First Look: Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act (Public Law 115-78, 115th Congress)

The Policy

What it does

Requires Department of Energy to determine whether security or life safety systems need to comply with federal energy efficiency standards.

Synopsis

On October 11, 2017, the Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives without amendment. As it already passed the Senate, the bill will now go to President Trump for signature.

The PASS Act requires the Department of Energy to determine by July 1, 2021 whether external power supplies for security or life safety systems, such as home security systems or smoke alarms, should have to comply with energy efficiency standards. A law passed in 2007 previously required these devices to comply by July 1, 2017. Pending the Department of Energy determination, the compliance deadline is extended to 2023.

At issue is whether, for example, a device that supplies power to a burglar alarm should have to keep its maximum power consumption below 0.5 watts when in “no-load mode” as is required under current law. Proponents of the PASS Act argue that devices like security systems always have to be in “active” mode and thus complying with the “no-load” standard would require the devices’ power supplies to be re-engineered to allow them to enter no-load mode in order to be certified for compliance with the standard.

Context