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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (as amended) to enforce compliance with the energy and water conservation standards established for certain consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment.

To ensure the implementation of the current standards for covered appliances and equipment, DOE has published certification, compliance, and enforcement regulations for these products and equipment in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 10 CFR part 429. Please note that the previous link is to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR), which is a version of the CFR updated daily. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR.

These regulations describe how manufacturers must establish certified ratings based on conducting DOE test procedures on a sample of units of a given basic model and subsequently apply DOE's statistical sampling plans. The regulations also describe how manufacturers must submit certification reports to DOE, and how manufacturers must maintain records underlying the certification. Finally, the regulations describe processes for DOE-initiated testing and enforcing compliance with the certification provisions and the energy and water conservation standards.

DOE has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing an information collection extension and request for comment.

DOE's activities in compliance and enforcement include the following:

Certification

DOE's certification and compliance activities ensure accurate and comprehensive information about the energy and water use characteristics of products sold in the United States. Manufacturers of all covered products must submit a certification report before a basic model is distributed in commerce, annually thereafter, and if the basic model is designed in such a manner to increase the consumption or decrease the efficiency of the basic model such that the certified rating is no longer supported by the test data. Certification reports provide DOE with comprehensive, up-to-date efficiency information and support effective enforcement.

eeCompass

eeCompass is a resource to help consumers make informed decisions  when selecting products in order to save energy and money. eeCompass has easy-to-use tools that allow consumers to research, evaluate and compare covered products by brand and model, along with a number of other performance attributes.

Certification Reporting System (CCMS)

Each basic model of a covered product, such as a group of refrigerator models that differ only in color, must be certified using DOE's online certification tool, the Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS), and DOE's preformatted, standardized, product-specific, Excel templates. CCMS allows manufacturers, importers, and third-party representatives to create, submit, and track their certification reports. CCMS also allows DOE to review and assess compliance and certification information effectively and efficiently.

Compliance Certification Database

The Compliance Certification Database houses certification reports and compliance statements submitted by manufacturers for covered products and equipment subject to Federal conservation standards. The new database offers users an easy-to-use search function for existing records in an easily downloadable format. There is also a consumer-friendly selection tool as well as a search-by-model function.

Enforcement

As the DOE ramps up its focus on energy efficiency, the Office of Enforcement within the DOE's General Counsel's Office is stepping up enforcement and verification efforts to ensure products sold in the U.S. meet the energy and water conservation standards. The Office of General Counsel's renewed focus on enforcing energy conservation standards is saving energy and money for American consumers and businesses and ensuring fair competition from foreign manufacturers.

DOE is also working to protect consumers through the DOE ENERGY STAR® Verification Testing Program. If testing indicates a product does not meet ENERGY STAR requirements, DOE refers the product to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for appropriate action, including delisting. For more information see the Office of Enforcement's webpage.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to revise its existing enforcement regulations for certain consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (EPCA). The proposal, if adopted, would provide the regulated industry with further clarity and transparency about DOE's enforcement process, including enforcement sampling procedures and test notice requirements. The proposal provides for a process to petition DOE for reexamination of a pending determination of noncompliance, and for DOE to have the discretion to consider third-party certification program testing as official enforcement test data. Ultimately, the proposal will further align DOE's regulations with its statutory authority, foster communication between DOE and the regulated industry, and promote the effective and systematic enforcement of DOE's regulations.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) by which DOE proposes to revise its existing enforcement regulations for certain consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended. DOE published the NOPR in the Federal Register on August 31, 2020, establishing a public comment period that ends on October 30, 2020. In this document, DOE is extending the comment period to December 30, 2020 and announcing a public hearing on December 8, 2020.

-DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this NOPR until December 30, 2020.
-Interested persons may submit comments identified by docket number EERE-2019-BT-CE-0015, by email (Enforcement2019CE0015@ee.doe.gov), Federal eRulemaking portal (http://www.regulations.gov) postal mail, or hand delivery/courier.
-The webinar will be held on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
-Click here to register for the webinar.
-Foreign Nationals interested in participating in this webinar, must be screened by DOE Headquarters Security prior to being granted access. Please email Regina.Washington@ee.doe.gov to complete the necessary documentation at least two weeks prior to scheduled meeting date.

-Additional webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE’s website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/public-meetings-and-comment-deadlines

To file a complaint about DOE-regulated products and equipment, or an ENERGY STAR product, send an email to energyefficiencyenforcement@hq.doe.gov.

Testing

DOE has developed standardized templates that should be used when reporting test results. Manufacturers, importers, and third-party representatives also use templates maintained in the CCMS to electronically submit data to DOE.

Round Robin Testing Program

As funding and scheduling allows, DOE's round-robin testing program assesses the repeatability and reproducibility of DOE test procedures for various appliances. DOE has conducted round-robin testing at the National Institute of Standards (NIST), many third-party laboratories, and select manufacturer-operated facilities. Results are analyzed to identify the factors that cause test results to vary. The results will form the basis for corrective action recommendations for facilities, as well as clarifications or modifications to DOE test procedures, as necessary. Currently, DOE is not working on any round-robin testing activities. The testing reports for previous round-robin testing cycles will be placed on the website as they become available.

For more information on the round-robin testing program, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Current and Past Rulemakings
Current Rulemakings

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Pertaining to the Certification, Compliance, Labeling, and Enforcement for Electric Motors and Small Electric Motors

Alternative Efficiency Determination Methods and Alternate Rating Methods

Certification of Commercial and Industrial HVAC, Refrigeration and Water Heating Equipment

Regional Standards Enforcement of Residential Central Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces

Potential Negotiated Rulemaking for Certification of Commercial HVAC and Refrigeration Equipment:

Past Rulemakings

Certification, Compliance, and Enforcement Rulemakings

Certification and Compliance Date Rulemakings

Contact Information

For more information concerning implementation, certification, and enforcement please email:

certification_compliance_enforcement@ee.doe.gov