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DOE Mulling New Energy Test Procedures for Commercial Heat Pumps, Seeks More Input on Cooking Products

The U.S. Department of Energy has launched a data collection process to consider whether to amend the current energy test procedure for commercial water-source heat pumps. To inform interested parties and facilitate this process, the agency has gathered data identifying several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedure on which it is interested in receiving comment. These issues mainly concern methods that are incorporated by reference by the applicable industry standard, efficiency metrics and calculations, additional specifications for the test methods, and any additional topics that may inform the DOE’s decisions in a future test procedure rulemaking, including methods to reduce regulatory burden while ensuring the test procedure’s accuracy. Interested parties may submit comments on any of these matters by 23 July.

Separately, the DOE is giving interested parties additional time (until 19 July) to submit comments on a petition from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers that seeks to withdraw and immediately stay the effectiveness of the current energy test procedures for conventional cooking tops. In its petition, AHAM requests that the DOE undertake rulemaking to withdraw the cooking top test procedure while maintaining the repeal of the oven test procedure that was part of the December 2016 final rule setting forth new energy test procedures for cooking products. In the interim, AHAM is seeking an immediate stay of the effectiveness of the final rule, including the requirement that manufacturers use the final test procedure to make energy related claims.

Should the DOE continue to pursue a revised cooking top test procedure, AHAM asserts that the agency should demonstrate through round robin testing that the test is repeatable and reproducible and, for gas cooking tops, accurate. AHAM claims that its analyses show that the test procedure is not representative for gas cooking tops and, for gas and electric cooking tops, has such a high level of variation it will not produce accurate results for certification or enforcement purposes and will not assist consumers in making purchasing decisions based on energy efficiency.

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