Energy Labeling Rule, 29533-29541 [2021-11498]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules Issued in Washington, DC, on May 25, 2021. George Gonzalez, Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group. [FR Doc. 2021–11422 Filed 6–1–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 305 [3084–AB15] Energy Labeling Rule Federal Trade Commission. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) proposes updates to comparability ranges and sample labels for central air conditioners in the Energy Labeling Rule (‘‘Rule’’). DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 2, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Comment Submissions part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘CAC Range Updates (16 CFR part 305) (Matter No. R611004)’’ on your comment, and file it online at https://www.regulations.gov, by following the instructions on the webbased form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail it to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Suite CC–5610 (Annex J), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hampton Newsome (202–326–2889), Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS I. Energy Labeling Rule The Commission issued the Energy Labeling Rule (‘‘Rule’’) in 1979,1 pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (‘‘EPCA’’).2 The Rule requires energy labeling for 1 44 FR 66466 (Nov. 19, 1979). U.S.C. 6294. EPCA also requires the Department of Energy (‘‘DOE’’) to develop test procedures that measure how much energy appliances use, and to determine the representative average cost a consumer pays for different types of energy. 2 42 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 major home appliances and other consumer products to help consumers compare the energy usage and costs of competing models. It also contains labeling requirements for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, water heaters, clothes washers, room and portable air conditioners, furnaces, central air conditioners, heat pumps, plumbing products, lighting products, ceiling fans, and televisions. The Rule requires manufacturers to attach yellow EnergyGuide labels to many of the covered products and prohibits retailers from removing these labels or rendering them illegible. In addition, it directs sellers, including retailers, to post label information on websites and in paper catalogs from which consumers can order products. EnergyGuide labels for most covered products contain three main disclosures: Estimated annual energy cost, a product’s energy consumption or energy efficiency rating as determined by Department of Energy (‘‘DOE’’) test procedures, and a comparability range displaying the highest and lowest energy costs or efficiency ratings for all similar models. Under the Rule, the Commission periodically updates comparability range and annual energy cost information based on manufacturer data submitted pursuant to the Rule’s reporting requirements.3 II. Proposed Updated Ranges for Central Air Conditioners The Commission proposes to update the comparability ranges for central air conditioners to ensure manufacturers have information available for the upcoming transition to new efficiency descriptors required by DOE. On February 12, 2021 (86 FR 9274), the Commission published conforming Rule amendments reflecting new DOE efficiency descriptors on central air conditioner labels to ensure the Rule’s consistency with DOE requirements, which become effective on January 1, 2023.4 In the February Rule, the Commission stated it would update ranges in appendices H and I, and the sample labels in appendix L, once new efficiency numbers became available. The Commission now proposes to amend the range tables (appendices H and I) and sample labels in the Rule (appendix L) using new information from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & 3 16 CFR 305.10. 2017, DOE announced changes to the rating methods and associated efficiency descriptors for central air conditioners (e.g., from ‘‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)’’ to ‘‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 (SEER2)’’). 82 FR 1786 (Jan. 6, 2017); and 82 FR 24211 (May 26, 2017). 4 In PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 29533 Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and DOE staff input.5 As the Commission stated in its February 2021 Rule (86 FR at 9279), manufacturers may begin using the new range information prior to January 1, 2023, in a manner consistent with DOE guidance once the FTC issues the final updates to appendices H and I. III. Paperwork Reduction Act The current Rule contains recordkeeping, disclosure, testing, and reporting requirements that constitute information collection requirements as defined by 5 CFR 1320.3(c), the definitional provision within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations that implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). OMB has approved the Rule’s existing information collection requirements through December 31, 2022 (OMB Control No. 3084–0069). The proposed amendments do not change the substance or frequency of the recordkeeping, disclosure, or reporting requirements and, therefore, do not require further OMB clearance. IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (‘‘RFA’’), 5 U.S.C. 601–612, requires that the Commission conduct an analysis of the anticipated economic impact of the proposed amendment on small entities. The RFA requires that the Commission provide an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (‘‘IRFA’’) with a proposed rule unless the Commission certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605. As explained elsewhere in this document, the proposed amendments merely update the Rule’s appendices to include revised comparability ranges and sample labels for central air conditioners based on more recent data. The proposed amendments do not significantly change the substance or frequency of the recordkeeping, disclosure, or reporting requirements. Thus, the amendments will not have a ‘‘significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.’’ 5 U.S.C. 605. The Commission has concluded, therefore, that a regulatory flexibility analysis is not necessary, and certifies, under Section 605 of the RFA (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), that the proposed amendments will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 AHRI is a trade association representing central air conditioner manufacturers. E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 29534 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules V. Communications by Outside Parties to the Commissioners or Their Advisors Written communications and summaries or transcripts of oral communications respecting the merits of this proceeding, from any outside party to any Commissioner or Commissioner’s advisor, will be placed on the public record. See 16 CFR 1.26(b)(5). VI. Comment Submissions You can file a comment online or on paper. For the FTC to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 2, 2021. Write ‘‘CAC Range Updates (16 CFR part 305) (Matter No. R611004)’’ on your comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the https:// www.regulations.gov website. Because of the public health emergency in response to the COVID–19 outbreak and the agency’s heightened security screening, postal mail addressed to the Commission will be subject to delay. We strongly encourage you to submit your comment online through the https://www.regulations.gov website. To ensure the Commission considers your online comment, please follow the instructions on the webbased form. