Samuel W. Bodman,
Secretary,
U.S. Department of
Energy
 
Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- February 27, 2007 – The U.S. Congress is to consider legislation that recommends using a more streamlined rulemaking process for certain energy efficient products, when a clear consensus for a standard exists, to speed up the whole energy efficiency process. The legislation was submitted by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman.

"If enacted, this legislation would amount to real, more immediate energy savings for Americans," Secretary Bodman said. "We look forward to working with Congress and stakeholders to speed up the process to put into place mandatory standards that can really help raise the bar for efficiency standards."

Use of the proposed expedited rulemaking authority would be limited to circumstances in which, in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, representatives of relevant interests including manufacturers, efficiency advocates, and state officials, negotiate on their own initiative and submit a joint comment to the DOE proposing an energy conservation standard for a product. If the Secretary determines that the jointly proposed standard meets the substantive requirements of the law for that product, he would be authorized to publish a notice of direct final rulemaking, incorporating the recommended standard.

If there is no objection to the standard, the direct final rule would become effective 120 days after the notice is published. If any person files a significant adverse comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) would review that comment. The Secretary would be required to withdraw the direct final rule and move forward under the procedures of existing law, if the comments deemed by EERE were found to be significant and legally relevant.

More than 30 products could be included if legislation is enacted, such as refrigerators, central air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, clothes washers and dishwashers; as well as smaller home equipment including ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, and fluorescent and incandescent lights. Plumbing equipment, including showerheads, faucets and toilets, would also be covered.