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Energy Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Senate Committee; Contains Numerous NEMA-backed Provisions

07/19/2011 2:00PMSign-up to receive press releases.

ROSSLYN, Va.—The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s bipartisan approval of S. 1000, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competiveness Act of 2011 is a major step forward for energy efficiency and job creation, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

S. 1000, introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), passed the Committee by a vote of 18-3, making it eligible for Senate floor consideration. NEMA has been engaged with the bill’s sponsors for months and has been active in gaining additional support for the measure. No companion bill has yet been filed in the House.

“The Shaheen-Portman legislation focuses on key areas where significant energy savings can be realized,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. “It will save consumers and businesses money, decrease our reliance on foreign sources of energy, and improve the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.”

Congressional negotiations on the debt and deficit matters have been occupying much of the public’s attention in recent months. However, NEMA has been working closely with the bill’s sponsors during that time to help craft legislation that can gain broad support in both chambers and be signed by the President.

“With rising energy costs and too many Americans still looking for jobs, our country can’t afford to wait to pass a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy. This bipartisan plan will make our economy more competitive and create private sector jobs today, while also addressing our nation’s energy challenges,” Shaheen said. “I am confident the tremendous momentum we have already seen will continue and I look forward to the support of my colleagues in the Senate.”

“With the gridlock and partisanship in Washington, it is reassuring to see our legislation move so quickly to the entire Senate, and on a bipartisan basis,” Portman said. “I’m hopeful we can bring this up on the Senate floor quickly, allowing American companies to use the savings to expand operations, hire new workers, and become more competitive globally.”

Provisions that impact the electroindustry include:

  • A federal-state revolving loan program for industrial and commercial projects which improve energy efficiency, power factor, or load management through the implementation of advanced processes using technologies such as sensors, meters, information networks, and drives.

  • A federal loan program for energy efficiency upgrades in commercial, multifamily residential, industrial, municipal, government, school, and hospital buildings.

  • Creation of a NEMA Premium transformer rebate program to encourage the replacement of older, less efficient transformers with new transformers that incur 30% fewer losses than the NEMA TP-1-2002 efficiency baseline.

  • Enabling the federal government to use energy savings performance contracts in support of its deployment of electric vehicles or electric vehicle supply equipment.

  • Encourages the Secretary of Energy to offer support for the development and adoption of model national building energy codes developed by ASHRAE and the IECC and authorizes the Secretary to offer incentives to states to adopt these codes.

  • Investment in workforce training through Department of Energy (DOE) grants to higher education institutions to establish building education centers that promote energy efficient technology, train individuals for careers in energy efficient building technology, and promote research and development for alternative energy sources in buildings.

  • Establishment of a steering committee, comprising national trade associations representing energy-intensive industries or energy service providers, to guide the DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program (ITP).

  • Improvements to the ITP to support the use of innovative and applied research for development, demonstration, and commercialization of new technologies and processes to improve efficiency and competitiveness.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.

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