 FR 45484, 45512. In contrast to Appendix J–1997, which provided separate TUF tables for every possible set of available wash/rinse temperature selections, the new simplified table in Appendix J1–1997 was organized into columns based on the number of wash temperature selections available on a clothes washer. Warm rinse was considered separately within each column of the table. Id. In the current version of Appendix J2, Table 4.1.1 remains a single simplified table, although in the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE clarified the column headings by listing the wash/rinse temperature selections applicable to each column. 80 FR 46729, 46782. The simplified Table 4.1.1 in Appendix J2 does not state which column(s) of the table are applicable to semi-automatic clothes washers. In the May 2012 Direct Final Rule, DOE stated that it was not aware of any semiautomatic clothes washers on the E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules market. 77 FR 32307, 32317. However, DOE is currently aware of several semiautomatic clothes washer model available in the U.S. market. Issue II.B.38. DOE requests input on whether the test procedure should be amended with regard to the specificity of wash/rinse test combinations for semi-automatic clothes washers in Appendix J2, and whether those updates would provide test results that measure energy efficiency and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and whether they would be unduly burdensome to conduct. 7. Usage Factors DOE requests information on whether, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3), the consumer usage factors incorporated into the test procedure produce test results that measure energy efficiency and water use of clothes washers during a representative average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks comment on whether testing cycle configurations with usage factors below a certain percentage would be unduly burdensome to conduct and would not be considered to be reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use because they are rarely used by consumers. a. Temperature Usage Factors As described in section II.B.6 of this document, TUFs are weighting factors that represent the percentage of wash cycles for which consumers choose a particular wash/rinse temperature selection. The TUFs in Table 4.1.1 of Appendix J2 are based on the TUFs introduced in Appendix J1–1997 by the August 1997 Final Rule. As described in the April 1996 SNOPR, DOE established the TUFs in Appendix J1–1997 based on an analysis of consumer usage data provided by Procter & Gamble (‘‘P&G’’), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (‘‘AHAM’’), General Electric Company (‘‘GE’’), and Whirlpool Corporation (‘‘Whirlpool’’), as well as linear regression analyses performed by P&G and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (‘‘NIST’’). 61 FR 17589, 17593. DOE understands that consumer usage patterns may have changed since the introduction of Table 4.1.1 in Appendix J1–1997. DOE recognizes that some possible combinations of wash/rinse temperature selections that could be offered on a clothes washer are not represented in Table 4.1.1 (e.g., the current table would not accommodate a clothes washer that offers only Extra-Hot/Cold and Cold/ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 Cold wash/rinse temperature selections). Issue II.B.39. DOE requests data on current consumer usage frequency of the wash/rinse temperature selections required for testing in Appendix J2. Issue II.B.40. DOE requests input on whether requiring measurement of cycle selections with low TUFs (for example, the current Table 4.1.1 lists TUFs including 5, 9, and 14 percent) is consistent with the EPCA requirement that the test procedure be reasonably designed to measure the energy use or efficiency of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and not be unduly burdensome to conduct. Issue II.B.41. DOE requests information on whether any combinations of wash/rinse temperature selections not currently represented in Table 4.1.1 of Appendix J2 exist. DOE also seeks data to support how the TUFs for such combinations could be defined to ensure that the test procedure measures energy and water consumption during a representative average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks comments on whether any of the combinations in Table 4.1.1 should be removed as not reasonably designed to measure the energy use of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use. For semi-automatic clothes washers, DOE is considering whether amendments with regard to the specificity of wash/rinse temperature combinations and associated TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers in Appendix J2 would provide test results that are reasonably designed to measure energy and water consumption during a representative average use cycle or period of use. As discussed in section II.B.6 of this RFI, Appendix J specified TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers for six wash/rinse temperature combinations. Appendix J2 does not currently provide separate TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers. Because the wash and rinse temperatures on a semi-automatic clothes washer are controlled directly by the consumer by adjusting the hot and cold water faucets, DOE understands that the appropriate TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers that best reflect energy and water consumption during a representative average use cycle or period of use may be different from those of automatic clothes washers. Issue II.B.42. DOE requests input on whether to specify TUFs for semiautomatic clothes washers in Appendix J2, and if so, how the TUFs should be defined to be reasonably designed to PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31077 measure energy and water consumption during a representative average use cycle or period of use for semiautomatic clothes washers. b. Load Usage Factors Load Usage Factors (‘‘LUFs’’) are weighting factors that represent the percentage of wash cycles that consumers run with a given load size. Table 4.1.3 of Appendix J2 provides two sets of LUFs based on whether the clothes washer has a manual WFCS or automatic WFCS. For a clothes washer with a manual WFCS, the two LUFs represent the percentage of wash cycles for which consumers choose the maximum water fill level and minimum water fill level, regardless of the actual load size. For a clothes washer with an automatic WFCS, the three LUFs represent the percentage of cycles for which the consumer washes a minimum-size, average-size, and maximum-size load. The values of these LUFs are intended to approximate a normal distribution that is slightly weighted towards the minimum load size. This distribution is based on consumer load size data provided by P&G in support of the development of Appendix J1–1997.21 Issue II.B.43. DOE requests data on current consumer usage as related to the LUFs and whether any updates to the LUFs in Table 4.1.3 of Appendix J2 are warranted to reflect current consumer usage patterns. DOE specifically requests comment on whether the use of certain LUFs in the test procedure is consistent with the EPCA requirement that the test procedure be reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use without being unduly burdensome to conduct, because certain load sizes may be rarely used by consumers. c. Load Size Table Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 provides the minimum, average, and maximum load sizes to be used for testing based on the measured capacity of the clothes washer. The table defines capacity ‘‘bins’’ in 0.1 cu.ft. increments. The load sizes for each capacity bin are determined as follows: • Minimum load is 3 pounds (‘‘lb’’) for all capacity bins; • Maximum load (in lb) is equal to 4.1 times the mean clothes washer 21 The P&G load size data are provided on pages 13–20 in legacy Docket EE–RM–94–230A Comment 25, which is archived on the regulations.gov website under Docket EERE–2006–TP–0065 Comment 27. Available at https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2006-TP0065-0027. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31078 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules capacity of each capacity bin (in cu.ft.); and • Average load is the arithmetic mean of the minimum load and maximum load. DOE originally introduced the load size table in Appendix J1 in the August 1997 Final Rule, which accommodated clothes container capacities up to 3.8 cu.ft. This load size table was provided by AHAM as part of AHAM’s recommended test procedure changes for Appendix J1, as described in the April 1996 SNOPR. 61 FR 17589, 17595. In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE expanded Table 5.1 to accommodate clothes container capacities up to 6.0 cu.ft. 77 FR 13887, 13910. DOE extrapolated the load sizes to 6.0 cu.ft. using the same equations to define the maximum and average load sizes as described previously. On May 2, 2016 and April 10, 2017, DOE granted waivers to Whirlpool and Samsung Electronics America Inc., respectively, for testing RCWs with capacities between 6.0 and 8.0 cu.ft.,22 by further extrapolating Table 5.1 using the same equations to define the maximum and average load sizes as described previously. 81 FR 26215, 82 FR 17229. DOE’s regulations in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions allowing any interested person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements if certain conditions are met. A waiver allows manufacturers to use an alternative test procedure in situations where the DOE test procedure cannot be used to test the product or equipment, or where use of the DOE test procedure would generate unrepresentative results. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1) DOE’s regulations at 10 CFR 430.27(l) require that as soon as practicable after the granting of any waiver, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a NOPR to amend its regulations so as to eliminate any need for the continuation of such waiver. As soon thereafter as practicable, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a final rule. Therefore, DOE will consider amending its test procedure to accommodate RCWs with capacities up to 8.0 cu.ft. as part of a future rulemaking. Note that section II.B.4 of this document provides additional discussion regarding potential alternative approaches for representing clothes container capacity that DOE could consider, which might suggest a different solution for addressing largercapacity clothes washers than extrapolation of the existing Table 5.1. 22 As noted, CCWs are limited under the statutory definition to a maximum capacity of 3.5 cubic feet for horizontal-axis CCWs and 4.0 cubic feet for vertical-axis CCWs. 42 U.S.C. 6311(21). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 Issue II.B.44. DOE requests comment on whether Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 should be extrapolated to accommodate RCW capacities up to 8.0 cu.ft., and if so, appropriate methods for extrapolation. More generally, DOE also requests data and information on whether the minimum, average, and maximum load size definitions in Table 5.1 are representative of the range of load sizes used by consumers for each capacity bin in the table, particularly for larger-capacity RCWs.23 d. Dryer Usage Factor The dryer usage factor (‘‘DUF’’) represents the percentage of clothes washer loads dried in a clothes dryer. The DUF is used in section 4.3 of Appendix J2 in the equation for calculating the per-cycle energy required to remove the remaining moisture of the test load (i.e., ‘‘drying energy’’). DOE first introduced the drying energy equation in Appendix J1 as part of the August 1997 Final Rule. DOE originally established a DUF value of 0.84, which was based in part on data provided by P&G, as described in the April 1996 SNOPR. 61 FR 17589, 17592; 62 FR 45484, 45489. In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE revised the DUF in Appendix J2 to 0.91 based on updated consumer usage data from the Energy Information Administration (‘‘EIA’’) 2005 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (‘‘RECS’’). 77 FR 13887, 13913. Issue II.B.45. DOE specifically requests comment on whether the DUF in the test procedure is consistent with the EPCA requirement that the test procedure be reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use without being unduly burdensome to conduct, because certain drying cycles may be rarely used by consumers. DOE also requests data and information on whether any further adjustments to the DUF are warranted to reflect current consumer usage patterns. e. Spin Speed Usage Factors Section 3.8.4.1 of Appendix J2 provides weighting factors for calculating the RMC value for clothes washers that have options such as multiple spin speeds or spin time settings that result in different RMC values, and that are available within the energy test cycle. The equation in section 3.8.4.1 of Appendix J2 assigns a 75-percent usage factor to the maximum 23 DOE notes that the load size definitions could be considered independently from, or in conjunction with, the LUFs, as described in the previous section of this document. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 spin setting and a 25-percent usage factor to the minimum spin setting. In originally establishing the spin setting usage factors in Appendix J–1997, DOE considered P&G usage factor data for normal/regular cycle usage (in which maximum water extraction is assumed) as compared to delicate and permanentpress cycle usage (in which minimum water extraction is assumed). 62 FR 45484, 45489; see also AHAM comment in docket EE–RM–94–230A, pp. 2 and 8.24 DOE determined that the consumers washing less durable articles of clothing would refrain from using a higher spin cycle to prevent possible fabric damage, and that the spin setting usage factors correlated to the use of normal/regular cycle usage as compared to delicate and permanent-press cycle usage. Id. Note that section II.B.5.c of this document provides additional discussion regarding potential alternative approaches that DOE could consider for clothes washers with multiple spin speeds, which might suggest a different solution than maintaining the existing spin speed usage factors. Issue II.B.46. DOE requests data and information on whether current consumer usage patterns warrant any adjustments to the spin speed usage factors. In particular, DOE requests consumer usage data regarding the selection of spin speeds on clothes washers that offer multiple spin speeds, and particularly the percentage of wash cycles for which consumers use the default spin settings. DOE also requests comment on whether the use of certain spin speed usage factors in the test procedure is consistent with the EPCA requirement that the test procedure be reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use without being unduly burdensome to conduct, because certain spin speeds may be rarely used by consumers. f. Annual Number of Wash Cycles Section 4.4 of Appendix J2 provides the representative average number of annual clothes washer cycles for the purpose of translating the annualized inactive and off mode energy consumption measurements into a percycle value applied to each active mode wash cycle. Separately, the number of annual wash cycles is also referenced in DOE’s test procedure provisions at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(1)(i)(A) and (B), (j)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), and (j)(3)(i) and (ii) for the purpose of calculating annual 24 Available at: https://www.regulations.gov/ document?D=EERE-2006-TP-0065-0011. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules operating cost and annual water consumption of a clothes washer. In the August 1997 Final Rule, DOE estimated the representative number of annual wash cycles per RCW to be 392, which represented the average number of cycles per year from 1986 through 1994, based on P&G survey data provided to DOE as described in a NOPR published on March 23, 1995. 60 FR 15330, 15335; 62 FR 45484, 45501. In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE updated the representative number of wash cycles per year to 295 based on an analysis of the 2005 RECS data. 77 FR 13887, 13909. More recently, analysis of the 2009 RECS data suggests 284 cycles per year, and analysis of the 2015 RECS data (the most recent available) suggests 234 cycles per year. Issue II.B.47. DOE requests data and information on whether any further adjustments to the number of annual wash cycles are warranted to reflect current RCW consumer usage patterns, as suggested by RECS data. g. Low-Power Mode Usage Factors Section 4.4 of Appendix J2 allocates 8,465 combined annual hours for inactive and off modes. If a clothes washer offers a switch, dial, or button that can be optionally selected by the user to achieve a lower-power inactive/ off mode than the default inactive/off mode, section 4.4 assigns half of those hours (i.e., 4,232.5 hours) to the default inactive/off mode and the other half to the optional lowest-power inactive/off mode. This allocation is based on an assumption that if a clothes washer offers such a feature, consumers will select the optional lower-power mode half of the time. 77 FR 13887, 13904. The allocation of 8,465 hours to combined inactive and off modes is based on an assumption of 295 active mode hours (assuming one hour per active mode wash cycle), for a total of 8,760 hours per year for all operating modes. Issue II.B.48. DOE requests input on whether the annual hours allocated to combined inactive and off modes, as well as the assumed 50-percent split between default inactive/off mode and any optional lower-power inactive/off mode, result in a test method that measures the energy efficiency of the clothes washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use and would not be unduly burdensome to conduct. 8. Associated Equipment Efficiencies hot water energy consumption for all water fill levels tested. The hot water energy consumption is calculated by multiplying the measured volume of hot water by a constant fixed temperature rise of 75 °F and by the specific heat of water, defined as 0.00240 kilowatthours per gallon per degree Fahrenheit (kWh/gal-°F). No efficiency or loss factor is included in this calculation, which implies an electric water heater efficiency of 100 percent. Similarly, section 4.1.4 of Appendix J2 provides an equation for calculating total per-cycle hot water energy consumption using gas-heated or oilheated water, for product labeling requirements.25 This equation includes a multiplication factor ‘‘e,’’ representing the nominal gas or oil water heater efficiency, defined as 0.75. These water-heating energy equations estimate the energy required by the household water heater to heat the hot water used by the clothes washer. Percycle hot water energy consumption is one of the four energy components in the IMEF metric. Issue II.B.49. DOE requests input on whether any updates are warranted to the water heater efficiency values implied in section 4.1.2 and provided in section 4.1.4 of Appendix J2. b. Drying Energy Section 4.3 of Appendix J2 provides an equation for calculating total percycle energy consumption for removal of moisture from the test load in a clothes dryer; i.e., the ‘‘drying energy.’’ The drying energy calculation is based on the following three factors: (1) A clothes dryer final RMC of 4 percent; (2) a clothes dryer energy factor (‘‘DEF’’), which is defined as 0.5 kWh/lb and represents the nominal energy required for a clothes dryer to remove moisture from a pound of clothes; and (3) the DUF which, as described previously in this document, is defined as 0.91 and represents the percentage of clothes washer loads dried in a clothes dryer. DOE is soliciting information to determine whether the final RMC value after drying and the DEF value should be revised as a result of recent updates to the DOE clothes dryer test procedure and any market changes due to the most recent energy conservation standards for clothes dryers. DOE’s test procedure for clothes dryers, codified at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix D1 (‘‘Appendix D1’’), prescribes a final RMC of between a. Water Heater Efficiencies Section 4.1.2 of Appendix J2 provides equations for calculating total per-cycle VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 25 The Federal Trade Commission’s EnergyGuide label for RCWs includes the estimated annual operating cost using natural gas water heating. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31079 2.5 and 5.0 percent, which is consistent with the 4-percent final RMC value in the clothes washer test procedure for determination of the DEF. However, DOE’s alternate clothes dryer test procedure, codified at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix D2 (‘‘Appendix D2’’), prescribes a final RMC of between 1 and 2.5 percent for timer dryers, which are clothes dryers that can be preset to carry out at least one operation to be terminated by a time, but may also be manually controlled and do not include any automatic termination function. For automatic termination control dryers, which can be preset to carry out at least one sequence of operations to be terminated by means of a system assessing, directly or indirectly, the moisture content of the load, the test cycle is deemed invalid if the clothes dryer terminates the cycle at a final RMC greater than 2 percent. In the final rule establishing Appendix D2, DOE determined that a clothes dryer final RMC of 2 percent using the DOE test load would be more representative of clothes dryers currently on the market in that generally consumers would find a final RMC above this level unacceptable. Timer dryers are provided with a range of allowable final RMC during the test because DOE concluded that it would be unduly burdensome to require the tester to dry the test load to an exact RMC; however, the measured test cycle energy consumption for timer dryers is normalized to calculate the energy consumption required to dry the test load to 2-percent final RMC. 78 FR 49607, 49612–49624 (Aug. 14, 2013). Manufacturers may elect to use Appendix D2 to demonstrate compliance with the January 1, 2015, energy conservation standards; however, the procedures in Appendix D2 need not be performed to determine compliance with energy conservation standards for clothes dryers at this time. Issue II.B.50. DOE requests input on whether the final RMC value in the drying energy calculation in Appendix J2 should be revised to align with the DOE clothes dryer test procedure at Appendix D2 or another value that is representative of clothes dryers currently on the market. Issue II.B.51. DOE requests input on whether the current value of the DEF is representative of the nominal energy required for a clothes dryer to remove moisture from a pound of clothes, or whether an alternative value would be more representative. E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31080 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules 9. Non-Conventional Features a. Clothes Washers With an Additional Wash System DOE is aware of ‘‘auxiliary’’ or ‘‘supplementary’’ RCWs designed to accompany a standard-size RCW from the same manufacturer. In one configuration, a top-loading wash drum (i.e., ‘‘auxiliary’’ clothes washer) is integrated into the top of a standard-size front-loading clothes washer (i.e., ‘‘primary’’ clothes washer). The primary front-loading clothes washer and the auxiliary top-loading clothes washer are powered through a single electrical plug; however, the primary clothes washer and the auxiliary clothes washer have separate control systems and can be operated independently from one another. Another configuration comprises a top-loading RCW sold as a separate product (i.e., ‘‘supplementary’’ clothes washer) with independent controls and a separate electrical plug, and which is designed to be installed underneath certain front-loading RCWs within the space of a conventional pedestal or riser. Because such auxiliary and supplementary clothes washers are installed in conjunction with a primary clothes washer, the presence and operation of two separate clothes washers may affect consumer usage patterns for both the primary and auxiliary or supplementary clothes washers, compared to if the consumer had only a primary clothes washer. For example, separating certain items from a clothing load to be washed in the auxiliary or supplementary clothes washer would reduce the size of the clothing load washed in the primary clothes washer or could result in fewer cycles being run in the primary clothes washer. Additionally, in the case of an auxiliary clothes washer, which is integrated with the primary clothes washer and powered through a single electrical plug, the standby power might be ‘‘double counted’’ for both the primary clothes washer and the auxiliary clothes washer, since the standby power consumed by both clothes washers would be measured through the single electrical plug during both independent tests. Issue II.B.52. DOE requests information on whether or how the presence of an auxiliary or supplementary clothes washer may affect usage patterns in the primary clothes washer. Issue II.B.53. DOE requests input on the appropriate allocation of combined low-power mode energy consumption between auxiliary and primary clothes VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 washers that are powered through a single electrical plug. b. Clothes Washers With a Pre-Treat Soaking Basin DOE is aware of RCWs that contain a built-in basin that can be used to pretreat and soak clothing before the start of a wash cycle. As observed among models currently on the market, the soaking basin is separate from the main clothing drum and is filled with water through an auxiliary water nozzle separate from the water fill control system used for the main clothing drum. As described in the user manual, the pre-treat and soaking feature is recommended to be used before the RCW begins its main wash cycle operation. As observed among models currently on the market, use of the builtin basin and auxiliary water nozzle are not considered part of active washing mode, as defined by section 1.2 of Appendix J2. Issue II.B.54. DOE requests consumer usage data on built-in pre-treat soak basins, as well as information on the amount of energy and water these basins typically use. DOE also requests information on whether and to what extent the energy and water use in the subsequent wash cycle would be impacted by the transfer of water and wet clothing from the pre-treat basin to the clothes washer drum. C. Metrics In addition to adjustments to the current test procedure to produce MEF, IMEF, and IWF values that reflect current clothes washers and consumer use, DOE may also consider in a future rulemaking broader changes to key metrics that would, for example, harmonize the DOE test procedure with other industry test methods. In particular, DOE may consider changes to the energy efficiency metric and the water efficiency metric. DOE may also consider adjustments to the annual energy calculation. 1. Energy Efficiency Metric The current energy efficiency standards for RCWs are based on the IMEF metric, measured in cu.ft./kWh/ cycle, as calculated in section 4.6 of Appendix J2. IMEF is calculated as the capacity of the clothes container (in cu.ft.) divided by the total clothes washer energy consumption (in kWh) per cycle. The total clothes washer energy consumption per cycle is the sum of: (a) The machine electrical energy consumption; (b) the hot water energy consumption; (c) the energy required for removal of the remaining moisture in the wash load; and (d) the PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 combined low-power mode energy consumption. The current energy efficiency standards for CCWs are based on the MEFJ2 metric, measured in cu.ft./kWh/ cycle, as determined in section 4.5 of Appendix J2. The MEFJ2 metric differs from the IMEF metric by not including the combined low-power mode energy consumption in the total clothes washer energy consumption per cycle. DOE could consider changing the energy efficiency metrics for RCWs or CCWs to maintain consistency with any changes to the capacity metric or for other reasons. For example, the MEFJ2 or IMEF metric could be modified to incorporate a capacity based on weight of clothing, as described previously in this document, which would result in an MEFJ2 or IMEF expressed in terms of pounds of clothing per kWh per cycle. Issue II.C.1. DOE requests feedback on whether to consider any changes to the energy efficiency metric defined in the test procedure, including the drivers for such a change and the form of a new metric. 2. Water Efficiency Metric The current water efficiency standards for both RCWs and CCWs are based on the IWF metric, measured in gal/cycle/cu.ft, as calculated in section 4.2.13 of Appendix J2. IWF is calculated as the total weighted per-cycle water consumption (in gallons) for all wash cycles divided by the capacity of the clothes container (in cu.ft.). Unlike the IMEF metric, in which a higher number indicates more efficient performance, a lower IWF value indicates more efficient performance. DOE could consider inverting the existing calculation such that a higher value of IWF would represent more efficient performance, which would provide greater consistency with the IMEF metric. Issue II.C.2. DOE requests feedback on whether to consider any changes to the water efficiency metric defined in the test procedure to maintain consistency with any changes to the capacity metric or for any other purpose, including those described for the energy efficiency metric, and whether it would be appropriate to invert the existing calculation such that a higher value of IWF would represent more efficient performance. 3. Annual Energy Calculation The annual energy consumption of an RCW is calculated as part of the estimated annual operating cost calculations at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(1)(ii)(A) E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules and (B).26 In each equation, annual energy consumption is calculated by multiplying the per-cycle energy consumption 27 by the representative average RCW use of 295 cycles per year. The annual operating cost is provided to the consumer on the Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’) EnergyGuide label for RCWs. DOE could consider changes to the method for calculating annual energy use to ensure that the calculation results in a measurement of energy use during a representative average use cycle. DOE may also consider changes to the overall calculation methodology that could improve the usefulness of the information presented to the consumer on the product label. An increasingly wide range of RCW capacities are available on the market, ranging from less than 1 cu.ft. to greater than 6 cu.ft. When DOE originally developed the annual energy calculation methodology at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(1)(i), the test procedure accommodated clothes washers with capacities up to 3.8 cu.ft.28 According to the current calculation methodology, all RCWs are assumed to be used for 295 cycles per year, while the per-cycle energy reflects a weighted-average load size based on the clothes washer capacity. Therefore, the annual energy calculation reflects an annual volume of laundered clothing that scales with clothes washer capacity. The increasing range of RCW capacities available on the market may mean that the total amount of laundered clothing reflected in the annual energy calculation is no longer reflective of energy use during a representative average use cycle of RCWs of different sizes. For example, the current annual energy calculation methodology is based on an annual laundry volume of 2,258 pounds for a 3-cu.ft. RCW and 4,036 pounds for a 6-cu.ft. RCW. This potential disparity is particularly notable when comparing the product labels of two RCW models with the same IMEF efficiency rating, but different capacities. Under the current annual energy calculation methodology, the information presented on the product label would indicate that the larger-capacity RCW would use significantly more annual energy than 26 Part (A) provides the calculation when electrically heated water is used. Part (B) provides the calculation when gas-heated or oil-heated water is used. 27 These equations include the machine electrical energy consumption, hot water energy consumption, and combined low-power mode energy consumption; they exclude the energy consumption for removal of moisture from the test load (i.e., the ‘‘drying energy’’). 28 The maximum capacity in the original load size table in Appendix J1–1997 was 3.8 cu.ft. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 the smaller-capacity model; however, the larger RCW’s label would be based on a significantly larger amount of annual laundry than the smaller model, as illustrated above. If compared on the basis of an equivalent volume of laundered clothing, both RCWs could be expected to use the same amount of annual energy since they have the same IMEF efficiency rating. This potential disparity may limit the ability of an individual consumer to use the information presented on the product label to compare the differences in expected energy use among RCW models with the same rated energy efficiency but different capacities. Given the increasingly wide range of RCW capacities available on the market, and the significant changes over time in estimated annual RCW cycles, DOE may consider whether any changes are warranted for the annual energy and annual water calculations to ensure that the results continue to reflect representative average use for all clothes washer sizes, to harmonize with any changes to other metrics within the DOE test procedures, and to continue to provide useful comparative information to consumers. For example: • Revising the annual energy and annual water calculation methodology from being based on a fixed number of annual cycles to a fixed number of annual pounds of clothing. • Varying the annual number of wash cycles based on clothes washer capacity, rather than a fixed number of annual cycles for all clothes washers. Issue II.C.3. DOE requests data and information regarding whether and how the annual number of wash cycles varies as a function of clothes washer capacity. DOE also requests feedback on whether DOE should consider any changes to the annual energy or annual water calculation methodology and the burden associated with these potential changes. III. Other Comments, Data, and Information In addition to the issues identified earlier in this document, DOE welcomes comment on any other aspect of the existing test procedures for clothes washers not already addressed by the specific areas identified in this document. For example, as a general matter, DOE test procedures are intended to be performed to completion while a unit is installed in the test fixture. If a unit were to be uninstalled or removed from the test fixture before completion of the full test procedure, DOE would consider it a best practice to redo the complete test once the unit is reinstalled in the test fixture. Appendix J2 does not PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31081 currently specify that the entire test procedure should be conducted without interruption, but DOE could consider adding such specification if doing so would lead to more repeatable and reproducible test results, particularly for the active mode portion of the test. DOE recognizes that given the differences in test conditions between active mode and inactive/off mode testing,29 that these two portions of the test could be performed in separate test fixtures. DOE recently issued an RFI to seek more information on whether its test procedures are reasonably designed, as required by EPCA, to produce results that measure the energy use or efficiency of a product during a representative average use cycle or period of use. 84 FR 9721 (Mar. 18, 2019). DOE seeks comment and information on this issue as it pertains to the test procedure for clothes washers along with comments and information on the following: Issue III.1. DOE particularly seeks information regarding whether amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the requirement that they be reasonably designed to produce test results that measure energy efficiency and water use of clothes washers during a representative average use cycle or period of use. Issue III.2. DOE requests information that would ensure that the test procedure is not unduly burdensome to conduct. Specifically, DOE requests comments on whether potential amendments based on the issues discussed would result in a test procedure that is unduly burdensome to conduct, particularly in light of any new products on the market since the last test procedure update. Issue III.3. DOE requests feedback on any potential amendments to the existing test procedures that could be considered to address impacts on manufacturers, including small businesses. Issue III.4. DOE requests comment on the benefits and burdens of adopting any industry/voluntary consensus-based or other appropriate test procedure, without modification. Issue III.5. DOE seeks information on how the test procedures could be amended to reduce the cost of new or additional features and make it more 29 Specifically, section 3.9 of appendix J2 specifies for combined low-power mode testing (i.e., inactive/off mode testing) to establish the testing conditions set forth in sections 2.1 (electrical energy supply), 2.4 (test room temperature), and 2.10 (clothes washer installation); but does not require establishing the other test conditions in section 2 of appendix J2 (e.g., supply water and water pressure). E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 31082 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules likely that such features are included on clothes washers. IV. Submission of Comments DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date specified in the DATES section, comments and information on matters addressed in this document and on other matters relevant to DOE’s consideration of test procedures for clothes washers. These comments and information will aid in the development of a test procedure NOPR for RCWs and CCWs if DOE determines that amended test procedures may be appropriate for these products. Submitting comments via http:// www.regulations.gov. The http:// www.regulations.gov web page will require you to provide your name and contact information. 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. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your comment. Persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any documents submitted with the comments. Do not submit to http:// www.regulations.gov information for which disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as Confidential Business Information (‘‘CBI’’)). Comments submitted through http:// www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through the website will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business Information section. DOE processes submissions made through http://www.regulations.gov before posting. Normally, comments VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 will be posted within a few days of being submitted. 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:// www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment. Submitting comments via email, hand delivery, or mail. Comments and documents submitted via email, hand delivery, or mail also will 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 each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand delivery, please provide all items on a CD, if feasible. It is not necessary to submit printed copies. No facsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that are not secured, written in English and free of any defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature of the author. Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters’ names compiled into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting time. Confidential Business Information. According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery two well-marked copies: One copy of the document marked confidential including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked ‘‘non-confidential’’ with the information believed to be confidential deleted. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Submit these documents via email to ResClothesWasher2016TP0011@ ee.doe.gov or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination. 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 the process for developing test procedures and energy conservation standards. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the comment period in each stage of this process. Interactions with and between members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and assist DOE in the process. Anyone who wishes to be added to the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about this process should contact Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 287–1445 or via e-mail at ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Signing Authority This document of the Department of Energy was signed on February 25, 2020, by Alexander N. Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, pursuant to delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. That document with the original signature and date is maintained by DOE. For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the undersigned DOE Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to sign and submit the document in electronic format for publication, as an official document of the Department of Energy. This administrative process in no way alters the legal effect of this document upon publication in the Federal Register. Signed in Washington, DC, on May 6, 2020. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2020–09990 Filed 5–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 100 (Friday, May 22, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31065-31082]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-09990]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 430 and 431

