Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products; Early Assessment Review; Boilers, 15804-15810 [2021-06071]

Download as PDF 15804 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules For the reasons set forth in the preamble, AMS proposes to amend 7 CFR part 205 as follows: PART 205—NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 205 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501–6524. 2. Amend § 205.601 by: a. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(iv); b. Adding paragraph (a)(2)(v); and c. Revising paragraph (k). The revisions and addition to read as follows: ■ ■ ■ ■ § 205.601 Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production. * * * * * (a) * * * (2) * * * (iv) Potassium hypochlorite—not allowed for edible sprout production. (v) Sodium hypochlorite. * * * * * (k) As plant growth regulators. (1) Ethylene gas—for regulation of pineapple flowering. (2) Fatty alcohols (C6, C8, C10, and/or C12)—for sucker control in organic tobacco production. * * * * * § 205.605 [Amended] 3. In § 205.605, amend paragraph (a) by removing the words ‘‘Dairy cultures’’. ■ Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2021–05700 Filed 3–24–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [EERE–2019–BT–STD–0036] RIN 1904–AE82 Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products; Early Assessment Review; Boilers Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is undertaking an early assessment review for consumer boilers to determine whether to amend the applicable energy conservation standards for this product. Specifically, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 through this request for information (RFI), DOE seeks data and information to evaluate whether amended energy conservation standards would result in significant savings of energy, be technologically feasible, and be economically justified. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including those topics not specifically raised in this RFI), as well as the submission of data and other relevant information concerning this early assessment review. DATES: Written comments and information are requested and will be accepted on or before April 26, 2021. 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 by email to the following address: Email: ConsumerBoilers2019STD0036@ ee.doe.gov. Include ‘‘Consumer Boilers RFI’’ and docket number EERE–2019– BT–STD–0036 and/or RIN 1904–AE82 in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Although DOE has routinely accepted public comment submissions through a variety of mechanisms, including postal mail and hand delivery/courier, the Department has found it necessary to make temporary modifications to the comment submission process in light of the ongoing Covid–19 pandemic. DOE is currently accepting only electronic submissions at this time. If a commenter finds that this change poses an undue hardship, please contact Appliance Standards Program staff at (202) 586– 1445 to discuss the need for alternative arrangements. Once the Covid–19 pandemic health emergency is resolved, DOE anticipates resuming all of its regular options for public comment submission, including postal mail and hand delivery/courier. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on this process, see section III of this document (Submission of Comments). 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:// PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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-2019-BT-STD0036. The docket web page contains instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. See section III of this document for information on how to submit comments through http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Catherine Rivest, 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– 7335. Email: ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC–33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–5827. Email: Eric.Stas@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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction A. Authority B. Rulemaking History II. Request for Information and Comments A. Product Classes B. Significant Savings of Energy C. Technological Feasibility D. Economic Justification III. Submission of Comments I. Introduction DOE has established an early assessment review process to conduct a more focused analysis to evaluate, based on statutory criteria, whether a new or amended energy conservation standard is warranted. Based on the information received in response to the RFI and DOE’s own analysis, DOE will determine whether to proceed with a rulemaking for a new or amended energy conservation standard. If DOE makes an initial determination that a new or amended energy conservation standard would satisfy the applicable statutory criteria or DOE’s analysis is inconclusive, DOE would undertake the E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM 25MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules preliminary stages of a rulemaking to issue a new or amended energy conservation standard. Otherwise, if DOE makes an initial determination based upon available evidence that a new or amended energy conservation standard would not meet the applicable statutory criteria, DOE would engage in notice and comment rulemaking before issuing a final determination that new or amended energy conservation standards are not warranted. A. Authority The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA),1 among other things, authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a number of consumer products and certain industrial equipment. (42 U.S.C. 6291– 6317) Title III, Part B 2 of EPCA established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. These products include consumer boilers, the subject of this document. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(5)) Under EPCA, DOE’s energy conservation program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. Relevant provisions of EPCA specifically include definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293), labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294), energy conservation standards (42 U.S.C. 6295), and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296). Federal energy efficiency requirements for covered products established under EPCA generally supersede State laws and regulations concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and standards. (42 U.S.C. 6297(a)–(c)) DOE may, however, grant waivers of Federal preemption in limited instances for particular State laws or regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions set forth under EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d)) DOE must follow specific statutory criteria for prescribing new or amended standards for covered products. EPCA requires that any new or amended energy conservation standard prescribed by the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy or water efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) The Secretary may not prescribe an amended or new 1 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Act of 2020, Public Law 116–260 (Dec. 27, 2020). 2 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was redesignated Part A. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 standard that will not result in significant conservation of energy or is not technologically feasible or economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)) EPCA requires that, no later than six years after the issuance of any final rule establishing or amending a standard, DOE evaluate the energy conservation standards for each type of covered product, including those at issue here, and publish either a notice of determination that the standards do not need to be amended, or a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) that includes new proposed energy conservation standards (proceeding to a final rule, as appropriate). (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)) DOE must make the analysis on which its notice if based publicly available and provide an opportunity for written comment. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(2)) DOE is issuing this early assessment review pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1). B. Rulemaking History EPCA established energy conservation standards for consumer furnaces and boilers in terms of the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) (42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(1)–(3)) and directed DOE to conduct a series of rulemakings to determine whether to amend these standards (42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(4); see also 42 U.S.C. 6295(m)). DOE completed the most recent rulemaking cycle to amend the standards for consumer boilers by publishing a final rule in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016 (January 2016 final rule), as required under 42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(4)(C). 81 FR 2320. The January 2016 final rule adopted new standby mode and off mode standards for consumer boilers in addition to amended AFUE energy conservation standards. Id. Compliance with the new and amended standards for consumer boilers is required beginning January 15, 2021. Id. The current energy conservation standards for consumer boilers are located at title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, subpart C, section 32(e)(2). 10 CFR 430.32(e)(2). The currently applicable DOE test procedures for consumer boilers appear at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix N (Appendix N). II. Request for Information and Comments DOE is publishing this RFI to collect data and information during the early assessment review to inform its decision, consistent with its obligations under EPCA, as to whether the Department should proceed with an energy conservation standards rulemaking. Below DOE has identified PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15805 certain topics for which information and data are requested to assist in the evaluation of the potential for amended energy conservation standards. DOE also welcomes comments on other issues relevant to its early assessment that may not specifically be identified in this document. A. Product Classes When evaluating and establishing energy conservation standards, DOE may divide covered products into product classes by the type of energy used, or by capacity or other performance-related features that justify a different standard. (42 U.S.C. 6295(q)). In making a determination whether capacity or another performance-related feature justifies a different standard, DOE must consider such factors as the utility of the feature to the consumer and other factors DOE deems appropriate. (Id.) On January 15, 2021, DOE published a final interpretive rule determining that in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products/equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a performance-related ‘‘feature’’ under EPCA that cannot be eliminated through adoption of an energy conservation standard. 