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CEA Applauds Congressional Focus On Energy-Efficiency With S. 1115: Expresses Concern Regarding Government Design Mandates And Changes To Federal Preemption


The Senate Energy and National Resources Committee today held a hearing to discuss S. 1115, the Energy Efficiency Promotion Act of 2007, sponsored by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Ranking Member Pete Domenici (R-NM). The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) today responded to S. 1115 by applauding the bipartisan effort to address important energy efficiency issues, but cautioning against amendments to federal law that could undo important public/private efforts to promote energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency is a priority for CEA and the consumer electronics industry, so we’re happy to see Congress focused on this important issue through the Energy Efficiency Promotion Act, S. 1115,” said Douglas Johnson, CEA’s senior director of technology policy and international affairs. “The bill addresses the issue of expedited federal rulemakings, which could be useful in establishing a preemptive national standard for external power supplies. But language in this legislation also raises concerns regarding design mandates and changes to federal preemption authority, which could impact innovation, the competitiveness of the technology industry and the integrity of the highly successful federal EnergyStar program.”

Sec. 201 redefines “energy conservation standard” in a way that could allow for government mandates on the technology and components within products in addition to the products themselves. Section 205 appears to alter the nature of federal preemption in a way that could facilitate a patchwork of local and regional regulation of televisions, which could have negative consequences for consumers and manufacturers. Finally, Section 206, which would impose a mandatory labeling program on several consumer technology products, could interfere with successful energy use disclosure programs. Industry must be allowed to continue its work to provide additional energy use information via independent efforts such as the website and the well-established EnergyStar program.

“The consumer electronics industry has been a strong supporter of the national EnergyStar program, which provides a label recognized by almost two-thirds of consumers,” said Johnson. “Of the 2 billion EnergyStar-qualified purchases since 1992, over half or nearly 1.1 billion of these products have been consumer electronics. As a government-industry partnership, EnergyStar captures a broad range of consumer electronics –including the electronics identified in S. 1115– and creates a competitive incentive for energy savings. To legislate over this established program would be a step backwards. We look forward to working with legislators to provide federal solutions to important environmental concerns.”


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