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NEMA Reacts to House Passage of Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

07/15/2014 12:00PMSign-up to receive press releases.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today commented on House passage of the FY2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which funds the Department of Energy (DOE).

“The energy and water funding bill does a number of things to help address electricity resilience and reliability,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. “The grid faces threats like never before and this bill helps to address them.”

The House approved the bill by a vote of 253-170 on July 10, the same day NEMA released its recommendations to the administration as part of its Quadrennial Energy Review.

The bill, HR 4923, provides $160 million for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), which leads research and development activities for transmission, Smart Grid, energy storage, and cybersecurity—often conducted in partnership with the private sector.

Though this amount is an 8.7 percent increase over FY2014, NEMA was supportive of efforts by Representatives Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) to increase OE funding to $180 million given the importance of these research activities.

The bill promotes advanced lighting technologies, with $25.8 million going to the lighting research program plus a $5 million Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize®) competition for a highly-efficient PAR 38 lamp. The $25.8 million represents a slight increase over last year, despite the Building Technologies Office (BTO) seeing a decrease of seven percent in its overall budget. Included under BTO was $28 million for the Commercial Building Integration program, which matches the administration’s request.

The Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) amendment would continue for another year under the bill. It states that no funds may be used by DOE to enforce or implement the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 incandescent lamp standards. However, the standards themselves continue to be the law of the land and NEMA manufacturers remain compliant.

The bill’s report directs up to $1 million for DOE to contract with the National Research Council or similar organization to conduct a national level comprehensive study on the future resilience and reliability of the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution system. This is the same study included in Rep. Donald Payne’s (D-NJ) SMART Grid Study Act, which NEMA supports.

As a result of an amendment by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) was boosted beyond last year’s amount to $300 million for high-risk, high-reward energy research.

The Energy Information Administration sees a slight increase ($120 million) from FY2014 to continue its critical information gathering and analysis while the Vehicle Technologies Program’s outreach, deployment, and analysis activities, which support transportation electrification, receive an 11 percent reduction ($28 million) from last year.

The bill’s report also highlights the importance of the upcoming Advanced Manufacturing Office study survey on motor-driven systems. The committee recognized the role highly efficient motor-driven systems can play in saving the nation energy, estimating $100 billion could be saved annually.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 400 electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers. Our combined industries account for more than 400,000 American jobs and more than 7,000 facilities across the U.S. Domestic production exceeds $117 billion per year. Our industry is at the forefront on electrical safety, reliability, resilience, efficiency, and energy security.

Press Contact:
NEMA Communications


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