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DOE Issues Enforcement Guidance on Large-Capacity Clothes Washer Waivers and the Waiver Process

December 23, 2010 - 5:14pm


Today, the Department of Energy issued enforcement guidance on the application of recently granted waivers for large-capacity clothes washers and announced steps to improve the waiver process – and refrain from certain enforcement actions – so that innovative covered products can demonstrate compliance with DOE efficiency requirements and come to market without undue delays.  Based on comments received in response to DOE’s November 30, 2010 notice, today’s guidance makes clear that DOE’s current test procedure does not cover large-capacity clothes washers and, thus, such products cannot be sold unless they are tested and certified as compliant with DOE efficiency standards using an alternative test procedure set forth in a DOE approved waiver.  Because the Department failed to communicate its views or fix the test procedure for five years, however, we apply this guidance prospectively only, beginning 60 days from its issuance.  More generally, the Department pledges to act promptly on future waiver requests and, as a matter of enforcement policy, will refrain from enforcement actions against products for which waiver requests are pending.

The guidance can be found here.