86 FR 4776. Consumer boilers are similarly-situated products given that there are consumer boilers currently on the market which employ non-condensing technology (and the associated venting). In considering whether to amend the energy conservation standards for consumer boilers, DOE seeks information that would allow the agency to evaluate noncondensing technology (and the associated venting) consistent with the final interpretative rule, and whether a separate product class is warranted under 42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(1). On this topic, DOE is particularly interested in comments, information, and data on the following: Issue 1: DOE requests feedback on the current consumer boiler product classes and whether changes to these individual product classes and their descriptions should be made or whether certain classes should be separated or merged. Specifically, with regard to consumer boilers that use condensing technology, DOE requests information and data on potential impacts as compared to consumer boilers that use noncondensing technology, such as, but not limited to, the complexity/cost of installation, changes to a home’s living/ storage space, and the potential for fuel switching. E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM 25MRP1 15806 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules B. Significant Savings of Energy On January 15, 2016, DOE established an energy conservation standard for consumer boilers that is expected to result in 0.14 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of site energy savings over a 30-year period.3 81 FR 2320, 2396. The adopted levels can be met by consumer boilers using either condensing or noncondensing technology. Additionally, in the January 2016 final rule, DOE estimated that an energy conservation standard established at an energy efficiency level equivalent to that achieved using the maximum available technology (maxtech) would have resulted in 1.295 additional quads of site energy savings over a 30-year period. Id. For gas-fired hot water boilers and oil-fired hot water boilers, energy conservation standards at the max-tech levels analyzed in the January 2016 final rule could only be met by consumer boilers utilizing condensing technology (96 percent AFUE and 91 percent AFUE, respectively). 81 FR 2320, 2381 (Jan. 15, 2016). The majority of the additional potential energy savings were from the gas-fired hot water boiler product class. Currently, based on information from the DOE Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS) certification database, non-condensing gas-fired hot water boilers range in AFUE from 84.0 percent to 86.1 percent, and condensing gas-fired hot water boilers range in AFUE from 88.3 percent to 96.8 percent. Based on the CCMS certification database, oil-fired hot water boilers currently on the market are noncondensing and range in AFUE from 86.0 to 88.2 percent. All gas-fired steam and oil-fired steam boilers in the CCMS certification database are noncondensing, ranging in AFUE from 82.0 to 83.4 and 85.0 to 86.5 percent, respectively. While DOE’s request for information is not limited to the following issues, DOE is particularly interested in comment, information, and data on the issues discussed in the following paragraphs. As part of the rulemaking process, DOE conducts an energy use analysis to identify how products are used by consumers, which then allows the Department to determine the energy savings potential of energy efficiency improvements. The purpose of the energy use analysis is to determine the annual energy consumption of consumer boilers at different efficiencies in representative U.S. single-family homes, manufactured housing, multi-family residences, and commercial buildings, and to assess the energy savings potential of increased consumer boiler efficiency. The energy use analysis estimates the range of energy use of consumer boilers in the field (i.e., as they are actually used by consumers). Furthermore, the energy use analysis provides the basis for other analyses DOE performs, particularly assessments of the energy savings and the savings in consumer operating costs that could result from adoption of amended or new standards, including the life-cycle cost (LCC) and payback period (PBP) analysis and the national impact analysis (NIA). DOE will estimate the annual energy consumption of consumer boilers at specified energy efficiency levels across a range of applications, house or building types, and climate zones. Similar to the January 2016 final rule, DOE intends to determine the annual energy consumption, including the use of natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), oil, or electricity for space and water heating,4 as well as use of electricity for any auxiliary components. Issue 3: DOE requests feedback on the levels of energy savings that could be expected from the adoption of a morestringent standard for consumer boilers. Specifically, with regard to potential product class changes discussed in section II.A of this RFI, DOE requests information and data on the potential change in energy savings if certain classes are split or merged. Issue 4: DOE seeks input and sources of data or recommendations to support sizing of consumer boilers typical in consumer space heating and water heating applications. Issue 5: DOE requests comment on the fraction of installations and classes of consumer boilers that are used in commercial applications. Issue 6: DOE seeks field data and input on representative space heating usage, space heating load profile, and representative return water temperatures for consumer boilers used in various consumer and commercial space heating applications. Issue 7: DOE requests comment on the fraction of installations by consumer boiler product classes used for different space heating applications include radiant heating (in-floor, radiant panels, radiators, baseboards) and forced air using fan coils or central air handlers. Issue 8: DOE seeks input on adjusting AFUE for different return water temperatures, for automatic means for adjusting water temperature, and for jacket losses. DOE seeks input on any other adjustments to AFUE to better capture field conditions. DOE also seeks data on the relationship between return water temperature and AFUE to more accurately calculate the return water temperature adjustment. Issue 9: DOE seeks additional data on the fraction of boiler shipments that go to installations that serve both space heating and water heating by product class, by efficiency level or boiler technology type (e.g., non-condensing and condensing), and type of water heating (e.g., indirect tank water heating, combination products, and tankless coil). 3 This estimate of 0.14 quads reflects site energy savings, which for natural gas and oil are considered equal to the primary energy savings because they are supplied to the user without transformation from another form of energy. The January 2016 final rule presented the 30-year energy savings estimate as 0.16 quads, reflecting full-fuelcycle (FFC) energy savings. The FFC measure includes point-of-use (site) energy; the energy losses associated with generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; and the energy consumed in extracting, processing, and transporting or distributing primary fuels. For purposes of its consideration of significant energy savings, DOE has calculated its estimate of potential site energy savings from the estimate of FFC energy savings in the January 2016 final rule. 4 Space heating applications for consumer boilers include radiant heating (e.g., in-floor, radiant panels, radiators, baseboard) and forced air using fan coils or central air handlers. Domestic water heating applications for consumer boilers include indirect water heating, combination products, and tankless coil. Issue 2: DOE also requests comment on other instances where it may be appropriate to separate or combine any of the existing product classes and whether such potential changes would impact product utility by eliminating any performance-related features or reduce any compliance burdens. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 C. Technological Feasibility DOE considers technologies incorporated in commercially-available products or in working prototypes to be technologically feasible. 10 CFR part 430. subpart C, appendix A, sections 6(c)(3)(i) and 7(b)(1). In the rulemaking proceeding leading to the January 2016 final rule, DOE considered a number of technology options that manufacturers could use to reduce energy consumption in consumer boilers. 81 FR 2320, 2340– 2341 (Jan. 15, 2016). Table II.1 shows the technologies previously considered for the January 2016 final rule. E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM 25MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules 15807 TABLE II.1—TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS FOR CONSUMER BOILERS CONSIDERED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE JANUARY 2016 FINAL RULE Heat exchanger improvements. Modulating operation. Dampers.† Direct vent. Pulse combustion.* Premix burners. Burner derating.* Delayed-action oil pump solenoid valve. Electronic ignition.† Low-pressure air-atomized oil burner. Transformer improvements (standby mode and off mode). Control relay for models with brushless permanent magnet motors (standby mode and off mode).* Switching mode power supply (standby mode and off mode). † Technology already in baseline units, so not considered further. * Screened-out technology. DOE seeks comment on any changes to these technology options that could affect DOE’s evaluation of whether energy conservation standards need to be amended. DOE also seeks comment on whether there are any other technology options that DOE should consider in its analysis. While DOE’s request for information is not limited to the following issues, DOE is particularly interested in comment, information, and data on the following: Issue 10: DOE seeks information on technologies that may impact the efficiency of consumer boilers as measured according to the DOE test procedure. DOE also seeks information on how these technologies may have changed since they were considered in the January 2016 final rule analysis. Specifically, DOE seeks information on the range of efficiencies or performance characteristics that are currently available for each technology option. Issue 11: DOE seeks comment on other technology options that it should consider for inclusion in its analysis and whether these technologies would be expected to impact product features or consumer utility of consumer boilers. DOE defines the max-tech efficiency level to represent the theoretical maximum possible efficiency if all available design options are incorporated in a model. In the January 2016 final rule, the max-tech efficiency levels for AFUE corresponded to the maximum available AFUE levels in products on the market at the time of the analysis (except for oil-fired hot water boilers for which the max-tech level was slightly below the maximum available level).5 For standby mode and 5 See the technical support document for the January 2016 final rule, Chapter 3, section 3.2.9 and chapter 5, section 5.4.4. Available at: https:// www.regulations.gov/document/EERE-2012-BTSTD-0047-0070. