Final rule published by the DOE for products and equipment

On July 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE” or the “Department”) issued a final rule modifying the certification and declaration requirements for certain covered products and equipment. See 87 Fed. Reg. 43,952 (July 22, 2022). Specifically, the amendments relate to the information that must be included in certification reports for ceiling fan light kits, general purpose incandescent lamps, incandescent reflector lamps, ceiling fans, consumer heating and boilers, consumer mains water heaters, dishwashers, commercial clothes washers, battery chargers and dedicated pool pumps. In each case, the revisions are intended to (i) maintain consistency between the information reported in the annual certifications and current energy conservation standards and test procedures, and (ii) ensure that the DOE obtains all information needed in manufacturers’ certification reports to accurately classify products and confirm compliance.

For example, the final rule changes the dishwasher certification requirements at 10 CFR § 429.19(b) by requiring manufacturers to state the type of detergent used for certification testing. In particular, manufacturers will need to specify whether Cascade with the Grease Fighting Power of Dawn or its replacement product, Cascade Complete Powder, was used in testing. This change aligns with pending revisions to the Dishwasher Testing Procedure, which as proposed would allow the use of the new detergent in certification testing, and also ensures that any evaluation or application testing is carried out using the same detergent used by the manufacturer. See 86 Fed. Reg. 72,738 (December 21, 2021). The final rule also recategorizes the “declared capacity” of dishwashers as a public, as opposed to non-public, certification requirement at 10 CFR § 429.19(b)(2).

The DOE is also adopting several amendments to the certification requirements for commercial clothes washers (“CCW”) at 10 CFR § 429.46. As a first step, the final rule removes reporting requirements for models tested using Appendix J1, which is no longer used as the basis for testing CCWs. The rule also changes the certification requirements for CCWs to require reporting of:

  1. the capacity of the garment container (in cubic feet), which is a key parameter in determining whether the equipment in question meets the definition of a CCW and also in calculating the main CCW factors for certification;

  2. axle loading (i.e. top or front loading), as the DOE has established classes of CCW defined by axle type; and

  3. Corrected Remaining Moisture Content (“RMC”), which accounts for variations in batches of test fabrics when measuring energy consumption per cycle for moisture removal.

In addition, the DOE has added sampling provisions to Part 429 that specify how to determine declared values ​​for corrected RMC, a description of how the capacity of clothing containers should be measured, and provisions describing how to round off appropriately the newly required capacity and the corrected RMC values.

Finally, the Department finally added a separate reporting date for battery chargers to 10 CFR § 429.12(d), which will require battery chargers to be recertified annually by September 1. This requirement, and those discussed above, will not become mandatory for annual certification reports submitted for products and equipment until February 17, 2023.

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