S.190 – Power and Security Systems (PASS) Act

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Week ending October 13, 2017

S.190 – Power and Security Systems (PASS) Act


‘The purpose of S. 190 is to provide for consideration of the extension under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of non-application of No-Load Mode energy efficiency standards to certain security or life safety alarms or surveillance systems.’

Congress amended EPCA to define and direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to set energy conservation standards for External Power Supplies (EPS). DOE’s EPS standards require test procedures for products in “no-load” mode. No-load refers to when a device is disconnected from its power-consuming “load” and performing no function. For example, when a cell phone charger is plugged into the wall, but disconnected from an actual phone, the charger is considered to be in no-load mode.

However, by definition, security and life safety products are always on. Fire monitors, carbon monoxide monitors, intrusion detection sensors, and access control readers require a constant, uninterrupted power supply. Power supplies designed to power security and life safety systems are always in “active mode,” and as such simply do not have a no-load mode function.

In 2011, Congress enacted Public Law 111-360, to exclude an external power supply for certain security or life safety alarms and surveillance system components from the application of certain energy efficiency standards under EPCA.

This law provided a five-year exemption for life safety and security systems that expires on July 1, 2017. S. 190 extends the life safety and security system exemption for as long as the current EPS efficiency standard is in effect, and provides DOE with the regulatory authority to extend the exemption in any subsequent update to the standard.

(Full text of S. 190 congress.gov)

SponsorSen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO] (Introduced 01/23/2017)

Status:  Passed Senate / Passed House /



On Passage: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote

House Amendments:

Motion to recommit:

Text of the motion:


On Passage: Passed Senate without amendment (08/01/2017)

Procedural Actions:

Senate Amendments:


Cost to the taxpayersCBO estimates that enacting S. 190 would have no significant effect on the federal budget. Based on information from DOE, we expect that any change in the agency’s costs to regulate or establish standards for technologies affected by the bill (which would be subject to appropriation) would be insignificant in any year.

Pay-as-you-go requirements:  Enacting S. 190 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Regulatory and Other Impact: S. 190 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments. The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of imposing Government-established standards or significant economic responsibilities on private individuals and businesses.

Dynamic Scoring:   CBO estimates that enacting S. 190 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.

Tax Complexity:  Not applicable to this bill.

Earmark Certification:  Data not available

Duplication of programs: Data not available

Direct Rule-Making:  Data not available

Advisory Committee Statement: Data not available

Budget Authority: Data not available

Constitutional Authority:   Assumed.


More Bill Information:


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