NSCA and its Board of Directors has a responsibility to you—our members—to continuously evaluate public policy and position statements. Find out more about our legislative priorities this year.
Because we serve as your voice, we want integrators and manufacturers to understand the industry’s position on these regulatory, legislative, and licensure bills and seek membership approval to ensure that the vast majority of members agree with our impactful statements.
Here are our legislative priorities for 2023 …
1. The National Electrical Code
The 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC) is out, and U.S. states are already starting to adopt it. The most exciting part of the 2023 NEC for systems integrators is the inclusion of new Class 4 fault-managed power. This new circuit classification is now recognized within the NEC, and NSCA believes that this is the start of a new generation of digital power, launching many new innovations in the use of direct current (DC) technology.
With Class 4, the connected, converged, intelligent, and healthy buildings of today and tomorrow will see improved energy efficiency while also using fewer materials (less as copper and conduit, for example). While this is a very exciting opportunity for our industry, there’s a reason this innovation is at the top of our 2023 list of legislative priorities: The industry now has a much larger opportunity to drive even more change.
As the 2026 NEC is contemplated by code-making officials (work has already begun on it), NSCA envisions an entirely new section or chapter that guides standards and practices for systems integrators. NSCA has subject-matter experts and representatives who serve on these code-making panels and understand how innovation drives code development—and how existing codes can stall the implementation of advanced technology. We’re very proud to support NSCA members that are involved in the effort to modernize code and create more efficient, sustainable, intelligent buildings.
Licensure is an issue that never seems to go away. NSCA is not opposed to company or individual licensing—if licensure is driven by the integration community. We do, however, oppose licensure that’s largely developed and governed by other trades.
In 2023, NSCA representatives will be at the table discussing a new low-voltage/limited-energy licensing program that’s intended to be national, be transportable, and have state reciprocity. Our position is this: We will offer this license if required by code or law yet remain firm that the industry, through education and credentialing, can regulate itself when licensure isn’t required. In addition, we do not endorse the need for multiple licenses in states where licensure already exists. This is a very controversial topic, and we look forward to sharing more details at our upcoming annual member meeting held in conjunction with the 2023 Business & Leadership Conference.
3. Apprenticeship Mandates
NSCA strongly believes in promoting apprenticeship programs that make relevant training, supervision, and testing available. We do not agree with state-mandated apprenticeship programs that include curriculum and training that is mostly irrelevant to our scope of work and governed by other trades.
We are also active in proposing model legislation to provide funding for apprenticeships, internships, mentoring programs, veterans’ programs, and other workforce development programs.
4. R2R Legislation
NSCA is closely monitoring Right to Repair (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 R2R legislation 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.
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.
5. Cyber Vigilance
NSCA is active in reporting on proposed legislation and offering model legislation when requested to address issues such as privacy, data collection, cyber risks, inappropriate usage, or reckless use of applications or capabilities.
This includes our careful monitoring of practices and helping members vet their suppliers and methods.
6. School Safety
Many bills on the map are favorable for school safety and security—and some aren’t. NSCA supports legislation that provides funding for school safety technology and encourages public and private schools to have a comprehensive safety plan in place. As the cofounder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) K-12, NSCA supports the use of these guidelines as a technology roadmap.