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 off mode energy consumption, the maxtech efficiency levels (i.e., the levels with the lowest amount of energy consumption) were determined by starting with the baseline design and implementing design options based on cost-effectiveness until all available technologies were employed.6 At the time this RFI was drafted, based on data from the CCMS database, the maximum available AFUE efficiency levels currently on the market for the subject products are as follows: 86.1 percent for non-condensing gas-fired hot water boilers, 96.8 percent for condensing gasfired hot water boilers, 88.2 percent for oil-fired hot water boilers (which are all non-condensing), 83.4 percent for gasfired steam boilers (which are all noncondensing), and 86.5 percent oil-fired steam boilers (which are all noncondensing). In the January 2016 final rule, DOE identified the max-tech level for standby mode and off mode consumption as follows: 9 watts for gasfired hot water boilers; 8 watts for gasfired steam, electric hot water, and electric steam boilers; and 11 watts for oil-fired hot water and oil-fired steam boilers. 81 FR 2320, 2345–2346 (Jan. 15, 2016). Issue 12: DOE seeks input on whether the maximum available AFUE efficiency levels are appropriate and technologically feasible for potential consideration as possible energy conservation standards—and if not, why not. DOE also seeks feedback on the design options incorporated at max-tech efficiency levels. As part of this request, DOE also seeks information as to whether there are limitations on the use of certain combinations of design options. 6 See the technical support document for the January 2016 final rule, chapter 5, section 5.4.2. Available at: https://www.regulations.gov/ document/EERE-2012-BT-STD-0047-0070. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Issue 13: DOE seeks input on the maxtech standby mode and off mode efficiency levels. In particular, are morestringent (i.e., lower) standby mode and off mode efficiency levels technologically feasible that are appropriate for consideration as possible energy conservation standards, and if so, what are the design options incorporated at those levels. DOE also seeks information as to whether there are limitations on the use of certain combinations of design options. D. Economic Justification In determining whether a proposed energy conservation standard is economically justified, DOE analyzes, among other things, the potential economic impact on consumers, manufacturers, and the Nation. DOE seeks comment on whether there are economic barriers to the adoption of more-stringent energy conservation standards for consumer boilers. DOE also seeks comment and data on any other aspects of its economic justification analysis from the January 2016 final rule that may indicate whether a more-stringent energy conservation standard would be economically justified or cost-effective. While DOE’s request for information is not limited to the following issues, DOE is particularly interested in comment, information, and data on the issues discussed in the following paragraphs. In its analysis, DOE intends to take into account consumer prices from locations where ultra-low-NOX gas-fired hot water and steam boilers would be required by the compliance date for any amended standards, such as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (AQMD) (Regulation 9, Rule 6),7 7 Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Regulation 9: Inorganic Gaseous Pollutants; Rule 6: E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM Continued 25MRP1 15808 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD (Rule 414),8 San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) (Rule 4308),9 Santa Barbara County APCD (Rule 360),10 South Coast AQMD (Rule 1146.2),11 and Ventura County AQMD (Rule 74–11.1).12 Issue 14: DOE seeks input on whether there are additional jurisdictions requiring ultra-low-NOX gas-fired hot water and steam boilers. In the January 2016 final rule, to determine the venting installation costs for consumer boilers, DOE considered vent categories as defined in the National Fuel Gas Code.13 81 FR 2320, 2359–2361 (Jan. 15, 2016). In its analysis, DOE determined that all natural draft boilers and a fraction of mechanical draft boilers would be vented as a Category I appliance (negative pressure vent system with high temperature flue gases). DOE determined that the remaining fraction of mechanical draft boilers would be vented as a Category III appliance (positive pressure vent system with high temperature flue gases). DOE determined that very few noncondensing models would be installed as a Category II appliance (negative pressure vent system with low temperature flue gases) or a Category IV Nitrogen Oxides Emissions from Natural Gas-Fired Boilers and Water Heaters (Available at: https:// ww3.arb.ca.gov/drdb/ba/curhtml/r9-6.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 8 Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Rule 414: Water Heaters, Boilers and Process Heaters Rated Less Than 1,000,000 BTU PER HOUR Adopted 08–01–96 (Amended 03–25–10) (Available at: http:// www.airquality.org/ProgramCoordination/ Documents/rule414.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 9 San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Rule 4308: Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters—0.075 MMBtu/hr to less than 2.0 MMBtu/hr (Adopted October 20, 2005, amended December 17, 2009, Amended November 14, 2013) (Available at: https://www.valleyair.org/rules/ currntrules/03-4308_CleanRule.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 10 Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Rule 360: Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters (0.075–2 MMBtu/hr) (Adopted 10/ 17/2002, revised 3/15/2018) (Available at: https:// www.ourair.org/wp-content/uploads/rule360.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 11 South Coast Air Quality Management District, Rule 1146.2: Emissions of Oxides of Nitrogen from Large Water Heaters and Small Boilers and Process Heaters (Adopted January 9, 1998, amended January 7, 2005, amended May 5, 2006, amended December 7, 2018) (Available at: http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/ default-source/rule-book/reg-xi/rule-11462.pdf?sfvrsn=17) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 12 Ventura County Air Quality Management District, Rule 74–11.1: Large Water Heaters and Small Boilers (Adopted 9/14/99, revised 9/11/12) (Available at: http://vcapcd.org/Rulebook/Reg4/ RULE%2074.11.1.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 13 Available at: https://catalog.nfpa.org/NFPA54ANSI-Z2231-National-Fuel-Gas-Code-P1184.aspx (Last accessed March 5, 2021). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 appliance (positive pressure vent system with low flue gases temperatures). However, DOE determined that all condensing installations would be vented as a Category IV appliance. For non-condensing boilers, DOE accounted for both commonly-vented consumer boilers (together with a water heater) and isolated consumer boilers (separately vented). For replacements, DOE added any costs associated with updating or repairing existing flue venting including vent resizing, chimney relining, and updating of flue vent connectors. DOE also accounted for additional labor costs associated with larger boilers, replacing a larger drain pan, and potential space-constraint issues when the original boiler location is too small to accommodate the replacement boiler. For efficiency levels that include electronic ignition, power vent, or condensing design, DOE added the cost of installing an electrical outlet, a new venting system, any additional cost for condensate disposal, any additional costs for secondary and primary piping, and cost of a Y-strainer, if required for a fraction of installations. In the January 2016 final rule, DOE also included installation adders for new construction, as well as for new owner installations for hot water gasfired boilers. 81 FR 2320, 2361 (Jan. 15, 2016). For non-condensing boilers, the only adder would be a new metal flue vent (including a fraction with stainless steel venting) and condensate withdrawal for a fraction of category III models. For condensing gas boilers, the additional costs for new construction installations related to potential amended standards would include a new flue vent, combustion air venting for direct vent installations and accounting for a commonly-vented water heater, and condensate withdrawal. Issue 15: DOE seeks input on issues and costs associated with venting of flue gases of boilers, in particular regarding retrofit issues related to installing a new vent system for higher-efficiency consumer boilers, disconnecting the existing consumer boiler from a noncondensing common venting system, and upgrading existing non-condensing venting (chimney relining or vent resizing). DOE also seeks input on how often and in what applications direct venting or sealed combustion are used or required. Issue 16: DOE seeks input on issues and costs associated with condensate disposal for higher-efficiency consumer boilers, specifically how often and in what applications a condensate filter or a condensate pump is installed. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Issue 17: DOE seeks input on issues and costs associated with installing consumer boilers in multi-family buildings. DOE measures LCC and PBP impacts of potential standard levels relative to a no-new-standards case that reflects the likely market in the absence of amended standards. Similar to the 2016 final rule, DOE plans to develop market-share efficiency data (i.e., the distribution of product shipments by efficiency) for the product classes DOE is considering, for the year in which compliance with any potential amended standards would be required. For the 2016 final rule, DOE developed market shares of different consumer boiler energy efficiency levels in the no-new-standards case, using historical shipments data provided by stakeholders, data from the AirConditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) contractor survey, and ENERGY STAR unit shipment data for residential boilers.14 81 FR 2320, 2364– 2366 (Jan. 15, 2016). If DOE determines that a rulemaking is necessary, DOE intends to use the most recent data available from these sources, together with any more current data that may be provided by stakeholders. Also similar to the January 2016 final rule, because these data may not cover all of the energy efficiency levels under consideration, DOE intends to use most the recent data on the number of water heater models at different energy efficiency levels, as reported in DOE’s compliance certification database,15 the AHRI directory of certified product performance,16 the California Energy Commission appliance efficiency database,17 and the ENERGY STAR certified boiler directory.18 Issue 18: DOE requests shipments data for consumer boilers, broken down by product class, that show current 14 ENERGY STAR, Unit Shipments data (Available at: http://www.energystar.gov/ index.cfm?c=partners.unit_shipment_data) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 15 U.S. Department of Energy, Compliance Certification Database (Available at: https:// www.regulations.doe.gov/certification-data/ #q=Product_Group_s%3A*) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 16 Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute, Directory of Certified Product Performance for Residential Boilers (Available at: https://www.ahridirectory.org/ NewSearch?programId=25&searchTypeId=3) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 17 California Energy Commission (CEC), Appliance Efficiency Database. (Available at: https://cacertappliances.energy.ca.gov/Pages/ ApplianceSearch.aspx) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). 18 ENERGY STAR, ENERGY STAR Certified Boilers Directory (Available at: https:// www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/ certified-boilers/results) (Last accessed October 30, 2019). E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM 25MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules market shares by efficiency level. DOE also seeks input on similar historic data from 2016–2020. Issue 19: DOE also requests information on expected future trends in efficiency for consumer boiler product classes, including the relative market shares of condensing versus noncondensing products in the market for gas-fired and oil-fired hot water boilers in the absence of amended efficiency standards. Issue 20: DOE requests 2016–2020 data on the fraction of sales in the residential and commercial sector for consumer boilers. Issue 21: DOE requests comment on the anticipated future market share of higher-efficiency products, such as condensing gas-fired and oil-fired hot water boilers, as compared to lessefficient products for each consumer boiler product class. III. Submission of Comments DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date specified under the DATES heading of this document, comments and information on matters addressed in this RFI and on other matters relevant to DOE’s early assessment of whether more-stringent energy conservation standards are warranted for consumer boilers. Submitting comments via http:// www.regulations.gov. The http:// www.regulations.gov web page requires 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. If this instruction is followed, 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 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. Comments and documents submitted via email 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 in 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. Telefacsimiles (faxes) will not 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. Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15809 believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email 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. 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 email at ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ ee.doe.gov. Signing Authority This document of the Department of Energy was signed on March 18, 2021, by Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for 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. E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM 25MRP1 15810 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 56 / Thursday, March 25, 2021 / Proposed Rules Signed in Washington, DC, on March 19, 2021. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2021–06071 Filed 3–24–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Chapter II [Release Nos. 33–10934; 34–91344; 39– 2537; IA–5698; IC–34225; File No. S7–02– 21] List of Rules To Be Reviewed Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act Securities and Exchange Commission. ACTION: Publication of list of rules scheduled for review. AGENCY: The Securities and Exchange Commission is publishing a list of rules to be reviewed pursuant to Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The list is published to provide the public with notice that these rules are scheduled for review by the agency and to invite public comment on whether the rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of small entities. DATES: Comments should be submitted by April 26, 2021. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: SUMMARY: Electronic Comments • Use the Commission’s internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/submitcomments.htm); or Paper Comments • Send paper comments to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549–1090. All submissions should refer to File Number S7–02–21. We will post all submitted comments, requests, other submissions and other materials on our internet website (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/other.shtml). Typically, comments are also available for website viewing and printing in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Due to pandemic conditions, however, access to the Commission’s public reference room is VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Mar 24, 2021 Jkt 253001 not permitted at this time. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leila Bham, Senior Special Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, 202–551– 5532. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Regulatory Flexibility Act (‘‘RFA’’), codified at 5 U.S.C. 601–612, requires an agency to review its rules that have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities within ten years of the publication of such rules as final rules. 5 U.S.C. 610(a). The purpose of the review is ‘‘to determine whether such rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded . . . to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities.’’ 5 U.S.C. 610(a). The RFA sets forth specific considerations that must be addressed in the review of each rule: • The continued need for the rule; • the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule from the public; • the complexity of the rule; • the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with state and local governmental rules; and • the length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule. 5 U.S.C. 610(b). The list below includes rules adopted in 2011 that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (but excludes rules that have been substantially changed since adoption, rules that are minor amendments to previously adopted rules, and rules that are ministerial, procedural, or technical in nature). Where the Commission has previously made a determination of a rule’s impact on small businesses, the determination is noted on the list. The Commission particularly solicits public comment on whether the rules listed below affect small businesses in new or different ways than when they were first adopted. The rules and forms listed below are scheduled for review by staff of the Commission. Title: Mine Safety Disclosure. Citation: 17 CFR 229.104, 17 CFR 229.601, 17 CFR 249.308, 17 CFR PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 249.308a, 17 CFR 249.310, 17 CFR 249.220f, 17 CFR 249.240f, and 17 CFR 239.13. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77g, 77j, 77s(a), 78l, 78m, 78o, 78w; and Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (‘‘Dodd-Frank Act’’). Description: The Commission adopted rule amendments to implement Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1503(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act requires issuers that are operators, or that have a subsidiary that is an operator, of a coal or other mine to disclose in their periodic reports filed with the Commission information regarding specified health and safety violations, orders and citations, related assessments and legal actions, and mining-related fatalities. Section 1503(b) of the DoddFrank Act mandates the filing of a Form 8–K disclosing the receipt of certain orders and notices from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Prior RFA Analysis: When the Commission adopted the rule amendments on December 21, 2011, it published a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the adopting release, Release No. 33–9286, available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/ documents/2011/12/28/2011-33148/ mine-safety-disclosure. The Commission received no comments on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis published in the proposing release, Release No. 33–9164 (Dec. 15, 2010), available at: https:// www.federalregister.gov/documents/ 2010/12/22/2010-31941/mine-safetydisclosure. * * * * * Title: Reporting by Investment Advisers to Private Funds and Certain Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors on Form PF; Joint Final Rule. Citation: 17 CFR 275.204(b)–1 and 17 CFR 279.9. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 80b–4 and 80b– 11. Description: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules under the Commodity Exchange Act and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (‘‘Advisers Act’’) to implement provisions of Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule adopted by the SEC, Rule 204(b)–1, requires investment advisers registered with the SEC that advise one or more private funds and have at least $150 million in private fund assets under management to file Form PF with the SEC. Advisers must file Form PF electronically, on a confidential basis. The information contained in Form PF E:\FR\FM\25MRP1.SGM 25MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 56 (Thursday, March 25, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15804-15810]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06071]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 430

