NSCA is closely monitoring R2R legislation, which could be very harmful to integrators as it gains momentum across the country.
What started as a simple act that would allow consumers to change their own cell phone batteries and farmers to repair their own farm equipment has grown to encroach on the technology that our industry provides.
New York’s Right to Repair (R2R) legislation is intended to give consumers access to the tools, parts, documentation, and software they need to fix the products they own, but it signals trouble for manufacturers and authorized distributors and dealers of specialized electronic systems like NSCA members provide—which require specialized training or credentials in order to repair them.
As we watch this kind of confusing and misguided legislation pop up in several states, New York was the first state to sign an R2R bill into law in late December.
Within this legislation, our industry has been promised a “carve-out” excluding the security and life safety systems, communications technology, and many other commercial products that manufacturers and integrators provide. This exclusion sill be featured in a written agreement to amend between the original bill sponsors and the governor’s office. In the future, the amendment can be cited in other states that propose similar legislation.
Here’s an excerpt from one of many agreed-upon exclusions.
… commercial and industrial electrical equipment (including power distribution equipment, such as medium-/low-voltage switchgear and transformers; power control equipment, such as medium-/low-voltage motor control and drives; power quality equipment, such as uninterruptable power supplies, remote power panels, power distribution units, and static/transfer switches) and any tools, technology, attachments, accessories, components, and repair parts for any of the foregoing. (e) manufacturer, distributor, importer, retailer, or dealer.
Why is R2R legislation important and surfacing now?
Every day, NSCA members battle scope creep in their line of work—and this is similar. Legislators are often lobbied by special interest groups and consumer protection activists who have good intentions but don’t always realize the unintended consequences of their actions. In this case, lobbyists intended to keep ownership costs and disposal rates down, but the all-encompassing nature of the bill language creates a nationwide reaction that needs to be reeled in.
What’s next? NSCA will continue to monitor this legislation in every state and watch for more bills like this in the new session. Please let us know right away if you hear about any legislation like this in your state. We’re confident that NSCA, along with our consortium partners, can provide alternative language that will exclude our scope of work from this type of bill.