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘CAC Range Updates (16 CFR part 305) (Matter No. R611004)’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, please submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’s Social Security number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential’’—as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)— including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled ‘‘Confidential,’’ and must comply with FTC Rule § 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule § 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted publicly at www.regulations.gov, we cannot redact or remove it unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule § 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments it receives on or before August 2, 2021. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/siteinformation/privacy-policy. VII. Other Matters Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule as not a ‘‘major rule,’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Proposed Rule Language List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 305 Advertising, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons stated above, the Commission proposes to amend part 305 of title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 305—ENERGY AND WATER USE LABELING FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS UNDER THE ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION ACT (‘‘ENERGY LABELING RULE’’) 1. The authority citation for part 305 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6294. 2. Revise appendix H to part 305 to read as follows: ■ Appendix H to Part 305—Cooling Performance for Central Air Conditioners Range of SEER2’s Manufacturer’s rated cooling capacity (btu’s/hr) Low High Single Package Units jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Central Air Conditioners (Cooling Only): All capacities ........................................................................................... Heat Pumps (Cooling Function): All capacities ....................................................................................................... 13.4 13.4 19 19 13.4 27 13.8 14.3 12 27 42 15 Split System Units Central Air Conditioner models allowed only in northern states (listed in § 305.20(g)(13)) (Cooling Only): All capacities ................................................................................................................................................................. Central Air Conditioner models allowed in all states (Cooling Only): All capacities ..................................................................................................................................................... Heat Pumps (Cooling Function): All capacities ................................................................................................ Small-duct, high-velocity Systems ........................................................................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 29535 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules Range of SEER2’s Manufacturer’s rated cooling capacity (btu’s/hr) Low High Space-Constrained Products Central Air Conditioners (Cooling Only): All capacities ........................................................................................... Heat Pumps (Cooling Function): All capacities ....................................................................................................... 3. Revise appendix I to part 305 to read as follows: ■ 11.7 11.9 13.7 13.8 Appendix I to Part 305—Heating Performance and Cost for Central Air Conditioners Range of HSPF2’s Manufacturer’s rated heating capacity (btu’s/hr.) Low High Single Package Units Heat Pumps (Heating Function): All capacities ....................................................................................................... 6.7 8.4 7.5 6.1 14.6 7.5 6.3 6.5 Split System Units Heat Pumps (Heating Function): All capacities ....................................................................................................... Small-duct, high-velocity Systems ........................................................................................................................... Space-Constrained Products Heat Pumps (Heating Function): All capacities ....................................................................................................... 4. Amend appendix L to part 305 by revising Prototype Label 3, Prototype ■ Label 4, Sample Label 7, and Sample Label 8 to read as follows: Appendix L to Part 305—Sample Labels * * * * jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS BILLING CODE 6750–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 * 29536 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules ----1• 10 pt. Arial Narrow U.S. Government Federal law prohibits removal of this label before consumer purchase. XYZ Corporation ModelNH65 Capacity: 59,000Btu/h 10/12----4~ CentralAirConditioner Anal Narrow Bold Cooling Only Single Package -illl--- 9 pt. Arial Narrow ......_ _ 10/12 Arial Narrow Bold ·r-------------, 1 pt. r u l e - - - - 4 -. . 19 Arial Narrow Bold pl.----4--1~ Efficiency Rating ( S E E R 2 ) * - 4 ' - - - - - - - + - - - - 12p1. 38 pt.Arial Bold----+--1►14 ■ Arial Narrow Bold 4 12 pt. triangle :W' 3 pt. rule 2 pt. rule d; 1 ,... 10 pt Arial Narrow Bold ----+--I► 22_3 Most Efflclent 8/9.6Arial Narrow ----+---1► Least Efficient 11 pt. Arial Narrow Range of Similar Models 8112 Arial Narrow • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 For energy cost info, visit ◄H----12114 f Arial Narrow productin o.energy.gov ----+--+---. 18 pt. Arial Narrow Bold----+--1► Notice Federal law allows this unit to be installed only in: 14116.BArial Narrow bold where indicated Mll----+-1►~~~~~~~~~ Arial Narrow HI, ID, IL, IA, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MD, Ml, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY, and U.S. territories. B Installation allowed 11 pt.Arial Narrow ----+---► Federal law prohibits installation of this unit in other states. 10 P'-----1-.Arial Narrow Bold Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 (EER2): Thisunrt"sEER2 is 10.5. ◄I---------+---- 8 pt. Arial Narrow VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 EP02JN21.000</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Prototype Label 3 - Single-Package Central Air Conditioner Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules 10 pt---► U.S. Government Federal law prohibits removal of this label before consumer purchase. Arial Narrow 10/12---1• Heat Pump Arial Narrow Bold -4111--- 9 pt. Arial Narrow XYZCmporatlon --1----10/12 Model 6645 Arial Narrow Bold Heating Capacity 26,000 Btu/h Cooling Capacity 25,000 Btu/11 Cooling and Heating Split System 1 pl rule•----1--a► 29537 Cooling ·A19na!2f2Na-rrow-Bo-l_d~~-► Efficiency Rating (SEER2)* - 4 - - - - - - - - + - - - 1 2 p t . 14.3-16.0 1 ~ Bold 7 pt. triangle 2pt. rule Arial NarrowBold W .. , _ _..__ _ _ _ _ _ __ iOptArial Narrow Bold 14.3 Least Efficient 8/9.6 Arial Narrow 11 pt. Arial Narrow 8/12 Arial Narrow 42.0 P,lost Efficient Range of Similar Models • Seasonal Eneigy Ellicie!tcY Ratio2 Heating Efficiency Rating (HSPF2)* ...-,, This system's efficiency ratings depend on the coil your contractor installs with this unit The heating efficiency rating varies slighUy in different geographic regions. Ask your contractor for detail!!; --I---- 12/14 Arial Narrow 8.6-10.0 r--.' 