November 30, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. IV, No. 22


CONTENTS
Fuel Cells 2000 Launches
Searchable Database

California Public Utilities Commission Proposes Budget Increase for
Solar Installation Rebates

Indicators of Future Housing Construction Show Decline

NFPA Releases Updated Residential Wiring Textbook

U.S. Department of Energy Launches Disaster Recovery and Building Reconstruction Web Site

Connecticut Requests Bids for
Fire Alarm System Electrical Upgrade

Fort Worth Seeks Services
for Convention Center

Business Briefs

Buildometer

New York Congressman Criticizes Safety Regulations for Recovery Efforts

International Consumer Electronics Show

IESNA Centennial Conference

2006 International Builders' Show & tecHOMExpo


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    Around the Circuit
    Fuel Cells 2000 Launches
    Searchable Database

    Fuel Cells 2000 recently launched its MySQL searchable database of worldwide stationary fuel cell installations. The database catalogs all installations -- past, present, and planned -- and allows users to search by manufacturer, city, state, country, fuel cell type, power range, fuel, demonstration program, and keyword. This includes listings from fuel cell demonstration programs conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, European Union, and Japan from the 1990s, as well as more recent installations and planned sitings. The free resource is available at the Fuel Cells Web site.


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    Free PowerPad Brochure
    Wouldn't it be nice if you could look inside your electrical system and see what's going on? Troubleshooting would be so much easier if you could see the volts, amps, and harmonic content in real time and take pictures to document and analyze. Now you can do just that and more with AEMC's PowerPad Model 3945. Record trends and capture transients, events, and screen shots all at the same time. Review it on screen or download a complete database for thorough analysis on your PC with the DataView software provided. Call (800) 343-1391 or e-mail sales@aemc.com for your free PowerPad brochure. AEMC's brochure is also available online at www.aemc.com.


    California Public Utilities Commission Proposes Budget Increase for
    Solar Installation Rebates

    The California Public Utilities Commission is considering final approval of a plan to add $300 million -- up from the $80 million spent in 2005 -- to its 2006 budget for rebates to businesses that install solar-electric systems. The plan would also reduce the size of each rebate from $3.50 per watt to $2.80 per watt for applications of more than 30kW. According to the agency, both changes will allow more businesses to participate in the program. Currently, there is an estimated $200 million in commercial projects on the waiting list. The rebates are a part of the state's goal of having 3,000MW of solar rooftop panels installed within its borders in the next 10 years.

    Indicators of Future Housing Construction Show Decline
    The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that building permits dropped 5.6% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.01 million. This marks a 2.3% decline from September 2004. The rate for buildings with five or more units decreased 12% compared to September and 24% compared to last year. The Bureau also reported a drop in housing starts -- 6.7% compared to September and 1.1% compared to October 2004. Single-unit starts decreased 4.9% from September but were up 4.9% compared to last year. Finally, the government stated that two- to four-unit starts were down 4.5% from last month and 3.4% from a year ago. Housing starts for buildings with five or more units were down 16% compared to September and 24% compared to October 2004.

    NFPA Releases Updated Residential Wiring Textbook
    The NFPA recently released the 2nd edition of its Residential Wiring: A Practical Guide Based on the 2005 National Electrical Code illustrated textbook. Written by Brooke Stauffer, executive director for standards and safety at NECA, the expanded 2005 version covers how to design and install wiring systems for houses, apartments, and condos under the Code. The recent release also includes a new chapter on installing backup generators at one- and two-family dwellings. To order the 350-page textbook, contact the NFPA at (800) 344-3555 or visit its Web site.

    U.S. Department of Energy Launches Disaster Recovery and Building Reconstruction Web Site
    The U.S. Department of Energy has launched a Disaster Recovery and Building Reconstruction Web site, providing resources and information for consumers, state and local officials, builders, and contractors interested in cost-effective, durable, and energy-efficient reconstruction in the areas damaged by the recent hurricanes. The online offering includes information on training opportunities, guidelines, fact sheets, and case studies developed by the department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    DUALmode Makes LANTEK Twice as Valuable
    As the only handheld LAN certifier capable of sweeping up to 1Ghz, the LANTEK 7G is the most advanced and complete CAT 5e/6/6a/7 certification tester in the world. And now with exclusive DUALmode technology, it's the only tester capable of performing simultaneous testing of both channel and permanent links. Visit www.idealindustries.com to set up a demo of the LANTEK 7G.


