April 14, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. V, No. 7


CONTENTS
Don't Miss Out on Future Issues of ElectricalZone

U.S. Census Bureau Reports on February Construction Spending

NEMA Releases Standard for Secondary, Non-Sealed Multiport Distribution Connectors

National Grid Plans to Upgrade Electric System in New York

Publix Purchases Generators for Hurricane-Prone Locations

Illinois School Board Seeks Bids for Work in Schools

North Carolina County Requests Proposals for Repairs to County Building

Business Brief

Study Claims BLS Underestimates Injuries/Illnesses

BattCon 2006

Northwest Facilities Expo

BuilConn

IEEE PES T&D Conference & Expo

Enlighten 2006


Sponsored Q&A Partners
A panel of professionals answers your questions on a variety of topics
Chris Meadows
Wiring Duct

david_murray David Murray
Ground Fault
Protection

david_morrison David Morrison
Labeling &
Identification

panduit
Jim
Gregorec Jim Gregorec
Test &
Measurement


ideal
Frank Kiffin-
Bruce & Brian
Larsen
Standby
Power Generation

View Q&A


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    Around the Circuit
    U.S. Census Bureau Reports on February Construction Spending
    The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that construction spending in February was at a record seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.19 trillion, up 0.8% from January and 7.4% from February 2005. According to Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Chief Economist Ken Simonson, all major segments followed the overall total's lead by showing similar growth. For the first time since the 2001 recession, private nonresidential construction led the industry with a 9.6% increase from last year. Private residential construction showed a 7.1% increase, and public construction was up 6%.

    With regard to year-to-date totals, shopping center construction spiked 61%, hospital construction jumped 22%, manufacturing and commercial warehouse construction grew 20%, and the office segment was up 18%. Single- and multi-family residential construction increased 14% in the first two months of this year compared to the same span of 2005. As predicted by Simonson, home sales are slowing but builders are still working on the backlog of unbuilt houses and condos.


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    NEMA Releases Standard for Secondary, Non-Sealed Multiport Distribution Connectors
    The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., recently published ANSI C119.6-2006, "American National Standard for Electric Connectors-Non-Sealed, Multiport Connector Systems Rated 600 Volts or Less for Aluminum and Copper Conductors." This standard covers non-sealed multiport connector systems rated at 600V for making electrical connections between conductors and establishes electrical, mechanical, and sealing requirements for non-sealed multiport connector systems.

    The standard gives reasonable assurance to the user that non-sealed multiport connector systems meeting the requirements of this standard will perform in a satisfactory manner, provided they have been properly selected for the intended application and are installed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation. ANSI C119.6-2006 replaces ANSI C119.4, which is primarily for uninsulated single-conductor or tap-type connectors. This is now the utility industry standard for secondary, non-sealed multiport distribution connectors. ANSI C119.6-2006 is available on NEMA's Web site or by contacting Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179.

    National Grid Plans to Upgrade Electric System in New York
    Buffalo, N.Y.-based National Grid plans to spend $1.2 billion over the next five years to upgrade its aging electric system in New York after failing reliability standards set by state regulators. Charged with an $8.8 million fine from the state Public Service Commission for logging too much outage time in 2005, the company will increase its spending on system improvements by about two-thirds over levels budgeted in its current rate agreement. The upgrade program will target the utility's poorest-performing circuits and will replace more than 600 miles of lines this year.

    Publix Purchases Generators for Hurricane-Prone Locations
    Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets plans to install 400 stationary and mobile generators to hurricane-prone store locations, as well as 175 quick-connecting docking stations to stores in lower-probability hurricane areas. The 500kW permanent generators include automated turn-on sensors and contain a double-lined fuel tank (with a bi-fuel option) that holds 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The mobile generators are trailer-mounted and will be transported by Publix tractors. They have a self-contained, double-lined fuel tank that holds 860 gallons of diesel fuel. The company expects the generators to protect Publix stores in approximately 575 communities at an estimated investment of $100 million.


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    Project Watch
    Illinois School Board Seeks Bids for Work in Schools
    The South Central Board of Education is accepting bids for various projects for work at schools located in Farina and Kinmundy, Ill. Scope of electrical work includes disconnection and reconnection of power to equipment, the removal of an existing electric boiler and classroom unit ventilators, and extension of electrical service to provide power to all new rooftop air-conditioning units. Sealed bids are to be delivered to South Central CUSD #401, 501 South Madison, Kinmundy, IL, 62854 prior to 2 p.m. CST on April 19.