7.5 14.6 leao!Efficienl MostEfficient Forenergy cosfirifu, visit ◄t-1---- 12114 productinfo.energy.gov Arial Narrow Range of Similar Models • Heating Seasonal Pellormanca Facfur 2. Prototype Label 4 - Split-system Heat Pump * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 EP02JN21.001</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS * 29538 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules U.S. Government Federal law prohibits removal of this label before consumer purchase. Central Air Conditioner Cooling Only Split System XYZ Corporation Model NH65 Efficiency Rating (SEER2)* 14.1 ~ For energy cost info, visit productinfo.energy.gov 27.0 13.4 Least Efficient • Your air conditioner's efficiency rating may be better depending on the coil your contractor installs. Most Efficient Range of Similar Models • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 Notice Federal law allows this unit to be installed only in: AK, CO, CT, ID, IL, IA, IN, KS, MA, ME, Ml, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VT WA, WV, WI, WY, and U.S. territories. II Installation allowed Federal law prohibits installation of this unit in other states. Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 (EER2): This unit's EER2 is 11.6. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 EP02JN21.002</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Sample Label 7 - Split-system Central Air Conditioner Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules U.S. Government 29539 Federal law prohibits removal of this label before consumer purchase. Heat Pump Cooling and Heating Split System XVZ Corporation Model 6645 Heating Capacity 26,000 Btu/h Cooling Capacity 25,000 Btu/h Cooling Efficiency Rating (SEER2)* 14.3-16.0 w I ~ 14.3 42.0 Least Efficient Most Efficient Range of Similar Models • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 Heating Efficiency Rating (HSPF2)* This system's efficiency ratings depend on the coil your contractor installs with this unit. The heating efficiency rating varies slightly in different geographic regions. Ask your contractor for details. 8.6-10.0 •• 7.5 14.6 Least Efficient Most Efficient For energy cost info, visit productinfo.energy .gov Range of Similar Models • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor 2 Sample Label 8 - Split-system Heat Pump jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson * By direction of the Commission. April J. Tabor, Secretary. Note: The following statement will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. Today the Commission announces required changes to the Energy Labeling Rule but makes no other changes to the Rule. Since 2015, the Commission has sought comment on provisions of this Rule at least three times, and has made numerous amendments.1 This 1 See 81 FR 62861 (Sept. 12, 2016) (seeking comment on proposed amendments regarding VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 piecemeal approach has clarified the Rule’s requirements—and I appreciate FTC staff’s efforts to keep this Rule clear and current— but the Commission can and should do more. For the reasons described below, I dissent. portable air conditioners, ceiling fans, and electric water heaters); 84 FR 9261 (Mar. 14, 2019) (proposing amendments to organize the Rule’s product descriptions); 85 FR 20218 (Apr. 10, 2020) (seeking comment on proposed amendments regarding central and portable air conditioners). E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 EP02JN21.003</GPH> BILLING CODE 6750–01–C 29540 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules I have repeatedly urged the Commission 2 to seek comment on the more prescriptive aspects of this Rule. As I have noted in prior statements, the Rule includes highly prescriptive requirements detailing the trim size dimensions for labels, including the precise width (between 51⁄4″ to 51⁄2″) and length (between 73⁄8″ and 75⁄8″); the number of picas for the copy set (between 27 and 29); the type style (Arial) and setting; the weight of the paper stock on which the labels are printed (not less than 58 pounds per 500 sheets or equivalent); and a suggested minimum peel adhesive capacity of 12 ounces per square inch.3 For example, the label example attached to the Rule specifies not only the categories of information to be displayed, but also the precise font and point size in which that information is to be printed. For example, the cooling efficiency number must appear in 38 pt. Arial Narrow Bold. And while the phrase ‘‘US Government’’ at the top must be printed in 10 pt. Arial Narrow, the text next to it that reads ‘‘Federal law prohibits removal of this label before consumer purchase’’ must be printed in 9 pt. Arial Narrow. See Attachment 1 (Labeling Requirements). The Energy Labeling Rule exemplifies the era in which it was created. The FTC promulgated the Rule in the 1970s, an era when the agency was engaged in prolific and highly prescriptive rulemaking.4 As I have jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 2 See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Dec. 10, 2018) (expressing my view that the Commission should seek comment on the prescriptive labeling requirements), https://www.ftc.gov/publicstatements/2018/12/dissenting-statementcommissioner-christine-s-wilson-notice-proposed; See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Oct. 22, 2019) (urging the Commission to seek comment on the labeling requirements), https://www.ftc.gov/system/ files/documents/public_statements/1551786/ r611004_wilson_dissent_energy_labeling_rule.pdf. 3 See 16 CFR 305.13 and 305.20. 4 See, e.g., Timothy J. Muris, Paper: Will the FTC’s Success Continue?, George Mason Law & Economics No. 18 (Sept. 24, 2018) (discussing the successes and failures of the FTC’s enforcement efforts including the aggressive rulemaking activities in the 1970s), available at: https:// papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_ id=3254294; Timothy J. Muris, Rules Without Reason, AEI J. on Gov’t and Society (Sept/Oct. 1982) (describing failed FTC rulemaking proceedings), available at: https://www.cato.org/ sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/1982/9/ v6n5-4.pdf; Teresa Schwartz, Regulating Unfair Practices Under The FTC Act: The Need For a Legal VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 noted previously,5 no area of commerce was too straightforward or mundane to escape the Commission’s notice: • The Trade Regulation Rule concerning Deception as to Non-Prismatic and Partially Prismatic Instruments Being Prismatic Binoculars 6 addressed failures to disclose ‘‘instruments having bulges on the tubes which simulate prismatic instruments are not prismatic instruments or do not contain complete prism systems’’ and provided detailed definitions of six types of binoculars and field glasses. • The Trade Regulation Rule concerning Failure to Disclose that Skin Irritation May Result from Washing or Handling Glass Fiber Curtains and Draperies included a Commission conclusion that ‘‘the failure to disclose that skin irritation may result from body contact with glass fiber drapery and curtain fabrics, and clothing or other articles which have been washed with such glass fiber products or in containers previously used for washing such products when that container has not been cleansed of glass particles, has the capacity and tendency to mislead and deceive purchasers and prospective purchasers and to divert business from competitors whose products may be washed or handled without the resulting irritation.’’ 