Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Microwave Ovens
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published an interim final rule on March 9, 2011, amending its test procedures for microwave ovens under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to provide for the measurement of standby mode and off mode power use by microwave ovens. Those amendments incorporated into the DOE test procedure provisions from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 62301, ``Household electrical appliancesMeasurement of standby power,'' First Edition 2005-06 (IEC Standard 62301 (First Edition)). In addition, those amendments adopted in the DOE test procedure definitions of modes based on the relevant provisions from the IEC Standard 62301 Second Edition, Final Draft International Standard (IEC Standard 62301 (FDIS)), as well as language to clarify application of these provisions for measuring standby mode and off mode power consumption in microwave ovens. Just prior to publication of the interim final rule, the IEC replaced the First Edition of this standard with the current Second Edition. This supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking proposes to incorporate the latest edition of IEC Standard 62301.
Bidding by Affiliates in Open Seasons for Pipeline Capacity
In this Final Rule, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revises its regulations governing interstate natural gas pipelines to prohibit multiple affiliates of the same entity from bidding in an open season for pipeline capacity in which the pipeline may allocate capacity on a pro rata basis, unless each affiliate has an independent business reason for submitting a bid. The Commission does not find it necessary to adopt its proposal in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that if more than one affiliate of the same entity participates in such an open season, then none of those affiliates may release any capacity obtained in that open season pursuant to a pro rata allocation to any affiliate, or otherwise allow any affiliate to obtain the use of the allowed capacity.
Annual Charges for Use of Government Lands
The Federal Power Act requires hydropower licensees to recompense the United States for the use, occupancy, and enjoyment of its lands. The Commission assesses annual charges for the use of Federal lands through Part 11 of its regulations. The Commission is proposing to revise the methodology used to compute these annual charges. Under the proposed rule, the Commission would create a fee schedule based on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) methodology for calculating rental rates for linear rights of way. This methodology includes a land value per acre, an encumbrance factor, a rate of return, and an annual adjustment factor. The fee schedule would include all adjustments described in the BLM rule adopting this methodology, except the allocation of county land values into zones. In addition, the Commission proposes to eliminate its current practice of doubling the per-acre rental rate for non-transmission line lands.
Environmental Management Advisory Board Meeting
This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Advisory Board (EMAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.
Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended, prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including residential direct heating equipment. In this final rule, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is amending its definitions pertaining to direct heating equipment. Specifically, through this final rule, DOE is amending the definition of ``vented hearth heater,'' a type of direct heating equipment, to clarify the scope of the current exclusion for those vented hearth heaters that are primarily decorative hearth products. The amendment to the existing exclusion shifts the focus from a maximum input capacity limitation (i.e., 9,000 Btu/h) to a number of other factors, including the absence of a standing pilot light or other continuously-burning ignition source. DOE has concluded that these amendments would result in increased energy savings overall, as well as for the types of units under the exclusion.
Publication of the Petition for Waiver and Notice of Granting the Application for Interim Waiver of Sub-Zero From the Department of Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure
This notice announces receipt of and publishes the Sub-Zero, Inc. (Sub-Zero) petition for waiver (hereafter, ``petition'') from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers. The waiver request pertains to the basic models set forth in Sub-Zero's petition that incorporate dual compressors. In its petition, Sub-Zero provides an alternate test procedure that resolves difficulties in testing dual compressor systems according to the DOE test procedure. DOE solicits comments, data, and information concerning Sub-Zero's petition and the suggested alternate test procedure. DOE also publishes notice of the grant of an interim waiver to Sub-Zero.
Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future
This notice announces an open meeting of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (the Commission). The Commission was organized pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770), and requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. This notice is provided in accordance with the Act.
Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13579
On July 11, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13579, requesting independent regulatory agencies follow the key principles of Executive Order 13563. These principles were designed to promote public participation, improve integration and innovation, promote flexibility and freedom of choice, and ensure scientific integrity during the rulemaking process in order to create a regulatory system that protects public health, welfare, safety, and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. The Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) directed Commission staff to develop a plan in support of the principles and goals of the Executive Order.
Proposed Agency Information Collection
The Department of Energy (DOE) is submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance a proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed collection will support a National Evaluation of DOE's State Energy Program (SEP) for the year 2008 (pre-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding) and the years 2009-2011 (ARRA funding). A 60-day notice and request for comments was published in the Federal Register on July 7, 2011 (76 FR 39860). One set of comments was received in response that notice. Those comments noted the responding organization's concern with environmental issues, its past support for a long-term national energy strategy, and its belief that increased energy efficiency and use of alternative energy sources are important components of such a strategy. Because the information gained from the proposed information collection will help refine future State Energy Program energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, the commenting organization supports the Department of Energy's information collection request. This subsequent 30-day notice allows public comment on the final version of this information collection request. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Please note that in the final version of the information collection request, the estimated burden has remained essentially the same.