[EERE-2019-BT-STD-0036]
RIN 1904-AE82


Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for 
Consumer Products; Early Assessment Review; Boilers

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

ACTION: Request for information.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is undertaking an early 
assessment review for consumer boilers to determine whether to amend 
the applicable energy conservation standards for this product. 
Specifically, through this request for information (RFI), DOE seeks 
data and information to evaluate whether amended energy conservation 
standards would result in significant savings of energy, be 
technologically feasible, and be economically justified. DOE welcomes 
written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of 
this document (including those topics not specifically raised in this 
RFI), as well as the submission of data and other relevant information 
concerning this early assessment review.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested and will be 
accepted on or before April 26, 2021.

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 by email to the following address: Email: 
[email protected]. Include ``Consumer Boilers RFI'' 
and docket number EERE-2019-BT-STD-0036 and/or RIN 1904-AE82 in the 
subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, 
Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special 
characters or any form of encryption.
    Although DOE has routinely accepted public comment submissions 
through a variety of mechanisms, including postal mail and hand 
delivery/courier, the Department has found it necessary to make 
temporary modifications to the comment submission process in light of 
the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. DOE is currently accepting only 
electronic submissions at this time. If a commenter finds that this 
change poses an undue hardship, please contact Appliance Standards 
Program staff at (202) 586-1445 to discuss the need for alternative 
arrangements. Once the Covid-19 pandemic health emergency is resolved, 
DOE anticipates resuming all of its regular options for public comment 
submission, including postal mail and hand delivery/courier.
    No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed 
instructions on submitting comments and additional information on this 
process, see section III of this document (Submission of Comments).
    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-2019-BT-STD-0036. The docket web page contains 
instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, 
in the docket. See section III of this document for information on how 
to submit comments through http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    Ms. Catherine Rivest, 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) 586-7335. Email: [email protected].
    Mr. Eric Stas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585-0121. 
Telephone: (202) 586-5827. 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. Product Classes
    B. Significant Savings of Energy
    C. Technological Feasibility
    D. Economic Justification
III. Submission of Comments

I. Introduction

    DOE has established an early assessment review process to conduct a 
more focused analysis to evaluate, based on statutory criteria, whether 
a new or amended energy conservation standard is warranted. Based on 
the information received in response to the RFI and DOE's own analysis, 
DOE will determine whether to proceed with a rulemaking for a new or 
amended energy conservation standard. If DOE makes an initial 
determination that a new or amended energy conservation standard would 
satisfy the applicable statutory criteria or DOE's analysis is 
inconclusive, DOE would undertake the

[[Page 15805]]

preliminary stages of a rulemaking to issue a new or amended energy 
conservation standard. Otherwise, if DOE makes an initial determination 
based upon available evidence that a new or amended energy conservation 
standard would not meet the applicable statutory criteria, DOE would 
engage in notice and comment rulemaking before issuing a final 
determination that new or amended energy conservation standards are not 
warranted.

A. Authority

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA),\1\ among 
other things, authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a 
number of consumer products and certain industrial equipment. (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6317) Title III, Part B \2\ of EPCA established the Energy 
Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. 
These products include consumer boilers, the subject of this document. 
(42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(5))
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    \1\ All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute 
as amended through the Energy Act of 2020, Public Law 116-260 (Dec. 
27, 2020).
    \2\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was redesignated Part A.
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    Under EPCA, DOE's energy conservation program consists essentially 
of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy 
conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement 
procedures. Relevant provisions of EPCA specifically include 
definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293), 
labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294), energy conservation standards (42 
U.S.C. 6295), and the authority to require information and reports from 
manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296).
    Federal energy efficiency requirements for covered products 
established under EPCA generally supersede State laws and regulations 
concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and standards. (42 
U.S.C. 6297(a)-(c)) DOE may, however, grant waivers of Federal 
preemption in limited instances for particular State laws or 
regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions set 
forth under EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d))
    DOE must follow specific statutory criteria for prescribing new or 
amended standards for covered products. EPCA requires that any new or 
amended energy conservation standard prescribed by the Secretary of 
Energy (Secretary) be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in 
energy or water efficiency that is technologically feasible and 
economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) The Secretary may not 
prescribe an amended or new standard that will not result in 
significant conservation of energy or is not technologically feasible 
or economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3))
    EPCA requires that, no later than six years after the issuance of 
any final rule establishing or amending a standard, DOE evaluate the 
energy conservation standards for each type of covered product, 
including those at issue here, and publish either a notice of 
determination that the standards do not need to be amended, or a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) that includes new proposed energy 
conservation standards (proceeding to a final rule, as appropriate). 
(42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)) DOE must make the analysis on which its notice 
if based publicly available and provide an opportunity for written 
comment. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(2)) DOE is issuing this early assessment 
review pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1).

B. Rulemaking History

    EPCA established energy conservation standards for consumer 
furnaces and boilers in terms of the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency 
(AFUE) (42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(1)-(3)) and directed DOE to conduct a series 
of rulemakings to determine whether to amend these standards (42 U.S.C. 
6295(f)(4); see also 42 U.S.C. 6295(m)). DOE completed the most recent 
rulemaking cycle to amend the standards for consumer boilers by 
publishing a final rule in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016 
(January 2016 final rule), as required under 42 U.S.C. 6295(f)(4)(C). 
81 FR 2320. The January 2016 final rule adopted new standby mode and 
off mode standards for consumer boilers in addition to amended AFUE 
energy conservation standards. Id. Compliance with the new and amended 
standards for consumer boilers is required beginning January 15, 2021. 
Id. The current energy conservation standards for consumer boilers are 
located at title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 430, 
subpart C, section 32(e)(2). 10 CFR 430.32(e)(2). The currently 
applicable DOE test procedures for consumer boilers appear at 10 CFR 
part 430, subpart B, appendix N (Appendix N).

II. Request for Information and Comments

    DOE is publishing this RFI to collect data and information during 
the early assessment review to inform its decision, consistent with its 
obligations under EPCA, as to whether the Department should proceed 
with an energy conservation standards rulemaking. Below DOE has 
identified certain topics for which information and data are requested 
to assist in the evaluation of the potential for amended energy 
conservation standards. DOE also welcomes comments on other issues 
relevant to its early assessment that may not specifically be 
identified in this document.