7 • The Guides for the Ladies’ Handbag Industry addressed the use of the terms ‘‘scuffproof,’’ ‘‘scratchproof,’’ ‘‘scuff resistant,’’ and ‘‘scratch resistant;’’ representations that a product is colored, Standard of Unfairness, 11 Akron Law Rev. 1 (1978) (explaining that the judicial reversals of FTC regulations resulted from a failure to establish an adequate legal basis for the regulations), available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/ akronlawreview/vol11/iss1/1/. 5 See Concurring Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson, Amplifier Rule (Dec. 17, 2020), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/ public_statements/1585038/csw_amplifier_rule_ stmt_11192020.pdf; Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Dec. 10, 2018), https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/ 2018/12/dissenting-statement-commissionerchristine-s-wilson-notice-proposed. 6 16 CFR 402, https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/ files/documents/federal_register_notices/traderegulation-rule-concerning-deception-nonprismatic-and-partially-prismatic-instrumentsbeing/950523non-prismatic.pdf. 7 16 CFR 413.3(c), https://www.ftc.gov/sites/ default/files/documents/federal_register_notices/ trade-regulation-rule-deceptive-advertising-andlabeling-size-tablecloths-and-related-products-16/ 950523advertisingandlabelingasto.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 finished or dyed with aniline dye or otherwise dyed, embossed, grained, processed, finished or stitched in a certain manner; and required disclosures to be made with respect to a product’s composition.8 In March 2020, we sought comment on some of the more prescriptive provisions of the Energy Labeling Rule 9 and received many interesting and thoughtful comments.10 Rather than act on these comments or proposals, though, the Commission chose to finalize only proposals necessary to conform to Department of Energy changes.11 Again today, the Commission chooses to make minor changes necessary for conformity but fails to conduct a full review of the Rule to consider removing all dated and prescriptive provisions, and to consider the recent comments suggesting changes. The Commission last conducted a full review of the Energy Labeling Rule in 2015. Under our 10-year regulatory review schedule, the next review is scheduled for 2025. Nothing, however, prevents the Commission from conducting this review now. I again urge the Commission to act on the comments we received last year, eliminate the more prescriptive aspects of the Rule, and maximize the positive impact of this Rule for consumers. If we are statutorily mandated to maintain this Rule, we should endeavor to make it beneficial for consumers and competition. 8 16 CFR 247, https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/ files/documents/federal_register_notices/guidesluggage-and-related-products-industry-guides-shoecontent-labeling-and-advertising-and-guides/ 950918luggageandrelatedproducts.pdf. 9 See Concurring Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Mar. 20, 2020), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/ public_statements/1569815/r611004_wilson_ statement_energy_labeling.pdf. 10 See, e.g., Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Comment (#33–09), available at: https://www.regulations.gov/ document?D=FTC-2020-0033-0009; Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) Comment (#33–04), available at: https://www.regulations.gov/ document?D=FTC-2020-0033-0004; Goodman Manufacturing Comment (#33–08), available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC2020-0033-0008. 11 See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Dec. 22, 2020), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/ public_statements/1585242/commission_wilson_ dissenting_statement_energy_labeling_rule_final1222-2020revd2.pdf. E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 104 / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / Proposed Rules 29541 Attachment 1 10 pt--~--- U.S. Government ArialNanow Federal law prohibils removal of this label before consumer purchase. 10/12 ..........,~... Heat Pump Arial Nanow Bold CooUng and Heating SpUtSystem --I--- 9 pt. Arial Narrow XYZ Corporation "1111--- 10/12 Model 6645 Arial Narrow Bold Heating capacity 2&,000 Btu/h Cooling Capacity 25,000 Btu/II 1 pt rule,----i-~~ 91a22 1 Ari 1Na_rro_w-Bo-ld---------► Cooling Efficiency Rating (SEER2)* - 4 1 - - - - - - - - - + - -Arial-Nanow 1 2 pt. Bold 14.3-16.0 1 ~ Bold 7pt.lriangle W 1-l-----------1 2pt.rule 10p!Arial Narrow Bold ----+---► 14.3 42.0 Most Efficient 819.6 Arial Narrow Least Efficient 11 pt. Arial Narrow ----+--+--I► Range of Similar Models 8112 Arial Narrow • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 Heating Efficiency Rating (HSPF2r This system's efficiency ratings depend on the coil your contractor installs with this unit. The heating efficiency rating varies slightly in different geographic regions. Ask your contractor for details. ..---T ........- - 12/14 ArialNanow 8.6-10.0 r--Y 14.6 7.5 Least Efficient MostEflicient !=otenergycostinfo, visit ◄H---- 12/14 productinfo.energy.gov Arial Narrow Range of Similar Models [FR Doc. 2021–11498 Filed 6–1–21; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 121 [EPA–HQ–OW–2021–0302; FRL–10023–97– OW] Notice of Intention To Reconsider and Revise the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of intent. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS AGENCY: In accordance with Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis (Executive Order 13990), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces its intention to reconsider SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Jun 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 and revise the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule. In addition, EPA will initiate a series of stakeholder outreach sessions and invite written feedback on how to revise the requirements for water quality certifications under the Clean Water Act. EPA intends to revise the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule in a manner that is well informed by stakeholder input on the rule’s substantive and procedural components; is better aligned with the cooperative federalism principles that have been central to the effective implementation of the Clean Water Act; and is responsive to the national objectives outlined in President Biden’s Executive Order 13990. Written feedback must be received on or before August 2, 2021. DATES: You may send written feedback, identified by Docket ID No. ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 EPA–HQ–OW–2021–0302, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ (our preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting written feedback. • Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov. Include Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW– 2021–0302 in the subject line of the message. Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket ID Number. Written feedback received may be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided. Out of an abundance of caution for members of the public and our staff, the EPA Docket Center and Reading Room are closed to the public, with limited exceptions, to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID– 19. Our Docket Center staff will continue to provide remote customer service via email, phone, and webform. E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 EP02JN21.004</GPH> • Heating Seasonal Performance fac!or 2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 104 (Wednesday, June 2, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 29533-29541]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-11498]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 305