[EERE-2016-BT-TP-0011]
RIN 1904-AD95


Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Residential and 
Commercial Clothes Washers

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

ACTION: Request for information.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (``DOE'') is initiating a data 
collection process through this request for information (``RFI'') to 
consider whether to amend its test procedures for clothes washers. As 
part of this RFI, DOE seeks comment on whether there have been changes 
in product testing methodology or new products on the market since the 
last test procedure update that may create the need to make amendments 
to the test procedure for clothes washers. DOE also seeks data and 
information that could enable the agency to propose that the current 
test procedure produces results that are representative of an average 
use cycle for the product and is not unduly burdensome to conduct, and 
therefore does not need amendment. DOE requests comment on specific 
aspects of the current test procedure, including product definitions 
and configurations, testing conditions and instrumentation, measurement 
methods, representative usage and efficiency factors, and metric 
definitions. DOE also seeks comment on any additional topics that may 
inform DOE's decision whether to conduct a future test procedure 
rulemaking, including methods to ensure that the test procedure is 
reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use and is not unduly 
burdensome to conduct. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on 
any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not 
raised in this RFI).

DATES: Written comments and information are requested and will be 
accepted on or before June 22, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested 
persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2016-BT-
TP-0011, by any of the following methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
    2. Email: [email protected]. Include docket 
number EERE-2016-BT-TP-0011 in the subject line of the message.
    3. Postal 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. Telephone: 
(202) 287-1445. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc 
(``CD''), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.
    4. 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) 
287-1445. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case 
it is not necessary to include printed copies.
    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed 
instructions on submitting comments and additional information on this 
process, see section IV of this document.
    Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal 
Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, 
is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov. All documents in 
the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. However, 
some documents listed in the index, such as those containing 
information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly 
available.
    The docket web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2016-BT-TP-0011. The docket web page contains 
simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public 
comments, in the docket. See section IV for information on how to 
submit comments through http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 
20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: 
[email protected].
    Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the 
General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 
20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. Email: 
[email protected].
    For further information on how to submit a comment or review other 
public comments and the docket, contact the Appliance and Equipment 
Standards Program staff at (202) 287-1445 or by email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
    A. Authority
    B. Rulemaking History
II. Request for Information and Comments
    A. Scope & Definitions
    B. Test Procedure
    1. Connected Clothes Washers
    2. Testing Conditions, Instrumentation, and Installation
    3. Test Cloth
    4. Capacity Measurement Alternatives
    5. Cycle Selection and Settings
    6. Wash/Rinse Temperature Selections for Semi-Automatic Clothes 
Washers
    7. Usage Factors
    8. Associated Equipment Efficiencies
    9. Non-Conventional Features
    C. Metrics
    1. Energy Efficiency Metric
    2. Water Efficiency Metric
    3. Annual Energy Calculation
III. Other Comments, Data, and Information
IV. Submission of Comments

I. Introduction

    Residential clothes washers (``RCWs'') are included in the list of 
``covered products'' for which DOE is authorized to establish and amend 
energy conservation standards and test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 
6292(a)(7)) DOE's test procedures for RCWs are prescribed at 10 CFR 
430.23(j) and appendices J1, J2, and J3 to subpart B of 10 CFR part 
430. Commercial clothes washers (``CCWs'') are included in the list of 
``covered equipment'' for which DOE is authorized to establish and 
amend energy conservation standards and test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 
6311(1)(H)) The test procedures for CCWs must be the

[[Page 31066]]

same as those for established for RCWs. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(8)) The 
following sections discuss DOE's authority to establish and amend test 
procedures for RCWs and CCWs, as well as relevant background 
information regarding DOE's consideration of test procedures for these 
products.