A. Product Classes

    When evaluating and establishing energy conservation standards, DOE 
may divide covered products into product classes by the type of energy 
used, or by capacity or other performance-related features that justify 
a different standard. (42 U.S.C. 6295(q)). In making a determination 
whether capacity or another performance-related feature justifies a 
different standard, DOE must consider such factors as the utility of 
the feature to the consumer and other factors DOE deems appropriate. 
(Id.)
    On January 15, 2021, DOE published a final interpretive rule 
determining that in the context of residential furnaces, commercial 
water heaters, and similarly-situated products/equipment, use of non-
condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a 
performance-related ``feature'' under EPCA that cannot be eliminated 
through adoption of an energy conservation standard. 86 FR 4776. 
Consumer boilers are similarly-situated products given that there are 
consumer boilers currently on the market which employ non-condensing 
technology (and the associated venting). In considering whether to 
amend the energy conservation standards for consumer boilers, DOE seeks 
information that would allow the agency to evaluate non-condensing 
technology (and the associated venting) consistent with the final 
interpretative rule, and whether a separate product class is warranted 
under 42 U.S.C. 6295(q)(1).
    On this topic, DOE is particularly interested in comments, 
information, and data on the following:
    Issue 1: DOE requests feedback on the current consumer boiler 
product classes and whether changes to these individual product classes 
and their descriptions should be made or whether certain classes should 
be separated or merged. Specifically, with regard to consumer boilers 
that use condensing technology, DOE requests information and data on 
potential impacts as compared to consumer boilers that use non-
condensing technology, such as, but not limited to, the complexity/cost 
of installation, changes to a home's living/storage space, and the 
potential for fuel switching.

[[Page 15806]]

    Issue 2: DOE also requests comment on other instances where it may 
be appropriate to separate or combine any of the existing product 
classes and whether such potential changes would impact product utility 
by eliminating any performance-related features or reduce any 
compliance burdens.

B. Significant Savings of Energy

    On January 15, 2016, DOE established an energy conservation 
standard for consumer boilers that is expected to result in 0.14 
quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of site energy savings over a 
30-year period.\3\ 81 FR 2320, 2396. The adopted levels can be met by 
consumer boilers using either condensing or noncondensing technology. 
Additionally, in the January 2016 final rule, DOE estimated that an 
energy conservation standard established at an energy efficiency level 
equivalent to that achieved using the maximum available technology 
(max-tech) would have resulted in 1.295 additional quads of site energy 
savings over a 30-year period. Id. For gas-fired hot water boilers and 
oil-fired hot water boilers, energy conservation standards at the max-
tech levels analyzed in the January 2016 final rule could only be met 
by consumer boilers utilizing condensing technology (96 percent AFUE 
and 91 percent AFUE, respectively). 81 FR 2320, 2381 (Jan. 15, 2016). 
The majority of the additional potential energy savings were from the 
gas-fired hot water boiler product class.
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    \3\ This estimate of 0.14 quads reflects site energy savings, 
which for natural gas and oil are considered equal to the primary 
energy savings because they are supplied to the user without 
transformation from another form of energy. The January 2016 final 
rule presented the 30-year energy savings estimate as 0.16 quads, 
reflecting full-fuel-cycle (FFC) energy savings. The FFC measure 
includes point-of-use (site) energy; the energy losses associated 
with generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; and 
the energy consumed in extracting, processing, and transporting or 
distributing primary fuels. For purposes of its consideration of 
significant energy savings, DOE has calculated its estimate of 
potential site energy savings from the estimate of FFC energy 
savings in the January 2016 final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Currently, based on information from the DOE Compliance 
Certification Management System (CCMS) certification database, non-
condensing gas-fired hot water boilers range in AFUE from 84.0 percent 
to 86.1 percent, and condensing gas-fired hot water boilers range in 
AFUE from 88.3 percent to 96.8 percent. Based on the CCMS certification 
database, oil-fired hot water boilers currently on the market are non-
condensing and range in AFUE from 86.0 to 88.2 percent. All gas-fired 
steam and oil-fired steam boilers in the CCMS certification database 
are non-condensing, ranging in AFUE from 82.0 to 83.4 and 85.0 to 86.5 
percent, respectively.
    While DOE's request for information is not limited to the following 
issues, DOE is particularly interested in comment, information, and 
data on the issues discussed in the following paragraphs.
    As part of the rulemaking process, DOE conducts an energy use 
analysis to identify how products are used by consumers, which then 
allows the Department to determine the energy savings potential of 
energy efficiency improvements. The purpose of the energy use analysis 
is to determine the annual energy consumption of consumer boilers at 
different efficiencies in representative U.S. single-family homes, 
manufactured housing, multi-family residences, and commercial 
buildings, and to assess the energy savings potential of increased 
consumer boiler efficiency. The energy use analysis estimates the range 
of energy use of consumer boilers in the field (i.e., as they are 
actually used by consumers). Furthermore, the energy use analysis 
provides the basis for other analyses DOE performs, particularly 
assessments of the energy savings and the savings in consumer operating 
costs that could result from adoption of amended or new standards, 
including the life-cycle cost (LCC) and payback period (PBP) analysis 
and the national impact analysis (NIA). DOE will estimate the annual 
energy consumption of consumer boilers at specified energy efficiency 
levels across a range of applications, house or building types, and 
climate zones. Similar to the January 2016 final rule, DOE intends to 
determine the annual energy consumption, including the use of natural 
gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), oil, or electricity for space and 
water heating,\4\ as well as use of electricity for any auxiliary 
components.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Space heating applications for consumer boilers include 
radiant heating (e.g., in-floor, radiant panels, radiators, 
baseboard) and forced air using fan coils or central air handlers. 
Domestic water heating applications for consumer boilers include 
indirect water heating, combination products, and tankless coil.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue 3: DOE requests feedback on the levels of energy savings that 
could be expected from the adoption of a more-stringent standard for 
consumer boilers. Specifically, with regard to potential product class 
changes discussed in section II.A of this RFI, DOE requests information 
and data on the potential change in energy savings if certain classes 
are split or merged.
    Issue 4: DOE seeks input and sources of data or recommendations to 
support sizing of consumer boilers typical in consumer space heating 
and water heating applications.
    Issue 5: DOE requests comment on the fraction of installations and 
classes of consumer boilers that are used in commercial applications.
    Issue 6: DOE seeks field data and input on representative space 
heating usage, space heating load profile, and representative return 
water temperatures for consumer boilers used in various consumer and 
commercial space heating applications.
    Issue 7: DOE requests comment on the fraction of installations by 
consumer boiler product classes used for different space heating 
applications include radiant heating (in-floor, radiant panels, 
radiators, baseboards) and forced air using fan coils or central air 
handlers.
    Issue 8: DOE seeks input on adjusting AFUE for different return 
water temperatures, for automatic means for adjusting water 
temperature, and for jacket losses. DOE seeks input on any other 
adjustments to AFUE to better capture field conditions. DOE also seeks 
data on the relationship between return water temperature and AFUE to 
more accurately calculate the return water temperature adjustment.
    Issue 9: DOE seeks additional data on the fraction of boiler 
shipments that go to installations that serve both space heating and 
water heating by product class, by efficiency level or boiler 
technology type (e.g., non-condensing and condensing), and type of 
water heating (e.g., indirect tank water heating, combination products, 
and tankless coil).

