In response to the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) "Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review" (the Bulletin), the Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared a Peer Review Report pertaining to the appliance standards rulemaking analyses. OMB, in consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued the Bulletin calling for qualified specialists to peer review influential scientific information related to agency regulatory actions before the Federal government disseminates it. 70 FR 2664 (January 14, 2005). The objective of the Bulletin is to assure the quality and credibility of the government's scientific information.
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, conducted formal in-progress peer reviews of the energy efficiency standards development process and analyses at DOE headquarters, on June 28-29, 2005. The reviews covered all of the analyses performed in the course of a rulemaking: screening and engineering analysis; markups for appliance price determination; life-cycle cost and payback period analyses; consumer sub-group analysis; shipments analysis and national impact analysis; manufacturer impact analysis; utility impact analysis; environmental assessment; employment impact analysis; and regulatory impact analysis. Under the Bulletin, these analyses as applied to the appliance standards rulemakings are "influential scientific information." The Bulletin defines the term "influential scientific information" as "scientific information the agency reasonably can determine will have, or does have, a clear and substantial impact on important public policies or private sector decisions." 70 FR 2667 (January 14, 2005).
DOE provided the reviewers with specific appliance standards rulemaking analyses for three product types: commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps; distribution transformers; and residential furnaces and boilers. These analyses are documented in the technical support documents, which were posted in July of 2004 along with an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for each. The peer reviews were conducted in accordance with the OMB guidance concerning: (1) selection of reviewers - including their expertise, panel balance, conflicts of interest and independence, (2) various peer review mechanisms - letter reviews, panels, etc.; and (3) transparency of the review process.