Microwave Ovens

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As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “microwave oven” means a class of cooking products which is a household cooking appliance consisting of a compartment designed to cook or heat food by means of microwave energy, including microwave ovens with or without thermal elements designed for surface browning of food and convection microwave ovens.10 CFR 430.2 Manufacturers have been required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for microwave ovens since 2016.

Current Standard | Current Test Procedure | Ongoing Rulemaking for Standards | Ongoing Rulemaking for Test Procedure | Helpful Links


Recent and Ongoing Activities

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed determination (NOPD) pertaining to standards for Microwave Ovens. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including microwave ovens. EPCA also requires DOE to periodically determine whether more-stringent, amended standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy savings. In this NOPD, DOE has initially determined that energy conservation standards for microwave ovens do not need to be amended and requests comment on this proposed determination and the associated analyses and results.

On November 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) for the test procedure for microwave ovens. Following receipt of comments, DOE has published a Federal Register supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR) for the limited purpose of clarifying the current procedure for testing a microwave oven that has a connected (i.e., network) function, which is generally to disable the connected function when measuring standby mode power consumption. Further, DOE proposes to explicitly specify in its test procedure that standby power be measured with the connected function enabled if the means for disabling the network function are not provided in the manufacturer’s user manual. DOE is seeking comment from interested parties on the proposal.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking and announcement of webinar pertaining to test procedures for microwave ovens. DOE proposes to amend the existing test procedure for microwave ovens to provide additional specification for the test conditions related to microwave oven clock displays and microwave ovens with network functions. DOE is also proposing editorial changes to add a section title inadvertently omitted and to revise two incorrect cross-references.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice initiating a data collection process through this request for information (RFI), initiating an effort to determine whether to amend the current energy conservation standards for microwave ovens.

For the latest information on the planned timing of future DOE regulatory milestones, see the current Office of Management and Budget Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. All planned dates are preliminary and subject to change.

Standards

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed determination (NOPD) pertaining to standards for microwave ovens. 86FR44298 (August 12, 2021).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice initiating a data collection process through a request for information (RFI) pertaining to standards for microwave ovens. 84FR39980 (August 13, 2019) 

DOE undertook a rulemaking which concluded with a final rule in June 2013 establishing new energy conservation standards pertaining to standby mode for microwave ovens. 78 FR 36316 (June 17, 2013).  DOE also published a correction notice to address a drafting error in the June 2013 final rule. 81 FR 7965 (Feb. 17, 2016).

The microwave oven energy conservation standard rulemaking docket EERE-2011-BT-STD-0048 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information:

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time. 

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.

Test Procedure

DOE has published a Federal Register supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR) pertaining to test procedures for microwave ovens. 86FR41759 (August 3, 2021).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking and announcement of webinar pertaining to test procedures for microwave ovens. 84FR61836 (November 14, 2019)

DOE initiated a data collection process through a request for information (RFI) in January 2018 pertaining to test procedures for microwave ovens. 83 FR 02566 (January 18, 2018).

The microwave oven test procedure rulemaking docket  EERE-2017-BT-TP-0024 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking. 

Public Meeting Information

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.


Current Standard

Microwave ovens manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 10 CFR 430.32(j)(3).


Current Test Procedure

To determine that microwave ovens that are currently manufactured or distributed into commerce are in compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedure methods specified at 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix I.


Helpful Links

Compliance

DOE has established regulations on certification, compliance, and enforcement in the CFR at 10 CFR Part 429.  These regulations cover statistical sampling plans, certified ratings, certification reports, record retention, and enforcement.  More information on these regulations is available here.

Waivers

For information on current test procedure waivers, see DOE’s Waivers webpage

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 430.27.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for microwave ovens.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

For information on further guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions on all covered products, see DOE’s Further Guidance database

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any state from this energy conservation standard. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the Federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, subpart D.

Small Business Exemptions

Any manufacturer of a covered product with annual gross revenues that do not exceed $8,000,000 from all its operations and meets certain other conditions may apply for an exemption to the energy conservation standard. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, subpart E.

ENERGY STAR®

DOE supports the testing and verification of ENERGY STAR® products in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.

Contact information

For more information related to this product, please email:
ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ee.doe.gov


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