Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Decision and Order Granting a Waiver to Electrolux Home Products, Inc. From the Department of Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure

Summary:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of the decision and order (Case No. RF-010) that grants to Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (Electrolux) a waiver from the DOE electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedure for certain basic models containing relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. Under today's decision and order, Electrolux shall be required to test and rate its refrigerator-freezers with adaptive control anti-sweat heaters using an alternate test procedure that takes this technology into account when measuring energy consumption.

Table of Contents

Dates:

This Decision and Order is effective March 11, 2010.

For further information contact:

Dr. Michael G. Raymond, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9611, E-mail:AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Betsy Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103, (202) 586-9507; E-mail:Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

Supplementary information:

In accordance with Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 430.27(l), DOE gives notice of the issuance of its decision and order as set forth below. The decision and order grants Electrolux a waiver from the applicable residential refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures in 10 CFR Part 430 subpart B, appendix A1 for certain basic models of refrigerator-freezers with relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters, provided that Electrolux tests and rates such products using the alternate test procedure described in this notice. Today's decision prohibits Electrolux from making representations concerning the energy efficiency of these products unless such product has been tested consistent with the provisions and restrictions in the alternate test procedure set forth in the decision and order below, and such representation fairly discloses the results of such testing. Distributors, retailers, and private labelers are held to the same standard when making representations regarding the energy efficiency of these products. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c))

Issued in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2010. Cathy Zoi,

Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Decision and Order

In the Matter of: Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (Case No. RF-010).

Background

Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) sets forth a variety of provisions concerning energy efficiency. Part A of Title III provides for the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309)Part A includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part A authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results that measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3))

Today's notice involves residential products under Part A. The test procedure for residential electric refrigerator-freezers relevant to the current petition for waiver is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1.

DOE's regulations contain provisions allowing a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered consumer products when (1) the petitioner's basic model contains one or more design characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) when prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1). Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption characteristics. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii).

The Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) may grant a waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).

The waiver process also allows any interested person who has submitted a petition for waiver to file an application for interim waiver of the applicable test procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). The Assistant Secretary will grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(g).

On November 5, 2008, Electrolux filed a petition for waiver from the test procedures applicable to its product line of refrigerator-freezers with relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. The applicable test procedures are contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1-Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Electric Refrigerators and Electric Refrigerator-Freezers. Because the existing test procedure under 10 CFR part 430 takes neither ambient humidity nor adaptive technology into account, it does not accurately measure the energy consumption of Electrolux's new refrigerator-freezers that feature humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. Consequently, Electrolux has submitted an alternate test to DOE for approval to ensure that it is correctly calculating the energy consumption of this new product line. On June 4, 2009, DOE granted Electrolux an interim waiver and published Electrolux's petition for waiver. 74 FR 26853. DOE did not receive any comments on the Electrolux petition. DOE granted the Electrolux waiver on December 15, 2009. 74 FR 66338.

Assertions and Determinations

Electrolux's Petition for Waiver

On July 13, 2009, Electrolux informed DOE that after it filed its petition for waiver in November 2008 it developed additional basic models with adaptive anti-sweat heater technology. Electrolux asserted that these new products are identical in function and operation to the basic models listed in Electrolux's November 2008 petition with respect to the properties that made those products eligible for a waiver. Therefore, Electrolux requested that DOE add these models to the list of basic models for which the interim waiver was granted. In addition, Electrolux requested that DOE grant a new waiver for these additional basic models. Electrolux' July 13 petition was published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2009. 74 FR 66344. The December 15Federal Register notice also modified the interim waiver by extending it to additional basic models. DOE did not receive any comments on the Electrolux petition.

Electrolux requested it be permitted to use the same alternate test procedure DOE prescribed for GE and Whirlpool refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers equipped with a similar technology. The alternate test procedure applicable to the GE and Whirlpool (and now Electrolux) products simulates the energy used by the adaptive heaters in a typical consumer household, as explained in the GE decision and order referenced above. As DOE has stated in the past, it is in the public interest to have similar products tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis.

Consultations With Other Agencies

DOE consulted with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff concerning the Electrolux petition for waiver. The FTC staff did not have any objections to granting a waiver to Electrolux.

Conclusion

After careful consideration of all the material that was submitted by Electrolux and consultation with the FTC staff, it is ordered that:

(1) The petition for waiver submitted by Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (Case No. RF-010) is hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.

