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Update on Recent Department of Energy Rulemaking Activities

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the following regulatory actions of potential interest to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters of general service fluorescent lamps, general service incandescent lamps, incandescent reflector lamps, small electric motors and pool pumps.

Lamps
The DOE has initiated a data collection process to consider whether to amend its energy test procedures for general service fluorescent lamps, general service incandescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps. To inform interested parties and to facilitate this process, the agency has gathered data identifying several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedures on which it is interested in receiving comment. The issues under consideration mainly concern updating industry references in and making clarifications to the test procedures for subject lamps, as well as any additional topics that may inform the DOE’s decisions in a future rulemaking, including methods to reduce regulatory burden while ensuring the procedures’ accuracy. Comments and information may be submitted by 7 September.

Small Electric Motors
The DOE has begun a data collection process to consider whether to amend its energy test procedures for small electric motors, and whether new test procedures are needed for motors beyond those subject to the existing federal test procedures. To inform interested parties and to facilitate this process, the DOE has gathered data identifying several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedures on which the agency is interested in receiving comment. The issues under consideration mainly concern the applicability of the test procedures to additional motor categories (by topology, horsepower, non-standard construction, etc.), definitions, industry test methods, additional clarifications to the test procedures, and any additional topics that may inform the DOE’s decisions in a future rulemaking. Interested parties may submit comments and information by 30 August.

Pool Pumps
The DOE has issued a final rule establishing a new metric, as well as new definitions, test procedures, certification requirements, enforcement testing procedures and labelling provisions, for dedicated-purpose pool pumps. Specifically, the DOE has adopted a test procedure for measuring the weighted energy factor for certain varieties of dedicated-purpose pool pumps. The final rule incorporates by reference certain sections of the industry test standard Hydraulic Institute 40.6–2014, ‘‘Methods for Rotodynamic Pump Efficiency Testing,’’ as the basis of the adopted test procedure. The definitions, test procedures, certification requirements, enforcement testing procedures and labelling provisions are based on the recommendations of the DPPP Working Group, which was established under the Appliance Standards Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee. Compliance with the final rule will be mandatory for representations of weighted energy factor and other metrics addressed by the adopted test procedure made on or after 5 February 2018.

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