Tax Reform and Device Tax:
There is a growing consensus that any successful strategy to address the public debt and economic growth will include major tax reform that eliminates current tax credits and deductions in order to lower rates (similar to 1986). In addition, dozens of tax incentives such as the R&D credit are expiring. Also, a 2.3 percent medical device excise tax becomes effective in January 2013. Under this strategic initiative, NEMA staff and tax experts will work with the Government Relations Committee and Member companies to develop a position on tax reform and determine which, if any, business credits and deductions NEMA should seek to protect. In addition, NEMA and its medical division MITA will work for repeal of the medical device excise tax.
Current activities include participation and leadership in SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel); stakeholder education at the federal, state, and local level; and advancing interoperability testing and certification in the U.S. and internationally. When NEMA started working on the Smart Grid program with the Dept. of Commerce and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), exports to Canada and Mexico for Smart Grid had declined. By 2011, those same exports grew by $500 million and are on pace to add another $350 - $400 million (10.5 percent growth) in 2012.
In 2013, Smart Grid activities will include: (1) Promotion and leadership of SGIP 2.0; (2) Establishing a joint working group with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) to define an agreeable cybersecurity policy; (3) Stakeholder education at the state and local level to counter a vastly increasing set of smart meter “opt-out” programs; (4) Advancing interoperability testing and certification; (5) Standardization for distributed energy resources, energy storage, and microgrids; and (6) Greater harmonization with international bodies.
High Performance Buildings:
The transition to energy efficient High Performance Buildings (HPBs) faces two hurdles: (1) gridlock in Congress over the requirement that new federal buildings and those undergoing renovations phase out fossil fuel consumption; and (2) less funding for making federal buildings more energy efficient. The objectives of this strategic initiative are to promote the use of low cost approaches to achieving energy efficiency in federal buildings, such as Energy Savings Performance Contracts that have no net cost over time; and, for the private sector, promoting accelerated depreciation and other incentives for high performance buildings.
Preservation of 3-Year Code Adoption Cycle:
This initiative addresses the negative trend of States extending code adoption cycles from 3 to 6 years (Michigan, Washington, South Carolina and others). This trend delays the dissemination of proven safety products such as Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters and Tamper Resistant Receptacles; and blocks adoption of green technologies such as EVs, PVs (photovoltaics). The objective of this initiative is to: (1) Advocate for the immediate adoption and enforcement of the most current electrical and building codes, enabling consumers, the public and industry to safely and efficiently use electrical power; (2) Create a coalition structured and funded for an aggressive, sustainable campaign; and (3) Communicate activities, progress, and successes to targeted constituencies.