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EXC-12-0010 - In the Matter of DLU Lighting USA

On September 6, 2012, OHA issued a decision denying an Application for Exception filed by DLU Lighting USA (DLU) for relief from the provisions of 10 C.F.R. Part 430, Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for General Service Fluorescent Lamps and Incandescent Reflector Lamps (Lighting Efficiency Standards).  In its exception request, DLU asserted that it will suffer a serious hardship, gross inequity, and an unfair distribution of burdens if required to adhere to the new Lighting Efficiency Standards, effective July 14, 2012 (2009 Final Rule), with respect to its 700 series T8 General Service Fluorescent Lamps (GSFLs) and its PAR-shaped Incandescent Reflector Lamps (IRLs).  Specifically, with respect to its 700 series T8 GSFLs, DLU requested the same relief that OHA previously granted to other lighting manufacturers, noting that the firm will be at an unfair competitive disadvantage if other manufacturers may continue marketing 700 series T8 GSFLs, but DLU cannot do so.  DLU further requested exception relief for its PAR-shaped IRLs on the grounds that the firm requires additional time to product compliant lamps.  In reviewing DLU’s request for exception relief, OHA noted that DLU did not enter the market with its 700 series T8 GSFLs until February 2012, and with its PAR-shaped IRLs until 2011, well after DOE promulgated the 2009 Final Rule.  Therefore, OHA determined that, to the extent that any inequity exists in DLU being unable to market 700 series T8 GSFLs while other manufacturers who have previously received exception relief may do so, such inequity is attributable to DLU’s discretionary business decision to enter the market with a product that the company knew would soon not comply with the Lighting Efficiency Standards.  Similarly, OHA concluded that any   hardship DLU experienced in producing compliant PAR-shaped IRLs was the result of DLU’s discretionary business decision to enter the domestic market despite being unable to produce compliant lamps.  Therefore, OHA determined that DLU failed to meet its burden of showing that the firm is subject to special hardship, gross inequity, or an unfair distribution of burdens resulting from a DOE-issued rule, regulation, or order.  Consequently, exception relief is not warranted in this case.  OHA Case No. EXC-12-0010