4 Nov 2016
Update on Recent Department of Energy Rulemaking Activities
The Department of Energy recently announced the following regulatory actions of potential interest to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters of general purpose lamps, direct heating equipment and circulator pumps.
General Purpose Lamps
The DOE is seeking comments by 8 November on its proposed general purpose lamp definition, which includes general service incandescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, general service light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lamps, and any other lamps that the DOE determines are used to satisfy lighting applications traditionally served by GSILs. However, GSLs do not include any lighting application or bulb shape excluded from the GSIL definition or any general service fluorescent lamp or incandescent reflector lamp.
Among other things, the DOE is proposing to define GSILs as follows: “a standard incandescent or halogen type lamp that is intended for general service applications; has a medium screw base; has a lumen range of not less than 310 lumens and not more than 2,600 lumens or, in the case of a modified spectrum lamp, not less than 232 lumens and not more than 1,950 lumens; and is capable of being operated at a voltage range at least partially within 110 and 130 volts; however this definition does not apply to the following incandescent lamps— (1) An appliance lamp; (2) A black light lamp; (3) A bug lamp; (4) A coloured lamp; (5) An infrared lamp; (6) A left-hand thread lamp; (7) A marine lamp; (8) A marine signal service lamp; (9) A mine service lamp; (10) A plant light lamp; (11) An R20 short lamp; (12) A sign service lamp; (13) A silver bowl lamp; (14) A showcase lamp; and (15) A traffic signal lamp.”
Separately, the DOE has adopted mandatory energy test procedures for certain categories of GSLs. Specifically, new procedures have been established for determining the initial lumen output, input power, lamp efficacy, power factor and standby mode power of GSLs that are not integrated LED lamps, compact fluorescent lamps or GSILs. The agency has also adopted clarifying references to the existing lamp test procedures and sampling plans for determining the represented values of integrated LED lamps, general service fluorescent lamps, GSILs and incandescent reflector lamps. The final rule changes will be mandatory for product testing starting on 19 April 2017.
Direct Heating Equipment
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including direct heating equipment. EPCA also requires the DOE to periodically determine whether more stringent standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would save a significant amount of energy. In a final determination issued on 17 October, the DOE determined that more stringent energy conservation standards for direct heating equipment are not economically justified and is therefore not amending its energy conservation standards.
The Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee has granted the Circulator Pumps Working Group an extension to allow for more time for discussion on economic analysis and negotiations on standard levels. The working group will hold a series of public meetings and webinars on 3 November, 4 November, 30 November and 1 December in an effort to negotiate a final term sheet by the end of this year.