President Obama today signed into law a handful of energy-efficiency provisions endorsed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). HR 6582, “American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act,” is the legislative vehicle for provisions promoting advanced metering in the federal government; a greater focus at the U.S. Department of Energy on deployment of existing manufacturing technologies; improved energy efficiency within federal facilities; and a study on barriers to industrial deployment of electric motors, demand response, and combined heat and power technologies.

NEMA and like-minded members of Congress worked toward enacting energy-efficiency legislation throughout the 112th Congress. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), and representatives Charlie Bass (R-NH), Jim Matheson (D-UT), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) were influential in keeping the discussion of energy efficiency front and center.

According to NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis, HR 6582 is evidence that energy efficiency is an issue that can find bipartisan and bicameral agreement. “This provides a great deal of hope that further efficiency measures can be successful in 2013 and beyond,” he says. “Indeed, NEMA is already engaging key offices on strategies for developing and gathering support for new energy efficiency legislation in the coming 113th Congress.”

Specifically, HR 6582 requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to:

  • Develop and issue an annual best-practices report on advanced metering of energy use in federal facilities
  • Establish collaborative research and development partnerships with other programs to support the use of innovative manufacturing processes and to support applied research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of new technologies and processes to improve industrial efficiency
  • Conduct a study, in conjunction with the industrial sector, of the barriers to deployment of industrial efficiency technologies

The bill also compels certain federal facilities to use a web-based tracking system to publish energy and water consumption data on an individual facility basis and ensures certain technical corrections to lighting efficiency and electric motor provisions in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.