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Feb 2 -- The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (“EPCA”), prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including external power supplies (“EPSs”). EPCA also requires the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) to periodically determine whether more-stringent, standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy savings. In this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”), DOE proposes amended energy conservation standards for EPSs, and also announces a public meeting to receive comment on these proposed standards and associated analyses and results.

DOE will hold a public meeting via webinar on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this NOPR no later than April 3, 2023. Comments regarding the likely competitive impact of the proposed standard should be sent to the Department of Justice on or before March 6, 2023.
Title III, Part B of EPCA,established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) These products include external power supplies (“EPSs”), the subject of this rulemaking. On December 19, 2007, Congress enacted EISA 2007, which supplemented the EPS definition, defined as an external power supply circuit “used to convert household electric current into DC current or lower-voltage AC current to operate a consumer product.” (42 U.S.C. 6291(36)(A)) In particular, Section 301 of EISA 2007 created a subset of EPSs called “Class A External Power Supplies,” which consist of, among other elements, those EPSs that can convert to only 1 AC or DC output voltage at a time and have a nameplate output power of no more than 250 watts (W).

DOE's analysis of the impacts of the proposed standards on manufacturers is described in section IV.K of this document. The analytic results of the manufacturer impact analysis (“MIA”) are presented in section V.B.2 of this document.   
DOE has tentatively concluded that the proposed standards represent the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified, and that they would result in the significant conservation of energy. Regarding technological feasibility, products achieving these standard levels are already commercially available for all product classes covered by this proposal. Considering economic justification, DOE's analysis shows that the benefits of the proposed standard greatly exceed the burdens of the proposed standards. Using a 7-percent discount rate for consumer benefits and costs and NOx and SO2 reduction benefits, and a 3-percent discount rate case for GHG social costs, the estimated cost of the proposed standards for EPSs is $24.3 million per year in increased EPS costs, while the estimated annual benefits are $42.7 million in reduced EPS operating costs, $11.5 million in climate benefits and $16.7 million in health benefits. The net benefit amounts to $46.6 million per year.

The significance of energy savings is evaluated by DOE on a case-by-case basis considering the specific circumstances surrounding a specific rulemaking. The standards are projected to result in estimated national energy savings of 0.11 quads. Based on the amount of FFC savings, the corresponding reduction in GHG emissions, and the need to confront the global climate crisis DOE has initially determined the energy savings that would result from the proposed standard levels are “significant” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B). A more detailed discussion of the basis for these tentative conclusions is contained in the remainder of this document and the accompanying TSD.

DOE also considered more-stringent energy efficiency levels as potential standards, and is still considering them in this rulemaking. However, DOE has tentatively concluded that the potential burdens of the more-stringent energy efficiency levels would outweigh the projected benefits.

Based on consideration of the public comments DOE receives in response to this document and related information collected and analyzed during the course of this rulemaking effort, DOE may adopt energy efficiency levels presented in this document that are either higher or lower than the proposed standards, or some combination of level(s) that incorporate the proposed standards in part.

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-01282 [63 pages]

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