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DOE/EE RIN: 1904-AF13 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Procedures for Use in New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products and Commercial/Industrial Equipment 

The U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE" or "the Department") is finalizing its revisions to the Department's current rulemaking guidance titled "Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products and Certain Commercial/Industrial Equipment" ("Process Rule"), which was last modified in 2020.  These proposed revisions, which are the first of two sets of revisions to the Process Rule that DOE intends to propose, are consistent with longstanding DOE practice prior to the 2020 amendment and would remove unnecessary obstacles to DOE's ability to meet its statutory obligations under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ("EPCA") and other applicable law.  These proposed changes would include modifying the Process Rule to remove its mandatory application, removing its recently-added threshold for determining when significant energy savings is met, removing the current provision regarding the use of a comparative analysis when selecting potential energy conservation standards, and reverting to its prior guidance for determining whether a trial standard level is economically justified, among other changes. DOE is undertaking this action as required by E.O. 13990, "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis", 86 FR 7037 (January 25, 2021).

Agency: Department of Energy(DOE)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 10 CFR 430, subpart C, App. A    10 CFR 431     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6191 to 6317   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

On February 14, 2020 and August 19, 2020, DOE published two final rules ("Process Rule Amendment Final Rules") that made significant revisions to the existing Process Rule. DOE is reconsidering the merits of the approach taken by these 2020 revisions to the Process Rule -- specifically, the one-fits-all rulemaking approach and the added rulemaking steps now required under the Process Rule.  In its proposed revisions, the Department seeks to ensure that the document remains consistent with DOE's legal obligations under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended. DOE's action in examining the current Process Rule was triggered in part by Executive Order 13990, which specifically instructed DOE to examine the Process Rule. 

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

DOE anticipates that the contemplated revisions would allow DOE to eliminate inefficiencies that lengthen the rulemaking process and consume DOE and stakeholder resources without appreciable benefit, while not affecting the ability of the public to participate in the agency's rulemaking process. Eliminating these inefficiencies would allow DOE to more quickly develop energy conservation standards that deliver benefits to the Nation, including environmental benefits, such as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, that DOE is directed to pursue under E.O. 13990.  DOE notes that these revisions would not dictate any particular rulemaking outcome in an energy conservation standard or test procedure rulemaking.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM (Round 1)  04/12/2021  86 FR 18901   
NPRM (Round 1) Comment Period End  05/27/2021 
NPRM (Round 2)  07/07/2021  86 FR 35668   
NPRM (Round 2) Comment Period Extended  08/09/2021  86 FR 43429   
NPRM (Round 2) Comment Period Extended End  09/13/2021 
Final Rule  12/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
John Cymbalsky
Building Technologies Office, EE-5B
Department of Energy
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
1000 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20585
Phone:202 287-1692