Arlington, Va.— A coalition of energy and grid industry associations led by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), today requested $1.2 billion in repurposed supplemental funding in upcoming negotiations on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill for Distribution Transformer and Grid Components.
The request sent in a letter by the coalition to Senate Leadership, encourages continued bipartisan cooperation to expand and strengthen grid capacity and boost the supply chain for distribution transformers. The American Public Power Association (APPA), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), The GridWise Alliance (GridWise), Leading Builders of America (LBA), National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) joined NEMA in outlining how funds would assist the Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office in helping manufacturers bolster the domestic production of distribution transformers.
“Our nation is facing a distribution transformer shortage and backlog of more than two years. This funding will help ensure that these and other critical grid components are more readily available so that community resilience is not jeopardized and the country’s energy transition does not stall”, said Debra Phillips, President and CEO, NEMA. “We are grateful to our coalition partners for supporting our request to Senate Leadership for funding that will create additional manufacturing capacity, increase home construction, ensure quicker disaster recovery, and enable more communities to modernize their infrastructure through IIJA-related investments. We fully support the Senate’s bipartisan efforts to provide manufacturers with financial, procurement, and technical assistance, and workforce support, and we look forward to working together on this important issue that impacts every American.”
“In the electric utility industry reliability is paramount,” said APPA President & CEO Scott Corwin. “For over two years we’ve been sounding the alarm on the supply chain issue. Public power utilities need solutions here to ensure grid reliability, and this critical funding represents a step in the right direction.”
“In 2023, over 43,000 of our buyers have had their lives disrupted due to the ongoing shortage of electrical distribution transformers. Builders simply cannot deliver completed homes that do not have electricity. This has exacerbated a historic housing supply shortfall”, said Ken Gear, CEO of Leading Builders of America.
“The National Association of Home Builders commends Senate leaders for working in a bipartisan manner to include $1.2 billion in supplemental funding in the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill to boost the production of sorely needed distribution transformers, said Alicia Huey, Chairman, National Association of Home Builders. “Soaring prices and shortages of electrical distribution transformers are delaying housing projects across the nation and increasing construction costs. Providing additional funding to boost production of distribution transformers will help home builders to construct more homes, satisfy unmet demand and ease America’s housing affordability crisis.”
“Using this supplemental funding to accelerate the manufacturing of distribution transformers and other grid components will help electric co-ops keep the lights on and meet future energy needs of 42 million Americans,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said. “The funding would significantly shorten transformer lead times while strengthening domestic supply chains. We urge the House and Senate to include this funding in a final FY24 appropriations bill.”
Last July, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed language that includes $1.2 billion in repurposed supplemental funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity and the Grid Deployment Office to bolster the transformer and critical grid component supply chain. This provision would boost financial, procurement, and technical assistance, and workforce support. The letter emphasizes that this investment language should remain in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations final bill. This will ensure that domestic manufacturers are able to increase capacity to meet existing orders while providing greater certainty to end-users of critical grid components.
The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. We represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 96,000 people they employ. Our association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. Our members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens, and instilling pride in community-owned power.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for nearly 250 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 70 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.
About The GridWise Alliance
The GridWise Alliance leads a diverse membership of electricity industry stakeholders focused on accelerating innovation that delivers a more secure, reliable, resilient, and affordable grid to support decarbonization of the U.S. economy. For more information about The GridWise Alliance, visit: www.gridwise.org.
Leading Builders of America (LBA) represents 21 of the largest production homebuilders in the United States, our members build approximately 45% of all new homes in the nation. While its members build for many different market segments, the majority of the homes we build are for entry-level and middle-class, working families.
The National Association of Home Builders of the United States strives to protect the American Dream of housing opportunities for all, while working to achieve professional success for its members who build communities, create jobs and strengthen our economy.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is the national trade association representing nearly 900 not-for-profit electric cooperatives and other rural electric utilities. America’s electric cooperatives are owned by the people that they serve and comprise a unique sector of the electric industry. From growing exurban regions to remote farming communities, electric cooperatives power one in eight Americans and serve as engines of economic development for 42 million people across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. Electric cooperatives are focused on providing affordable, reliable, and safe electric power in an environmentally responsible manner and support common sense solutions to environmental impacts.