DOE Reverses Trump-Era Rule Waiver Rule

On December 3, 2021, the Department of Energy finalized a rule reversing a 2020 regulation that had allowed appliance manufacturers to more easily secure interim waivers from energy efficiency test procedures. The 2020 rule had made significant revisions to the procedures for processing petitions for interim waivers from test procedures mandated pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Among several changes, the new rule removes the provision, added in the 2020 rule, that interim waivers from testing requirements be automatically granted if DOE fails to notify the petitioner of the disposition of the petition within 45 business days of receipt of the petition. In its final rule, DOE states that the 2020 rule risked “weaken[ing] energy conservation standards by allowing manufacturers to place noncompliant products in the market.”