The Appliances and Equipment Standards program maintains a multi-year rulemaking schedule. The currently scheduled rulemaking activities are described in the program's semi-annual implementation report to Congress.
The program will also issue other plans and schedules when needed. The most recent 5-year plan was released in October 2010 and outlines how the program planned to meet all the statutory requirements established in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended.
In November 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) adopted new procedures that enable certain rulemakings to be expedited or improve the efficiency of the rulemaking process:
- In appropriate cases, a rulemaking may begin with the publication in the Federal Register of a proposed rule for public comment. In some rulemakings a framework document and a preliminary analysis are not necessary because there are more efficient ways to gather and analyze the data.
- The analytical information in the technical support documents or elsewhere in the docket is no longer summarized in the Federal Register publication. Instead, references are provided to the analytical information in the notices or final rule. This shortens the Federal Register publications, allows the review process to proceed more efficiently because summaries no longer need to undergo extensive review, and allows the public to focus on the policy choices made in the rulemaking.
- DOE now uses negotiated rulemakings as a means to engage the public, gather data and information, and attempt to reach consensus among interested parties in order to advance the rulemaking process. In appropriate cases, DOE consults with all interested parties and attempts to develop a consensus proposal before issuing a proposed rule. This allows DOE to address comments from interested parties when it issues a proposed rule. Negotiated rulemaking can yield better and faster decisions.
Full Fuel Cycle Analyses for Use in Energy Conversation Analyses
In response to several National Academy of Sciences recommendations, DOE issued a Policy Statement on the use of full-fuel-cycle (FFC) measures of energy and emissions, rather than primary energy measures, in the national impact analyses and environmental assessments included in future energy conservation standards rulemakings. 76 FR 51281 (Aug. 18, 2011). On August 17, 2012, DOE issued a notice of policy amendment stating that it had determined the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) developed by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the most appropriate tool to calculate FFC measures of energy use and greenhouse gas and other emissions. 77 FR 49701.