    Project Watch
    Connecticut Requests Bids for
    Fire Alarm System Electrical Upgrade

    The Department of Public Works, State of Connecticut, is seeking bids for an electrical upgrade to the fire protection system in Hickerson/Chase Halls at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. The range of the project's cost estimate is approximately $1 million. A mandatory pre-bid conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST on Dec. 6 at the Southern Connecticut State University Facility Building, Room 327, 615 Fitch St., Hamden, Conn. Bids may be submitted until 1 p.m. EST on Dec. 21. For more information, contact Patrick Nolan at (860) 713-5790. To download a pdf of the project's application form, visit the state's Web site.

    Fort Worth Seeks Services
    for Convention Center

    The Purchasing Division of the City of Fort Worth, Texas, is requesting proposals for electrical and plumbing services for a term of three years for the Fort Worth Convention Center. A pre-proposal conference will be held on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. CST at the Fort Worth Convention Center, W104, 1201 Houston, Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, contact Camillia Ryan, buyer, by phone at (817) 392-8321 or e-mail camillia.ryan@forthworthgov.org. To download a pdf of the proposal application, visit the city's Web site. Proposals are due Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m. CST.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    NIMBUS insulated connectors from ILSCO feature single- or dual-sided multi-tap configurations in addition to in-line or off-set splicer-reducer connectors. A new mountable version for use in troughs, wire ways, or panels has recently been introduced. Dual-rated for copper or aluminum conductor, the offering is UL Listed and features removable plugs for entry port closure. Visit our Web site at www.ilsco.com for additional product information.

    Web Exclusives
    Business Briefs
    Palatine, Ill.-based Schneider Electric recently announced the opening of its Sensor Competency Center (SCC). Based in Dayton, Ohio, the group provides technical and application support for Schneider's Telemecanique and Hyde Park sensor lines. The staff of 60 offers expertise in sensor-related issues such as product support and selection, installation, product modification, and global design for ultrasonic sensors. For more information, contact the center by phone at (800) 392-8781 or by e-mail at help@SESensors.com.

    For more Business Briefs, visit EC&M's Web site.

    Buildometer
    The preliminary numbers from the effect of hurricanes Katrina and Rita are in. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the damage and subsequent reconstruction will have little impact on the overall total -- in 2004, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi comprised just more than 3% of the total construction spending for the United States. The agency's survey collection process will follow normal data collection procedures. As reconstruction takes place, this activity will be included in the total of construction projects. Money spent on demolitions and related activities will be excluded from the figures. For projects where demolition and re-building are in the same contract, the agency will attempt to exclude the demolition portion through additional follow-up with respondents or other sources. For the purposes of the survey, cleanup is not defined as construction spending. All figures are calculated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate.




    Eye on Safety
    New York Congressman Criticizes Safety Regulations for Recovery Efforts
    Congressman Major R. Owens (D-N.Y.) recently announced he will not support H.R. 3975, "Hurricane Regulatory Relief Act of 2005," which includes the provision to allow OSHA to use the services of volunteers for projects related to worker health and safety in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Owens claims that the bill does not address the safety and health issues faced by the volunteer workers and that employment of residents may be undermined by an expanded volunteer project. According to Owens, OSHA has not conducted a comprehensive assessment of the hazards facing clean-up and recovery workers and that the agency has failed to specify what types of personal protective equipment are required for the different clean-up, recovery, and reconstruction tasks.

    In response to Owens' allegations, the agency notes that hundreds of OSHA staff have been deployed in the hurricane-affected areas and have removed approximately 32,000 workers from hazardous situations. The agency also states that its response team is visiting electric and telecommunications utility restoration, construction, debris removal, and tree-trimming staging areas to provide advice and information on hazards to the workers.


    Shows and Events
    International Consumer Electronics Show
    The Consumer Electronics Association (CES) will present the 2006 International CES conference from Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas. Exhibitors from the audio, home networking, and wireless industries will be in attendance. Microsoft's Bill Gates, Google co-founder Larry Page, and Sony Corp. CEO Sir Howard Stringer are scheduled to deliver keynote addresses, in addition to the presentation of the CES Innovations 2006 Awards. For more information, visit the CES Web site.

    IESNA Centennial Conference
    The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) will present its Centennial Conference from Jan. 8-10 in New York. Participants are invited to the New York Academy of Medicine to hear Professor David DiLaura deliver the opening address, followed by a retrospective of the society's design awards programs. The event will then move to the Museum of the City of New York for the opening of the museum's exhibit, "Transformed by Light: The New York Night." Other activities include sessions on lighting education, research, and design and application. For more information and to register, visit IESNA's Web site.

    2006 International Builders' Show & tecHOMExpo
    The National Association of Homebuilders (NAH) will present its International Builders' Show from Jan. 11-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Planned highlights include a keynote address by General Colin Powell, speech by radio show host Dennis Prager, a viewing of The New American Home, and several awards programs. For more information, visit NAH's Web site.

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