Bipartisan Effort Shields Grid Vitality: NEMA's Stand

Distribution Transformers
Distribution Transformers*Image Source: Oreaco*


In a bipartisan move, Senators Brown and Cruz introduce the Distribution Transformer Efficiency & Supply Chain Reliability Act, championing NEMA's call to preserve the use of grain-oriented electric steel over amorphous steel. The legislation aims to stabilize the supply chain, ensuring energy efficiency and addressing the critical shortage of distribution transformers.


A recent bipartisan legislative endeavor, led by Senators Sherrod Brown and Ted Cruz, underscores the urgency to safeguard the production of distribution transformers. The Distribution Transformer Efficiency & Supply Chain Reliability Act responds to a Department of Energy (DOE) rulemaking that threatens to disrupt the supply chain by compelling a shift from grain-oriented electric steel (GOES) to amorphous steel. This move, backed by NEMA, utility trades, and domestic steel producers, is crucial in addressing the challenges faced by manufacturers and securing the grid component's availability.

Distribution transformers, essential for electricity delivery, currently face significant backlogs, exceeding two years. With over 95% of these transformers being made with GOES, the proposed DOE rule, set to take effect by June, poses a risk to resiliency plans, residential construction, and e-mobility projects across the country. The bill seeks to limit the DOE's ability to establish efficiency standards that mandate the sole use of amorphous steel, providing regulatory certainty and addressing supply chain disruptions.

This legislative effort builds on bipartisan initiatives, emphasizing the critical role of GOES in distribution transformers. NEMA's advocacy efforts, supported by senators from both parties, showcase a commitment to securing the supply chain, ensuring efficiency, and addressing the current challenges faced by manufacturers.


The bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Brown and Cruz, endorsed by NEMA, reflects a united effort to protect the distribution transformer supply chain. Addressing the imminent disruption caused by the proposed DOE rule, the act prioritizes grid resiliency, reduces backlogs, and ensures the availability of distribution transformers. This cooperative approach aligns with NEMA's advocacy for regulatory certainty, emphasizing the importance of GOES in maintaining efficiency and addressing the pressing challenges faced by manufacturers.

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