DOE Publishes Proposed Process Rule

By Dan Lapato posted 02-14-2019 14:00

On February 13, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rule (NOPR) to streamline and modernize the so-called “Process Rule.” The proposal would substantially improve the agency’s process for setting energy efficiency standards and test procedures for residential appliances and commercial equipment, enhancing transparency, accountability, and regulatory certainty for stakeholders. DOE will also hold a process rule public meeting on March 21 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in Washington, D.C.

DOE is proposing to update and modernize its Process Rule by addressing the following major topics:

• Emphasizing that the procedures outlined in the Process Rule are binding on the agency;
• Formalizing DOE’s past practice of applying the Process Rule to both consumer products and commercial equipment;
• Clarifying the Process Rule’s application with regard to equipment covered by ASHRAE Standard 90.1;
• Expanding the Process Rule to test procedure rulemakings, as well as energy conservation standards rulemakings;
• Committing to both an “early look” process and other robust methods for early stakeholder input;
• Defining a significant energy savings threshold that must be met before DOE will update an energy conservation standard;
• Clarifying DOE’s commitment to publish a test procedure six months before a related standards NOPR;
• Articulating DOE’s authority under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act and EPCA’s direct final rule (DFR) provision, while clarifying that negotiated rulemakings and DFRs are two separate processes with their own sets of requirements; and,
• Other miscellaneous issues.

APGA will be drafting comments for the proposed rule and testimony for the public meeting. For questions on this article, please contact Dan Lapato of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at