November at-a-glance…energy

DOE considers revisions to enforcement regulations

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) extended the comment period to Dec. 30 for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to revise existing enforcement regulations for certain commercial and industrial equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). If adopted, changes would provide further clarity and transparency about the agency’s enforcement process, including its sampling procedures and test-notice requirements. DOE further proposes to provide a process to petition for reexamination of a pending determination of noncompliance. It further recommends it be permitted to consider third-party certification testing as official enforcement test data. DOE is hosting a virtual public hearing Dec. 8, from 12 – 4 p.m. Eastern. Advance registration is required to attend the webinar.

“We encourage members to attend the virtual public hearing and share their perspectives on the proposed regulations,” said Jeff Longsworth, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg.

“The fact that DOE has twice pushed back the deadline for comments tells us that they are hearing concerns from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry or both. As we draft comments, we need to understand if proposals like relying on a single assessment, requesting test data from third-parties and rolling back notification requirements are changes members want to see.” Members can share their feedback with Charlie Souhrada.

DOE evaluates amending ACIM energy-conservation standards

Comments on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Request for Information to help determine whether the agency should propose a “no-new-standard” determination for automatic commercial ice makers are due Dec. 14. Per the agency’s recently updated Process Rule, standards will not be updated unless they result in significant energy savings, are technologically feasible and economically justified. Members with opinions on the proposed approach should share their feedback with Charlie Souhrada.

Attorneys General/NGOs sue DOE to advance review of energy-efficiency standards

Attorneys General from 15 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of New York’s legal team, have followed through on their notice of intent to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for failure to address its statutory duty to address updated energy-efficiency standards within 60 days. The Nov. 9 filing indicates that DOE missed mandatory deadlines for updating energy-efficiency standards for 25 product categories, including walk-in coolers/freezers and commercial refrigeration equipment. In July, DOE stated its intent to review these standards, but has yet to do so. The Attorneys General plaintiffs requested the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York require DOE to comply with its statutory deadlines “according to an expeditious schedule.”

Six environmental and consumer groups led by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a similar lawsuit Oct. 30.

ENERGY STAR® updates

Commercial dishwasher specs released

ENERGY STAR issued final Version 3.0 specifications for commercial dishwashers. Requirements become effective July 27, 2021. According to the program, “If all commercial dishwashers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified to Version 3.0, the energy cost savings would grow to more than $230 million each year, and more than 4.3 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented.

Award applications due Dec. 9

2021 ENERGY STAR award applications for organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy-efficiency achievements are due Dec. 9. More information and the list of 2020 award recipients is on the awards website.