Find out how this new federal law ensures security and fire alarm systems can stay active all day long

by Brianna Crandall — November 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump recently signed into law the Power and Security Systems (PASS) Act, P.L. 115-78, culminating a year-long effort led by the Security Industry Association (SIA) to preserve an important provision in federal energy efficiency requirements that the trade association for security solution providers says is critical to the operation of security and fire alarm systems.

According to Jake Parker, SIA director of Government Relations:

The PASS Act provides much-needed certainty to manufacturers, installers and service providers who are among thousands of Americans that work in the security industry, but ultimately it benefits the millions of American consumers that depend on such security and life safety systems.

Drafted with assistance from SIA and in collaboration with the energy efficiency community, the PASS Act extends a policy exempting security and life safety external power supplies (EPS) from having to meet a “no-load mode” energy efficiency standard, since they must always be connected and in active mode by design and no efficiency gains would result.

The new law makes the exemption essentially permanent by removing the July 1, 2017, expiration date on the exemption and providing the US Department of Energy with authority to retain the commonsense policy in any future updates to energy efficiency standards governing external power supplies.

SIA led a coalition of industry groups in working with Congress to secure the exemption in 2011, which included a “sunset provision” — a common way of ensuring a new policy set forth in legislation is reviewed by Congress before becoming more permanent.

Preserving this exemption was a key concern for security manufacturers and systems integrators. Without it, product redesign and adjustments to manufacturing processes would needlessly increase the cost of the equipment by 200-300 percent according to industry estimates, affecting not just manufacturers but the entire value chain.

SIA says enactment of this important solution would not have been possible without the bipartisan leadership of the bill’s sponsors Sens. Cory Gardner, R-CO, and Maria Cantwell, D-WA, as well as Reps. Peter Welch, D-VT, and Susan Brooks, R-IN. Over the past two years, Gardner, Welch and Brooks have been recognized with SIA’s Legislator of the Year award for their support of this and other policies important to the security industry.

A summary of S.190 – Power and Security Systems (PASS) Act is available online.