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Energy Policy

NEMA supports a comprehensive domestic energy policy that will efficiently provide affordable, safe, and reliable electricity to the American public.

Policymakers should focus on electrical transmission, distribution, and end-use as a way to enhance our nation’s economic competitiveness, national security, and way of life, regardless of the fuel source from which electricity is generated. 

Wise public policy will include the principles outlined below.

Deploying Energy Efficient Technologies

  • Energy efficiency should be considered a “first fuel” in meeting our nation’s energy needs. By using energy efficient technologies, end users save money, burdens on the grid are minimized, and the environment and society benefits.  
  • Energy efficiency should be a foundation of our national energy strategy because it is the cheapest and cleanest source of electricity, and it is universally available. 
  • Through greater deployment of more efficient products, wider application of systems that control and optimize the use of these products, and broader adoption of energy storage and demand response technologies, we can quite literally produce electricity at a fraction of the cost of new generation facilities.
  • Industry-supported, national consensus performance standards and energy codes based on commercially available technologies can help reduce energy costs for consumers and other end users if based on commercially available technologies. 
  • Federally-adopted, national consensus performance standards supported by express federal preemption are essential to avoid a costly patchwork of conflicting state requirements.  
  • Energy savings can be maximized by shifting the regulatory focus from individual product standards to standards for system performance.     
  • Federal, state, and local governments play an important role by increasing consumer awareness and adoption of energy efficient technologies through education, outreach, code adoption and enforcement, and incentive programs.

Rebuilding America’s Transmission Infrastructure

  • We need a robust transmission network to move power efficiently from where it is generated to where it is used, which can be hundreds of miles and cross state lines. 
  • Insufficient electric infrastructure impedes economic growth, reduces the dependability and resilience of the electric grid, and hinders development of a reliable, affordable, and diversified energy portfolio.
  • Burdensome regulations and outdated policies make approval of electric transmission projects—whether they are technology upgrades in existing rights-of-way or entirely new lines—extremely slow, expensive, and difficult to attain.
  • A clear national interstate transmission facility siting process would expedite the development of a more reliable and resilient electric grid.

Promoting the Smart Grid

  • Greater requirements are being placed on an aging grid and major investments in our electrical infrastructure must be made.
  • Smart Grid, which applies monitoring, analysis, control, and communication capabilities to the national electricity delivery system, should be recognized for its ability to improve the reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid.
  • To capitalize on the promise of Smart Grid, national industry consensus standards, such as those on interoperability, will simplify new equipment selection and installation and enhance the overall value of the Smart Grid.
  • Current regulatory policies pose a challenge to the deployment of Smart Grid technologies so any major improvement to the grid will require reconsideration of state and federal policies, including rate recovery methods. 
  • Protection from and the ability to respond to cybersecurity events are critical to the Smart Grid. Cybersecurity policies must provide a common risk-based approach that gives manufacturers, utilities, and grid operators the flexibility to respond quickly and decisively.



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