[3084-AB15]


Energy Labeling Rule

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') 
proposes updates to comparability ranges and sample labels for central 
air conditioners in the Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'').

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 2, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Comment Submissions part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``CAC Range Updates (16 
CFR part 305) (Matter No. R611004)'' on your comment, and file it 
online at https://www.regulations.gov, by following the instructions on 
the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail 
it to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Suite CC-5610 
(Annex J), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; or deliver 
your comment to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
J), Washington, DC 20024.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Energy Labeling Rule

    The Commission issued the Energy Labeling Rule (``Rule'') in 
1979,\1\ pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 
(``EPCA'').\2\ The Rule requires energy labeling for major home 
appliances and other consumer products to help consumers compare the 
energy usage and costs of competing models. It also contains labeling 
requirements for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, 
dishwashers, water heaters, clothes washers, room and portable air 
conditioners, furnaces, central air conditioners, heat pumps, plumbing 
products, lighting products, ceiling fans, and televisions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 44 FR 66466 (Nov. 19, 1979).
    \2\ 42 U.S.C. 6294. EPCA also requires the Department of Energy 
(``DOE'') to develop test procedures that measure how much energy 
appliances use, and to determine the representative average cost a 
consumer pays for different types of energy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Rule requires manufacturers to attach yellow EnergyGuide labels 
to many of the covered products and prohibits retailers from removing 
these labels or rendering them illegible. In addition, it directs 
sellers, including retailers, to post label information on websites and 
in paper catalogs from which consumers can order products. EnergyGuide 
labels for most covered products contain three main disclosures: 
Estimated annual energy cost, a product's energy consumption or energy 
efficiency rating as determined by Department of Energy (``DOE'') test 
procedures, and a comparability range displaying the highest and lowest 
energy costs or efficiency ratings for all similar models. Under the 
Rule, the Commission periodically updates comparability range and 
annual energy cost information based on manufacturer data submitted 
pursuant to the Rule's reporting requirements.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ 16 CFR 305.10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Proposed Updated Ranges for Central Air Conditioners