A. Authority

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended 
(``EPCA'') \1\ authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a 
number of consumer products and certain industrial equipment, among 
other things. (42 U.S.C. 6291-6317) Title III, Part B \2\ of EPCA 
established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other 
Than Automobiles, which sets forth a variety of provisions designed to 
improve energy efficiency. These consumer products include RCWs. (42 
U.S.C. 6292(a)(7)) Title III, Part C \3\ of EPCA, added by Public Law 
95-619, Title IV, section 441(a), established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Certain Industrial Equipment. This equipment includes CCWs. 
(42 U.S.C. 6311(1)(H)) Both RCWs and CCWs are the subject of this RFI.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute 
as amended through America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, 
Public Law 115-270 (October 23, 2018).
    \2\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was redesignated Part A.
    \3\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part C was redesignated Part A-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The energy conservation program under EPCA consists essentially of 
four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy conservation 
standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. Relevant 
provisions of the Act specifically include definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291; 
42 U.S.C. 6311), energy conservation standards (42 U.S.C. 6295; 42 
U.S.C. 6313), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293; 42 U.S.C. 6314), 
labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294; 42 U.S.C. 6315), and the authority 
to require information and reports from manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296; 
42 U.S.C. 6316).
    Federal energy efficiency requirements for covered products and 
covered equipment established under EPCA generally supersede State laws 
and regulations concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and 
standards. (42 U.S.C. 6297; 42 U.S.C. 6316(a) and (b)) DOE may, 
however, grant waivers of Federal preemption for particular State laws 
or regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions 
of EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d); 42 U.S.C. 6316(b)(2)(D))
    The Federal testing requirements consist of test procedures that 
manufacturers of covered products and covered equipment must use as the 
basis for: (1) Certifying to DOE that their products or equipment 
comply with the applicable energy conservation standards adopted 
pursuant to EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6295(s); 42 U.S.C. 6316(a)), and (2) making 
representations about the efficiency of those covered products or 
equipment (42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 42 U.S.C. 6314(d)). Similarly, DOE must 
use these test procedures to determine whether the products or 
equipment comply with relevant standards promulgated under EPCA. (42 
U.S.C. 6295(s); 42 U.S.C. 6316(a))
    Under 42 U.S.C. 6293, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures 
DOE must follow when prescribing or amending test procedures for 
covered products. EPCA requires that any test procedures prescribed or 
amended under this section 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 or period of use and not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 
U.S.C. 6293(b)(3))
    If DOE determines that a test procedure amendment is warranted, it 
must publish proposed test procedures and offer the public an 
opportunity to present oral and written comments on them. (42 U.S.C. 
6293(b)(2))
    In addition, EPCA requires that DOE amend its test procedures for 
all covered products, including RCWs, to integrate measures of standby 
mode and off mode energy consumption into the overall energy 
efficiency, energy consumption, or other energy descriptor, taking into 
consideration the most current versions of Standards 62301 and 62087 of 
the International Electrotechnical Commission (``IEC''), unless the 
current test procedure already incorporates the standby mode and off 
mode energy consumption, or if such integration is technically 
infeasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)) 4 5 If an integrated 
test procedure is technically infeasible, DOE must prescribe separate 
standby mode and off mode energy use test procedures for the covered 
product, if a separate test is technically feasible. (Id.) As described 
in the following sections, DOE's current clothes washer test procedure 
includes provisions for measuring energy consumption in standby mode 
and off mode.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ IEC Standard 62087 addresses the methods of measuring the 
power consumption of audio, video, and related equipment and is not 
relevant to clothes washers.
    \5\ EPCA does not contain an analogous provision for commercial 
equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPCA also requires that, at least once every 7 years, DOE evaluate 
test procedures for each type of covered product, including clothes 
washers, to determine whether amended test procedures would more 
accurately or fully comply with the requirements for the test 
procedures to not be unduly burdensome to conduct and be reasonably 
designed to produce test results that reflect energy efficiency, energy 
use, and estimated operating costs during a representative average use 
cycle or period of use. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A)) If the Secretary 
determines, on his own behalf or in response to a petition by any 
interested person, that a test procedure should be prescribed or 
amended, the Secretary shall promptly publish in the Federal Register 
proposed test procedures and afford interested persons an opportunity 
to present oral and written data, views, and arguments with respect to 
such procedures. The comment period on a proposed rule to amend a test 
procedure shall be at least 60 days and may not exceed 270 days. In 
prescribing or amending a test procedure, the Secretary shall take into 
account such information as the Secretary determines relevant to such 
procedure, including technological developments relating to energy use 
or energy efficiency of the type (or class) of covered products 
involved. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(2)) If DOE determines that test procedure 
revisions are not appropriate, DOE must publish its determination not 
to amend the test procedures. DOE is publishing this RFI to collect 
data and information to inform its decision pursuant to the 7-year 
review requirement specified in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A))
    Additionally, EPCA requires the test procedures for CCWs to be the 
same as the test procedures established for RCWs. (42 U.S.C. 
6314(a)(8)) As with the test procedures for RCWs, EPCA requires that 
DOE evaluate, at least once every 7 years, the test procedures for CCWs 
to determine whether amended test procedures would more accurately or 
fully comply with the requirements for the test procedures to not be 
unduly burdensome to conduct and be reasonably designed to produce test 
results that reflect energy efficiency, energy use, and estimated 
operating costs during a representative average use cycle. (42 U.S.C. 
6314(a)(1)) This document also seeks input from the public to assist in 
a determination as to whether amendments to test procedures are 
necessary in the context of CCWs.

[[Page 31067]]

B. Rulemaking History

    DOE originally established its clothes washer test procedure, 
codified at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J (``Appendix J''), in 
a September 1977 final rule. 42 FR 49802 (Sept. 28, 1977). Since that 
time, the test procedure has undergone a number of amendments. In 
August 1997, DOE published a final rule (``August 1997 Final Rule'') 
amending Appendix J to include a measurement of remaining moisture 
content (``RMC'') to account for more efficient water extraction and to 
reflect changes in clothes washer features and consumer usage patterns, 
among other changes. 62 FR 45484 (Aug. 27, 1997). The August 1997 Final 
Rule also established an appendix J1 at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B 
(``Appendix J1''), which included a new definition of the energy test 
cycle, new energy test cloth pre-conditioning requirements, the use of 
a third load size (average load) for adaptive water fill control 
systems, a load size table for all clothes washers (including clothes 
washers with manual water fill control systems), and a simplified 
Temperature Use Factor (``TUF'') \6\ table, among other minor technical 
changes. Id.
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    \6\ As described in more detail later in this document, TUFs are 
weighting factors that represent the percentage of wash cycles for 
which consumers choose a particular wash/rinse temperature 
selection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the January 2001 Final Rule, DOE provided further minor 
technical amendments to Appendix J and Appendix J1, as well as a sunset 
provision specifying that the provisions of Appendix J would expire on 
December 31, 2003. 66 FR 3313. Additional amendments to Appendix J1 
included, among other things, a methodology for developing correction 
factors for each new lot of test cloth to reduce variability in the RMC 
measurement due to differences in test cloth lots. Id.
    In March 2012, DOE published a final rule (``March 2012 Final 
Rule'') amending Appendix J1 to expand the load size table to 
accommodate clothes washers with capacities up to 6 cubic feet 
(``cu.ft.'') as well as some other minor changes. 77 FR 13887 (March 7, 
2012). The March 2012 Final Rule also established a new test procedure 
at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J2 (``Appendix J2''), which 
incorporated the following amendments: (1) Provisions for measuring 
energy consumption in standby mode and off mode; (2) a more 
comprehensive efficiency metric for water consumption; (3) a more 
accurate reflection of consumer usage patterns; (4) revisions to the 
energy test cycle definition; (5) revisions to the capacity measurement 
method; (6) revisions related to the test cloth, including the 
preconditioning detergent and test equipment; (7) clarification of 
certain testing conditions and certain provisions of the test 
procedure; and (8) revisions to the calculation for annual operating 
cost. 77 FR 13887, 13891. The March 2012 Final Rule also removed the 
obsolete Appendix J. 77 FR 13887, 13892.
    On August 5, 2015, DOE published a final rule (``August 2015 Final 
Rule'') that provided clarifying edits to Appendix J1 and Appendix J2. 
80 FR 46729. The August 2015 Final Rule also moved the test cloth 
qualification procedures from Appendix J1 and Appendix J2 to a new test 
procedure at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix J3 (``Appendix J3''). 
The test cloth qualification procedure specifies a standard extractor 
RMC test to evaluate the moisture absorption and retention 
characteristics, and to develop a unique correction curve for each new 
lot of test cloth, which helps ensure that a consistent RMC measurement 
is obtained for any test cloth lot used during testing. This procedure 
is performed for each new lot of test cloth before the cloths can be 
used in the test procedure provisions that measure clothes washer 
performance; it is not performed as part of the testing required for 
any particular unit under test. Therefore, DOE moved the test cloth 
qualification procedure to the new Appendix J3 as a standalone test 
method to improve the clarity and overall logical flow of the Appendix 
J1 and Appendix J2 test procedures. Id. The correction factors 
developed for each new cloth lot are used to adjust the RMC 
measurements obtained when performing an Appendix J1 or Appendix J2 
test on an individual clothes washer unit.
    The current version of the test procedure at Appendix J2 includes 
provisions for determining modified energy factor (``MEF'') and 
integrated modified energy factor (``IMEF'') in cubic feet per 
kilowatt-hour per cycle (``cu.ft./kWh/cycle''); and water factor 
(``WF'') and integrated water factor (``IWF'') in gallons per cycle per 
cubic feet (``gal/cycle/cu.ft.''). RCWs manufactured on or after 
January 1, 2018 must meet current energy conservation standards, which 
are based on IMEF and IWF, as determined using Appendix J2. 10 CFR 
430.23(j)(2)(ii) and (4)(ii); 430.32(g)(4) CCWs manufactured on or 
after January 1, 2018 must meet energy conservation standards for this 
equipment based on MEF \7\ and IWF, which are also determined using 
Appendix J2. 10 CFR 431.154 and 10 CFR 431.156(b)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ For CCWs, the energy conservation standards at 10 CFR 
431.156 refer to MEF as ``MEFJ2'' to distinguish MEF as 
calculated using Appendix J2 from MEF as calculated from Appendix 
J1, which was the basis for energy conservation standards prior to 
January 1, 2018. Due to several differences (e.g., the capacity 
measurement and the drying energy calculation), the MEF metrics in 
Appendices J1 and J2 are not equivalent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Request for Information and Comments

    As an initial matter, DOE seeks comment on whether there have been 
changes in product testing methodology or new products on the market 
since the last test procedure update. DOE also seeks data and 
information that could enable the agency to propose that the current 
test procedure produces results that are representative of an average 
use cycle for the product and is not unduly burdensome to conduct, and 
therefore does not need amendment. DOE also seeks information on 
whether an existing private-sector developed test procedure would 
produce such results and should be adopted by DOE rather than DOE 
establishing its own test procedure, either entirely or by adopting 
only certain provisions of one or more private-sector developed tests.
    In the following sections, DOE has also identified a variety of 
issues on which it seeks input to determine whether amended test 
procedures for clothes washers would more accurately or fully comply 
with the requirements in EPCA that test procedures: (1) Be reasonably 
designed to produce test results which reflect energy use during a 
representative average use cycle, and (2) not be unduly burdensome to 
conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3), 6314(a)(2))
    Additionally, DOE welcomes comments on other issues relevant to the 
conduct of this process that may not be specifically identified in this 
document. In particular, DOE notes that under Executive Order 13771, 
``Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,'' Executive 
Branch agencies such as DOE are directed to manage the costs associated 
with the imposition of expenditures required to comply with Federal 
regulations. 82 FR 9339 (Feb. 3, 2017). Consistent with that Executive 
Order, DOE also encourages the public to provide input on measures DOE 
could take to lower the cost of its regulations applicable to RCWs and 
CCWs, consistent with the requirements of EPCA.

[[Page 31068]]

A. Scope & Definitions

    DOE defines ``clothes washer'' as a consumer product designed to 
clean clothes, utilizing a water solution of soap and/or detergent and 
mechanical agitation or other movement, and must be one of the 
following classes: Automatic clothes washers, semi-automatic clothes 
washers, and other clothes washers. 10 CFR 430.2
    An ``automatic clothes washer'' is a class of clothes washer that 
has a control system that is capable of scheduling a preselected 
combination of operations, such as regulation of water temperature, 
regulation of the water fill level, and performance of wash, rinse, 
drain, and spin functions without the need for user intervention 
subsequent to the initiation of machine operation. Some models may 
require user intervention to initiate these different segments of the 
cycle after the machine has begun operation, but they do not require 
the user to intervene to regulate the water temperature by adjusting 
the external water faucet valves. Id.
    A ``semi-automatic clothes washer'' is a class of clothes washer 
that is the same as an automatic clothes washer except that user 
intervention is required to regulate the water temperature by adjusting 
the external water faucet valves. Id.
    ``Other clothes washer'' means a class of clothes washer that is 
not an automatic or semi-automatic clothes washer. Id.
    ``Commercial clothes washer'' is defined as a soft-mount front-
loading or soft-mount top-loading clothes washer that--
    (A) has a clothes container compartment that--
    (i) for horizontal-axis clothes washers, is not more than 3.5 cubic 
feet; and
    (ii) for vertical-axis clothes washers, is not more than 4.0 cubic 
feet; and
    (B) is designed for use in--
    (i) applications in which the occupants of more than one household 
will be using the clothes washer, such as multi-family housing common 
areas and coin laundries; or
    (ii) other commercial applications.
    (42 U.S.C. 6311(21); 10 CFR 431.452).

B. Test Procedure

1. Connected Clothes Washers
    DOE is currently aware of several ``connected'' RCW models on the 
market, from at least four major manufacturers. These products offer 
optional wireless network connectivity to enable features such as 
remote monitoring and control via smartphone, as well as limited demand 
response features \8\ available through partnerships with a small 
number of local electric utilities. In addition, connected features are 
available via certain external communication modules for CCWs. However, 
DOE is not aware of any CCW models currently on the market that 
incorporate connected features directly into the unit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ ``Demand response features'' refers to product functionality 
that can be controlled by the ``smart grid'' to improve the overall 
operation of the electrical grid, for example by reducing energy 
consumption during peak periods and/or shifting power consumption to 
off-peak periods.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE recently published an RFI on the emerging smart technology 
appliance and equipment market. 83 FR 46886 (Sept. 17, 2018). In that 
RFI, DOE sought information to better understand market trends and 
issues in the emerging market for appliances and commercial equipment 
that incorporate smart technology. DOE's intent in issuing the RFI was 
to ensure that DOE did not inadvertently impede such innovation in 
fulfilling its statutory obligations in setting efficiency standards 
for covered products and equipment.
    Issue II.B.1. DOE seeks comments, data and information on the 
issues presented in the ``smart products'' RFI as they may be 
applicable to RCWs and CCWs.
    Issue II.B.2. DOE requests feedback on its characterization of 
connected RCWs, and any CCWs, currently on the market. Specifically, 
DOE requests input on the types of features or functionality enabled by 
connected clothes washers that exist on the market or that are under 
development.
    Section 3.2.7 of Appendix J2 specifies using the manufacturer 
default settings for any cycle selections except temperature selection, 
wash water fill level, or spin speed; and section 3.9.1 of Appendix J2 
specifies performing the combined low-power mode testing without 
changing any control panel settings used for the active mode wash 
cycle. With regard to the measurement of network mode energy use, 
however, DOE stated in its 2012 rule (a conclusion not affected by the 
2015 amendments), that ``DOE cannot thoroughly evaluate these [IEC 
Standard 62301 (Second Edition)] network mode provisions, as would be 
required to justify their incorporation into DOE's test procedures at 
this time. DOE notes that although an individual appliance may consume 
some small amount of power in network mode, the potential exists for 
energy-related benefits that more than offset this additional power 
consumption if the appliance can be controlled by the ``smart grid'' to 
consume power during non-peak periods. Although DOE is supportive of 
efforts to develop smart-grid and other network-enabled technologies in 
clothes washers, this final rule does not incorporate the network mode 
provisions due to the lack of available data that would be required to 
justify their inclusion.'' 77 FR 13888, 13900 (Mar. 7, 2012). 
Consistent with the goals of the ``smart products'' RFI, DOE will 
ensure that it does not impede innovation in the development of smart 
or connected products in considering any amendments to the test 
procedure for clothes washers with regard to measuring the energy use 
of connected features.
    Issue II.B.3. DOE requests comment on whether changes to the 
current clothes washer test procedure would advance the goal of the 
``smart products'' RFI. In particular, DOE seeks comment on adding a 
clarifying provision that would require testing to be conducted with 
any network functionality turned off, or without measuring or reporting 
the energy use of the clothes washer in network mode.
    Issue II.B.4. DOE requests data on the percentage of users 
purchasing connected RCWs who activate the connected capabilities, and, 
for those users, the percentage of the time when the connected 
functionality of the RCW is activated and using additional energy.
    DOE seeks to understand the potential effects of connected 
functionality as it relates to a clothes washer's energy use or energy 
efficiency, including the following:
     Hardware or software-related energy use implications of 
such features; for example, whether including communication chips on a 
circuit board could affect a product's energy consumption in standby 
mode.
     Consumer behavioral energy use implications of such 
features; for example, allowing the consumer to remotely activate a 
``wrinkle prevention'' feature that periodically tumbles the drum after 
completion of a wash cycle would increase that cycle's energy use.
     Utility grid-level benefits enabled by such features; for 
example, using demand response capabilities to shift power loads from 
peak periods to off-peak periods and possibly automating cycle starts 
to coincide with periods of off-peak pricing.
    Issue II.B.5. DOE requests data on the amount of additional or 
reduced energy use by connected clothes washers. DOE also requests data 
on the pattern of additional or reduced energy use; for example, 
whether it is constant, periodic, or triggered by the user.

