Protecting Your Business with CEDIA’s Government Affairs

CEDIA’s government affairs program is known as “The Voice of the Residential Technology Systems Industry.” Its efforts are designed to support members and ensure that their ability to own and operate their businesses is not impeded. Our mission is to influence public policy to protect CEDIA members, the residential technology systems industry, and consumers.

1. Why is CEDIA’s government affairs program a benefit to the membership?

CEDIA works daily to monitor, track, and lobby on pending licensing legislation and regulations. We do this to ensure appropriate exemptions, or definitions of work, for a license accurately represents the work done by residential integrators today and in the future. It’s vital to have forward-looking code language to support technological innovations and encourage the adoption of technology.

Every day, CEDIA’s government affairs program works to be your advocate and a voice for your business and industry.

2. What issues does CEDIA advocate on for its members?

The reason to establish CEDIA’s government affairs program was electrical licensing legislation. Our top priority continues to be the issues of electrical licensing and low-voltage licensing.

Residential integrators design, install, integrate, program, and automate a variety of technology systems so everything works together easily and intuitively. The work of residential integrators is a separate trade from that of electricians and should not be bundled into an electrical license.

Alarm/security licensing, connected devices, electronic waste, the National Electrical Code, and workforce development are other legislative and regulatory issues we track at the state and local levels.

CEDIA continues to work to educate legislators, legislative staff, and other government officials on the important work and benefits of the technology installed by residential integrators.

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3. What are some highlights from the 2022 legislative sessions so far?

For CEDIA, some of the priority legislative bills from the 2022 state legislative sessions so far include:

Georgia Senate Bill 561 – legislation relating to professions and businesses of electrical contractors, plumbers, conditioned air contractors, low-voltage contractors, and utility contractors.Indiana Senate Bill 395 – legislation creating licensing for independent electrical contractors and establishes the Indiana Commission on Independent Electrical Contractors. The bill did not advance this session. CEDIA continues to work to ensure there is an exemption for technology systems work in the legislation.Michigan House Bill 4125 – legislation amending provisions relating to the licensing of electricians and providing for a definition of electrical energy supply agency. CEDIA continues to work for an exemption for residential integrators from the state’s electrical licensing requirements.Missouri Senate Bill 942 – legislation which creates provisions related to the statewide licensing of home improvement contractors and salespersons.

CEDIA is monitoring numerous bills in New Jersey. New Jersey Assembly Bill 2138 establishes a professional board to regulate home improvement and home elevation contractors and requires licensure for each type of contract.

Based on the proposed legislation, CEDIA members would need to be licensed as a home improvement contractor.

Oklahoma House Bill 2864 proposed changes to Oklahoma’s Class 2 and Class 3 circuits exemption. The bill did not advance this session. CEDIA successfully lobbied for the Class 2 and Class 3 exemption in a past session and will continue to defend the exemption as a proper way to differentiate between technology systems work and electrical work. The Class 2 and Class 3 circuits exemption supports technological innovation and does so in a safe, well-defined manner based on the National Electrical Code.

West Virginia House Bill 4588, legislation amending requirements for licensure related to elevator mechanics, crane operators, HVAC, electricians, and plumbers. Within the legislation they’re also eliminating a low-voltage exemption. The bill did not advance this session, but CEDIA continues to work to learn about the background on the proposed low-voltage change.

4. What changes for the residential technology systems industry are on the horizon?

With the convergence of technology and the increased use of Power over Ethernet (PoE), low-voltage lighting, and other technologies for residential projects, we at CEDIA continue to work to ensure licenses and regulations properly support the work and technology residential integrators install.

Updates to the 2023 edition of the National Electrical Code will soon be adopted, after which states will begin to adopt the new edition with state specific amendments. CEDIA will monitor these amendments and the impact on work and technology installed by residential integrators.

Changes to the 2023 edition of the National Electrical Code include changes to Article 725, the main article for the work of residential integrators, in addition to some new articles. We will have more information and education in the year ahead.

5. How does someone get involved in CEDIA’s government affairs efforts?

The success of CEDIA’s government affairs efforts is dependent on members who lend their voice throughout the legislative process.

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Get involved through the CEDIA Grassroots Legislative Network when CEDIA reaches out about pending legislation. A call to action in these communications could include providing feedback on the impact of a bill, contacting your legislators, attending a legislative meeting, or testifying before a legislative committee. As small business owners, CEDIA members provide valuable perspectives throughout the legislative process.

When a CEDIA call-to-action email hits your inbox, it’s vital to step up, get involved, and take action. Your participation is valued, and your voice is necessary throughout the legislative process.

Darren Reaman is Director of Government Affairs at CEDIA.

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