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December 28, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. 5, No. 24


CONTENTS
2007 EC&M Product of the Year Call for Entries

Public Energy Solutions Launches Operation Kill-A-Watt in New York

Energy Commission Awards $3 Million to UC Davis for PHEV Research Center

New York Town May Require Apprentice Training Program for Electrical Contractor Firms

Winslow Township Seeks Lighting Installer

Winslow Township Requests Contractor for General Electrical Work

Electrical Short Preceded Fatal Missouri Fire

Channel Your Energy Into Knowledge and Growth

The International Builders' Show

Engineers Week


Sponsored Q&A Partners
A panel of professionals answers your questions on a variety of topics
Tony Locker Tony Locker
Resistance Grounding

Frank Kiffin-
Bruce & Brian
Larsen
Standby
Power Generation

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    Editor's Note
    2007 EC&M Product of the Year
    Call for Entries

    The EC&M Product of the Year Competition was established in 2000 to honor excellence in new product development in the electrical industry. Now in its seventh year, the prestigious awards program showcases the most innovative products of the past year and recognizes the talent and commitment of the people involved with every aspect of development, from concept through sales. EC&M is proud to bestow these awards on inventive products that ensure electrical professionals are able to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

    Entering your new products into EC&M's Product of the Year competition will provide tremendous exposure for your products and your company. In addition to identifying yourself as a leader in the electrical market, the Product of the Year competition provides repeated exposure in the industry.

    If your products were or will be introduced to the market between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2006, they are eligible for the 2007 EC&M Product of the Year competition. You may download a pdf of the official call for entries from our Web site or visit the 2007 Product of the Year Award Web site.



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    Around the Circuit
    Public Energy Solutions Launches Operation Kill-A-Watt in New York
    Englewood, N.J.-based Public Energy Solutions (PES) recently launched Operation Kill-A-Watt in New York, a new program to help selected businesses and residents in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Westchester County become more energy efficient. As part of the program, free energy-efficient lighting upgrades, as well as cash back incentives, will be made available from PES to eligible building owners from now until Feb. 15.

    PES and Con Edison are urging New Yorkers in selected zip codes and targeted load areas who are using 25 or more incandescent light bulbs in their buildings to sign up for free Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) through Operation Kill-A-Watt (table lamps are excluded). CFLs reduce energy costs by consuming 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. Operation Kill-A-Watt will pay eligible customers for each replaced incandescent bulb by its wattage. "Operation Kill-A-Watt provides New Yorkers with a perfect opportunity to upgrade their lighting systems," says Keith Hartman, president of PES. "Free bulbs and free money -- it's a no-brainer."

    Energy Commission Awards $3 Million to UC Davis for PHEV Research Center The California Energy Commission recently approved $3 million to University of California, Davis, for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) research center. The goals of the center are to enhance the commercial viability of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; identify strategies to accelerate an effective adoption of PHEVs; support demonstration and related activities; and provide information on decision-making and alternative vehicle transportation technologies. These goals will be achieved by creating a plan that will identify, conduct, and contract the necessary R&D; developing an advisory council to provide strategic direction; establishing partnerships with other institutions; and fostering connections with stakeholders. This funding comes from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The PIER program, the largest in the nation, awards up to $84 million to conduct energy research annually. The program supports energy research, development, and demonstration projects that improve the quality of life in California.

    New York Town May Require Apprentice Training Program for Electrical Contractor Firms
    The Hyde Park, N.Y., town board has recently come out in support of passing a law that requires any electrical contractor hired by the town to have an apprentice training program. The reasoning behind the law is so the town can pay less in labor costs and promote the training of qualified electricians. While only 15 of 100 apprentice programs in the state are union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is in favor of the proposed law. "We're saying 'Do the right thing,'" says James Jay Bodrato, IBEW's local business representative. "Put the money into the training so that the men and women learn the right way."

    Current state law requires the town to pay the prevailing hourly wage of $58.10 for any electrician it hires. Under the proposed law, the town would be able to pay less to the apprentices on the job. Based on what year of the program they are in, apprentices would be paid from $11 to $31.45 an hour. Typically, contractors with programs have one apprentice on a job for every three journeymen or skilled electricians. Town board members are concerned about depriving contractors without apprentice programs of town-sponsored projects. The members agree that if they pass the law, local contractors must be given sufficient time to adopt an apprentice program. The town will hold a public hearing on the proposed requirement in January and vote to adopt it in February.


