SMACNA and the Sheet Metal Workers union sent a joint letter to President Barack Obama thanking him for an Aug. 30 executive order on industrial energy efficiency.

“The presidential announcement and executive order will stimulate industrial retrofits, make American manufacturers more competitive by slashing their energy bills, create skilled construction related jobs, and reduce harmful pollution,” said Joseph Nigro, general president of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Rail and Transportation Workers, formerly the Sheet Metal Workers union . “Your administration is both correct and logical to focus on the industrial sector, which is responsible for nearly one third of U.S. energy use and where efficiency and productivity opportunities abound. This valued effort will complement the successful Better Buildings Initiative as well as the many tax and program investment incentives for greater efficiency in residential, commercial and public facilities. All of these initiatives have created construction activity, economic growth and energy savings with improvement to environmental quality.”

In his comments, Richard Rivera, president of the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association, wrote the order should boost employment and save energy.

“We believe this executive order supporting greater industrial efficiency puts the United States on a path to dramatically increase the deployment of combined heat and power to the financial benefit of U.S. manufacturers, industrial and construction employment as well as environmental quality,” Rivera said. “When coupled with your administration’s energy efficiency initiatives driving private sector energy reductions in residential and commercial markets, the industrial-efficiency executive order offers our manufacturing sector a competitive advantage that will benefit jobs, efficiency, and our economy.”