[[Page 31069]]

    Issue II.B.6. DOE requests information about which existing modes 
(e.g., active, standby, off) are affected by connected functionality.
    Issue II.B.7. DOE requests information on any existing testing 
protocols that account for connected features of clothes washers.
2. Testing Conditions, Instrumentation, and Installation
a. Hot Water Supply Temperature
    Section 2.2 of Appendix J2 requires maintaining the hot water 
supply temperature between 130 degrees Fahrenheit (``[deg]F'') (54.4 
degrees Celsius (``[deg]C'')) and 135 [deg]F (57.2 [deg]C), using 135 
[deg]F as the target temperature.
    DOE has revised the hot water supply temperature requirements 
several times throughout the history of the clothes washer test 
procedure to remain representative of household water temperatures at 
the time of its analysis. When establishing the original clothes washer 
test procedure at Appendix J in 1977, DOE specified a hot water supply 
temperature of 140 [deg]F  5 [deg]F. In the August 1997 
Final Rule, DOE specified in Appendix J1 that for clothes washers in 
which electrical energy consumption or water energy consumption is 
affected by the inlet water temperature,\9\ the hot water supply 
temperature cannot exceed 135 [deg]F (57.2 [deg]C); and for other 
clothes washers, the hot water supply temperature is to be maintained 
at 135 [deg]F  5 [deg]F (57.2 [deg]C  2.8 
[deg]C). 62 FR 45484, 45497. DOE maintained these same requirements in 
the original version of Appendix J2. In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE 
adjusted the allowable tolerance of the hot water supply temperature in 
section 2.2 of Appendix J2 to between 130 [deg]F (54.4 [deg]C) and 135 
[deg]F (57.2 [deg]C) for all clothes washers, but maintained 135 [deg]F 
as the target temperature. 80 FR 46729, 46734.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ For example, water-heating clothes washers or clothes 
washers with thermostatically controlled water valves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE most recently analyzed household water temperatures as part of 
the consumer water heater test procedure rulemaking. In the July 11, 
2014, consumer water heater test procedure final rule, DOE revised the 
hot water delivery temperature from 135 [deg]F to 125 [deg]F. 79 FR 
40541, 40554. This change was primarily based on data available in 
DOE's analysis for the April 16, 2010, consumer water heater energy 
conservation standards final rule, which found that the average set 
point temperature for consumer water heaters in the field is 124.2 
[deg]F (51.2 [deg]C). 75 FR 20111. Additionally, a 2011 compilation of 
field data across the United States and southern Ontario by Lawrence 
Berkeley National Laboratory (``LBNL'') \10\ found a median daily 
outlet water temperature of 122.7 [deg]F (50.4 [deg]C). 79 FR 40541, 
40554. Further, DOE noted in the consumer water heater energy 
conservation standards final rule that water heaters are commonly set 
with temperatures in the range of 120 [deg]F to 125 [deg]F. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Lutz, JD, Renaldi, Lekov A, Qin Y, and Melody M., ``Hot 
Water Draw Patterns in Single Family Houses: Findings from Field 
Studies,'' LBNL Report number LBNL-4830E (May 2011). Available at 
http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/2k24v1kj.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, DOE's consumer dishwasher test procedure, codified at 
10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix C1, specifies a hot water supply 
temperature of 120 [deg]F  2 [deg]F for water-heating 
dishwashers designed for heating water with a nominal inlet temperature 
of 120 [deg]F, which includes nearly all consumer dishwashers currently 
on the U.S. market.
    Issue II.B.8. DOE requests comments on whether DOE should consider 
updating the hot water supply temperature for the clothes washer test 
procedure. DOE also requests information on the use of the current hot 
water supply temperature for clothes washers in relation to the 
consumer water heater and dishwasher test procedures. Specifically, DOE 
is interested in data and information on the hot water temperature used 
in practice, any potential impact to testing costs that may occur by 
harmonizing temperatures between the clothes washer and dishwasher test 
procedures, and the impacts on manufacturer burden associated with any 
changes to the hot water supply temperature.
    Based on experience working with third-party test laboratories, as 
well as its own testing experience, DOE recognizes that maintaining 135 
[deg]F as the target temperature for the hot water supply may be 
difficult given that the target temperature of 135 [deg]F lies at the 
edge, rather than the midpoint, of the allowable temperature range of 
130 [deg]F to 135 [deg]F. On electronic temperature mixing valves 
typically used by test laboratories, the output water temperature is 
maintained within an approximately two-degree tolerance above or below 
a target temperature programmed by the user (e.g., if the target 
temperature is set at 135 [deg]F, the controller may provide water 
temperatures ranging from 133 [deg]F to 137 [deg]F). To ensure that the 
hot water inlet temperature remains within the allowable range of 130 
[deg]F to 135 [deg]F, such a temperature controller would need to be 
programmed to 132.5 [deg]F, the midpoint of the range, which conflicts 
with the test procedure requirement to use 135 [deg]F as the target 
temperature. An analogous difficulty exists for the cold water inlet 
temperature. Section 2.2 of appendix J2 specifies maintaining a cold 
water temperature between 55 [deg]F and 60 [deg]F, using 60 [deg]F as 
the target.
    Issue II.B.9. DOE requests comments on whether it should consider 
any changes to the target temperature or allowable range of 
temperatures specified for the hot and cold water inlets, and if so 
what alternate specifications should be considered.
    Changing the hot water supply temperature could change the relative 
hot and cold water usage of clothes washers with thermostatically 
controlled mixing valves, which includes nearly all clothes washers in 
the current market. If DOE were to update the supply water temperature, 
DOE would also investigate what impact, if any, such a change would 
have on a clothes washer's measured IMEF value. DOE seeks comment on 
such impact in response to this RFI.
    Issue II.B.10. DOE requests comments on how any changes to the hot 
water supply temperature would impact a clothes washer's measured IMEF 
value.
b. Measuring Wash Water Temperature
    In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE amended section 3.3 of Appendix 
J2, ``Extra-Hot Wash/Cold Rinse,'' to allow the use of non-reversible 
temperature indicator labels to confirm that a wash temperature greater 
than 135 [deg]F has been achieved. 80 FR 46729, 46753. Since the 
publication of the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE has become aware that 
some third-party laboratories measure wash temperature using self-
contained temperature sensors in a waterproof casing placed inside the 
clothes washer drum.
    Issue II.B.11. DOE requests comments on manufacturers' or test 
laboratories' experience with these or any other methods for 
determining the temperature during a wash cycle that may reduce 
manufacturer burden, including any information regarding the 
reliability and accuracy of those methods.
c. Water Meter Resolution
    Appendix J2 requires the use of water meters to measure water flow 
and/or water consumption. Section 2.5.5 of Appendix J2 requires a 
resolution no larger than 0.1 gallons for the water meters, and a 
maximum error no greater than 2 percent of the measured flow rate. DOE 
has observed that some clothes washers use very small amounts of hot 
water on some temperature selections, on the order of 0.1 gallons or

[[Page 31070]]

less. For example, some clothes washers have both Cold and Tap Cold 
temperature selections, and the Cold selection may use a fraction of a 
gallon of hot water. DOE believes that Appendix J2 may not provide the 
necessary resolution to accurately and precisely measure the hot water 
usage of such temperature selections.
    Issue II.B.12. DOE requests comments on the benefits and test 
burden of requiring a water meter with a resolution more precise than 
0.1 gallons. Additionally, DOE requests comments on manufacturers' and 
testing laboratories' experiences in testing with a water meter with a 
resolution more precise than 0.1 gallons, including information on 
related testing burden and benefits.
d. Installation of Single-Inlet Clothes Washers
    Section 2.10 of Appendix J2 provides specifications for installing 
a clothes washer, referencing both the hot water and cold water inlets. 
Additionally, section 2.5.5 of Appendix J2 specifies that a water meter 
must be installed in both the hot and cold water lines.
    DOE is aware of RCWs on the market that have a single water inlet 
rather than separate hot and cold water inlets. DOE has observed two 
types of single-inlet RCWs: (1) Automatic clothes washers intended to 
be connected only to a cold water inlet, and which regulate the water 
temperature through the use of internal heating elements to generate 
any hot water used during the cycle; and (2) semi-automatic clothes 
washers that are intended to be connected to a kitchen or bathroom 
faucet, and which require user intervention to regulate the water 
temperature by adjusting the external water faucet valves.
    Issue II.B.13. DOE requests input on whether any other types of 
single-inlet clothes washers exist on the market today or are under 
development.
    For a single-inlet automatic clothes washer (i.e., the first 
example described above), DOE understands that a ``Y''-shaped hose 
connector or other similar device may be provided by the manufacturer 
on some models to allow both water supply lines to be connected to the 
single inlet on the unit; however, other models may not include such a 
connector. DOE is considering whether testing single-inlet automatic 
clothes washers installed to only the cold water supply line during the 
test would be representative of the energy used during a representative 
average use cycle or period of use.
    Issue II.B.14. DOE requests comments or information on how single-
inlet automatic clothes washers are typically installed by customers. 
Specifically, DOE requests information on the percentage of single-
inlet automatic clothes washers sold with a Y-shaped hose connector or 
similar such device; the extent that consumers use any provided device; 
and in instances in which no device is provided, whether it is typical 
for customers to connect the water inlet to a cold or hot water supply 
line.
    For single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washers (i.e., the second 
example described above), DOE has observed that these clothes washers 
are most often designed to be connected to a kitchen or bathroom 
faucet, with a single hose connecting the faucet to the single inlet on 
the clothes washer (i.e., both cold and hot water are supplied to the 
clothes washer through a single hose). The user regulates the water 
temperature externally by adjusting the faucet to provide cold, warm, 
or hot water temperatures for the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. 
Appendix J2 specifies the use of two separate water supply connections, 
one for cold water and one for hot water. Connecting a single-inlet 
semi-automatic clothes washer to only a single water supply would limit 
the available water temperature to either 60 [deg]F (provided by the 
cold water supply) or 135 [deg]F (provided by the hot water supply). In 
effect, only Cold Wash/Cold Rinse or Hot Wash/Hot Rinse could be tested 
with a single-hose installation. Appendix J2 does not provide explicit 
direction on how to connect a single-inlet semi-automatic clothes 
washer to allow testing at other wash/rinse temperatures. DOE seeks 
data on whether, and if so how, consumers using this type of clothes 
washer adjust the water temperature for the wash and rinse portions the 
cycle. Section II.B.6 of this document provides further details on 
wash/rinse temperature selections for semi-automatic clothes washers. 
DOE also seeks comment on how such clothes washers are currently 
tested.
    Issue II.B.15. DOE requests comments, data, and information on the 
typical connection and representative average use of single-inlet semi-
automatic clothes washers. Additionally, DOE requests information on 
how manufacturers are currently testing single-inlet semi-automatic 
clothes washers under Appendix J2.
e. Discarding Test Data Due to Anomalous Behavior of Unit Under Test
    Section 3.2.9 of appendix J2 specifies to ``discard the data from a 
wash cycle that provides a visual or audio indicator to alert the user 
that an out-of-balance condition has been detected, or that terminates 
prematurely if an out-of-balance condition is detected, and thus does 
not include the agitation/tumble operation, spin speed(s), wash times, 
and rinse times applicable to the wash cycle under test.'' Aside from 
out-of-balance conditions, DOE seeks input on whether the test 
procedure should also require discarding data for wash cycles in which 
any other anomalous behavior may be observed. DOE also requests 
information on whether the test procedure should be clarified to 
explicitly require that any wash cycle for which data was discarded due 
to anomalous behavior must also be repeated to obtain data without the 
anomalous behavior to be included in the energy test cycle.
    Issue II.B.16. DOE requests comment on whether the test procedure 
should exclude data from wash cycles in which any other type of 
anomalous behavior aside from out-of-balance conditions is observed. If 
so, DOE requests further comment on how such anomalies could be defined 
in the test procedure and detected by the testing party, particularly 
when testing only a single unit of a basic model (i.e., with no basis 
for comparison against other units of the same basic model to determine 
whether the observed behavior is anomalous). DOE additionally requests 
comment on whether the test procedure should clarify that any wash 
cycle for which data was discarded due to anomalous behavior must be 
repeated to obtain valid data for that wash cycle without such 
anomalous behavior.
3. Test Cloth
a. Specifications
    DOE originally developed the energy test cloth specifications as 
part of the January 2001 Final Rule, based on the results of a detailed 
investigation of the cloth material used for testing.\11\ In 
particular, DOE observed that the material properties of the energy 
test cloth had a significant effect on the RMC measurement,\12\ which 
was added to Appendix J1 to measure the effectiveness of the final spin 
cycle in

[[Page 31071]]

removing moisture from the wash load. As described in the test cloth 
report, the final specifications for the energy test cloth were 
developed to provide for the representativeness of the test cloth to a 
consumer load: A 50-percent cotton/50-percent polyester blended 
material was specified to approximate the typical mix of cotton, 
cotton/polyester blend, and synthetic articles that are machine-washed 
by consumers. DOE also considered:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Development of a Standardized Energy Test Cloth for 
Measuring Remaining Moisture Content in a Residential Clothes 
Washer. U.S. Department of Energy: Buildings, Research and 
Standards. May 2000. Available online at http://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2006-STD-0064-0277.
    \12\ The RMC measurement is an important aspect of DOE's clothes 
washer test procedure because the RMC value determines the drying 
energy, which is the biggest contributor to IMEF. Based on the 
Technical Support Documents from the March 2012 Final Rule, the 
drying energy represents 65 percent of the total energy for a 2015 
baseline-level top-loading standard RCW, and 72 percent for a 2015 
baseline-level front-loading standard RCW.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Manufacturability: A 50/50 cotton-polyester momie weave 
was specified because at the time, such cloth was produced in high 
volume, had been produced to a consistent specification for many years, 
and was expected to be produced on this basis for the foreseeable 
future.
     Consistency in test cloth production: The cloth material 
properties were specified in detail, including fiber content, thread 
count, and fabric weight; as well as requirements to verify that water 
repellent finishes are not applied to the cloth.
     Consistency of the RMC measurement among different lots: A 
procedure was developed to generate correction factors for each new 
``lot'' (i.e., batch) of test cloth to normalize test results and 
ensure consistent RMC measurements regardless of which lot is used for 
testing.
    DOE understands that the qualification process for new test cloth 
lots may be burdensome and that delays in the process may periodically 
lead to shortages of test cloth available for purchase. Furthermore, it 
is possible that different energy test cloth specifications could more 
optimally balance the various factors addressed by the test cloth 
specification.
    Issue II.B.17. DOE requests comments on manufacturers' and testing 
laboratories' experience using the current test cloth specifications 
and whether DOE should consider any changes to the energy test cloth 
specifications to reduce burden and improve testing results. DOE also 
seeks comment on whether it is necessary to specify any qualification 
procedure that must be conducted on all new lots of energy test cloth 
prior to use of such test cloths, as opposed to simply providing 
requirements for the test cloth without specifying in DOE's regulations 
the procedure for achieving those requirements. Industry could then 
continue with its current pre-qualification process, making changes as 
it determined necessary to improve that process, without the need to 
seek permission from DOE and participate in a rulemaking proceeding to 
make such improvements.
b. Uniformity Test
    Appendix J3 specifies a qualification procedure that must be 
conducted on all new lots of energy test cloth prior to use of such 
test cloths. This qualification procedure provides a set of correction 
factors that correlate the measured RMC values of the new test cloth 
lot with a set of standard RMC values established as the historical 
reference point. These correction factors are applied to the RMC test 
results in section 3.8.2.6 of appendix J2 to ensure the repeatability 
and reproducibility of test results performed using different lots of 
test cloth. The measured RMC of each clothes washer has a significant 
impact on the final IMEF value.
    Industry has developed a process in which this qualification test 
is performed by a third-party laboratory, and the results are reviewed 
and approved by the AHAM Test Cloth Task Force, after which the new lot 
of test cloth is made available for purchase by manufacturers and test 
laboratories.
    DOE has received a request from members of the AHAM Test Cloth Task 
Force to add to Appendix J3 an additional qualification procedure that 
has historically been performed on each new lot of test cloth to ensure 
uniformity of RMC test results on test cloths from the beginning, 
middle, and end of each new lot. Industry practice is to perform this 
uniformity test before conducting the procedure to develop the RMC 
correction factors currently specified in the DOE test procedure, as 
described above. Specifically, the uniformity test involves performing 
an RMC measurement on nine bundles of sample cloth representing the 
beginning, middle, and end locations of the first, middle, and last 
rolls of cloth in a new lot. The coefficient of variation across the 
nine RMC values must be less than or equal to 1 percent for the test 
cloth lot to be considered acceptable for use.
    Issue II.B.18. DOE requests comments on whether it is necessary to 
incorporate the aforementioned test cloth uniformity test into Appendix 
J3, or whether the current regulations, with the existing requirements 
for test cloth and qualification procedure, are sufficient to ensure 
the quality of the test cloth. DOE requests comment on any burden that 
results from the current qualification procedure, or would result from 
incorporating the discussed uniformity test, particularly for small 
businesses. As noted above, DOE also seeks comment on whether it is 
necessary to specify any qualification procedure that must be conducted 
on all new lots of energy test cloth prior to use of such test cloths, 
as opposed to simply providing requirements for the test cloth without 
specifying in DOE's regulations the procedure for achieving those 
requirements. Industry could then continue with its current pre-
qualification process, making changes as it determined necessary to 
improve that process, without the need to seek permission from DOE and 
participate in a rulemaking proceeding to make such improvements.
c. Consolidation Into Appendix J3
    Several provisions within Appendix J2 that pertain to the energy 
test cloth are applicable to each new lot of test cloth, but are not 
required to be conducted again for each individual clothes washer test 
performed under Appendix J2. For example, section 2.7.4.6 of Appendix 
J2 specifies performing American Association of Textile Chemists and 
Colorists (``AATCC'') Test Method 118-2007 and AATTCC Test Method 79-
2010 (incorporated by reference in 10 CFR 430.3) to verify that water-
repellent finishes, such as fluoropolymer stain resistant finishes, are 
not applied to the test cloth.
    Based on discussions with the AHAM Test Cloth Task Force, DOE is 
aware that these AATCC test methods, among other test cloth provisions 
in section 2.7 of Appendix J2, are performed by a third-party 
laboratory on each new lot of test cloth, along with the RMC tests 
described previously. Once the absence of water-repellent finishes has 
been verified for the new lot of test cloth, the AATCC tests do not 
need to be conducted again for each individual Appendix J2 clothes 
washer test performed by manufacturers or test laboratories.
    Issue II.B.19. DOE requests comments on whether to consolidate into 
Appendix J3 provisions from section 2.7 of Appendix J2 that relate only 
to the testing of the manufactured test cloth, and are not required to 
be performed for each individual Appendix J2 clothes washer test. DOE 
also seeks comment on whether to remove these provisions entirely (see 
Issues II.B.17 and II.B.18).
4. Capacity Measurement Alternatives
    Section 3.1 of Appendix J2 provides the procedure for measuring the 
clothes container capacity, which represents the maximum usable volume 
for washing clothes. In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE revised the 
clothes container capacity measurement to better reflect the actual 
usable capacity compared to the previous measurement procedures.