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    Project Watch
    Winslow Township Seeks
    Lighting Installer

    Sealed proposals for the installation of Musco-manufactured sports lighting for the Township of Winslow, Braddock, N.J., will be received until 2 p.m. on Jan. 9. The official proposal form can be obtained from the Municipal Clerk's Office. Proposals must be submitted in a sealed envelope, addressed to the Municipal Clerk, Township of Winslow Municipal Building, 125 South Route #73, Braddock, New Jersey 08037 and identified as "Bid -- Installation of Musco Sports Lighting". For more information, visit the Winslow Township Web site.

    Winslow Township Requests Contractor for General Electrical Work The Township of Winslow, Braddock, N.J. is soliciting proposals for general electrical work. Proposals will be received until 1 p.m. on Jan. 9. Bidders are required to comply with the requirements ofN.J.S.A. 10:5-31 and N.J.A.C. 17:27 et seq. The official proposal form can be obtained from the Municipal Clerk's Office. Proposals must be submitted in a sealed envelope, addressed to the Municipal Clerk, Township of Winslow Municipal Building, 125 South Route #73, Braddock, New Jersey 08037 and identified as "RFP -- General Electrical Work". For more information, visit the Winslow Township Web site.



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    Eye on Safety
    Electrical Short Preceded Fatal Missouri Fire
    On Nov. 27, a fire killed 10 and injured dozens at the Anderson Guest House group home in Jefferson City, Mo. The investigation report by the state's fire marshal's office recently stated that hours before the fire a maintenance man trying to fix a furnace shorted the electrical wiring running through the attic where investigators believe the fire started. The documents did not pinpoint an exact cause of the fire but does list an electrical short or overload in the attic as a possible cause. The report labels the investigation as non-criminal.

    The report shows that the maintenance man told a fire marshal's investigator he had used pliers to stick a wire into an open outlet in the furnace room in order to trip the breaker while he worked on the furnace. According to Bill Zieres, deputy state fire marshal, the short circuit would cause an unusual amount of heat to move through the wires, which in this case ran through the attic. Investigators have said previously that they found evidence of improper wiring elsewhere in the attic. Poor wiring would be more susceptible to starting a fire when overloaded by a short-circuit, Zieres says. ''That is among the things that could cause damage, but there's no way for anybody to prove it at this point because of the extent of the fire damage in that area'' of the attic, Zieres says.

    The fire marshal's documents identified the maintenance man as David Forrester, Carl Junction, Mo. The investigation report says Forrester intentionally tripped the breaker because he did not know which switch in the circuit-breaker box controlled the furnace. Asked why he short-circuited the electrical system instead of simply unplugging the furnace as he had a furnace in another part of the building, "He said, 'I don't know, didn't even think about it,''' says the interview report by fire marshal's investigator Randy Sweet. Forrester told another employee, after shutting the circuit breaker off, that both the facility's furnaces had problems and that he would get parts and return to fix them the next morning. The fire was reported about 1 a.m. on Nov. 27.

    ''The possibility of an electrical short in the attic could not be eliminated,'' says final on-scene report by fire marshal's investigator Bruce Thurlo. ''The only probable cause for the fire ignition in the attic area was electrical wiring.'' The investigation report did eliminate other causes. Contrary to some initial witness reports, there was no evidence of an explosion. Nor was there any evidence the furnace ignited the fire, or that it was intentionally set, the report says.


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    Shows and Events



    Channel Your Energy Into Knowledge and Growth

    Are you a residential, industrial, commercial, or institutional electrical contractor? Do you specify equipment or review construction plans? Do you maintain electrical systems in a facility? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then you have to make plans to attend the Electric West conference program next year in Long Beach, Calif., which offers the information you need to stay on top of the electrical game. Check out this event's 40+ seminars and make plans to meet 200+ leading suppliers. Or register now.


    The International Builders' Show
    More than 1,800 suppliers representing 300 industry categories will exhibit their products at the next International Builders' Show scheduled for Feb. 7-10 in Orlando. Speakers at this year's event will discuss topics such as construction, codes, and energy; building systems, and green building. For more information or to register, visit the show's Web site.


    Engineers Week
    The National Engineers Week Foundation presents Engineers Week from Feb. 18-24. Educators are encouraged to promote engineering through programs that include activities, case studies, and 50 Ways to Celebrate Engineers Week. For more information, a media guide, or scheduled events in your area, visit the Engineers Week Web site.


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