(2) Electrolux shall not be required to test or rate the following Electrolux models on the basis of the current test procedures contained in 10 CFR Part 430, subpart B, appendix A1, but shall be required to test and rate such products according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in paragraph (3) below:

EI28BS36IW E128BS361B EI28BS36IS EI28BS51IW EI28BS51IB
EI28BS51IS E123BC361W E123BC361B E123BC361S E123BC511W
E123BC511B E123BC511S E23BC581SS E23BC58JPS E23BC781SS
E23BC781PS FGHB2844LP FGHB2844LE FGHB2844LM FGHB2844LF
FGHB2846LM FGHN2844LP FGHN2844LE FGHN2844LM FGHN2844LF
FGHB2869LP FGHB2869LE FGHB2879LF FGHN2869LP FGHN2869LE
FGHN2879LF FPHB2899LF FPHN2899LF

(3) Electrolux shall be required to test the products listed in paragraph (2) above according to the test procedures for electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR Part 430, appendix A1, except that, for the Electrolux products listed in paragraph (2) only:

(A) The following definition is added at the end of Section 1:

1.13 Variable anti-sweat heater control means an anti-sweat heater where power supplied to the device is determined by an operating condition variable(s) and/or ambient condition variable(s).

(B) Section 2.2 is revised to read as follows:

2.2Operational conditions. The electric refrigerator or electric refrigerator-freezer shall be installed and its operating conditions maintained in accordance with HRF-1-1979, section 7.2 through section 7.4.3.3. except that the vertical ambient temperature gradient at locations 10 inches (25.4 cm) out from the centers of the two sides of the unit being tested is to be maintained during the test. Unless shields or baffles obstruct the area, the gradient is to be maintained from 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the floor or supporting platform to a height 1 foot (30.5 cm) above the unit under test. Defrost controls are to be operative. The anti-sweat heater switch is to be off during one test and on during the second test. In the case of an electric refrigerator-freezer equipped with variable anti-sweat heater control, the result of the second test will be derived by performing the calculation described in 6.2.3. Other exceptions are noted in 2.3, 2.4, and 5.1 below.

(C) New section 6.2.3. is inserted after section 6.2.2.2.

6.2.3Variable anti-sweat heater control test. The energy consumption of an electric refrigerator-freezer with a variable anti-sweat heater control in the on position (E on), expressed in kilowatt-hours per day, shall be calculated equivalent to: E ON= E + (Correction Factor)

Where E is determined by 6.2.1.1, 6.2.1.2, 6.2.2.1, or 6.2.2.2, whichever is appropriate, with the anti-sweat heater switch in the off position.

Correction Factor = (Anti-sweat Heater Power × System-loss Factor) × (24 hrs/1 day) × (1 kW/1000 W)

Where:

Anti-sweat Heater Power = A1 * (Heater Watts at 5%RH)

+ A2 * (Heater Watts at 15%RH)

+ A3 * (Heater Watts at 25%RH)

+ A4 * (Heater Watts at 35%RH)

+ A5 * (Heater Watts at 45%RH)

+ A6 * (Heater Watts at 55%RH)

+ A7 * (Heater Watts at 65%RH)

+ A8 * (Heater Watts at 75%RH)

+ A9 * (Heater Watts at 85%RH)

+ A10 * (Heater Watts at 95%RH)

Where A1-A10 are from the following table:

A1 = 0.034 A6 = 0.119
A2 = 0.211 A7 = 0.069
A3 = 0.204 A8 = 0.047
A4 = 0.166 A9 = 0.008
A5 = 0.126 A10 = 0.015

Heater Watts at a specific relative humidity = the nominal watts used by all heaters at that specific relative humidity, 72 °F ambient, and DOE reference temperatures of fresh food (FF) average temperature of 45 °F and freezer (FZ) average temperature of 5 °F. System-loss Factor = 1.3

(4)Representations. Electrolux may make representations about the energy use of its adaptive control anti-sweat heater refrigerator-freezer products for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such products have been tested in accordance with the provisions outlined above and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing.

(5) This waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).

(6) This waiver is issued on the condition that the statements, representations, and documentary materials provided by the petitioner are valid. DOE may revoke or modify this waiver at any time if it determines the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver is incorrect, or the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption characteristics.

Issued in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2010. Cathy Zoi,

Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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