[[Page 31072]]

77 FR 13887, 13917. In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE further 
clarified the capacity measurement procedure by incorporating a revised 
description of the maximum fill volume for front-loading clothes 
washers, as well as illustrations of the boundaries defining the 
uppermost edge of the clothes container for top-loading vertical-axis 
clothes washers and the maximum fill volume for horizontal-axis clothes 
washers. 80 FR 46729, 46733.
    Measuring the clothes container capacity involves filling the 
clothes container with water and using the weight of the water to 
determine the volume of the clothes container. For front-loading 
clothes washers, this procedure requires positioning the clothes washer 
on its back surface such that the door opening of the clothes container 
faces upwards and is leveled horizontally.
    DOE is aware that for some front-loading clothes washers, 
positioning the clothes washer on its back surface may be impractical 
or unsafe, particularly for very large or heavy clothes washers or 
those with internal components that could be damaged by the procedures 
outlined in section 3.1 of Appendix J2. On other clothes washers, 
filling the clothes container volume as described could be difficult or 
impractical, particularly for clothes washers with concave or otherwise 
complex door geometries.
    Recognizing these challenges, DOE is considering whether to allow 
manufacturers to determine the clothes container capacity by performing 
a calculation of the volume based upon computer-aided design (``CAD'') 
models of the basic model in lieu of physical measurements of a 
production unit of the basic model. DOE allows a CAD-based approach for 
consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, as 
specified at 10 CFR 429.27(c).\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Under this approach, any value of total refrigerated volume 
of a basic model reported to DOE in a certification of compliance in 
accordance with Sec.  429.14(b)(2) must be calculated using the CAD-
derived volume(s) and the applicable provisions in the test 
procedures in 10 CFR part 430 for measuring volume, and must be 
within two percent, or 0.5 cubic feet (0.2 cubic feet for compact 
products), whichever is greater, of the volume of a production unit 
of the basic model measured in accordance with the applicable test 
procedure in 10 CFR part 430. See 10 CFR 429.72(c)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue II.B.20. DOE requests comments on whether to allow CAD-based 
determination of clothes container capacity for clothes washers in lieu 
of physical measurements of a production unit of the basic model. DOE 
requests comments on the impacts on manufacturer burden associated with 
any such change to the capacity measurement procedure.
    As the clothes washer market evolves to include clothes washers 
with increasingly larger capacities, DOE understands that for larger-
capacity clothes washers, the capacity value as measured by Appendix 
J2, which is intended to reflect the maximum usable volume, may not 
necessarily result in a test method that measures the energy efficiency 
and water use of the clothes washer during a representative average use 
cycle or period of use.
    In addition, DOE understands that in Europe and elsewhere (e.g., 
the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand), clothes washer 
capacity is represented in terms of the weight of clothing (e.g., 
kilograms or pounds) that may be washed, rather than the physical 
volume of the clothes container. Furthermore, some international test 
procedures allow for the clothes washer capacity to be declared by the 
manufacturer, representing the maximum weight of clothing that the 
clothes washer is designed to successfully clean.
    Some of the alternate representations of clothes washer capacity 
that DOE could consider include:
     A weight-based capacity, such as pounds of clothing, which 
could be derived from the measured volume of the clothes container in a 
similar manner to the way that the maximum test load is currently 
specified in Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 based on the measured clothes 
container volume.
     A clothes container capacity that is declared by the 
manufacturer using an industry-standard methodology. For example, IEC 
Standard 60456, ``Clothes washing machines for household use--Methods 
for measuring the performance'' Edition 5.0 (``IEC Standard 60456 
Edition 5.0'') provides two optional methodologies for determining test 
load mass, using either table tennis balls or water.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ For the table tennis ball approach, the clothes container 
is filled with specified table tennis balls, and an empirically 
determined equation is provided to convert the number of balls into 
a capacity value. The water approach is similar to the approach 
provided in section 3.1 of Appendix J2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue II.B.21. DOE requests comment on whether to consider any 
changes to the representation of clothes washer capacity, including, 
but not limited to, a weight-based capacity or manufacturer-declared 
capacity based on an industry-standard methodology. Specifically, DOE 
requests comment on whether the two methodologies provided in IEC 
Standard 60456 Edition 5.0 provide capacity measurements that result in 
a test method that measures the energy use of the clothes washer during 
a representative average use cycle or period of use.
5. Cycle Selection and Settings
a. Representative Average Use
    DOE recently issued an RFI to seek more information on whether its 
test procedures are reasonably designed, as required by EPCA, to 
produce results that measure the energy use or efficiency of a product 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use. 84 FR 9721 
(Mar. 18, 2019). DOE seeks comment on this issue as it pertains to the 
test procedure for clothes washers, and specifically to all of the 
issues and comment requests set forth in the following paragraphs.
b. Load Sizes for Available Minimum and Maximum Fill Levels
    Table 2.8 within section 2.8 of Appendix J2 requires that, for 
clothes washers with manual water fill control systems, each 
temperature selection that is part of the energy test cycle be tested 
using both the minimum and maximum water fill levels, using the minimum 
and maximum load sizes, respectively.\15\ Section 3.2.6 of Appendix J2 
describes these water fill levels as the minimum and maximum water 
levels available for the wash cycle under test. DOE has observed at 
least one clothes washer with electronic controls in which the maximum 
water fill level on the unit cannot be selected (i.e., is ``locked 
out'') with one of the temperature selections required for testing; on 
that temperature setting, the maximum water fill that can be selected 
is one of the intermediate fill levels on the unit. The resulting water 
fill level (which is a significantly lower fill level) is thus 
misaligned with the maximum load size required for that particular 
cycle under test. Using a maximum load size with an intermediate water 
fill level may not provide results that measure energy efficiency and 
water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use, 
since the locking out of the maximum water fill level indicates that 
the particular temperature selection is not intended to be used with a 
maximum load size. More generally, electronic controls on such a 
clothes washer could lock out either the minimum or maximum water fill 
level available on the unit from any of the

[[Page 31073]]

temperature selections required for testing under Appendix J2, 
rendering the resulting water fill level for that temperature selection 
inappropriate for the maximum (or minimum) load size defined for the 
unit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ In calculating the weighted energy consumption of a clothes 
washer with a manual water control system, load usage factors are 
applied to the minimum test loads (0.28) and maximum test loads 
(0.72), as described further in section II.B.7.b of this RFI. The 
load usage factors were based on Procter & Gamble field usage data 
when Appendix J was initially established. 42 FR 49802, 49809
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE previously addressed the issue of locked-out water fill levels 
in a notice of proposed rulemaking (``NOPR'') published on May 24, 
1995. 60 FR 27442, 27444. At that time, three manufacturers expressed 
concern about the possibility of a maximum water level being locked 
out. DOE stated that it was not aware of any products employing such 
lockout designs at that time, but should such designs emerge, they 
could be addressed in a future rulemaking. Id.
    DOE welcomes input from interested parties on how the test 
procedure should accommodate locked-out water fill levels required for 
testing. As discussed, the current test procedure requires that the 
maximum load size be tested with the maximum water fill level available 
in combination with the selected temperature selection, which may be a 
lower fill level than the maximum available on the machine and not 
intended for maximum size clothing loads. DOE would consider other 
approaches that would produce results that measure energy efficiency or 
water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use 
for this category of clothes washer.
    Issue II.B.22. DOE requests comments on how clothes washers with 
locked-out water fill levels could be tested. DOE also requests data on 
the water level that consumers use on this type of clothes washer when 
a specific water level is locked-out.
c. Locked-Out Spin Settings
    Section 3.8.4 of Appendix J2 requires that for clothes washers that 
have multiple spin settings \16\ available within the energy test cycle 
that result in different RMC values, the maximum and minimum extremes 
of the available spin settings must be tested on the Cold/Cold 
temperature selection. The final RMC is the weighted average of the 
maximum and minimum spin settings, with the maximum spin setting 
weighted at 75 percent and the minimum spin setting weighted at 25 
percent. DOE is aware of clothes washers on the market that offer 
multiple spin settings, but which offer only the maximum spin setting 
on the Cold/Cold temperature selection; i.e., the minimum spin setting 
is locked out of the Cold/Cold temperature selection. This results in 
the lower spin setting not being factored into the RMC calculation, 
despite being available at other temperature selections in the energy 
test cycle. According to the TUF Table 4.1.1 in Appendix J2, the Cold/
Cold temperature selection represents 37 percent of consumer 
temperature selections, with the other available temperature 
selections, for which the lower spin settings are available, 
representing a combined 63 percent of clothes washer cycles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ The term ``spin settings'' refers to spin times or spin 
speeds. The maximum spin setting results in a lower (better) RMC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue II.B.23. DOE requests comment on testing for clothes washers 
that offer only the maximum spin setting on the Cold/Cold temperature 
selection but provide lower spin settings on other temperature 
selections. For example, RMC could be measured at the default spin 
setting for each temperature selection, and averaged using the TUFs. 
DOE requests data on the extent to which this or any other suggested 
approach measures the energy use of the clothes washer during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks data 
on the burden that may be added or reduced as a result of these other 
testing configurations.
    Issue II.B.24. DOE requests input on whether any changes to the RMC 
measurement are warranted to address the issue of locked-out spin 
settings, taking into account the requirements that the test procedure 
must be reasonably designed to measure the energy use of the clothes 
washer during a representative average use cycle or period of use and 
not be unduly burdensome to conduct.
d. Four or More Warm/Cold Temperature Selections
    Section 3.5 of Appendix J2 states that for a clothes washer that 
offers four or more Warm Wash/Cold Rinse temperature selections, either 
all discrete selections shall be tested, or the clothes washer shall be 
tested at the 25-percent, 50-percent, and 75-percent positions of the 
temperature selection device between the hottest hot (<=135 [deg]F 
(57.2 [deg]C)) wash and the coldest cold wash. If a selection is not 
available at the 25, 50 or 75-percent position, in place of each such 
unavailable selection, the next warmer temperature selection shall be 
used. Hereafter in this document, DOE refers to the latter provision as 
the ``25/50/75 test.''
    DOE introduced the 25/50/75 test in the original version of 
Appendix J1, as established by the August 1997 Final Rule, out of 
concern regarding the test burden for clothes washers that offer a 
large number of intermediate warm wash temperature selections, if the 
test procedure were to require testing all intermediate warm 
temperature selections. 62 FR 45484, 45497. DOE had originally proposed 
a similar method \17\ in the April 22, 1996 supplemental NOPR (``April 
1996 SNOPR'') preceding the August 1997 Final Rule, for clothes washers 
having infinite warm wash selections that are non-uniformly 
distributed. 61 FR 17589, 17599. In the August 1997 Final Rule, DOE 
agreed with a suggested option to consider clothes washers with more 
than three warm wash temperatures to be clothes washers with infinite 
warm wash temperature selections, therefore allowing them to also use 
the 25/50/75 test. 62 FR 45484, 45498. DOE concluded at that time that 
testing at the various test points of the temperature range, with a 
requirement to test to the next higher selection if a temperature 
selection is not available at a specified test point, would provide 
data representative of the warm wash temperature selection offerings. 
Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ The originally proposed test would have required testing at 
the 20/40/60/80 percent positions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE notes that the 25/50/75 test was adopted before the widespread 
use of electronic controls, which now allow for the assignment of wash 
water temperatures that may not reflect the physical spacing between 
temperature selections on the control panel. For example, with 
electronic controls, the 25-percent, 50-percent, and 75-percent 
positions on the dial may not necessarily correspond to 25-percent, 50-
percent, and 75-percent temperature differences between the hottest and 
coldest selections. DOE is aware of clothes washers on the market with 
four or more warm wash temperature selections, in which the temperature 
selections located at the 25, 50, and 75-percent positions are low-
temperature cycles that have wash temperatures only a few degrees 
higher than the coldest wash temperature; whereas the temperature 
selection labeled ``Warm'' is located beyond the 75 percent position on 
the temperature selection dial and is therefore not included for 
testing under the 25/50/75 test.
    Issue II.B.25. DOE requests feedback on the representativeness of 
using the 25/50/75 test on clothes washers with electronic controls; 
particularly for clothes washers in which the 25-percent, 50-percent, 
and 75-percent positions on the dial do not correspond to 25-percent, 
50-percent, and 75-percent temperature increments between the hottest 
and coldest selections.

