House Energy & Commerce Committee passes bipartisan regulatory relief for external power supplies

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Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved with unanimous support a bipartisan bill, the EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 (H.R. 5057), introduced by Reps. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), that will extend current energy efficiency standards so manufacturers can continue to produce, distribute and service energy efficient external power supplies (EPS) for older, out of production products.  A common sight around homes and offices, EPS is the AC power adapter that converts household electricity to much lower DC voltages needed to charge laptops, small desktops, tablets, networking products and mobile phones. 

Without this change in law, manufacturers would be required to redesign and qualify new service and spare EPS for existing products that are no longer in production at significant expense for both the companies and consumers.  Congress anticipated the problem and the need for manufacturers to produce and service the parts for older out of production electronics when it passed the Energy Independence and Security Act  (EISA) and included an exemption through June 30, 2015.  But Congress erred by not extending the authority long enough, and now the existing EISA language is ironically having the opposite effect from what was intended by preventing the Department of Energy from extending the needed exemption. 

The bill addresses this mistake, and also builds in protections to ensure that it is not misused.  The bill is supported by ITI and a broad coalition of organizations that we have been partnered with on the issue: the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

If Congress acts this year to pass the bill and send it to the president’s desk, it would benefit consumers by allowing them to continue to purchase lower cost, energy efficient EPS for their existing devices.  ITI will continue to advocate for the common sense solution.

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