Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Department of Energy Publishes Rule Concerning Enforcement of Product Efficiency Standards

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Department of Energy Publishes Rule Concerning Enforcement of Product Efficiency Standards

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change


J. Cullen Howe   By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP

On March 7, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) adopted a final rule that expands its authority to enforce energy efficiency and water conservation standards for certain lighting, appliances, and other products covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  The final rule allows DOE to initiate enforcement actions, such as testing equipment to verify that a model is in compliance. The rule repeals requirements in current regulations that require DOE to receive a written complaint alleging a violation of energy use standards before it can initiate enforcement.


In addition to allowing DOE to initiate enforcement actions, the rule also requires appliance and industrial equipment manufacturers to submit compliance certification reports on an annual basis.  Currently, the compliance reports, which certify that models meet the required energy efficiency, water conservation, or design standards, need to be submitted only once, when a product is introduced into the market.  Annual certification gives DOE and the public better information on what models are currently available.


The rule also expands the information submitted by manufacturers, including general requirements applicable to all products and product-specific requirements.  The rule makes clear that non-proprietary certification information will be considered public information.


The rule also consolidates enforcement regulations scattered throughout parts of 10 CFR Parts 430 and 431 into a new Part 429.


Reprinted with permission from Green Building Law Update Service. subscribers can access the Lexis enhanced versions of 10 CFR Part 429 with statutory authority and other links.


The Green Building Law Update Service is a 2011 LexisNexis Top 50 Blogs for Environmental Law & Climate Change nominee.


J. Cullen Howe is an environmental law specialist at Arnold & Porter LLP. Much of Cullen's work focuses on climate change, where he attempts to educate lawyers and the public at large on the enormous cooperation necessary to adequately address this problem. In addition to his work on climate change, Cullen is the managing editor of Environmental Law in New York, edits the Environmental Law Practice Guide, Brownfields Law and Practice, the Environmental Impact Review in New York, and has drafted chapters in the Environmental Law Practice Guide on climate change and green building. Mr. Howe is a graduate of Vermont Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Vermont Law Review, and a graduate of DePauw University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


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