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EXC-12-0011 - In the Matter of Westinghouse Lighting Corporation

On September 17, 2012, OHA issued a decision granting an Application for Exception filed by Westinghouse Lighting Corporation (Westinghouse) 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, Westinghouse asserted that it will suffer a serious hardship, gross inequity and an unfair distribution of burdens if required to adhere to the Lighting Efficiency Standards, which became effective July 14, 2012 (2009 Final Rule), with respect to its 700 series T8 General Service Fluorescent Lamps (GSFL).  Specifically, Westinghouse cited previous OHA decisions in which OHA granted exception relief to Philips Lighting Company (Philips), GE Lighting (GE), OSRAM SYLVANIA, Inc. (OSI), Ushio America, Inc. (Ushio), and Halco Lighting Technologies (Halco) and maintained that Westinghouse will be at an unfair competitive disadvantage if relief is granted to Philips, GE, OSI, Ushio and Halco but not to Westinghouse.  In this case, OHA determined that the rare earth market remains volatile, and, as a result, domestic manufacturers remain subject to fluctuations in rare earth supply and prices for the foreseeable future.  OHA further concluded that these circumstances, which compelled our approval of exception relief for Philips, GE, and OSI, have by consequence created a gross inequity for domestic manufacturers like Westinghouse because the three companies may continue to market 700 series T8 GSFLs for a period of two years while other manufacturers may not do so.  This would give Philips, GE, and OSI an additional competitive advantage over smaller domestic manufacturers, an unintended consequence of both the existing regulations and of our subsequent exception relief to the three companies.  Therefore, OHA determined that granting Westinghouse exception relief was warranted in order to prevent inequities among the domestic lighting manufacturers.   Accordingly, OHA granted exception relief to the Applicant authorizing it to continue to manufacture 700 series T8 GSFLs subject to the applicable efficiency standards contained in 10 C.F.R. § 430.32(n)(l), from the date of the Decision and Order until July 14, 2014.  OHA Case No. EXC-12-0011