Weber and Sanchez introduce Federal Mechanical Insulation Act

On July 14, the bipartisan Federal Mechanical Insulation Act of 2023 (FMIA) was introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.).

The FMIA will advance federal energy efficiencies, save tax dollars and reduce energy loss and emissions for the approximately 350,000 federal buildings in the U.S. It will also add an important audit metric for regulators to include when federal buildings are assessed for  Mechanical Insulation efficiencies.

House Resolution 4663, the FMIA, was assigned to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers thanks Reps. Weber and Sanchez, along with the bill’s co-sponsors, for their support of mechanical insulation and desire to make government buildings more energy efficient.

Properly installed and maintained mechanical insulation provides large-scale and long-term energy efficiency, emissions reductions, cost savings and safety benefits at manufacturing facilities, power plants, refineries, hospitals, universities and government buildings.

If passed and enacted, the legislation would provide Insulator Union signatory contractors with the opportunity to bid on work in many federal buildings. This bill will not only create jobs, but it will save taxpayers money thanks to the short return on investment created once properly installed mechanical insulation is used. The FMIA will also help save the environment by making the buildings’ mechanical systems more efficient, which in turn will reduce the use of energy and also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), the federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the country, consuming more than 344 trillion btu of energy and 119 gallons of water in Fiscal Year 2021. Federal agencies are required by statute to conduct energy and water use evaluations and audits of their federal facilities every four years to identify energy or water savings efficiency measures.

Insulators Union General President Terrence M. Larkin lauded the introduction of the FMIA as a bipartisan bill that will create jobs, save taxpayer money and help the environment. 

“The Federal Mechanical Insulation Act is needed to bring awareness to the value of Mechanical Insulation as an effective energy-efficient technology that needs to be utilized in all federal buildings,” said Larkin. “It will not only increase the energy efficiency of federal buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also create thousands of jobs, including jobs for members of our Union. I thank Rep. Linda Sanchez and Rep. Randy Weber for their support and for introducing the bill. The International supports this legislation, and we urge our members to take action to help ensure its passage.”

Both Reps. Weber and Sanchez understand the importance of mechanical insulation and how the bill will benefit taxpayers.

“For 35 years, I owned and operated an air conditioning company, and I understand the importance of strategic federal energy conservation and efficiency measures,” said Rep. Weber. “This bill is not only commonsense but a win for the nation’s energy preservation and will lower the burden on taxpayers forking over their hard-earned dollars to power federal buildings.

“As we continue efforts to bring down energy costs, reduce emissions, and protect our environment, energy efficiency has become a leading issue across the country,” said Rep. Sanchez.

“This bill provides meaningful directives to the Department of Energy to ensure Mechanical Insulation is a focus of the statutory audits of federal buildings where appropriate. I am proud to support this legislation and build on the important work we started last Congress to promote sensible federal energy conservation and workforce measures,” she added.

In order for the FMIA to pass the House, HFIAW Local Unions and their members will need to make a concerted effort to reach out to their representatives. Initially, that focus will be on those representatives who serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT), which worked with State Federal Strategies to get the bill introduced, will reach out to Local Unions to ask for help encouraging support for this legislation.

This FMIA is supported by the Union, LMCT, North America’s Building Trades Unions and the National Union Insulation Contractors Alliance.

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