[[Page 31074]]

    Issue II.B.26. DOE also seeks information on alternative approaches 
for testing clothes washers with four or more Warm Wash/Cold Rinse 
temperature selections that would ensure that the test procedure is 
reasonably designed to measure the energy use of the clothes washer 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and is not 
unduly burdensome to conduct. Specifically, DOE requests comment on 
whether there is a less burdensome means for the test procedure to be 
reasonably designed to measure energy use or efficiency of the clothes 
washer during a representative average use cycle.
e. Clothes Washers That Generate All Hot Water Internally
    DOE is aware of clothes washers on the market that draw only cold 
water and internally generate all hot water that may be required for a 
cycle by means of internal heating elements. As observed on the market, 
these clothes washers offer cold, warm, hot, and extra hot temperature 
selections. As part of determining the Cold Wash/Cold Rinse temperature 
selection, the instruction box in the flowchart in Figure 2.12.1 of 
Appendix J2 refers to ``. . . multiple wash temperature selections in 
the Normal cycle [that] do not use any hot water for any of the water 
fill levels or test load sizes required for testing . . .'' DOE is 
considering rephrasing the text in Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 to say 
``. . . use or internally generate any heated water . . .'' (emphasis 
added) so that the wording of the Cold Wash/Cold Rinse flowchart in 
Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 explicitly addresses these clothes 
washers. This change would reflect DOE's interpretation of the current 
Cold Wash/Cold Rinse flowchart and subsequent flowcharts for the Warm 
Wash and Hot Wash temperature selections for this type of clothes 
washer.
    Issue II.B.27. DOE requests input on revising the phrasing of 
Figure 2.12.1 of Appendix J2 to specifically address the test method 
for clothes washers that internally generate all hot water used for a 
cycle by means of internal heating elements. DOE also seeks comment on 
whether and if so, to what extent, this change would affect the 
measured energy use of these clothes washers as compared to the current 
test procedure.
f. Non-Conventional Water Fill Control Systems
Classification of Water Fill Control Systems
    Table 2.8 of Appendix J2 prescribes the required test load sizes 
based on the type of water fill control system (``WFCS'') on the 
clothes washer. Appendix J2 defines two main types of WFCS: Manual WFCS 
and automatic WFCS, which includes adaptive WFCS and fixed WFCS. 
Section 3.2.6.2 of Appendix J2 further distinguishes between user-
adjustable and not-user-adjustable automatic WFCSs. Additionally, 
section 3.2.6.3 of Appendix J2 accommodates clothes washers that have 
both an automatic WFCS and an alternate manual WFCS.
    As electronic control panels become more sophisticated, determining 
which type of WFCS is used in a particular clothes washer can be 
difficult. Furthermore, the use of an electronic control panel enables 
a clothes washer to have combinations of WFCSs that were previously 
unforeseen and therefore not addressed in the test procedure (e.g., 
multiple different adaptive WFCSs, or both adaptive and fixed WFCSs). 
The following are examples of such clothes washers that DOE has 
observed on the market:
    Example #1: A clothes washer that uses an adaptive WFCS but 
includes an optional cycle modifier, most typically in the form of a 
control panel button, that affects the water level by adding either 
more or less water than would otherwise be used by the adaptive WFCS. 
DOE has observed several types of such optional cycle modifiers, such 
as ``deep fill'' and ``water plus,'' which use more water than the 
default adaptive WFCS; and ``eco,'' which uses less water than the 
default adaptive WFCS.
    Example #2: A clothes washer that defaults to a fixed maximum water 
level if the user takes no action (i.e., a fixed WFCS), and that offers 
a single optional button that provides a lower fill level than the 
default fill level if activated.
    Example #3: A clothes washer with a control panel that allows the 
user to choose between two separate automatic WFCSs: One of which is an 
adaptive WFCS, and the other is a fixed WFCS that provides the maximum 
fill level regardless of load size (e.g., ``deep fill'').
    Example #4: A clothes washer with a control panel that allows the 
user to choose between two separate adaptive WFCSs: One that provides 
more efficient performance; and the other that provides higher fill 
levels, both of which adapt to the size of the clothing load.
    Example #5: A clothes washer with a separate cycle labeled ``deep 
fill,'' as an alternative to the Normal cycle.
    Issue II.B.28. DOE requests input on whether any changes are 
warranted for the definitions of automatic WFCS, manual WFCS, adaptive 
WFCS, and fixed WFCS, specifically in the context of clothes washers 
currently on the market, and whether the current definitions 
appropriately reflect the products currently available. DOE also 
requests input on whether a definition of user-adjustable automatic 
WFCS should be considered, and if so, how it could be defined to best 
reflect the type of user-adjustable WFCSs currently on the market. 
Comments are also welcome on whether a less complex method of WFCS 
differentiation could be used that would still result in the test 
procedure being reasonably designed to measure energy efficiency and 
water use of clothes washers during a representative average use cycle 
or period of use, and not be unduly burdensome to conduct.
    Issue II.B.29. As an alternative to considering revisions to the 
definitions of each type of WFCS, DOE could consider alternate 
approaches, such as using a flow chart--similar to the energy test 
cycle flowcharts in section 2.12 of Appendix J2--to guide the 
determination of which type of WFCS is available on a clothes washer. 
DOE requests comment on such an approach.
    Issue II.B.30. DOE requests input on an approach that would result 
in a measurement of energy and water use during a representative 
average use cycle for clothes washers with unconventional WFCSs, such 
as in the examples provided, including the impacts on manufacturer 
burden associated with any such approach.
Test Cycles and Calculations
    Section 3.2.6.3 of Appendix J2 states that if a clothes washer with 
an automatic WFCS allows consumer selection of manual controls as an 
alternative, both the manual and automatic modes are tested. The energy 
and water consumption values are measured separately under each mode 
and then averaged; the average values are then used in the final 
calculations in section 4 of Appendix J2. The averaging of each value 
implies a 50-percent usage factor for each of the available WFCSs on 
the clothes washer.
    Section 3.2.6.2.2 of Appendix J2 provides instructions for a 
clothes washer with a user-adjustable automatic WFCS. For this type of 
WFCS, four tests are conducted: (1) The first test uses the maximum 
test load and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the 
most energy intensive result; (2) the second test uses the minimum test 
load and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the least 
energy intensive result; (3) the third test uses the average test load 
and the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the most 
energy intensive result for the

[[Page 31075]]

given test load; and (4) the fourth test uses the average test load and 
the automatic WFCS set in the setting that will give the least energy 
intensive result for the given test load. The energy and water 
consumption for the average test load are the average of the third and 
fourth tests' results.
    Issue II.B.31. DOE requests comment on whether the above test 
procedure requiring four separate tests meets the EPCA requirements of 
measuring the energy and water use during a representative average use 
cycle and not being unduly burdensome to conduct, and whether an 
approach that required less than four tests would meet this EPCA 
requirement.
    Issue II.B.32. DOE requests comments on the representativeness of 
the WFCS setting and load size combinations tested for clothes washers 
with both automatic and manual WFCSs, as well as clothes washers with 
user-adjustable automatic WFCSs.
g. Wash Time Setting
    Section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 defines how to select the wash time 
setting on a clothes washer. If no one wash time is prescribed for the 
wash cycle under test, the wash time setting is the higher of either 
the minimum or 70 percent of the maximum wash time available, 
regardless of the labeling of suggested dial locations. Hereafter in 
this document, DOE refers to this provision as the ``70-percent test.''
    In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE added instructions to the wash 
time section of Appendix J1 and Appendix J2 that specified the 
direction of rotation of electromechanical dials, and that the 70-
percent test applies regardless of the labeling of suggested dial 
locations. 77 FR 13887, 13927. In the August 2015 Final Rule, DOE 
specified that, if 70-percent of the maximum wash time is not available 
on a dial with a discrete number of wash time settings, the next-
highest setting greater than 70-percent must be chosen. 80 FR 46729, 
46745. DOE is considering, as described in the following sections, 
whether additional changes to section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 are 
warranted to provide further clarity, particularly with regard to how 
the wash time setting should be interpreted for electronic control 
dials.
Clarification for Electronic Cycle Selection Dials
    DOE has observed on the market clothes washers that have an 
electronic cycle selection dial designed to visually simulate a 
conventional electromechanical dial.\18\ In particular, DOE has 
observed clothes washers with an electronic dial that offers multiple 
Normal cycle selections; for example, ``Normal-Light,'' ``Normal-
Medium,'' and ``Normal-Heavy,'' with the descriptor referring to the 
soil level of the clothing. On such clothes washers, the only 
difference between the three Normal cycles apparent to consumers when 
performing each cycle may be the wash time, although other less 
observable parameters may also differ. Although the electronic dial 
simulates the visual appearance of an electromechanical dial, the 
electronic dial is programmed with a pre-established set of wash cycle 
parameters, including wash time, for each of the discrete cycle 
selections presented on the machine. For this type of cycle selection 
dial, each of the discrete cycle selection options represents a 
selectable ``wash cycle'' as referred to in section 3.2.5 of Appendix 
J2, and a wash time is prescribed for each available wash cycle. 
Therefore, for clothes washers with this type of electronic dial, the 
wash cycle selected for testing must correspond to the wash cycle that 
meets the definition of Normal cycle in section 1.25 of Appendix J2. 
The wash time setting thus would be the prescribed wash time for the 
selected wash cycle; i.e., the 70-percent test would not apply to this 
type of dial. DOE is considering whether any changes to section 3.2.5 
of Appendix J2 are warranted to qualify further which type of dial 
would be subject to the 70-percent test.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ On most electromechanical dials, the rotational position of 
the dial corresponds to the desired wash time. The user rotates the 
dial from the initial ``off'' position to the desired wash time 
position, and after starting the wash cycle, the dial rotates 
throughout the progression of the wash cycle until it reaches the 
off position at the end of the cycle. In contrast, an electronic 
dial contains a fixed number of selectable positions, and the dial 
remains in the selected position for the duration of the wash cycle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue II.B.33. DOE requests feedback on whether section 3.2.5 of 
Appendix J2 should be further clarified regarding electronic cycle 
selection dials that visually simulate conventional electromechanical 
dials.
Direction of Dial Rotation
    Section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 also states that, for clothes washers 
with electromechanical dials controlling wash time, the dial must be 
turned in the direction of increasing wash time to reach the 
appropriate wash time setting. DOE is aware that not all 
electromechanical dials currently on the market can be turned in the 
direction of increasing wash time. On such models, the dial can only be 
turned in the direction of decreasing wash time. DOE believes that the 
direction of rotation need only be prescribed on a clothes washer with 
an electromechanical dial that can rotate in both directions. 
Therefore, DOE is considering further amending section 3.2.5 of 
Appendix J2 to clarify that the requirement to rotate the dial in the 
direction of increasing wash time applies only to dials that can rotate 
in both directions.
    Issue II.B.34. DOE requests comment on its understanding of the 
functioning of dials currently on the market, specifically with regard 
to the direction(s) of rotation and whether the wording of section 
3.2.5 of Appendix J2 warrants revision to clarify that the requirement 
to rotate the dial in the direction of increasing wash time applies 
only to dials that can rotate in both directions.
``Wash Time'' Terminology
    Finally, DOE is considering whether to state that the phrase ``wash 
time'' in section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 refers to the period of 
agitation or tumble. This clarification would be consistent with the 
historical context of this section of the test procedure. In Appendix J 
as established by the September 1977 Final Rule, section 2.10 Clothes 
washer setting defined ``wash time'' as the ``period of agitation.'' As 
part of the January 2001 Final Rule, DOE amended section 2.10 of 
Appendix J by renaming it Wash time (period of agitation or tumble) 
setting.\19\ 66 FR 3313, 3330. When establishing Appendix J1 in the 
August 1997 Final Rule, DOE did not include reference to ``period of 
agitation'' in section 2.10 of Appendix J1. 62 FR 45484, 45510. DOE did 
not address this difference from Appendix J in the preamble of the 
August 1997 Final Rule or the NOPRs that preceded that final rule, but 
given the continued reference to ``wash time'' in Appendix J1, did not 
intend to change the general understanding that wash time refers to the 
wash portion of the cycle, which includes agitation or tumble time. DOE 
has since further amended section 2.10 of both Appendix J1 and Appendix 
J2 as part of the March 2012 Final Rule and August 2015 Final Rule (in 
which section 2.10 was renumbered as section 3.2.5), with no discussion 
in these final rules of the statement that remained in Appendix J, 
where wash time referred to agitation or tumble time. DOE further notes 
that in current RCW models on the market, agitation or tumble may be

[[Page 31076]]

periodic or continuous during the wash portion of the cycle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ In this context, ``agitation'' refers to the wash action of 
a top-loading clothes washer, whereas ``tumble'' refers to the wash 
action of a front-loading clothes washer.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue II.B.35. DOE requests feedback on whether DOE should consider 
reincorporating language into section 3.2.5 of Appendix J2 to clarify 
that the term ``wash time'' refers to the wash portion of the cycle, 
including agitation or tumble time.
h. Optional Cycle Modifiers
    Section 3.2.7 of Appendix J2 states that for clothes washers with 
electronic control systems, the manufacturer default settings must be 
used for any cycle selections, except for (1) the temperature 
selection, (2) the wash water fill levels, or (3) if necessary, the 
spin speeds on wash cycles used to determine RMC. Specifically, the 
manufacturer default settings must be used for wash conditions such as 
agitation/tumble operation, soil level, spin speed on wash cycles used 
to determine energy and water consumption, wash times, rinse times, 
optional rinse settings, water heating time for water-heating clothes 
washers, and all other wash parameters or optional features applicable 
to that wash cycle. Any optional wash cycle feature or setting (other 
than wash/rinse temperature, water fill level selection, or spin speed 
on wash cycles used to determine RMC) that is activated by default on 
the wash cycle under test must be included for testing unless the 
manufacturer instructions recommend not selecting this option, or 
recommend selecting a different option, for washing normally soiled 
cotton clothing.
    Issue II.B.36. DOE seeks comment on whether testing of cycle 
settings other than the manufacturer default settings would measure the 
energy efficiency and water use of the clothes washer during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks 
comment on whether the non-default selections required by the current 
DOE test procedure meet this requirement.
    DOE has observed a trend towards increased availability of optional 
cycle modifiers such as ``deep fill,'' as described previously in this 
document, and ``extra rinse,'' among others. These optional settings 
may significantly impact the water and/or energy consumption of the 
clothes washer when activated. DOE has observed that the default 
setting of these optional settings on the Normal cycle is most often in 
the off position; i.e., the least energy- and water-intensive setting. 
The growing presence of such features may, however, be indicative of an 
increase in consumer demand and/or usage of these features.
    Issue II.B.37. DOE requests information regarding how frequently 
consumers use ``deep fill,'' ``extra rinse,'' or other cycle modifiers, 
as well as whether (and if so, by how much) such modifiers may increase 
the energy or water consumption of a wash cycle compared to the default 
settings on the Normal cycle. DOE also requests comment on whether 
testing these features in the default settings would produce test 
results that measure energy efficiency and water use of clothes washers 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use, and the 
burden of such testing on manufacturers.
6. Wash/Rinse Temperature Selections for Semi-Automatic Clothes Washers
    Section II.B.2.d of this document discussed the installation of 
single-inlet semi-automatic clothes washers. This section discusses the 
wash/rinse temperature selections and TUFs applicable to all semi-
automatic clothes washers. Semi-automatic clothes washers are defined 
at 10 CFR 430.2 as a class of clothes washer that is the same as an 
automatic clothes washer except that user intervention is required to 
regulate the water temperature by adjusting the external water faucet 
valves. DOE's test procedure requirements at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(2)(ii) 
state that the use of Appendix J2 to determine IMEF is required for 
both automatic and semi-automatic clothes washers. Similarly, the IWF 
measurement requirements at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(3)(ii) apply to ``clothes 
washer[s],'' which is defined in 10 CFR 430.2 to include semi-automatic 
clothes washers.
    Semi-automatic clothes washers do not provide wash/rinse 
temperature selections on the control panel, and any combination of 
cold, warm, and hot wash temperatures and rinse temperatures can be 
implemented by the user. The following discussion provides relevant 
historical context on this issue.
    Section 6.1 of Appendix J-1977 \20\ and Appendix J-1997 provided 
TUFs for the following wash/rinse temperature combinations for semi-
automatic clothes washers: Hot/Hot, Hot/Warm, Hot/Cold, Warm/Warm, 
Warm/Cold, and Cold/Cold. The definition of these TUFs indicated that 
these six wash/rinse temperature combinations were required for 
testing. Section 3.2.2.6 of Appendix J-1977 and Appendix J-1997 and 
section 3.2.3.1.6 of Appendix J1-1997 and Appendix J1-2001 provided a 
table indicating the following external water faucet valve positions 
required to achieve each wash and rinse temperature selection:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Throughout this section, to distinguish different versions 
of each test method, DOE uses the following nomenclature: Appendix 
[letter]-[year of amendment]. For example, the original version of 
Appendix J is referred to as Appendix J-1977. The version as amended 
by the August 1997 Final Rule is referred to as Appendix J-1997, and 
so forth.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Hot: Hot valve completely open, cold valve closed;
     Warm: Hot valve completely open, cold valve completely 
open; and
     Cold: Hot valve closed, cold valve completely open.
    Under Appendix J-1977 and Appendix J-1997, the Hot/Hot, Warm/Warm, 
and Cold/Cold temperature combinations were tested for semi-automatic 
clothes washers without regulating the water temperature between the 
wash and rinse portions of the cycle. However, for the Hot/Warm, Hot/
Cold, and Warm/Cold temperature combinations to be tested, Appendix J-
1977 and Appendix J-1997 required the test administrator to manually 
regulate the water temperature in between the wash and rinse portions 
of the cycle by adjusting the external water faucet valves. As 
reflected in DOE's definition of semi-automatic clothes washer, user 
intervention is required to regulate the water temperature of all semi-
automatic clothes washers (i.e., user regulation of water temperature 
is the distinguishing characteristic of a semi-automatic clothes 
washer).
    When it established Appendix J1-1997, DOE combined all of the TUF 
tables--for both automatic and semi-automatic clothes washers--that 
were also provided in section 5 and section 6 of Appendix J-1997 into a 
single condensed table in Table 4.1.1 of Appendix J1-1997. 62 FR 45484, 
45512. In contrast to Appendix J-1997, which provided separate TUF 
tables for every possible set of available wash/rinse temperature 
selections, the new simplified table in Appendix J1-1997 was organized 
into columns based on the number of wash temperature selections 
available on a clothes washer. Warm rinse was considered separately 
within each column of the table. Id. In the current version of Appendix 
J2, Table 4.1.1 remains a single simplified table, although in the 
August 2015 Final Rule, DOE clarified the column headings by listing 
the wash/rinse temperature selections applicable to each column. 80 FR 
46729, 46782.
    The simplified Table 4.1.1 in Appendix J2 does not state which 
column(s) of the table are applicable to semi-automatic clothes 
washers. In the May 2012 Direct Final Rule, DOE stated that it was not 
aware of any semi-automatic clothes washers on the

