H.R. 4444, EPS Improvement Act of 2016

H.R. 4444

EPS Improvement Act of 2016

Date
February 29, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Monday, February 29, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4444, EPS Improvement Act of 2016 under suspension of the rules. H.R. 4444 was introduced on February 3, 2016, by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on February 25, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4444 exempts certain lighting technologies and certain ceiling fans using direct current (DC) motors from the definition of external power supply (EPS), as included in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) EPS efficiency standards, which took effect on February 10, 2016. The bill establishes the circumstances by which DOE may prescribe standards in the future for certain solid state lighting drivers.

Background

External power supplies are used in hundreds of types of electronics and consumer products, including cell phones, tablets, laptops, video game consoles and power tools, to convert power from a wall outlet into lower voltages. More than 300 million external power supplies are shipped in the United States each year and the average American home has five to ten external power supplies. These numbers are expected to continue growing as consumers and businesses purchase new types of personal electronics.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to set energy efficiency standards for External Power Supplies (EPS) for the first time. The Department of Energy (DOE) finalized a rule in February 2014 establishing new and amended energy conservation standards for EPS, which went into effect on February 10, 2016.[1] However, the new standard would apply to solid state lighting drivers designed to power certain lighting technologies (e.g., LED and LCD) and ceiling fans using DC motors. These technologies are not explicitly listed under the definition of EPS that are permitted to be regulated under the Act. According to the Committee, manufactures are unable to achieve the new EPS standard given technological constraints specific to these products.

According to the bill sponsor, the bill “is essential to rolling back an outdated and misguided regulation issued by the Department of Energy (DOE). This proposed rule has caused uncertainty within the manufacturing sector, which has the potential to jeopardize jobs, stifle innovation, and diminish the availability of energy-efficient lighting available to consumers. This pro-consumer, pro-manufacturing legislation will allow American consumers to purchase lighting technologies in order to lower their utility bills while also providing clarity in the marketplace.”[2]

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[1] See Department of Energy website, Appliance and Equipment Standards Rulemakings and Notices
[2] See Rep. Renee Ellmers Press Release, “Ellmers Introduces Pro-Consumer, Pro-Manufacturing Legislation,” February 4, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently not available; however, a preliminary CBO estimate indicates that enacting H.R. 4444 would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.