Congress supports key security legislation

House adopts bill to extend the ‘no-load exemption’ deadline for security and life-safety products
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WASHINGTON—The House recently approved the Power and Security Systems Act, H.R. 6375, a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) that removes the expiration date on the no-load exemption for security and life-safety products under current energy efficiency standards governing external power supplies.

SIA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the Electronic Security Association all support H.R. 6375.

“A lot of manufacturers assumed that this would be extended, and we have been working with the House and Senate committees over the past nine months or so to try and address this to the energy bill, and we wanted to make sure that we were well ahead of the July 1 deadline,” Jake Parker, SIA director of government relations, told Security Systems News. “SIA was pleased to support Congressman Pompeo and Congressman Welch in their efforts to pass this measure.”

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 required improved energy efficiency for battery chargers and external power supplies (EPS) operating in certain modes, including a standby or “no-load” mode.

“We have been working with the energy efficiency community all along, just to assure them that there are no energy savings to be had here, since the devices don’t go into to this no-load mode, so building a mode into the devices that will never be used doesn’t make sense,” Parker explained. “There would be a significant impact if this expiration is allowed to happen. Our manufacturers tell us that they would have to reengineer and change their manufacturing processes—sourcing and everything—so it will probably increase the cost of those EPSs by 200- to 300 percent.”

The Senate is expected to take up the measure before adjourning for its holiday break, and SIA anticipates President Barack Obama will sign the measure prior to leaving office.

“We are hoping that the Senate will take it up before the end of this week, but it is also part of the energy bill that is still being negotiated, so it could also be enacted that way,” Parker explained. “As things wind down, we are waiting to see if they can reach an agreement, which is often hard to do, but if that does not happen this round, we feel we are still in a good position to come back and take care of this next year.”