[[Page 31077]]

market. 77 FR 32307, 32317. However, DOE is currently aware of several 
semi-automatic clothes washer model available in the U.S. market.
    Issue II.B.38. DOE requests input on whether the test procedure 
should be amended with regard to the specificity of wash/rinse test 
combinations for semi-automatic clothes washers in Appendix J2, and 
whether those updates would provide test results that measure energy 
efficiency and water use during a representative average use cycle or 
period of use, and whether they would be unduly burdensome to conduct.
7. Usage Factors
    DOE requests information on whether, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 
6293(b)(3), the consumer usage factors incorporated into the test 
procedure produce test results that measure energy efficiency and water 
use of clothes washers during a representative average use cycle or 
period of use. DOE also seeks comment on whether testing cycle 
configurations with usage factors below a certain percentage would be 
unduly burdensome to conduct and would not be considered to be 
reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use because they are 
rarely used by consumers.
a. Temperature Usage Factors
    As described in section II.B.6 of this document, TUFs are weighting 
factors that represent the percentage of wash cycles for which 
consumers choose a particular wash/rinse temperature selection. The 
TUFs in Table 4.1.1 of Appendix J2 are based on the TUFs introduced in 
Appendix J1-1997 by the August 1997 Final Rule. As described in the 
April 1996 SNOPR, DOE established the TUFs in Appendix J1-1997 based on 
an analysis of consumer usage data provided by Procter & Gamble 
(``P&G''), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (``AHAM''), 
General Electric Company (``GE''), and Whirlpool Corporation 
(``Whirlpool''), as well as linear regression analyses performed by P&G 
and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (``NIST''). 61 
FR 17589, 17593. DOE understands that consumer usage patterns may have 
changed since the introduction of Table 4.1.1 in Appendix J1-1997.
    DOE recognizes that some possible combinations of wash/rinse 
temperature selections that could be offered on a clothes washer are 
not represented in Table 4.1.1 (e.g., the current table would not 
accommodate a clothes washer that offers only Extra-Hot/Cold and Cold/
Cold wash/rinse temperature selections).
    Issue II.B.39. DOE requests data on current consumer usage 
frequency of the wash/rinse temperature selections required for testing 
in Appendix J2.
    Issue II.B.40. DOE requests input on whether requiring measurement 
of cycle selections with low TUFs (for example, the current Table 4.1.1 
lists TUFs including 5, 9, and 14 percent) is consistent with the EPCA 
requirement that the test procedure be reasonably designed to measure 
the energy use or efficiency of the clothes washer during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use, and not be unduly 
burdensome to conduct.
    Issue II.B.41. DOE requests information on whether any combinations 
of wash/rinse temperature selections not currently represented in Table 
4.1.1 of Appendix J2 exist. DOE also seeks data to support how the TUFs 
for such combinations could be defined to ensure that the test 
procedure measures energy and water consumption during a representative 
average use cycle or period of use. DOE also seeks comments on whether 
any of the combinations in Table 4.1.1 should be removed as not 
reasonably designed to measure the energy use of the clothes washer 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use.
    For semi-automatic clothes washers, DOE is considering whether 
amendments with regard to the specificity of wash/rinse temperature 
combinations and associated TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers in 
Appendix J2 would provide test results that are reasonably designed to 
measure energy and water consumption during a representative average 
use cycle or period of use. As discussed in section II.B.6 of this RFI, 
Appendix J specified TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers for six 
wash/rinse temperature combinations. Appendix J2 does not currently 
provide separate TUFs for semi-automatic clothes washers. Because the 
wash and rinse temperatures on a semi-automatic clothes washer are 
controlled directly by the consumer by adjusting the hot and cold water 
faucets, DOE understands that the appropriate TUFs for semi-automatic 
clothes washers that best reflect energy and water consumption during a 
representative average use cycle or period of use may be different from 
those of automatic clothes washers.
    Issue II.B.42. DOE requests input on whether to specify TUFs for 
semi-automatic clothes washers in Appendix J2, and if so, how the TUFs 
should be defined to be reasonably designed to measure energy and water 
consumption during a representative average use cycle or period of use 
for semi-automatic clothes washers.
b. Load Usage Factors
    Load Usage Factors (``LUFs'') are weighting factors that represent 
the percentage of wash cycles that consumers run with a given load 
size. Table 4.1.3 of Appendix J2 provides two sets of LUFs based on 
whether the clothes washer has a manual WFCS or automatic WFCS.
    For a clothes washer with a manual WFCS, the two LUFs represent the 
percentage of wash cycles for which consumers choose the maximum water 
fill level and minimum water fill level, regardless of the actual load 
size. For a clothes washer with an automatic WFCS, the three LUFs 
represent the percentage of cycles for which the consumer washes a 
minimum-size, average-size, and maximum-size load. The values of these 
LUFs are intended to approximate a normal distribution that is slightly 
weighted towards the minimum load size. This distribution is based on 
consumer load size data provided by P&G in support of the development 
of Appendix J1-1997.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ The P&G load size data are provided on pages 13-20 in 
legacy Docket EE-RM-94-230A Comment 25, which is archived on the 
regulations.gov website under Docket EERE-2006-TP-0065 Comment 27. 
Available at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2006-TP-0065-0027.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue II.B.43. DOE requests data on current consumer usage as 
related to the LUFs and whether any updates to the LUFs in Table 4.1.3 
of Appendix J2 are warranted to reflect current consumer usage 
patterns. DOE specifically requests comment on whether the use of 
certain LUFs in the test procedure is consistent with the EPCA 
requirement that the test procedure be reasonably designed to measure 
energy and water use during a representative average use cycle or 
period of use without being unduly burdensome to conduct, because 
certain load sizes may be rarely used by consumers.
c. Load Size Table
    Table 5.1 of Appendix J2 provides the minimum, average, and maximum 
load sizes to be used for testing based on the measured capacity of the 
clothes washer. The table defines capacity ``bins'' in 0.1 cu.ft. 
increments. The load sizes for each capacity bin are determined as 
follows:
     Minimum load is 3 pounds (``lb'') for all capacity bins;
     Maximum load (in lb) is equal to 4.1 times the mean 
clothes washer

[[Page 31078]]

capacity of each capacity bin (in cu.ft.); and
     Average load is the arithmetic mean of the minimum load 
and maximum load.
    DOE originally introduced the load size table in Appendix J1 in the 
August 1997 Final Rule, which accommodated clothes container capacities 
up to 3.8 cu.ft. This load size table was provided by AHAM as part of 
AHAM's recommended test procedure changes for Appendix J1, as described 
in the April 1996 SNOPR. 61 FR 17589, 17595.
    In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE expanded Table 5.1 to accommodate 
clothes container capacities up to 6.0 cu.ft. 77 FR 13887, 13910. DOE 
extrapolated the load sizes to 6.0 cu.ft. using the same equations to 
define the maximum and average load sizes as described previously.
    On May 2, 2016 and April 10, 2017, DOE granted waivers to Whirlpool 
and Samsung Electronics America Inc., respectively, for testing RCWs 
with capacities between 6.0 and 8.0 cu.ft.,\22\ by further 
extrapolating Table 5.1 using the same equations to define the maximum 
and average load sizes as described previously. 81 FR 26215, 82 FR 
17229. DOE's regulations in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions allowing 
any interested person to seek a waiver from the test procedure 
requirements if certain conditions are met. A waiver allows 
manufacturers to use an alternative test procedure in situations where 
the DOE test procedure cannot be used to test the product or equipment, 
or where use of the DOE test procedure would generate unrepresentative 
results. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1) DOE's regulations at 10 CFR 430.27(l) 
require that as soon as practicable after the granting of any waiver, 
DOE will publish in the Federal Register a NOPR to amend its 
regulations so as to eliminate any need for the continuation of such 
waiver. As soon thereafter as practicable, DOE will publish in the 
Federal Register a final rule. Therefore, DOE will consider amending 
its test procedure to accommodate RCWs with capacities up to 8.0 cu.ft. 
as part of a future rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ As noted, CCWs are limited under the statutory definition 
to a maximum capacity of 3.5 cubic feet for horizontal-axis CCWs and 
4.0 cubic feet for vertical-axis CCWs. 42 U.S.C. 6311(21).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note that section II.B.4 of this document provides additional 
discussion regarding potential alternative approaches for representing 
clothes container capacity that DOE could consider, which might suggest 
a different solution for addressing larger-capacity clothes washers 
than extrapolation of the existing Table 5.1.
    Issue II.B.44. DOE requests comment on whether Table 5.1 of 
Appendix J2 should be extrapolated to accommodate RCW capacities up to 
8.0 cu.ft., and if so, appropriate methods for extrapolation. More 
generally, DOE also requests data and information on whether the 
minimum, average, and maximum load size definitions in Table 5.1 are 
representative of the range of load sizes used by consumers for each 
capacity bin in the table, particularly for larger-capacity RCWs.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ DOE notes that the load size definitions could be 
considered independently from, or in conjunction with, the LUFs, as 
described in the previous section of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. Dryer Usage Factor
    The dryer usage factor (``DUF'') represents the percentage of 
clothes washer loads dried in a clothes dryer. The DUF is used in 
section 4.3 of Appendix J2 in the equation for calculating the per-
cycle energy required to remove the remaining moisture of the test load 
(i.e., ``drying energy'').
    DOE first introduced the drying energy equation in Appendix J1 as 
part of the August 1997 Final Rule. DOE originally established a DUF 
value of 0.84, which was based in part on data provided by P&G, as 
described in the April 1996 SNOPR. 61 FR 17589, 17592; 62 FR 45484, 
45489.
    In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE revised the DUF in Appendix J2 to 
0.91 based on updated consumer usage data from the Energy Information 
Administration (``EIA'') 2005 Residential Energy Consumption Survey 
(``RECS''). 77 FR 13887, 13913.
    Issue II.B.45. DOE specifically requests comment on whether the DUF 
in the test procedure is consistent with the EPCA requirement that the 
test procedure be reasonably designed to measure energy and water use 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use without 
being unduly burdensome to conduct, because certain drying cycles may 
be rarely used by consumers. DOE also requests data and information on 
whether any further adjustments to the DUF are warranted to reflect 
current consumer usage patterns.
e. Spin Speed Usage Factors
    Section 3.8.4.1 of Appendix J2 provides weighting factors for 
calculating the RMC value for clothes washers that have options such as 
multiple spin speeds or spin time settings that result in different RMC 
values, and that are available within the energy test cycle. The 
equation in section 3.8.4.1 of Appendix J2 assigns a 75-percent usage 
factor to the maximum spin setting and a 25-percent usage factor to the 
minimum spin setting. In originally establishing the spin setting usage 
factors in Appendix J-1997, DOE considered P&G usage factor data for 
normal/regular cycle usage (in which maximum water extraction is 
assumed) as compared to delicate and permanent-press cycle usage (in 
which minimum water extraction is assumed). 62 FR 45484, 45489; see 
also AHAM comment in docket EE-RM-94-230A, pp. 2 and 8.\24\ DOE 
determined that the consumers washing less durable articles of clothing 
would refrain from using a higher spin cycle to prevent possible fabric 
damage, and that the spin setting usage factors correlated to the use 
of normal/regular cycle usage as compared to delicate and permanent-
press cycle usage. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2006-TP-0065-0011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note that section II.B.5.c of this document provides additional 
discussion regarding potential alternative approaches that DOE could 
consider for clothes washers with multiple spin speeds, which might 
suggest a different solution than maintaining the existing spin speed 
usage factors.
    Issue II.B.46. DOE requests data and information on whether current 
consumer usage patterns warrant any adjustments to the spin speed usage 
factors. In particular, DOE requests consumer usage data regarding the 
selection of spin speeds on clothes washers that offer multiple spin 
speeds, and particularly the percentage of wash cycles for which 
consumers use the default spin settings. DOE also requests comment on 
whether the use of certain spin speed usage factors in the test 
procedure is consistent with the EPCA requirement that the test 
procedure be reasonably designed to measure energy and water use during 
a representative average use cycle or period of use without being 
unduly burdensome to conduct, because certain spin speeds may be rarely 
used by consumers.
f. Annual Number of Wash Cycles
    Section 4.4 of Appendix J2 provides the representative average 
number of annual clothes washer cycles for the purpose of translating 
the annualized inactive and off mode energy consumption measurements 
into a per-cycle value applied to each active mode wash cycle. 
Separately, the number of annual wash cycles is also referenced in 
DOE's test procedure provisions at 10 CFR 430.23(j)(1)(i)(A) and (B), 
(j)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), and (j)(3)(i) and (ii) for the purpose of 
calculating annual

[[Page 31079]]

operating cost and annual water consumption of a clothes washer.
    In the August 1997 Final Rule, DOE estimated the representative 
number of annual wash cycles per RCW to be 392, which represented the 
average number of cycles per year from 1986 through 1994, based on P&G 
survey data provided to DOE as described in a NOPR published on March 
23, 1995. 60 FR 15330, 15335; 62 FR 45484, 45501.
    In the March 2012 Final Rule, DOE updated the representative number 
of wash cycles per year to 295 based on an analysis of the 2005 RECS 
data. 77 FR 13887, 13909. More recently, analysis of the 2009 RECS data 
suggests 284 cycles per year, and analysis of the 2015 RECS data (the 
most recent available) suggests 234 cycles per year.
    Issue II.B.47. DOE requests data and information on whether any 
further adjustments to the number of annual wash cycles are warranted 
to reflect current RCW consumer usage patterns, as suggested by RECS 
data.
g. Low-Power Mode Usage Factors
    Section 4.4 of Appendix J2 allocates 8,465 combined annual hours 
for inactive and off modes. If a clothes washer offers a switch, dial, 
or button that can be optionally selected by the user to achieve a 
lower-power inactive/off mode than the default inactive/off mode, 
section 4.4 assigns half of those hours (i.e., 4,232.5 hours) to the 
default inactive/off mode and the other half to the optional lowest-
power inactive/off mode. This allocation is based on an assumption that 
if a clothes washer offers such a feature, consumers will select the 
optional lower-power mode half of the time. 77 FR 13887, 13904. The 
allocation of 8,465 hours to combined inactive and off modes is based 
on an assumption of 295 active mode hours (assuming one hour per active 
mode wash cycle), for a total of 8,760 hours per year for all operating 
modes.
    Issue II.B.48. DOE requests input on whether the annual hours 
allocated to combined inactive and off modes, as well as the assumed 
50-percent split between default inactive/off mode and any optional 
lower-power inactive/off mode, result in a test method that measures 
the energy efficiency of the clothes washer during a representative 
average use cycle or period of use and would not be unduly burdensome 
to conduct.
8. Associated Equipment Efficiencies
a. Water Heater Efficiencies
    Section 4.1.2 of Appendix J2 provides equations for calculating 
total per-cycle hot water energy consumption for all water fill levels 
tested. The hot water energy consumption is calculated by multiplying 
the measured volume of hot water by a constant fixed temperature rise 
of 75 [deg]F and by the specific heat of water, defined as 0.00240 
kilowatt-hours per gallon per degree Fahrenheit (kWh/gal-[deg]F). No 
efficiency or loss factor is included in this calculation, which 
implies an electric water heater efficiency of 100 percent.
    Similarly, section 4.1.4 of Appendix J2 provides an equation for 
calculating total per-cycle hot water energy consumption using gas-
heated or oil-heated water, for product labeling requirements.\25\ This 
equation includes a multiplication factor ``e,'' representing the 
nominal gas or oil water heater efficiency, defined as 0.75.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ The Federal Trade Commission's EnergyGuide label for RCWs 
includes the estimated annual operating cost using natural gas water 
heating.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These water-heating energy equations estimate the energy required 
by the household water heater to heat the hot water used by the clothes 
washer. Per-cycle hot water energy consumption is one of the four 
energy components in the IMEF metric.
    Issue II.B.49. DOE requests input on whether any updates are 
warranted to the water heater efficiency values implied in section 
4.1.2 and provided in section 4.1.4 of Appendix J2.
b. Drying Energy
    Section 4.3 of Appendix J2 provides an equation for calculating 
total per-cycle energy consumption for removal of moisture from the 
test load in a clothes dryer; i.e., the ``drying energy.'' The drying 
energy calculation is based on the following three factors: (1) A 
clothes dryer final RMC of 4 percent; (2) a clothes dryer energy factor 
(``DEF''), which is defined as 0.5 kWh/lb and represents the nominal 
energy required for a clothes dryer to remove moisture from a pound of 
clothes; and (3) the DUF which, as described previously in this 
document, is defined as 0.91 and represents the percentage of clothes 
washer loads dried in a clothes dryer. DOE is soliciting information to 
determine whether the final RMC value after drying and the DEF value 
should be revised as a result of recent updates to the DOE clothes 
dryer test procedure and any market changes due to the most recent 
energy conservation standards for clothes dryers.
    DOE's test procedure for clothes dryers, codified at 10 CFR part 
430, subpart B, appendix D1 (``Appendix D1''), prescribes a final RMC 
of between 2.5 and 5.0 percent, which is consistent with the 4-percent 
final RMC value in the clothes washer test procedure for determination 
of the DEF. However, DOE's alternate clothes dryer test procedure, 
codified at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix D2 (``Appendix D2''), 
prescribes a final RMC of between 1 and 2.5 percent for timer dryers, 
which are clothes dryers that can be preset to carry out at least one 
operation to be terminated by a time, but may also be manually 
controlled and do not include any automatic termination function. For 
automatic termination control dryers, which can be preset to carry out 
at least one sequence of operations to be terminated by means of a 
system assessing, directly or indirectly, the moisture content of the 
load, the test cycle is deemed invalid if the clothes dryer terminates 
the cycle at a final RMC greater than 2 percent. In the final rule 
establishing Appendix D2, DOE determined that a clothes dryer final RMC 
of 2 percent using the DOE test load would be more representative of 
clothes dryers currently on the market in that generally consumers 
would find a final RMC above this level unacceptable. Timer dryers are 
provided with a range of allowable final RMC during the test because 
DOE concluded that it would be unduly burdensome to require the tester 
to dry the test load to an exact RMC; however, the measured test cycle 
energy consumption for timer dryers is normalized to calculate the 
energy consumption required to dry the test load to 2-percent final 
RMC. 78 FR 49607, 49612-49624 (Aug. 14, 2013). Manufacturers may elect 
to use Appendix D2 to demonstrate compliance with the January 1, 2015, 
energy conservation standards; however, the procedures in Appendix D2 
need not be performed to determine compliance with energy conservation 
standards for clothes dryers at this time.
    Issue II.B.50. DOE requests input on whether the final RMC value in 
the drying energy calculation in Appendix J2 should be revised to align 
with the DOE clothes dryer test procedure at Appendix D2 or another 
value that is representative of clothes dryers currently on the market.
    Issue II.B.51. DOE requests input on whether the current value of 
the DEF is representative of the nominal energy required for a clothes 
dryer to remove moisture from a pound of clothes, or whether an 
alternative value would be more representative.

