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Industry News
Senate Energy Committee Passes NEMA-Backed Efficiency Standards For Outdoor Lighting
May 9, 2010

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved legislation supported by NEMA that for the first time would set national energy efficiency standards for pole-mounted outdoor lighting. On March 10, 2010, NEMA testified before the committee in support of S 3059 National Energy Efficiency Enhancement Act of 2010, particularly Section 6 on outdoor lighting.

The legislation also includes NEMA-backed language on external power supplies for certain security and life safety alarms, and changes to the energy efficiency regulatory regime to take into account Smart Grid technologies in setting product efficiency standards.

“We are very pleased with today’s Senate committee action,” said Evan Gaddis, NEMA president and CEO. “These outdoor lighting provisions have broad support and not only represent the first-of-its-kind for this country, but also U.S. global leadership in setting efficiency standards for outdoor lighting.”

In 2007, the Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that outdoor lighting consumes more than 178 tera-watt hours annually, which is the equivalent of 42 coal-burning power plants (600 MW). In 2009, under the NEMA auspices, negotiations took place that included manufacturers, lighting designers, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders which resulted in a consensus agreement that was later introduced as Section 6 in S 3059.

The first set of standards would take effect three years from date of the legislation becoming law and would also limit sky-glow and outdoor light trespass concerns. The DOE would undertake a rulemaking and would issue a second set of standards effective January 1, 2016, and a third set of standards could also be set with an effective date of January 1, 2021. The legislation also would prohibit the manufacture or import of general purpose mercury vapor light bubs on January 1, 2016, and set certain efficacy levels for high-output double-ended quartz halogen lamps.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.

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