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NSCA’s 2023 Legislative Priorities for Commercial Integrators 

Published: 2023-04-27

NSCA and its Board of Directors have a responsibility to integrators to evaluate public policy and position statements continuously. 

Because we serve as the industry’s voice, we want integrators and manufacturers to understand how regulatory, legislative and licensure bills affect our industry — and NSCA’s position on them. As we determine our legislative priorities, we also seek approval from NSCA membership to ensure the vast majority of members agree with our impactful statements. 

NSCA’s Key Legislative Priorities 

What follows are just a few of our legislative priorities for 2023: 

The National Electrical Code: The 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC) was released last fall, and U.S. states are already starting to adopt it. For integrators, the most exciting part of the new document is the inclusion of 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 innovations in the use of direct current (DC) technology. 

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With Class 4, the connected, converged, intelligent and healthy buildings of today and tomorrow will see improved energy efficiency while, at the same time, using fewer materials (less copper and conduit, for example). Although this is a very exciting opportunity for our industry, there’s a reason that this is at the top of our 2023 legislative-priority list: The industry now has a much larger opportunity to drive more change. 

As code-making officials contemplate the 2026 NEC (work has already begun), 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 who are involved in the effort to modernize code and create more efficient, sustainable, intelligent buildings. 

Licensure: The licensure issue never seems to go away. NSCA is not opposed to company or individual licensing — if the integration community drives licensure. However, we oppose licensure that other trades largely develop and govern. 

This year, NSCA representatives will be at the table, discussing a new low-voltage/limited-energy licensing program that’s intended to be national, to be transportable and to have state reciprocity. Our position is this: We will offer the license if required by code or law; yet, we 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. 

Relevant Training and Supervision 

Apprenticeship Mandates: NSCA strongly believes in promoting apprenticeship programs that make available training, supervision and testing that are relevant. However, we do not agree with state-mandated apprenticeship programs that include curriculum and training that are mostly irrelevant to our scope of work and that other trades govern. 

We are also active in proposing model legislation to provide funding for apprenticeship, internship and mentoring programs, as well as veterans’ programs and other workforce-development programs. 

R2R Legislation: NSCA is closely monitoring Right to Repair (R2R) legislation as it gains momentum across the country. This could be very harmful to integrators. What started as a simple act that would allow consumers to change their own cell-phone batteries, and that would permit 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, authorized distributors and dealers of specialized electronic systems, such as those that NSCA members provide, which require specialized training or credentials to repair. 

Within this legislation, our industry has been promised a “carve-out” that would exclude the security and life-safety systems, communications technology and many other commercial products that manufacturers and integrators provide. 

NSCA Remains Active 

Cyber Vigilance: NSCA is active in reporting on proposed legislation — along with offering model legislation, when requested — to address issues such as privacy, data collection, cyber risks, and inappropriate and/or reckless usage of applications or capabilities. This includes our careful monitoring of practices and helping members vet their suppliers and methods. 

School Safety: Many bills on the map are favorable for school safety and security — but 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. 

To learn more about legislation that affects the commercial integration industry, visit NSCA.org/track-legislation. 

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