[[Page 31080]]

9. Non-Conventional Features
a. Clothes Washers With an Additional Wash System
    DOE is aware of ``auxiliary'' or ``supplementary'' RCWs designed to 
accompany a standard-size RCW from the same manufacturer. In one 
configuration, a top-loading wash drum (i.e., ``auxiliary'' clothes 
washer) is integrated into the top of a standard-size front-loading 
clothes washer (i.e., ``primary'' clothes washer). The primary front-
loading clothes washer and the auxiliary top-loading clothes washer are 
powered through a single electrical plug; however, the primary clothes 
washer and the auxiliary clothes washer have separate control systems 
and can be operated independently from one another. Another 
configuration comprises a top-loading RCW sold as a separate product 
(i.e., ``supplementary'' clothes washer) with independent controls and 
a separate electrical plug, and which is designed to be installed 
underneath certain front-loading RCWs within the space of a 
conventional pedestal or riser.
    Because such auxiliary and supplementary clothes washers are 
installed in conjunction with a primary clothes washer, the presence 
and operation of two separate clothes washers may affect consumer usage 
patterns for both the primary and auxiliary or supplementary clothes 
washers, compared to if the consumer had only a primary clothes washer. 
For example, separating certain items from a clothing load to be washed 
in the auxiliary or supplementary clothes washer would reduce the size 
of the clothing load washed in the primary clothes washer or could 
result in fewer cycles being run in the primary clothes washer.
    Additionally, in the case of an auxiliary clothes washer, which is 
integrated with the primary clothes washer and powered through a single 
electrical plug, the standby power might be ``double counted'' for both 
the primary clothes washer and the auxiliary clothes washer, since the 
standby power consumed by both clothes washers would be measured 
through the single electrical plug during both independent tests.
    Issue II.B.52. DOE requests information on whether or how the 
presence of an auxiliary or supplementary clothes washer may affect 
usage patterns in the primary clothes washer.
    Issue II.B.53. DOE requests input on the appropriate allocation of 
combined low-power mode energy consumption between auxiliary and 
primary clothes washers that are powered through a single electrical 
plug.
b. Clothes Washers With a Pre-Treat Soaking Basin
    DOE is aware of RCWs that contain a built-in basin that can be used 
to pre-treat and soak clothing before the start of a wash cycle. As 
observed among models currently on the market, the soaking basin is 
separate from the main clothing drum and is filled with water through 
an auxiliary water nozzle separate from the water fill control system 
used for the main clothing drum. As described in the user manual, the 
pre-treat and soaking feature is recommended to be used before the RCW 
begins its main wash cycle operation. As observed among models 
currently on the market, use of the built-in basin and auxiliary water 
nozzle are not considered part of active washing mode, as defined by 
section 1.2 of Appendix J2.
    Issue II.B.54. DOE requests consumer usage data on built-in pre-
treat soak basins, as well as information on the amount of energy and 
water these basins typically use. DOE also requests information on 
whether and to what extent the energy and water use in the subsequent 
wash cycle would be impacted by the transfer of water and wet clothing 
from the pre-treat basin to the clothes washer drum.

C. Metrics

    In addition to adjustments to the current test procedure to produce 
MEF, IMEF, and IWF values that reflect current clothes washers and 
consumer use, DOE may also consider in a future rulemaking broader 
changes to key metrics that would, for example, harmonize the DOE test 
procedure with other industry test methods. In particular, DOE may 
consider changes to the energy efficiency metric and the water 
efficiency metric. DOE may also consider adjustments to the annual 
energy calculation.
1. Energy Efficiency Metric
    The current energy efficiency standards for RCWs are based on the 
IMEF metric, measured in cu.ft./kWh/cycle, as calculated in section 4.6 
of Appendix J2. IMEF is calculated as the capacity of the clothes 
container (in cu.ft.) divided by the total clothes washer energy 
consumption (in kWh) per cycle. The total clothes washer energy 
consumption per cycle is the sum of: (a) The machine electrical energy 
consumption; (b) the hot water energy consumption; (c) the energy 
required for removal of the remaining moisture in the wash load; and 
(d) the combined low-power mode energy consumption.
    The current energy efficiency standards for CCWs are based on the 
MEFJ2 metric, measured in cu.ft./kWh/cycle, as determined in 
section 4.5 of Appendix J2. The MEFJ2 metric differs from 
the IMEF metric by not including the combined low-power mode energy 
consumption in the total clothes washer energy consumption per cycle.
    DOE could consider changing the energy efficiency metrics for RCWs 
or CCWs to maintain consistency with any changes to the capacity metric 
or for other reasons. For example, the MEFJ2 or IMEF metric 
could be modified to incorporate a capacity based on weight of 
clothing, as described previously in this document, which would result 
in an MEFJ2 or IMEF expressed in terms of pounds of clothing 
per kWh per cycle.
    Issue II.C.1. DOE requests feedback on whether to consider any 
changes to the energy efficiency metric defined in the test procedure, 
including the drivers for such a change and the form of a new metric.
2. Water Efficiency Metric
    The current water efficiency standards for both RCWs and CCWs are 
based on the IWF metric, measured in gal/cycle/cu.ft, as calculated in 
section 4.2.13 of Appendix J2. IWF is calculated as the total weighted 
per-cycle water consumption (in gallons) for all wash cycles divided by 
the capacity of the clothes container (in cu.ft.). Unlike the IMEF 
metric, in which a higher number indicates more efficient performance, 
a lower IWF value indicates more efficient performance. DOE could 
consider inverting the existing calculation such that a higher value of 
IWF would represent more efficient performance, which would provide 
greater consistency with the IMEF metric.
    Issue II.C.2. DOE requests feedback on whether to consider any 
changes to the water efficiency metric defined in the test procedure to 
maintain consistency with any changes to the capacity metric or for any 
other purpose, including those described for the energy efficiency 
metric, and whether it would be appropriate to invert the existing 
calculation such that a higher value of IWF would represent more 
efficient performance.
3. Annual Energy Calculation
    The annual energy consumption of an RCW is calculated as part of 
the estimated annual operating cost calculations at 10 CFR 
430.23(j)(1)(ii)(A)

[[Page 31081]]

and (B).\26\ In each equation, annual energy consumption is calculated 
by multiplying the per-cycle energy consumption \27\ by the 
representative average RCW use of 295 cycles per year. The annual 
operating cost is provided to the consumer on the Federal Trade 
Commission (``FTC'') EnergyGuide label for RCWs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Part (A) provides the calculation when electrically heated 
water is used. Part (B) provides the calculation when gas-heated or 
oil-heated water is used.
    \27\ These equations include the machine electrical energy 
consumption, hot water energy consumption, and combined low-power 
mode energy consumption; they exclude the energy consumption for 
removal of moisture from the test load (i.e., the ``drying 
energy'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE could consider changes to the method for calculating annual 
energy use to ensure that the calculation results in a measurement of 
energy use during a representative average use cycle. DOE may also 
consider changes to the overall calculation methodology that could 
improve the usefulness of the information presented to the consumer on 
the product label.
    An increasingly wide range of RCW capacities are available on the 
market, ranging from less than 1 cu.ft. to greater than 6 cu.ft. When 
DOE originally developed the annual energy calculation methodology at 
10 CFR 430.23(j)(1)(i), the test procedure accommodated clothes washers 
with capacities up to 3.8 cu.ft.\28\ According to the current 
calculation methodology, all RCWs are assumed to be used for 295 cycles 
per year, while the per-cycle energy reflects a weighted-average load 
size based on the clothes washer capacity. Therefore, the annual energy 
calculation reflects an annual volume of laundered clothing that scales 
with clothes washer capacity. The increasing range of RCW capacities 
available on the market may mean that the total amount of laundered 
clothing reflected in the annual energy calculation is no longer 
reflective of energy use during a representative average use cycle of 
RCWs of different sizes. For example, the current annual energy 
calculation methodology is based on an annual laundry volume of 2,258 
pounds for a 3-cu.ft. RCW and 4,036 pounds for a 6-cu.ft. RCW.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ The maximum capacity in the original load size table in 
Appendix J1-1997 was 3.8 cu.ft.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This potential disparity is particularly notable when comparing the 
product labels of two RCW models with the same IMEF efficiency rating, 
but different capacities. Under the current annual energy calculation 
methodology, the information presented on the product label would 
indicate that the larger-capacity RCW would use significantly more 
annual energy than the smaller-capacity model; however, the larger 
RCW's label would be based on a significantly larger amount of annual 
laundry than the smaller model, as illustrated above. If compared on 
the basis of an equivalent volume of laundered clothing, both RCWs 
could be expected to use the same amount of annual energy since they 
have the same IMEF efficiency rating. This potential disparity may 
limit the ability of an individual consumer to use the information 
presented on the product label to compare the differences in expected 
energy use among RCW models with the same rated energy efficiency but 
different capacities.
    Given the increasingly wide range of RCW capacities available on 
the market, and the significant changes over time in estimated annual 
RCW cycles, DOE may consider whether any changes are warranted for the 
annual energy and annual water calculations to ensure that the results 
continue to reflect representative average use for all clothes washer 
sizes, to harmonize with any changes to other metrics within the DOE 
test procedures, and to continue to provide useful comparative 
information to consumers. For example:
     Revising the annual energy and annual water calculation 
methodology from being based on a fixed number of annual cycles to a 
fixed number of annual pounds of clothing.
     Varying the annual number of wash cycles based on clothes 
washer capacity, rather than a fixed number of annual cycles for all 
clothes washers.
    Issue II.C.3. DOE requests data and information regarding whether 
and how the annual number of wash cycles varies as a function of 
clothes washer capacity. DOE also requests feedback on whether DOE 
should consider any changes to the annual energy or annual water 
calculation methodology and the burden associated with these potential 
changes.

III. Other Comments, Data, and Information

    In addition to the issues identified earlier in this document, DOE 
welcomes comment on any other aspect of the existing test procedures 
for clothes washers not already addressed by the specific areas 
identified in this document.
    For example, as a general matter, DOE test procedures are intended 
to be performed to completion while a unit is installed in the test 
fixture. If a unit were to be uninstalled or removed from the test 
fixture before completion of the full test procedure, DOE would 
consider it a best practice to redo the complete test once the unit is 
reinstalled in the test fixture. Appendix J2 does not currently specify 
that the entire test procedure should be conducted without 
interruption, but DOE could consider adding such specification if doing 
so would lead to more repeatable and reproducible test results, 
particularly for the active mode portion of the test. DOE recognizes 
that given the differences in test conditions between active mode and 
inactive/off mode testing,\29\ that these two portions of the test 
could be performed in separate test fixtures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Specifically, section 3.9 of appendix J2 specifies for 
combined low-power mode testing (i.e., inactive/off mode testing) to 
establish the testing conditions set forth in sections 2.1 
(electrical energy supply), 2.4 (test room temperature), and 2.10 
(clothes washer installation); but does not require establishing the 
other test conditions in section 2 of appendix J2 (e.g., supply 
water and water pressure).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOE recently issued an RFI to seek more information on whether its 
test procedures are reasonably designed, as required by EPCA, to 
produce results that measure the energy use or efficiency of a product 
during a representative average use cycle or period of use. 84 FR 9721 
(Mar. 18, 2019). DOE seeks comment and information on this issue as it 
pertains to the test procedure for clothes washers along with comments 
and information on the following:
    Issue III.1. DOE particularly seeks information regarding whether 
amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the 
requirement that they be reasonably designed to produce test results 
that measure energy efficiency and water use of clothes washers during 
a representative average use cycle or period of use.
    Issue III.2. DOE requests information that would ensure that the 
test procedure is not unduly burdensome to conduct. Specifically, DOE 
requests comments on whether potential amendments based on the issues 
discussed would result in a test procedure that is unduly burdensome to 
conduct, particularly in light of any new products on the market since 
the last test procedure update.
    Issue III.3. DOE requests feedback on any potential amendments to 
the existing test procedures that could be considered to address 
impacts on manufacturers, including small businesses.
    Issue III.4. DOE requests comment on the benefits and burdens of 
adopting any industry/voluntary consensus-based or other appropriate 
test procedure, without modification.
    Issue III.5. DOE seeks information on how the test procedures could 
be amended to reduce the cost of new or additional features and make it 
more

[[Page 31082]]

likely that such features are included on clothes washers.

IV. Submission of Comments

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date 
specified in the DATES section, comments and information on matters 
addressed in this document and on other matters relevant to DOE's 
consideration of test procedures for clothes washers. These comments 
and information will aid in the development of a test procedure NOPR 
for RCWs and CCWs if DOE determines that amended test procedures may be 
appropriate for these products.
    Submitting comments via http://www.regulations.gov. The http://www.regulations.gov web page will require you to provide your name and 
contact information. 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. 
Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not 
be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your 
comment. Persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, 
organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any 
documents submitted with the comments.
    Do not submit to http://www.regulations.gov information for which 
disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and 
commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as 
Confidential Business Information (``CBI'')). Comments submitted 
through http://www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments 
received through the website will waive any CBI claims for the 
information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the 
Confidential Business Information section.
    DOE processes submissions made through http://www.regulations.gov 
before posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of 
being submitted. 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://www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your 
comment.
    Submitting comments via email, hand delivery, or mail. Comments and 
documents submitted via email, hand delivery, or mail also will 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 each time you submit comments, data, 
documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand 
delivery, please provide all items on a CD, if feasible. It is not 
necessary to submit printed copies. No facsimiles (faxes) will be 
accepted.
    Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE 
electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or 
Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that 
are not secured, written in English and free of any defects or viruses. 
Documents should not contain special characters or any form of 
encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature 
of the author.
    Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the 
originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters 
per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters' names compiled 
into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting 
time.
    Confidential Business Information. According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any 
person submitting information that he or she believes to be 
confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via 
email, postal mail, or hand delivery two well-marked copies: One copy 
of the document marked confidential including all the information 
believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked ``non-
confidential'' with the information believed to be confidential 
deleted. Submit these documents via email to 
[email protected] or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will 
make its own determination about the confidential status of the 
information and treat it according to its determination.
    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 
the process for developing test procedures and energy conservation 
standards. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of 
the public during the comment period in each stage of this process. 
Interactions with and between members of the public provide a balanced 
discussion of the issues and assist DOE in the process.
    Anyone who wishes to be added to the DOE mailing list to receive 
future notices and information about this process should contact 
Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 287-1445 or 
via e-mail at [email protected].

Signing Authority

    This document of the Department of Energy was signed on February 
25, 2020, by Alexander N. Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for 
Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, pursuant to 
delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. That document with 
the original signature and date is maintained by DOE.
    For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with 
requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the undersigned DOE 
Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to sign and submit 
the document in electronic format for publication, as an official 
document of the Department of Energy. This administrative process in no 
way alters the legal effect of this document upon publication in the 
Federal Register.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on May 6, 2020.
Treena V. Garrett,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2020-09990 Filed 5-21-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P