Federal Mechanical Insulation Act introduced by Rep. Sánchez
Insulators International Staff — Fri, Dec 2, 2022 @ 15:12 PM
Legislation that seeks to ensure that federal buildings utilize mechanical insulation and that it is installed by individuals who have completed a registered apprenticeship program was introduced into Congress.
Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) submitted the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act (FMIA) into the House of Representatives on Dec. 2.
Should the FMIA be enacted, it will create jobs for members of the Insulators Union.
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers General President Terrence M. Larkin supports the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act and feels the legislation is needed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower the carbon footprint of the U.S. and help create jobs for his affiliated members.
“This is the exact type of political cooperation that is needed to bring awareness to the value of mechanical insulation as an effective energy-efficient technology that needs to be utilized in all our buildings,” said Larkin. “This successful legislation will increase the energy efficiency of our structures coupled with increased work opportunities for working families in all our communities. Increased insulation utilization will lower the building’s carbon footprint by utilizing mechanical insulation improvements and audits.
“We greatly appreciate the leadership of Rep. Linda Sánchez for her passion and continuing support of our Insulators’ families to elevate the country’s consciousness of the energy conservation landscape,” he added.
In a prepared statement, Sánchez explained the important role mechanical insulation plays in making the U.S. energy efficient and how the proper installation and maintenance of mechanical insulation is imperative to reduce costs and emissions and protect the environment.
“…Mechanical insulation – a practical and helpful solution – is often overlooked,” said Sánchez. “Mechanical insulation improves working environments, reduces energy demand, lowers energy costs and increases the asset value of a building. It accomplishes all of this while creating tens of thousands of American jobs. This legislation makes changes to the Energy Independence and Security Act to ensure our federal building managers, where appropriate, utilize mechanical insulation.”
If passed and signed into law, the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act would amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) to clarify that energy and water evaluations (i.e., audits) already required under law should evaluate the appropriate use of mechanical insulation to achieve energy efficiency goals.
The bill recognizes the important role mechanical insulation plays in lowering operating expenses, reducing energy loss and decreasing emissions. As such, the FMIA makes the following three specific changes to portions of the EISA:
- Defines mechanical insulation property as materials, facings and accessory products that are part of a mechanical system and reduce energy loss from that mechanical system – thereby allowing for the inclusion of these items to qualify as energy and water efficiency measures;
- Expands the definition of energy and water evaluations to include identification of energy- and water-saving measures (including installation of mechanical insulation property, if applicable);
- Requires a qualified individual to properly install mechanical insulation. A qualified individual is defined as one who has completed an apprenticeship registered under the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937.
In addition to being introduced by Sánchez, the FMIA is also co-sponsored by Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Danny Davis (D-IL), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Sean Casten (D-IL).
A diverse array of industry stakeholders, including business and labor interests, support the FMIA:
- Central States Insulation Association (CSIA)
- Eastern States Insulation Contractors Association (ESICA)
- International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
- Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT)
- North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU)
- National Union Insulation Contractors Alliance (NUICA)
- Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)