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May 30, 2008 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VII, No. 10


CONTENTS
Cast Your Vote Now!

ABI Rises Slightly in April

March PPI Reveals Skyrocketing Prices

DOE Announces $60 Million CSP Funding Opportunity

SMUD Enters Solar-Powered Homes Agreement

Wiring Services Wanted in Virginia

On-Call Electrical Maintenance Requested in Massachusetts

Business Brief

New York DOB to Hire New Inspectors for Sidewalk Shed Safety

7x24 Exchange 2008 Spring Conference

Windpower 2008


Sponsored Q&A Partners


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    Editor's Note







    Cast Your Vote Now!

    Do you want the opportunity to win a $100 gift check? If you're an EC&M subscriber, we invite you to help us select this year's Product of the Year winner. The deadline for voting is June 22, 2008. To make your voice heard, visit the EC&M Home page anytime before now and then. Click on "vote now and become eligible for a $100 gift check," located in the center of the page. You can click on a link for each of the 24 category winners to read a brief description of the product features and view a photo. Once you're finished with your review, you can click on the "vote here for your favorite" link, which allows you to enter in your contact information, choose your favorite product, and click submit. As an added incentive to capture your vote, five lucky voters will be randomly selected to receive one of five $100 gift checks -- so don't delay. Vote today!

    The competition has honored innovation and excellence in product development in the electrical industry for the past seven years.


    ADVERTISEMENT
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    AEMC's rugged Digital Ground Resistance Tester with automatic calculation of test results -- Model 6470 -- performs grounding resistance, earth coupling measurement, soil resistivity, and bonding tests. This easy-to-use and accurate instrument measures up to 512 test results that can be stored in internal memory for later recall to the display or downloaded to a PC for analysis and hard copy reports with automatic fall-of-potential plots. Click here for more details.


    Around the Circuit
    ABI Rises Slightly in April
    The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) rose from its lowest mark ever of 39.7 in March to 45.5 in April (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). "After dropping rapidly the past two months, this uptick shows that the slowdown is beginning to moderate," says Kermit Baker, chief economist for Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects. "Even though the downturn in design billings has come on very quickly, most areas of the country aren't showing signs of an oversupply of non-residential facilities. That provides hope that this weak patch may be relatively short-lived."

    To read more on this topic, visit the EC&M Web site.


    March PPI Reveals Skyrocketing Prices
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Indexes (PPIs) for March report souring prices. The PPI for inputs to construction industries increased 2.1%, driven by a 24% increase in diesel fuel costs and a 5.5% jump in prices for steel mill products. "Red-hot steel prices, combined with record diesel fuel costs, are making construction unaffordable," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Arlington, Va. "Unfortunately, there is worse to come."

    To read more on this topic, visit the EC&M Web site.


    DOE Announces $60 Million
    CSP Funding Opportunity

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the issuance of the Solar Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $60 million in funding over five years during fiscal years 2008 to 2012. The funding includes $10 million in fiscal year 2008 appropriations and $10 million in the fiscal year 2009 budget request to support the development of low-cost concentrating solar power (CSP) technology.

    To read more on this topic, visit the EC&M Web site.


    SMUD Enters Solar-Powered
    Homes Agreement

    The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Sacramento, Calif., recently entered into an agreement with Woodside Homes, Salt Lake City, to build 1,487 solar-powered homes in the California cities of Rancho Cordova and Rancho Murieta by 2012. According to the utility, the agreement marks the nation's largest solar-home project. Last year, SMUD announced a similar agreement with Miami-based Lennar Corp. for 1,254 new homes in Sacramento County.

    To read more on this topic, visit the EC&M Web site.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    ILSCO has reinvented the compression category with a new ClearChoice solution.
    SureCrimp copper compression connectors reduce inventory requirements by accepting multiple conductor classes including fine stranded and building wire. UL-listed, CSA-certified, and range-taking when installed with approved tools and dies. Circumferential dies produce strong, long-lasting crimps with a tight crimp profile for greater pull-out strength. The increased contact area reduces resistance and eliminates the potential for flash. www.ilsco.com


    Project Watch
    Wiring Services Wanted in Virginia
    The Director of Finance, on behalf of the School Board of the City of Hampton, Va., is currently seeking a contractor to furnish and install wiring for emergency panels at Bethel High School. Proposals are due at 11 a.m. EST on June 11. For more information, download a pdf from the city's Web site.


    On-Call Electrical Maintenance Requested in Massachusetts
    Barnstable County, Mass., through its Chief Procurement Officer, is seeking bids for an on-call electrical services provider for routine and emergency electrical repair and maintenance for buildings located in the Barnstable County Complex, the Orleans District Courthouse, the County Farm, and other support buildings operated by Barnstable County and Barnstable County Sheriff's Department. The contract is for the period of July 1 through June 30, 2009, with the option to renew for two additional one-year periods. To view the bid request, register with the county's Web site.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Save on Mechanical Lugs & Splices
    Starting at only $0.51, our aluminum Mechanical Lugs & Splices are rated for both copper and aluminum conductors. Each connector is re-usable and needs only a hex wrench for assembly. I-Beam Lugs, Lay-In Lugs, and Panel Board Lugs are UL-listed and CSA-certified. Great quality, great price, great delivery. Use Coupon Code EZONE508 at checkout to receive 10% off your next order. www.elecDirect.com - or call toll free 800-701-0975.


    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    Atlanta-based Acuity Brands recently announced a strategic alliance between Acuity Brands Lighting (ABL) and Lighting Science Group (LSG), New York, to develop and launch multiple light- emitting diode (LED) lighting products. The products will be part of ABL's portfolio.

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


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Check More, Fix More, Spend Less!
    The new Agilent U1240A series enables you to check more with all the DMM features you would expect to see and more. Maintenance tasks are greatly simplified with frequency and capacitance and dual temperature functions. And new features, like a switch counter, harmonic ratio, and differential temperature, further extend your capabilities with just a push of the button. Click to learn more.


    Eye on Safety
    New York DOB to Hire New Inspectors for Sidewalk Shed Safety
    New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Acting Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri recently announced a $5.3 million budget increase to fund 63 new positions to enhance oversight and enforcement of construction safety. The additional resources are part of the Mayor's fiscal year 2009 Executive Budget. The new positions will enable the Department to launch a new Special Enforcement Plan (SEP) initiative: the sidewalk shed electrical safety team.

    Consisting of two new electrical inspectors for the department's Scaffold Safety Team, the program will focus enforcement resources on sidewalk shed safety. The building code requires that sidewalk sheds be equipped with electrical lighting to illuminate pathways for pedestrians at night. In years past, there have been incidents of stray voltage emanating from sidewalk shed piping, which have led to injuries of people and their pets. Inspectors will conduct unannounced spot checks of sites with sheds to verify contractors have installed electrical lighting according to the building code. This new program will build upon the Safety Analysis and Field Evaluation (SAFE) Scaffold & Shed Initiative launched in February to crack down on unsafe supported scaffolds and sidewalk sheds.


    Shows & Events
    7x24 Exchange 2008
    Spring Conference

    The 2008 Spring Conference will take place from June 1-4 in Boca Raton, Fla. Tutorials at this year's event include topics such as data center commissioning, fire protection systems for mission- critical facilities, and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for data centers. For more information and to register, visit the event's Web site.


    Windpower 2008
    Windpower 2008 Conference & Exhibition will be held June 1-4 in Houston. Session topics to be presented during the conference include the fundamentals, development process, and safety of wind energy, as well as current legislation, financing, and market realities. For more information and to register, visit the event's Web site.

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