    The Commission proposes to update the comparability ranges for 
central air conditioners to ensure manufacturers have information 
available for the upcoming transition to new efficiency descriptors 
required by DOE. On February 12, 2021 (86 FR 9274), the Commission 
published conforming Rule amendments reflecting new DOE efficiency 
descriptors on central air conditioner labels to ensure the Rule's 
consistency with DOE requirements, which become effective on January 1, 
2023.\4\ In the February Rule, the Commission stated it would update 
ranges in appendices H and I, and the sample labels in appendix L, once 
new efficiency numbers became available. The Commission now proposes to 
amend the range tables (appendices H and I) and sample labels in the 
Rule (appendix L) using new information from the Air-Conditioning, 
Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and DOE staff input.\5\ As 
the Commission stated in its February 2021 Rule (86 FR at 9279), 
manufacturers may begin using the new range information prior to 
January 1, 2023, in a manner consistent with DOE guidance once the FTC 
issues the final updates to appendices H and I.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ In 2017, DOE announced changes to the rating methods and 
associated efficiency descriptors for central air conditioners 
(e.g., from ``Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)'' to 
``Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2 (SEER2)''). 82 FR 1786 (Jan. 6, 
2017); and 82 FR 24211 (May 26, 2017).
    \5\ AHRI is a trade association representing central air 
conditioner manufacturers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The current Rule contains recordkeeping, disclosure, testing, and 
reporting requirements that constitute information collection 
requirements as defined by 5 CFR 1320.3(c), the definitional provision 
within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations that 
implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). OMB has approved the 
Rule's existing information collection requirements through December 
31, 2022 (OMB Control No. 3084-0069). The proposed amendments do not 
change the substance or frequency of the recordkeeping, disclosure, or 
reporting requirements and, therefore, do not require further OMB 
clearance.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (``RFA''), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, 
requires that the Commission conduct an analysis of the anticipated 
economic impact of the proposed amendment on small entities. The RFA 
requires that the Commission provide an Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (``IRFA'') with a proposed rule unless the Commission 
certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605. As explained 
elsewhere in this document, the proposed amendments merely update the 
Rule's appendices to include revised comparability ranges and sample 
labels for central air conditioners based on more recent data. The 
proposed amendments do not significantly change the substance or 
frequency of the recordkeeping, disclosure, or reporting requirements. 
Thus, the amendments will not have a ``significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.'' 5 U.S.C. 605. The Commission 
has concluded, therefore, that a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
necessary, and certifies, under Section 605 of the RFA (5 U.S.C. 
605(b)), that the proposed amendments will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

[[Page 29534]]

V. Communications by Outside Parties to the Commissioners or Their 
Advisors

    Written communications and summaries or transcripts of oral 
communications respecting the merits of this proceeding, from any 
outside party to any Commissioner or Commissioner's advisor, will be 
placed on the public record. See 16 CFR 1.26(b)(5).

VI. Comment Submissions

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the FTC to consider 
your comment, we must receive it on or before August 2, 2021. Write 
``CAC Range Updates (16 CFR part 305) (Matter No. R611004)'' on your 
comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be 
placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the 
extent practicable, on the https://www.regulations.gov website.
    Because of the public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 
outbreak and the agency's heightened security screening, postal mail 
addressed to the Commission will be subject to delay. We strongly 
encourage you to submit your comment online through the https://www.regulations.gov website. To ensure the Commission considers your 
online comment, please follow the instructions on the web-based form.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``CAC Range Updates (16 
CFR part 305) (Matter No. R611004)'' on your comment and on the 
envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 
CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, please submit your paper comment 
to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible 
website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for 
making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or 
confidential information. In particular, your comment should not 
include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone 
else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number 
or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; 
passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card 
number. You are also solely responsible for making sure your comment 
does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical 
records or other individually identifiable health information. In 
addition, your comment should not include any ``[t]rade secret or any 
commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or 
confidential''--as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 
46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)--including in 
particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales 
statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing 
processes, or customer names.
    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is 
requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled 
``Confidential,'' and must comply with FTC Rule Sec.  4.9(c). In 
particular, the written request for confidential treatment that 
accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for 
the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to 
be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule Sec.  4.9(c). Your 
comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants 
your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once 
your comment has been posted publicly at www.regulations.gov, we cannot 
redact or remove it unless you submit a confidentiality request that 
meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule Sec.  4.9(c), 
and the General Counsel grants that request.
    The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the 
collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as 
appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive 
public comments it receives on or before August 2, 2021. For 
information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses 
permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

VII. Other Matters

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule 
as not a ``major rule,'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Proposed Rule Language

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 305

    Advertising, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Labeling, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.


