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Security Trade Group Praises House Passage of Power and Security Systems Act

An amendment that will extend the nonapplication of the “No-Load Mode” energy efficiency standard that was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 to certain security, life safety alarms and other critical security surveillance systems was widely hailed this week, especially the Security Industry Association (SIA).

Introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Peter Welch (D-VT), House passage of the bipartisan Power and Security Systems Act, HR 6375, “removes the expiration on the no-load exemption for security and life-safety products under current energy efficiency standards governing external power supplies, and authorizes the Department of Energy to incorporate this common-sense provision in future updates to energy efficiency standards,” said Jake Parker, SIA Director of Government Relations. “SIA was pleased to support Congressman Pompeo and Congressman Welch in their efforts to pass this measure.”

SIA led a coalition in support of extending the current exemption for security and life safety products, which is set to expire on July 1, 2017.

But, “Without an extension, manufacturers must redesign external power supplies (EPS) products to meet the ‘no-load’ standard, more than doubling their cost unnecessarily,” SIA said in a statement, noting the legislation is also supported by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the Electronic Security Association, which have also worked with energy efficiency community on the common-sense provision.

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 required improved energy efficiency for battery chargers and external power supplies operating in certain modes, including a standby or “no-load” mode. “For example,” SIA explained, “when a cell phone charger is plugged into the wall but disconnected from the phone, it is still consuming power. But electronic security and life safety systems require a constant, uninterrupted power supply. Product and installation standards ensure that fire alarm, carbon monoxide, intrusion detection and other sensors are constantly powered to detect and monitor. Since EPS designed for use in such systems are always connected, and they are not manufactured with a “no-load” mode.

In the proposed new rule under subparagraph (D)(ii) and subsequent amendments, the secretary may treat some or all external power supplies designed to be connected to a security or life safety alarm or surveillance system as a separate product class or may extend the nonapplication under clause (ii).

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

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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