    North Carolina County Requests Proposals for Repairs to County Building
    Carteret County is soliciting contractors for repair work in a building that incurred water damage when an internal roof drain burst. The scope of electrical repairs for this contract includes removal of all damaged fixtures, reattaching loose conduit and cable, installing new fixtures, replacing two light fixtures in second-floor conference room with surface-mount fluorescent fixtures, adding two surface-mount fluorescent fixtures to second-floor hallway, replacing all receptacles, covers, wall switches and plates, and replacing one main lug 100A, 18-circuit panel. The deadline for bids is May 2 EST at 2 p.m. For a pdf of the bid documents, visit the county's Web site.


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    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    Grainger Presents Advance With Outstanding Supplier Award Grainger, Lake Forest, Ill., recently presented Rosemont, Ill.-based Advance with its Partners in Performance Supplier Award for 2005 at Grainger's recent Partners In Performance Supplier Conference held in Itasca, Ill. Every year, Grainger presents the award, which recognizes suppliers that achieve excellence in several categories, including responsiveness, information integrity, on-time shipping, and order fulfillment, to a select group of suppliers for outstanding performance throughout the year.

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



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    Eye on Safety
    Study Claims BLS Underestimates Injuries/Illnesses
    A study funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that the current national system for calculating workplace injuries and illnesses "markedly underestimates the magnitude of these conditions." The study, conducted by researchers from Michigan State University, analyzed Michigan workplace injury and illness data in five different databases, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the years 1999, 2000, and 2001. From that analysis, the researchers concluded that the number of work-related injuries and illnesses in Michigan is three times greater than BLS estimates. The findings lead the researchers to believe that BLS significantly underestimates U.S. workplace injuries and illnesses.

    Currently, BLS comes up with its estimates of workplace injuries and illnesses based on a sampling of employers, not a census of all work-related injuries and illnesses. The annual BLS survey does not include farms with fewer than 11 employees, private households, federal government agencies, and, for national estimates, state, and local government employees.



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    Shows and Events


    BattCon 2006

    The 2006 International Stationary Battery Conference and Tradeshow will be held in Orlando from May 8-10. This year's three-day technical symposium will feature papers and panels that address the theme, "Managing Change -- or Coping with the Status Quo." Seminars on battery basics as well as advanced topics in lead-acid batteries will be presented. For more information and to register, visit the BattCon 2006 Web site.





    Northwest Facilities Expo

    The Northwest Facilities Expo will take place in Portland, Ore., from May 10-11. Seminars featured in this year's event include "How to Coordinate Emergency and Standby Systems in Compliance with the NEC," "Infrared Technology -- for Electrical Applications and Beyond," "The Oregon Energy Code," and "The 10 Steps of an Effective Arc Flash Hazard Safety Program." For more information and to register, visit the Expo's Web site.

    BuilConn
    BuilConn will be held in Palm Springs, Calif., from May 16-18. The focus of this year's event is the broad adoption of IP and related technologies as the convergence with the IT world evolves. Conference topics, such as strategies for building-IT convergence and intelligent buildings adoption, selling and buying processes of IT and enterprise building system solutions, new technologies and standards for tomorrow's building systems, and open roundtable discussions, workshops and demonstrations of new and relevant technologies will be presented at the two-day conference. For more information or to register, visit the BuilConn Web site.

    IEEE PES T&D Conference & Expo
    The 2005/2006 IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference & Expo will be held in Dallas from May 21-24. The technical portion of the event will include seminars on overhead and underground transmission and distribution systems; safety, maintenance, and operation; distribution generation; power quality and grounding; FACTS and HVDC; distribution systems and planning; transformers; and circuit breakers. The Exposition features hands-on product demonstrations and tutorials. For more information, visit IEEE's Web site.

    Enlighten 2006
    The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) recently issued a call for speakers for its 6th annual Education Conference to be held from Oct. 19-21 in San Diego. The organization seeks experts in their fields to present workshops and seminars at the conference. The deadline for submissions is May 5. For more information, visit the IALD Web site.
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