    For the reasons stated above, the Commission proposes to amend part 
305 of title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 305--ENERGY AND WATER USE LABELING FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS UNDER 
THE ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION ACT (``ENERGY LABELING RULE'')

0
1. The authority citation for part 305 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6294.

0
2. Revise appendix H to part 305 to read as follows:

Appendix H to Part 305--Cooling Performance for Central Air 
Conditioners

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Range of SEER2's
  Manufacturer's rated cooling capacity  -------------------------------
               (btu's/hr)                       Low            High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Single Package Units
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central Air Conditioners (Cooling Only):            13.4              19
 All capacities.........................
Heat Pumps (Cooling Function): All                  13.4              19
 capacities.............................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Split System Units
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central Air Conditioner models allowed              13.4              27
 only in northern states (listed in Sec.
   305.20(g)(13)) (Cooling Only): All
 capacities.............................
Central Air Conditioner models allowed
 in all states (Cooling Only):
    All capacities......................            13.8              27
    Heat Pumps (Cooling Function): All              14.3              42
     capacities.........................
Small-duct, high-velocity Systems.......              12              15
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 29535]]

 
                       Space-Constrained Products
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central Air Conditioners (Cooling Only):            11.7            13.7
 All capacities.........................
Heat Pumps (Cooling Function): All                  11.9            13.8
 capacities.............................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

0
3. Revise appendix I to part 305 to read as follows:

Appendix I to Part 305--Heating Performance and Cost for Central Air 
Conditioners

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Range of HSPF2's
  Manufacturer's rated heating capacity  -------------------------------
               (btu's/hr.)                      Low            High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Single Package Units
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat Pumps (Heating Function): All                   6.7             8.4
 capacities.............................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Split System Units
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat Pumps (Heating Function): All                   7.5            14.6
 capacities.............................
Small-duct, high-velocity Systems.......             6.1             7.5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Space-Constrained Products
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heat Pumps (Heating Function): All                   6.3             6.5
 capacities.............................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

0
4. Amend appendix L to part 305 by revising Prototype Label 3, 
Prototype Label 4, Sample Label 7, and Sample Label 8 to read as 
follows:

Appendix L to Part 305--Sample Labels

* * * * *
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P

[[Page 29536]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02JN21.000


[[Page 29537]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02JN21.001

* * * * *

[[Page 29538]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02JN21.002


[[Page 29539]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02JN21.003

BILLING CODE 6750-01-C
* * * * *

    By direction of the Commission.
April J. Tabor,
Secretary.

    Note: The following statement will not appear in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson

    Today the Commission announces required changes to the Energy 
Labeling Rule but makes no other changes to the Rule. Since 2015, 
the Commission has sought comment on provisions of this Rule at 
least three times, and has made numerous amendments.\1\ This 
piecemeal approach has clarified the Rule's requirements--and I 
appreciate FTC staff's efforts to keep this Rule clear and current--
but the Commission can and should do more. For the reasons described 
below, I dissent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 81 FR 62861 (Sept. 12, 2016) (seeking comment on 
proposed amendments regarding portable air conditioners, ceiling 
fans, and electric water heaters); 84 FR 9261 (Mar. 14, 2019) 
(proposing amendments to organize the Rule's product descriptions); 
85 FR 20218 (Apr. 10, 2020) (seeking comment on proposed amendments 
regarding central and portable air conditioners).

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[[Page 29540]]

