Joint Letter to the Dept. of Energy

A Letter from the Members of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Review of Methods for Setting Building and Equipment Performance Standards

January 07, 2022

 


 

Mr. John Cymbalsky
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC, 20585–0121
 
Mr. Pete Cochran
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel GC–33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20585
 
January 7, 2022
 
Dear Mr. Cymbalsky and Mr. Cochran:
 
We served as members of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Review of Methods for Setting Building and Equipment Performance Standards. We write to request that the
Committee’s report and recommendations, “Review of Methods Used by the U.S. Department of Energy in Setting Appliance and Equipment Standards,”1 be placed on the rulemaking docket for rule EERE–2021–BT–STD–0003, “Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration in New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products and Commercial/Industrial Equipment.” This docket (RIN 1904–AF13) encompasses two rulemaking actions. The first was published on December 13, 2021 (86 FR 70892). DOE proposed a second on July 7, 2021 (86 FR 35668), however, that second rule is not yet final.
 
We greatly appreciate the substantial support John Cymbalsky of DOE’s Building Technologies Office, Michael Kido of DOE’s Office of the General Counsel, and other DOE staff and contractors provided to aid in the Committee’s deliberations between November 2019 and June 2021, when the report completed peer review.
 
Given your offices’ involvement with the Committee and the relevance of the final report for how appliance standards are developed, we believe the report’s findings and recommendations are material to your two process rulemakings and appropriately belong in the rulemaking docket for the benefit of the commenting public.
 
We note that DOE referenced the Committee report in the preamble of both the final process rule issued in December and the rule proposed in July:
 

DOE engaged with the National Academy of Sciences to review DOE’s analytical methodologies to ascertain whether modifications are needed to improve the Department’s analyses. That review process is still ongoing. (86 FR 35677, and 86 FR 70924).

Now that the Committee’s report is publicly available, we request that it be included in the record of EERE–2021–BT–STD–0003 (RIN 1904–AF13), “Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration in New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products and Commercial/Industrial Equipment.”

While the issues addressed in the report will be relevant for multiple future rulemakings, they are most applicable to the Department’s cross-cutting process rule. Therefore, we also request that DOE reopen the comment period for the second rule (initially proposed in July 2021) in light of the new information provided by the Committee’s analysis, findings, and recommendations.

 

Sincerely,2

 

LINDA COHEN, University of California, Irvine, Chair
CHARLES CULP, Texas A&M University
SUSAN DUDLEY, George Washington University
CLARK GELLINGS, NAE,3 Electric Power Research Institute (Ret)
W. MICHAEL HANEMANN, NAS,4 Arizona State University
DALIA PATINO-ECHEVERRI, Duke University
ANAND PATWARDHAN, University of Maryland
JAMES SALLEE, University of California, Berkeley

 


1 https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25992/review-of-methods-used-by-the-us-department-of-energy-in-setting- appliance-and-equipment-standards
2 We write in our capacities as individual peer reviewers who comprise the committee convened by the National Academies. This letter is not intended as an official NAS communication.
3 Member, National Academy of Engineering.
4 Member, National Academy of Sciences.