After the U.S. Department of Energy proposed new energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers, both the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (R-North Carolina) recommended changes to the plan.
The energy efficiency standards for transformers is aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The department claims three changes to the production of distribution transformers would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 340 million metric tons over the next 30 years.
Both NEMA and Representative Hudson believe the added manufacturing will actually provide little reduction in emissions while adding production time and increasing the strain on the supply chain.
Representative Hudson proposed the Protecting America’s Distribution Transformer Supply Chain Act, which is co-sponsored by 8 other members of the House. “The Department of Energy should be focusing on strengthening the U.S. supply chain for distribution transformers for the next five years, not further disrupting it,” Representative Hudson said in a press release. “My constituents can not afford further energy disruptions that jeopardize their safety. I am proud to introduce the Protecting America’s Distribution Transformer Supply Chain Act in order to ensure our electrical manufacturers can continue to do what they do best, without Washington getting in their way.”
Debra Phillips, President and CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, released a statement that expressed concern about the Department of Energy’s proposed regulation and praised Representative Hudson’s Act. NEMA has asked for a meeting with John Podesta, the White House Clean Energy Advisor. At this point, nothing has been scheduled.
“Manufacturers are committed to energy efficiency and have worked diligently to achieve 99.5% efficiency in distribution transformers. These transformers are highly customized and their availability is essential to the deployment of new investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to modernize and upgrade the electrical grid. They also allow new housing starts, and support resiliency during extreme weather events and load surges that are expected to accelerate over time. At time of record high demand and ongoing supply chain challenges, the Department of Energy’s proposed regulation to achieve marginal efficiency gains for distribution transformers would upend the manufacturing and design process, lengthen already growing lead-times, and further exacerbate supply chain disruptions. Manufacturers are working tirelessly to meet sustained record demand for these critical transformers, and we are thankful to Rep. Hudson for his work on the Protecting America’s Distribution Transformer Supply Chain Act. This legislation will provide manufacturers continued business certainty and alleviate the need for new, marginally impactful regulations as we work to increase the supply of distribution transformers. We look forward to working with Rep. Hudson and the committee on advancing the Protecting America’s Distribution Transformer Supply Chain Act, which will help strengthen grid security and reliability to meet America’s growing electrification needs.”Tagged with DOE, NEMA