Press Release

Senators Welch and Heinrich Lead Colleagues in Urging Dept. of Energy to Finalize Transformer Standard to Make Energy System More Efficient 

Jul 31, 2023

WASHINGTON — Today, Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) were joined by Senators Whitehouse, Shaheen, Van Hollen, Sanders, Blumenthal, Merkley, Warren, and Booker in sending a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, urging the Department to finalize its proposed distribution transformer efficiency standard. The standard aims to lower energy bills for consumers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make the U.S. energy grid more resilient. The lawmakers also request an extension of the compliance deadline to allow the U.S. to address the shortage of domestic e-steel, a key component of distribution transformers and electric system projects. 

“We can all agree that the [distribution] transformer shortage is happening now and requires timely solutions. We are working with our colleagues in Congress to find ways to increase the availability of transformers in the United States. However, the status quo leaves America heavily reliant on imports. The proposed energy efficiency standard, complemented by additional congressional investments would ensure there is a robust market for a mix of both conventional e-steel and amorphous metal,” the letter reads. “We appreciate the work you have already done to modernize America’s electric grid. As you finalize this efficiency standard, we again urge you to prioritize emissions reductions, energy savings, U.S. jobs, and the resilience of the American electric grid. We believe that the failure to do so will mean higher energy bills, increased emissions, and future jobs lost for American workers as the U.S. becomes more reliant on imported e-steel.”  

To read the full text of the lawmakers’ letter, please click here.