Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act by a vote of 85-12. This vote comes four months after a December 3, 2015, vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on its comprehensive energy legislation, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Arlington, Va., praised the move and the bipartisan way it was achieved.
“Passage of this legislation shows that improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s homes, schools, and other buildings as well as moving toward a more flexible, resilient, and secure electric grid are citizen issues that should, and in this case did, rise above partisan paralysis,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff. “We thank Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for their continued leadership as advocates for energy efficiency, grid modernization, and the electrical manufacturing industry.”
The Senate and House must now reconcile differences between their two bills before passing final legislation to send to President Obama for his signature. NEMA said it will be working to ensure that lawmakers include industry priorities in the final bill.
If enacted into law, the Energy Policy Modernization Act will increase the adoption of energy-efficient technologies in homes, schools, commercial buildings, and federal facilities, NEMA said. The bill contains provisions that would catalyze improvements to the U.S. electric infrastructure, including transmission, distribution and energy storage systems.