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WASHINGTON--On October 25 President Bush signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 1992, a comprehensive federal energy policy that should facilitate end user energy-efficiency programs.
Among its many provisions, the 900-page act establishes energy efficiency standards for HVAC, lighting, and motor equipment; encourages establishment of a national window energy-efficiency rating system; encourages state regulators to pursue demand-side management (DSM) programs; reduces end user income tax burdens on utility incentive payments; and requires state regulators to eliminate unfair competition between independent contractors and utility affiliates performing DSM work for or supplying products to end users.
The new law also mandates an accelerated energy management program for federally owned and leased facilities, opens wholesale power generation markets, and encourages stricter and more uniform state energy codes. Generally, it favors an approach of persuasion rather dictating terms to accomplish policy objectives.
Albert Thumann, director of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), welcomed the new legislation.
"Energy management is strengthened by this national energy strategy," he told EUN. "We now have a strong energy conservation bill. Our reaction is one of celebration."
Doug Decker, manager of government markets for Johnson Controls Inc., Milwaukee, also praised the statute.
"This landmark law represents the first broad energy policy legislation since the oil crisis of the 1970's," he stated, adding that the bill "makes fundamental changes in the way America produces and consumes energy."
However, both Decker and Thuman observed that many provisions of the new law call for the federal government to develop or encourage new energy efficiency standards, rather than mandating specific targets.
"We need to keep the heat on and keep the end users participating in the process," Decker noted. "We need to keep advertising the benefits of energy …