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July 17, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. 5, No. 13

Give Us Your Input!

Construction Spending Down in May, Up from 2005

Florida Program Offers Grants for Solar Power Systems

Rexel to Acquire GE Supply

New York and New Jersey Port Authority Seeks Maintenance and Asset Management Services

Street Lighting Part of Light Rail Project for Massachusetts Transportation Authority

Business Brief

Preventing Heat Stress

2006 OML Annual Conference

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

david_morrison David Morrison
Labeling &

Gregorec Jim Gregorec
Test &

Frank Kiffin-
Bruce & Brian
Power Generation

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    Contractor Electronic Connectivity Survey
    Give Us Your Input!
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    The Multi-Tasking Power Quality Analyzer!
    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 for your free PowerPad brochure. AEMC's brochure is also available online at

    Around the Circuit
    Construction Spending Down in May, Up from 2005
    A July 3 report from the Census Bureau reveals that the value of construction put in place fell at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.4% in May, following a 0.2% decrease in April. However, when compared to 2005, spending for every category was up, says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. "For instance, manufacturing spending slipped 1.7% in April but was 33% higher than in May 2005," Simonson says. "For the first five months of 2006 combined, manufacturing construction was up 25% compared to the same months of 2005."

    According to Simonson, a 0.8% decrease in private residential construction and a 0.3% dip in private nonresidential spending offset the 0.7% rise in public construction, which may also decrease as rising costs for paving materials, metals, and plastics cause projects to be canceled or redesigned.

    Florida Program Offers Grants for Solar Power Systems
    On July 1, Florida's Renewable Energies Technologies grants program became effective. Under the law, the state will pay up to half the cost of home solar power systems until the fund's $2.5 million appropriation is exhausted. The money will fund rebates of up to $4 per watt for solar electric systems, $300 to $500 for hot water heating systems, and up to $20,000 for a residence or $100,000 for a business or non-profit organization's photovoltaic system. A state-approved solar installer, master electrician, or electrical contractor must install the systems, and the equipment must be obtained from an approved list maintained by the Florida Solar Energy Center. The systems must connect to the electrical grid and be at least 2kW in size.

    The Florida rebates are in addition to the federal tax credits that started Jan. 1 and are scheduled to continue throughout 2007. Under Internal Revenue Service rules, taxpayers are allowed a tax credit equal to 30% of their investment in a solar electric panel up to a maximum of $2,000, and another equivalent credit for investing in a solar hot water heating system.

    Rexel to Acquire GE Supply
    Dallas-based Rexel Group recently signed an agreement to acquire GE Supply from GE Consumer & Industrial, a unit of General Electric, for a total consideration of $725 million. GE Supply, Shelton, Conn., employs approximately 2,500 people in more than 150 locations around the world, with its core electrical distribution activities based mainly in the United States. Upon closing, GE Supply will operate as a stand-alone organization and will report to the newly created Rexel U.S. holding group currently headed by Dick Waterman, Rexel Inc.'s executive vice president and CEO. Senior Vice President and CEO of GE Supply, Jeff Schaper, will continue to operate the business. The transaction is expected to close by early August 2006, subject to consent of Rexel's senior lenders.

    One Gets It Done
    Feel the difference with the Twister® Wire Connector. A comfortable, swept-wing design provides added leverage, while the durable polypropylene shell expands for a smooth application. The patented live-action, square-wire spring locks onto the wire for safe, secure connections. Don't settle for just any wire connector. Insist on the Twister. Visit for a free sample.

    Project Watch
    New York and New Jersey Port Authority Seeks Maintenance and Asset Management Services
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is seeking proposals from qualified firms to provide operation, maintenance, and asset management services on an interim basis at the cogeneration plant, central heating, and refrigeration plant and related infrastructure located at John F. Kennedy International. Sealed proposals will be accepted until 2 p.m. EST on July 25. To download a pdf of the bid documents, visit the Port Authority's Web site.

    Street Lighting Part of Light Rail Project for Massachusetts Transportation Authority
    Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is requesting bids for light rail accessibility improvements to the Government Center Station in Boston. The scope of work includes the installation of new street lighting. A pre-bid conference will be held on July 31 EST at 10 a.m. Sealed bids will be received until 2 p.m. EST on Sept. 14. For more information regarding this project, visit the MBTA Web site.

    Contractors Earn Free Merchandise From B-line
    Introducing the Great Gear program, a way to acquire free gifts by collecting and redeeming B-Line Bucks found on B-Line's fastener product boxes. Simply remove your B-Line Bucks from the box label and use them to select from a wide assortment of gear in B-Line's Great Gear catalog. To obtain a catalog and order forms, see your local B-Line distributor, or visit our Web site at

    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    The Shaw Group, Baton Rouge, La., recently announced its third quarter fiscal 2006 financial results, reporting that its quarterly revenues increased to $1.2 billion, a 38% increase over third quarter 2005. Shaw's backlog totaled a record $8.1 billion as of May 31, an increase of $1.4 billion from August 31, 2005. Shaw expects to convert approximately $3.8 billion, or 47%, of the backlog during the next 12 months. More than $3.3 billion, or 41%, of the backlog consists of projects for fossil fuel, nuclear, and other power generating plants, and more than $2.0 billion, or 25%, of the backlog is made up of chemical industry projects.

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

    ClearTrax™ range-taking connectors feature easy lay-in installation of aluminum or copper conductors and accommodate a wire range of 1000MCM - 6. Benefits are a faster and safer connection resulting from reduced cable manipulation during installation. Visit our Web site at for additional product information.

    Eye on Safety
    Preventing Heat Stress
    Washington State's Division of Occupational Safety and Health Services recently issued a Hot Weather Advisory featuring tips on how to avoid heat-related illness on the job site. According to the advisory, the two major heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion, if untreated, may progress to deadly heat stroke.

    The report stresses that if workers show symptoms, always take this seriously and have them take a break and cool down before returning to work. If symptoms worsen or the worker does not recover within 15 minutes, call 9-1-1 and have the worker transported and medically evaluated. For a complete list of symptoms and tips on preventing heat-related illnesses, visit Washington State's Department of Labor and Industries' Web site to download a pdf of the Hot Weather Advisory.

    Shows and Events
    2006 OML Annual Conference
    Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) in association with the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) presents "Down the Stretch: Racing to the Centennial" from Aug. 17-19 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. This year's event includes a pre-conference workshop on agenda preparation, the MESO board and annual business meetings, and a gubernatorial forum. For more information, visit the Conference & Exposition's Web site.

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