This piece was originally published in the June 2018 issue of electroindustry.
A solid foundation is the basis of a strong future, and NEMA advocacy efforts are in superb shape thanks in large part to the bedrock laid by Kyle Pitsor. His commitment to Member services across an array of issues, from energy efficiency, to trade opportunities and electrical safety, has been his hallmark over the past 36 years.
Kyle’s tenure and NEMA’s growth have been nearly synonymous since former NEMA President Bernard Falk met him at the Commerce Department in 1982. NEMA had asked for a meeting to understand how its Members could get into the European utility markets.
“I was young, just a member of the team that briefed NEMA,” Kyle recalled. “Bernie wanted someone who understood trade. He recruited me at that meeting.”
As the first professional NEMA staffer on international trade, as industry director for Lighting, Motors and Generators, and Batteries, and ultimately as vice president of Government Relations, Kyle shaped policies virtually touching all aspects of the electrical world. In many respect these priorities have been driving forces in the electroindustry and his career. (See highlights below)
Ironically, he has been around long enough to see new issues reappear. During his first three years with NEMA, for example, voluntary restraint agreements were put into effect on foreign steel, which was demonstrated to compete unfairly against U.S. steel used in NEMA Member electrical transmission structures.
“Unfair trade allegations in steel are again a major trade concern in 2018!” he noted with a laugh.
As Kyle departs, NEMA energy policy work is growing stronger as it encompasses new technologies, many of which are built around systems and not solely products—like smart grid, microgrids, energy storage, demand response, and distributed energy resources.
He is already planning the next chapter in his life as he intends to dedicate himself to historic preservation and land conservation.
Well done Kyle…and thank you.
During his 36-year tenure at NEMA, Kyle Pitsor was a key participant in these advocacy milestones:
|1988||Expansion of the 1979 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Government Procurement Code in 1988 included publicly owned electric utilities, which opened $20–25 billion in export markets for NEMA Members.|
|1989||U.S.–Canada Free Trade Agreement removed tariffs, improved regulatory cooperation, and addressed technical barriers to trade.|
|1991||Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, NEMA conducted a trade mission on market opportunities to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak Republics.|
|1992||Energy Policy Act of 1992 included NEMA energy-efficiency minimum requirements for electric motors and the first federal requirements for certain types of lighting products and distribution transformers.|
|1994||North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) built on the agreement with Canada and provided the basis for further integration of the U.S. electroindustry in North America.|
|1995||NEMA first trade mission to Mexico established a relationship with CANAME.|
|1996||Appropriations Act of 1996 placed a one-year moratorium on the ability of the Department of Energy to promulgate efficiency standards until it had conducted and implemented a process rule to improve rulemaking procedures.|
|2005||Energy Policy Act of 2005 included the first tax incentive for energy-efficient technologies used in commercial buildings, supported more than $1 billion in renovation, mandated the use of NEMA Premium® motors for federal procurement, and added NEMA products in the federal efficiency program.|
|2007||Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 negotiated the provision to transition to more energy-efficient lighting for traditional light bulbs, and established smart grid technology and demonstration programs.|
|2009||American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded more than $35 billion for electroindustry technologies, including smart grid and energy infrastructure.|
|2011||Testified on lamp labeling.|
|2012||Testified on building efficiency incentives.|
|2013||Testimony resulted in OSHA referencing the most recent version of Z535 as a means of compliance for workplace warning labels.|
|2014–2016||Oversaw efforts to enact building benchmarking and transparency in more than 25 cities.|
|2015–present||Successfully defended the three-year building code adoption cycle in multiple states.|
|2015-present||Expanded NEMA PAC to its highest level of support for candidates in terms of donations.|
|2017||Testified on NAFTA modernization.|
|2018||Testified on importance of public-private collaboration to improve grid cybersecurity.|