    I have repeatedly urged the Commission \2\ to seek comment on 
the more prescriptive aspects of this Rule. As I have noted in prior 
statements, the Rule includes highly prescriptive requirements 
detailing the trim size dimensions for labels, including the precise 
width (between 5\1/4\'' to 5\1/2\'') and length (between 7\3/8\'' 
and 7\5/8\''); the number of picas for the copy set (between 27 and 
29); the type style (Arial) and setting; the weight of the paper 
stock on which the labels are printed (not less than 58 pounds per 
500 sheets or equivalent); and a suggested minimum peel adhesive 
capacity of 12 ounces per square inch.\3\ For example, the label 
example attached to the Rule specifies not only the categories of 
information to be displayed, but also the precise font and point 
size in which that information is to be printed. For example, the 
cooling efficiency number must appear in 38 pt. Arial Narrow Bold. 
And while the phrase ``US Government'' at the top must be printed in 
10 pt. Arial Narrow, the text next to it that reads ``Federal law 
prohibits removal of this label before consumer purchase'' must be 
printed in 9 pt. Arial Narrow. See Attachment 1 (Labeling 
Requirements).
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    \2\ See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson 
on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Dec. 10, 
2018) (expressing my view that the Commission should seek comment on 
the prescriptive labeling requirements), https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/2018/12/dissenting-statement-commissioner-christine-s-wilson-notice-proposed; See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner 
Christine S. Wilson on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy 
Labeling Rule (Oct. 22, 2019) (urging the Commission to seek comment 
on the labeling requirements), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1551786/r611004_wilson_dissent_energy_labeling_rule.pdf.
    \3\ See 16 CFR 305.13 and 305.20.
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    The Energy Labeling Rule exemplifies the era in which it was 
created. The FTC promulgated the Rule in the 1970s, an era when the 
agency was engaged in prolific and highly prescriptive 
rulemaking.\4\ As I have noted previously,\5\ no area of commerce 
was too straightforward or mundane to escape the Commission's 
notice:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See, e.g., Timothy J. Muris, Paper: Will the FTC's Success 
Continue?, George Mason Law & Economics No. 18 (Sept. 24, 2018) 
(discussing the successes and failures of the FTC's enforcement 
efforts including the aggressive rulemaking activities in the 
1970s), available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3254294; Timothy J. Muris, Rules Without 
Reason, AEI J. on Gov't and Society (Sept/Oct. 1982) (describing 
failed FTC rulemaking proceedings), available at: https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/1982/9/v6n5-4.pdf; Teresa Schwartz, Regulating Unfair Practices Under The 
FTC Act: The Need For a Legal Standard of Unfairness, 11 Akron Law 
Rev. 1 (1978) (explaining that the judicial reversals of FTC 
regulations resulted from a failure to establish an adequate legal 
basis for the regulations), available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol11/iss1/1/.
    \5\ See Concurring Statement of Commissioner Christine S. 
Wilson, Amplifier Rule (Dec. 17, 2020), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1585038/csw_amplifier_rule_stmt_11192020.pdf; Dissenting Statement of 
Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on the Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Dec. 10, 2018), https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/2018/12/dissenting-statement-commissioner-christine-s-wilson-notice-proposed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The Trade Regulation Rule concerning Deception as to 
Non-Prismatic and Partially Prismatic Instruments Being Prismatic 
Binoculars \6\ addressed failures to disclose ``instruments having 
bulges on the tubes which simulate prismatic instruments are not 
prismatic instruments or do not contain complete prism systems'' and 
provided detailed definitions of six types of binoculars and field 
glasses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ 16 CFR 402, https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/federal_register_notices/trade-regulation-rule-concerning-deception-non-prismatic-and-partially-prismatic-instruments-being/950523non-prismatic.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The Trade Regulation Rule concerning Failure to 
Disclose that Skin Irritation May Result from Washing or Handling 
Glass Fiber Curtains and Draperies included a Commission conclusion 
that ``the failure to disclose that skin irritation may result from 
body contact with glass fiber drapery and curtain fabrics, and 
clothing or other articles which have been washed with such glass 
fiber products or in containers previously used for washing such 
products when that container has not been cleansed of glass 
particles, has the capacity and tendency to mislead and deceive 
purchasers and prospective purchasers and to divert business from 
competitors whose products may be washed or handled without the 
resulting irritation.'' \7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ 16 CFR 413.3(c), https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/federal_register_notices/trade-regulation-rule-deceptive-advertising-and-labeling-size-tablecloths-and-related-products-16/950523advertisingandlabelingasto.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The Guides for the Ladies' Handbag Industry addressed 
the use of the terms ``scuffproof,'' ``scratchproof,'' ``scuff 
resistant,'' and ``scratch resistant;'' representations that a 
product is colored, finished or dyed with aniline dye or otherwise 
dyed, embossed, grained, processed, finished or stitched in a 
certain manner; and required disclosures to be made with respect to 
a product's composition.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ 16 CFR 247, https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/federal_register_notices/guides-luggage-and-related-products-industry-guides-shoe-content-labeling-and-advertising-and-guides/950918luggageandrelatedproducts.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In March 2020, we sought comment on some of the more 
prescriptive provisions of the Energy Labeling Rule \9\ and received 
many interesting and thoughtful comments.\10\ Rather than act on 
these comments or proposals, though, the Commission chose to 
finalize only proposals necessary to conform to Department of Energy 
changes.\11\ Again today, the Commission chooses to make minor 
changes necessary for conformity but fails to conduct a full review 
of the Rule to consider removing all dated and prescriptive 
provisions, and to consider the recent comments suggesting changes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ See Concurring Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson 
on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Mar. 20, 
2020), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1569815/r611004_wilson_statement_energy_labeling.pdf.
    \10\ See, e.g., Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration 
Institute (AHRI) Comment (#33-09), available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0033-0009; Association of 
Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) Comment (#33-04), available at: 
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0033-0004; Goodman 
Manufacturing Comment (#33-08), available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0033-0008.
    \11\ See Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. 
Wilson on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Labeling Rule (Dec. 
22, 2020), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1585242/commission_wilson_dissenting_statement_energy_labeling_rule_final12-22-2020revd2.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission last conducted a full review of the Energy 
Labeling Rule in 2015. Under our 10-year regulatory review schedule, 
the next review is scheduled for 2025. Nothing, however, prevents 
the Commission from conducting this review now. I again urge the 
Commission to act on the comments we received last year, eliminate 
the more prescriptive aspects of the Rule, and maximize the positive 
impact of this Rule for consumers. If we are statutorily mandated to 
maintain this Rule, we should endeavor to make it beneficial for 
consumers and competition.

[[Page 29541]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02JN21.004

[FR Doc. 2021-11498 Filed 6-1-21; 8:45 a.m.]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P