C. Technological Feasibility

    DOE considers technologies incorporated in commercially-available 
products or in working prototypes to be technologically feasible. 10 
CFR part 430. subpart C, appendix A, sections 6(c)(3)(i) and 7(b)(1). 
In the rulemaking proceeding leading to the January 2016 final rule, 
DOE considered a number of technology options that manufacturers could 
use to reduce energy consumption in consumer boilers. 81 FR 2320, 2340-
2341 (Jan. 15, 2016). Table II.1 shows the technologies previously 
considered for the January 2016 final rule.

[[Page 15807]]



  Table II.1--Technology Options for Consumer Boilers Considered in the
               Development of the January 2016 Final Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat exchanger improvements.
Modulating operation.
Dampers.[dagger]
Direct vent.
Pulse combustion.*
Premix burners.
Burner derating.*
Delayed-action oil pump solenoid valve.
Electronic ignition.[dagger]
Low-pressure air-atomized oil burner.
Transformer improvements (standby mode and off mode).
Control relay for models with brushless permanent magnet motors (standby
 mode and off mode).*
Switching mode power supply (standby mode and off mode).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[dagger] Technology already in baseline units, so not considered
  further.
* Screened-out technology.

    DOE seeks comment on any changes to these technology options that 
could affect DOE's evaluation of whether energy conservation standards 
need to be amended. DOE also seeks comment on whether there are any 
other technology options that DOE should consider in its analysis.
    While DOE's request for information is not limited to the following 
issues, DOE is particularly interested in comment, information, and 
data on the following:
    Issue 10: DOE seeks information on technologies that may impact the 
efficiency of consumer boilers as measured according to the DOE test 
procedure. DOE also seeks information on how these technologies may 
have changed since they were considered in the January 2016 final rule 
analysis. Specifically, DOE seeks information on the range of 
efficiencies or performance characteristics that are currently 
available for each technology option.
    Issue 11: DOE seeks comment on other technology options that it 
should consider for inclusion in its analysis and whether these 
technologies would be expected to impact product features or consumer 
utility of consumer boilers.
    DOE defines the max-tech efficiency level to represent the 
theoretical maximum possible efficiency if all available design options 
are incorporated in a model. In the January 2016 final rule, the max-
tech efficiency levels for AFUE corresponded to the maximum available 
AFUE levels in products on the market at the time of the analysis 
(except for oil-fired hot water boilers for which the max-tech level 
was slightly below the maximum available level).\5\ For standby mode 
and off mode energy consumption, the max-tech efficiency levels (i.e., 
the levels with the lowest amount of energy consumption) were 
determined by starting with the baseline design and implementing design 
options based on cost-effectiveness until all available technologies 
were employed.\6\ At the time this RFI was drafted, based on data from 
the CCMS database, the maximum available AFUE efficiency levels 
currently on the market for the subject products are as follows: 86.1 
percent for non-condensing gas-fired hot water boilers, 96.8 percent 
for condensing gas-fired hot water boilers, 88.2 percent for oil-fired 
hot water boilers (which are all non-condensing), 83.4 percent for gas-
fired steam boilers (which are all non-condensing), and 86.5 percent 
oil-fired steam boilers (which are all non-condensing). In the January 
2016 final rule, DOE identified the max-tech level for standby mode and 
off mode consumption as follows: 9 watts for gas-fired hot water 
boilers; 8 watts for gas-fired steam, electric hot water, and electric 
steam boilers; and 11 watts for oil-fired hot water and oil-fired steam 
boilers. 81 FR 2320, 2345-2346 (Jan. 15, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See the technical support document for the January 2016 
final rule, Chapter 3, section 3.2.9 and chapter 5, section 5.4.4. 
Available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EERE-2012-BT-STD-0047-0070.
    \6\ See the technical support document for the January 2016 
final rule, chapter 5, section 5.4.2. Available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EERE-2012-BT-STD-0047-0070.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue 12: DOE seeks input on whether the maximum available AFUE 
efficiency levels are appropriate and technologically feasible for 
potential consideration as possible energy conservation standards--and 
if not, why not. DOE also seeks feedback on the design options 
incorporated at max-tech efficiency levels. As part of this request, 
DOE also seeks information as to whether there are limitations on the 
use of certain combinations of design options.
    Issue 13: DOE seeks input on the max-tech standby mode and off mode 
efficiency levels. In particular, are more-stringent (i.e., lower) 
standby mode and off mode efficiency levels technologically feasible 
that are appropriate for consideration as possible energy conservation 
standards, and if so, what are the design options incorporated at those 
levels. DOE also seeks information as to whether there are limitations 
on the use of certain combinations of design options.

D. Economic Justification

    In determining whether a proposed energy conservation standard is 
economically justified, DOE analyzes, among other things, the potential 
economic impact on consumers, manufacturers, and the Nation. DOE seeks 
comment on whether there are economic barriers to the adoption of more-
stringent energy conservation standards for consumer boilers. DOE also 
seeks comment and data on any other aspects of its economic 
justification analysis from the January 2016 final rule that may 
indicate whether a more-stringent energy conservation standard would be 
economically justified or cost-effective.
    While DOE's request for information is not limited to the following 
issues, DOE is particularly interested in comment, information, and 
data on the issues discussed in the following paragraphs.
    In its analysis, DOE intends to take into account consumer prices 
from locations where ultra-low-NOX gas-fired hot water and 
steam boilers would be required by the compliance date for any amended 
standards, such as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (AQMD) 
(Regulation 9, Rule 6),\7\

[[Page 15808]]

Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD (Rule 414),\8\ San Joaquin Valley Air 
Pollution Control District (APCD) (Rule 4308),\9\ Santa Barbara County 
APCD (Rule 360),\10\ South Coast AQMD (Rule 1146.2),\11\ and Ventura 
County AQMD (Rule 74-11.1).\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Regulation 9: 
Inorganic Gaseous Pollutants; Rule 6: Nitrogen Oxides Emissions from 
Natural Gas-Fired Boilers and Water Heaters (Available at: https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/drdb/ba/curhtml/r9-6.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 
2019).
    \8\ Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, 
Rule 414: Water Heaters, Boilers and Process Heaters Rated Less Than 
1,000,000 BTU PER HOUR Adopted 08-01-96 (Amended 03-25-10) 
(Available at: http://www.airquality.org/ProgramCoordination/Documents/rule414.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019).
    \9\ San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Rule 
4308: Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters--0.075 MMBtu/hr 
to less than 2.0 MMBtu/hr (Adopted October 20, 2005, amended 
December 17, 2009, Amended November 14, 2013) (Available at: https://www.valleyair.org/rules/currntrules/03-4308_CleanRule.pdf) (Last 
accessed October 30, 2019).
    \10\ Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Rule 
360: Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters (0.075-2 MMBtu/
hr) (Adopted 10/17/2002, revised 3/15/2018) (Available at: https://www.ourair.org/wp-content/uploads/rule360.pdf) (Last accessed 
October 30, 2019).
    \11\ South Coast Air Quality Management District, Rule 1146.2: 
Emissions of Oxides of Nitrogen from Large Water Heaters and Small 
Boilers and Process Heaters (Adopted January 9, 1998, amended 
January 7, 2005, amended May 5, 2006, amended December 7, 2018) 
(Available at: http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/rule-book/reg-xi/rule-1146-2.pdf?sfvrsn=17) (Last accessed October 30, 2019).
    \12\ Ventura County Air Quality Management District, Rule 74-
11.1: Large Water Heaters and Small Boilers (Adopted 9/14/99, 
revised 9/11/12) (Available at: http://vcapcd.org/Rulebook/Reg4/RULE%2074.11.1.pdf) (Last accessed October 30, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue 14: DOE seeks input on whether there are additional 
jurisdictions requiring ultra-low-NOX gas-fired hot water 
and steam boilers.
    In the January 2016 final rule, to determine the venting 
installation costs for consumer boilers, DOE considered vent categories 
as defined in the National Fuel Gas Code.\13\ 81 FR 2320, 2359-2361 
(Jan. 15, 2016). In its analysis, DOE determined that all natural draft 
boilers and a fraction of mechanical draft boilers would be vented as a 
Category I appliance (negative pressure vent system with high 
temperature flue gases). DOE determined that the remaining fraction of 
mechanical draft boilers would be vented as a Category III appliance 
(positive pressure vent system with high temperature flue gases). DOE 
determined that very few non-condensing models would be installed as a 
Category II appliance (negative pressure vent system with low 
temperature flue gases) or a Category IV appliance (positive pressure 
vent system with low flue gases temperatures). However, DOE determined 
that all condensing installations would be vented as a Category IV 
appliance. For non-condensing boilers, DOE accounted for both commonly-
vented consumer boilers (together with a water heater) and isolated 
consumer boilers (separately vented). For replacements, DOE added any 
costs associated with updating or repairing existing flue venting 
including vent resizing, chimney relining, and updating of flue vent 
connectors. DOE also accounted for additional labor costs associated 
with larger boilers, replacing a larger drain pan, and potential space-
constraint issues when the original boiler location is too small to 
accommodate the replacement boiler. For efficiency levels that include 
electronic ignition, power vent, or condensing design, DOE added the 
cost of installing an electrical outlet, a new venting system, any 
additional cost for condensate disposal, any additional costs for 
secondary and primary piping, and cost of a Y-strainer, if required for 
a fraction of installations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Available at: https://catalog.nfpa.org/NFPA-54ANSI-Z2231-National-Fuel-Gas-Code-P1184.aspx (Last accessed March 5, 2021).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the January 2016 final rule, DOE also included installation 
adders for new construction, as well as for new owner installations for 
hot water gas-fired boilers. 81 FR 2320, 2361 (Jan. 15, 2016). For non-
condensing boilers, the only adder would be a new metal flue vent 
(including a fraction with stainless steel venting) and condensate 
withdrawal for a fraction of category III models. For condensing gas 
boilers, the additional costs for new construction installations 
related to potential amended standards would include a new flue vent, 
combustion air venting for direct vent installations and accounting for 
a commonly-vented water heater, and condensate withdrawal.
    Issue 15: DOE seeks input on issues and costs associated with 
venting of flue gases of boilers, in particular regarding retrofit 
issues related to installing a new vent system for higher-efficiency 
consumer boilers, disconnecting the existing consumer boiler from a 
non-condensing common venting system, and upgrading existing non-
condensing venting (chimney relining or vent resizing). DOE also seeks 
input on how often and in what applications direct venting or sealed 
combustion are used or required.
    Issue 16: DOE seeks input on issues and costs associated with 
condensate disposal for higher-efficiency consumer boilers, 
specifically how often and in what applications a condensate filter or 
a condensate pump is installed.
    Issue 17: DOE seeks input on issues and costs associated with 
installing consumer boilers in multi-family buildings.
    DOE measures LCC and PBP impacts of potential standard levels 
relative to a no-new-standards case that reflects the likely market in 
the absence of amended standards. Similar to the 2016 final rule, DOE 
plans to develop market-share efficiency data (i.e., the distribution 
of product shipments by efficiency) for the product classes DOE is 
considering, for the year in which compliance with any potential 
amended standards would be required. For the 2016 final rule, DOE 
developed market shares of different consumer boiler energy efficiency 
levels in the no-new-standards case, using historical shipments data 
provided by stakeholders, data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating and 
Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) contractor survey, and ENERGY STAR unit 
shipment data for residential boilers.\14\ 81 FR 2320, 2364-2366 (Jan. 
15, 2016). If DOE determines that a rulemaking is necessary, DOE 
intends to use the most recent data available from these sources, 
together with any more current data that may be provided by 
stakeholders. Also similar to the January 2016 final rule, because 
these data may not cover all of the energy efficiency levels under 
consideration, DOE intends to use most the recent data on the number of 
water heater models at different energy efficiency levels, as reported 
in DOE's compliance certification database,\15\ the AHRI directory of 
certified product performance,\16\ the California Energy Commission 
appliance efficiency database,\17\ and the ENERGY STAR certified boiler 
directory.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ ENERGY STAR, Unit Shipments data (Available at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=partners.unit_shipment_data) (Last 
accessed October 30, 2019).
    \15\ U.S. Department of Energy, Compliance Certification 
Database (Available at: https://www.regulations.doe.gov/certification-data/#q=Product_Group_s%3A*) (Last accessed October 
30, 2019).
    \16\ Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute, 
Directory of Certified Product Performance for Residential Boilers 
(Available at: https://www.ahridirectory.org/NewSearch?programId=25&searchTypeId=3) (Last accessed October 30, 
2019).
    \17\ California Energy Commission (CEC), Appliance Efficiency 
Database. (Available at: https://cacertappliances.energy.ca.gov/Pages/ApplianceSearch.aspx) (Last accessed October 30, 2019).
    \18\ ENERGY STAR, ENERGY STAR Certified Boilers Directory 
(Available at: https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-boilers/results) (Last accessed October 30, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issue 18: DOE requests shipments data for consumer boilers, broken 
down by product class, that show current

[[Page 15809]]

market shares by efficiency level. DOE also seeks input on similar 
historic data from 2016-2020.
    Issue 19: DOE also requests information on expected future trends 
in efficiency for consumer boiler product classes, including the 
relative market shares of condensing versus non-condensing products in 
the market for gas-fired and oil-fired hot water boilers in the absence 
of amended efficiency standards.
    Issue 20: DOE requests 2016-2020 data on the fraction of sales in 
the residential and commercial sector for consumer boilers.
    Issue 21: DOE requests comment on the anticipated future market 
share of higher-efficiency products, such as condensing gas-fired and 
oil-fired hot water boilers, as compared to less-efficient products for 
each consumer boiler product class.

III. Submission of Comments

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date 
specified under the DATES heading of this document, comments and 
information on matters addressed in this RFI and on other matters 
relevant to DOE's early assessment of whether more-stringent energy 
conservation standards are warranted for consumer boilers.
    Submitting comments via http://www.regulations.gov. The http://www.regulations.gov web page requires 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. If this instruction is followed, 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. Comments and documents submitted via 
email 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 in 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. Telefacsimiles (faxes) will 
not 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. Pursuant 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 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. 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 email at 
[email protected].

Signing Authority

    This document of the Department of Energy was signed on March 18, 
2021, by Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary 
and Acting Assistant Secretary for 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.


[[Page 15810]]


    Signed in Washington, DC, on March 19, 2021.
Treena V. Garrett,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2021-06071 Filed 3-24-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P