NEMA Manufacturers Message to the Administration and the 113th Congress
Who We Are: Leaders, Innovators,
and Job Creators
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents the electrical equipment and medical imaging industries, supporting more than a million jobs. NEMA manufacturers have more than 7,300 facilities across the United States with domestic production that exceeds $100 billion and exports over $30 billion. NEMA’s 50-plus industry sectors encompass distinct products and technologies including advanced lighting; factory automation and control; electric power equipment; Smart Grid, transmission, and distribution; high performance buildings; energy storage and micro-grids; medical imaging and cancer therapy.
On behalf of its 400-plus member manufacturers, NEMA congratulates and salutes our newly elected public officials. We invite you to work with us in 2013 on the following proposals to create a more secure, energy efficient, and healthy future for our nation and its citizens.
NEMA members manufacture equipment that will build America’s Smart Grid—a 21st century electric grid that uses information and communications technologies, such as smart meters and high-tech sensors to: isolate problems and repair them remotely; recover more quickly from extreme weather and other outages; and maximize the efficiency, reliability and affordability of electricity. Smart Grid solutions enable utilities to deliver more power when and where it is needed, protect the electric grid from cyber-attack, allow buildings and residences to sell power to the grid, and accommodate a growing number of electric vehicles.
NEMA recommendations to advance America’s Smart Grid:
- Adopt policies that incentivize utilities to invest in Smart Grid and energy storage technologies to advance energy efficiency and economic growth and protect the nation’s grid from cyber-attack.
- Invest in microgrids and energy storage to provide military installations, first responders, hospitals, and other key installations with 24/7 reliable power.
- Implement Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) standards that minimize regional variations and enable full interoperability in the nation’s Smart Grid.
- Create government-industry partnerships to educate the public about the safety and importance of smart meters and other Smart Grid technologies for quick restoration following storms and outages.
For more information on energy efficiency and economic growth, see www.nema.org/Energy-Efficiency
For information on electricity restoration, see www.nema.org/afterthestorm
For additional information on Smart Grid, see www.nema.org/Smartgrid and www.nema.org/EI-Smart-Grid
Interoperability: Improving Health and Homeland Security
NEMA and its members have been at the forefront of interoperability—developing standards that enable medical imaging machines from multiple manufacturers to communicate instantly, much as PDF files that can be viewed on computers from multiple manufacturers. NEMA’s DICOM standard is one of the most widely deployed healthcare messaging standards in the world, with billions of DICOM images in use for clinical care.
In collaboration with the federal government, NEMA members have developed similar interoperability standards for homeland security called DICOS .When implemented, they will enable instant communication of airport security scans for quick evaluation on- or off-site. This type of standard could enhance security at other gateways, including maritime ports.
NEMA’s medical division (MITA, the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance) represents medical imaging, radiation therapy, and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers—companies whose sales comprise a majority of the global market for x-ray, computed tomography, ultrasound, nuclear imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, imaging information, and radiation therapy systems. Recent studies clearly demonstrate that medical imaging improves health, saves lives and lowers costs.
NEMA recommendations to advance life-saving medical imaging:
- Repeal the new 2.3% medical device excise tax (scheduled to take effect in 2013 as part of the “fiscal cliff”) that will adversely affect research, development, and innovation by NEMA’s medical imaging and therapy equipment manufacturers and cost jobs in a vital U.S. industry.
- Protect access to medical imaging by preventing for-profit radiology benefit management companies from denying patients access to medical imaging tests prescribed by their physicians.
- Prevent further cuts in Medicare reimbursements for medical imaging and radiation therapy, already cut eight times over the last six years.
For more information: www.nema.org/MITA-Improves-Health-and-Saves-Lives and www.nema.org/MITA-Reduced-Infographics
High Performance Buildings and Industrial Energy Efficiency
In 2011, the U.S. wasted more energy than it consumed. Greater energy efficiency will boost economic competitiveness, enhance U.S. energy security and establish U.S. environmental leadership. Greater efficiency can be achieved now through high performance buildings (HPBs) and industrial energy efficiency (IEE).
Advances in building equipment, lighting, sensors, controls, and integrated systems make it possible to achieve a significant reduction in a building’s energy use. Buildings consume 40% of the primary energy and 70% of the electricity in the U.S. annually. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government alone, incurs $7 billion for energy consumption in federal buildings.
On the industrial side, energy efficiency results from installation of advanced technologies including high-efficiency sensors and drives, industrial controls, and information technology—all of which make America’s factories and industrial plants more energy efficient and improve international competitiveness.
NEMA recommendations to advance HPBs and industrial energy efficiency:
- Federal Buildings
Resolve congressional budget scoring rules that severely hinder federal agencies’ ability to enter into Energy Savings Performance Contracts. These ESPCs can save taxpayers billions in federal energy expenditures each year at no cost to the government because up-front energy efficiency upgrades are paid for by contractors and funded over time by energy savings.
- Commercial Buildings and Industrial Facilities
Develop cost-effective energy efficiency tax deductions or credits to incentivize: (1) the transformation of aging private commercial buildings into HPBs; and (2) the installation of high-tech, energy efficient advanced manufacturing technologies.
For more information, see www.nema.org/Energy-Efficiency and www.nema.org/HPB
Tax and Regulatory Reform
The current U.S. tax system is complex and a drag on economic growth and U.S. global competitiveness. The U.S. imposes the highest corporate income tax rate among industrialized nations. A tax code that encourages growth is one that is predictable, competitive and fosters U.S.-based manufacturing of high-end technology.
Moreover, in the midst of a slow economic recovery, every additional dollar of investment and every new job created are critically important. Revitalizing our economy will require a close examination of federal regulations to ensure they are functioning as intended and not placing unnecessary, costly burdens on manufacturers.
NEMA recommendations for tax and regulatory reform:
- Concentrate comprehensive tax reform efforts on lowering rates to make the U.S. more competitive. The smart way to achieve lower rates is to broaden the tax base by eliminating unproductive credits and deductions.
- Establish a simplified tax system with predictable costs that enable long-term business planning
- Halt new federal rulemakings until agencies demonstrate that existing regulations have proven successful in achieving projected goals and have met cost-benefit requirements.
Expedited Approval of Electric Transmission Lines
A key factor impeding America’s transition to a Smart Grid is the glut of overlapping regulations and outdated policies that make approval of electric transmission lines slow and expensive—a real life game of chutes and ladders. Because of this bureaucratic morass, the majority of transmission projects aren’t built; those that are average more than a decade from application to power delivery.
As we seek to achieve energy security, additional transmission lines are required to connect supply with demand. Moreover, insufficient transmission lines are an invitation to cyber-terrorism and rolling blackouts, and impede storm recovery efforts. A clear nationwide transmission-line siting process would streamline current practices, facilitate construction, and expedite a more reliable electric grid.
NEMA recommendations to advance electrical transmission:
- Give FERC broader transmission siting authority for interstate transmission lines, similar to existing authority for natural gas pipelines.
- Make FERC the lead agency in coordinating federal environmental reviews for transmission siting.
For more information: www.nema.org/Transmission-Siting
NEMA Policy Contacts