The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a final rule expanding its authority to enforce energy efficiency standards and water conservation standards for consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment. 76 Fed. Reg 12,421 (3/7/11). The rule revises existing certification, compliance and enforcement regulations for certain consumer products and commercial and industrial equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (EPCA). Sections 6299-6305 and 6316 of EPCA authorize DOE to enforce compliance with energy and water conservation standards.

The rule allows DOE to initiate enforcement actions, such as testing equipment to verify that a model is in compliance. It also repeals requirements in existing regulations which mandated that the agency receive a written complaint alleging a violation of energy use standards before initiating enforcement, and consolidates provisions in the Code of Federal Regulations that have previously been scattered throughout several regulatory provisions. The rule is effective, depending on the specific provision, from April 6 to November 28, 2011.