Coming Up in EC&M
Spurred by federal mandates, state incentives, and
utility rebates, market penetration for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems
is on the rise. Fortunately, electrical contractors, already equipped
with the skill set needed to install the systems, are in a prime
position to expand their businesses into renewable energy industry.
However, with voluntary solar installer certifications on the rise,
electrical contractors must first become familiar with the
If you are an electrical contractor who has recently
applied for or achieved PV installer certification and would like to
share your experience for the April issue of EC&M, contact Staff
Writer Beck Ireland by phone at (913) 967-1806 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your
comments could be included in the article.
New Dual Display Clamp-On Meters Models 670 &
AEMC®'s Models 670 and 675 are True RMS
clamp-on meters that provide RMS measurements for today's non-linear
electrical environments. These meters are designed to measure and
display amps and volts at the same time. They are also auto-ranging and
provide the best measurement range and resolution for troubleshooting.
They are sized for comfortable, one-handed operation. The tapered and
hooked jaw design facilitates maneuvering in crowded wiring and breaker
panels, making it easy to select conductors.
Around the Circuit
FMI Releases NRCI
for the First Quarter 2010
Raleigh, N.C.-based FMI recently released its
Non-Residential Construction Index (NRCI) report. For the first quarter
2010, the NRCI measures 48.4, a slightly positive move from the fourth
quarter 2009 reading of 47.7. The improvement may be attributed to the
panelists trust in a continuing upswing in the economy.
To read more
on this story, visit EC&M's Web
Unemployment Rate Hits 27.1% as Another 64,000 Construction Workers Lost
Jobs in February 2010
The construction unemployment rate jumped to 27.1% and
construction employment dropped to a 14-year low as another 64,000
construction workers lost jobs in February, according to federal
employment figures released recently.
To read more on this story,
visit EC&M's Web
Increase in U.S. Homeowners Who Say They Will Remodel in 2010
After a year of steady declines in home remodeling, the
spring 2010 U.S. Remodeling Sentiment report published by
remodelormove.com reveals a 13% increase in the number of homeowners who
say they will remodel in the next 12 months. This increase follows a 5%
increase in last year's spring 2009 report. The continuing upward swing
in remodeling sentiment indicates that 2010 will show a strong increase
in remodeling activity.
To read more on this story, visit
NEMA Publishes SSL
Dimming Best Practices White Paper
Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers
Association (NEMA) has published LSD 49-2010, "Solid State Lighting for
Incandescent Replacement: Best Practices for Dimming."
To read more on
this story, visit EC&M's Web
The 2010 IEEE Power & Energy Society Transmission and
Distribution Conference and Exposition will occur April 19-22
in New Orleans. Join us in the Crescent City for the most informative
event focusing on the technological solutions that will drive the
industry into the future. Discuss the challenges you now face with
equipment manufacturers and service providers from all over the
For more information go to www.ieeet-d.org.
Projects in Idaho
A grant of $2.75 million in Recovery Act funds is going
to support solar systems at public schools throughout Idaho. The Idaho
Office of Energy Resources, Boise, Idaho, is administering the grant and
has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) seeking contractors to
design and install the net-metered, photovoltaic (PV) electrical
The grant is expected to support between six and
10 awards for projects with a capacity of between 20kW and 100kW.
Submissions are expected from contractors with experience in PV design
and installation, and who have the proper licenses to work on public
buildings. Selected contractors will be placed on a list for Idaho
school districts, and a request for proposal is slated to go out in May.
Proposals from contractors must be submitted by 4 p.m. MST on April 2.
The RFQ is available on the Office of Energy Resources' Web
Instrumentation Systems Modifications in Kansas
The City of Manhattan, Kan., is requesting bids for
existing electrical system modifications and existing instrumentation
system modifications at its water treatment plant. A mandatory pre-bid
conference will be held at 9 a.m. CST on March 15. Bids are due before 3
p.m. CST on April 7. For more information, visit the city's Web
Alpha Energy recently relocated its corporate
headquarters to Phoenix. The new office will serve as the primary Alpha
point of contact for renewable energy customers throughout the
For more Business Briefs, visit the EC&M Web site.
Pay Increases at A/E/P Firms Continue to Rise
Despite the economic challenges that many architecture,
engineering, planning (A/E/P) and environmental consulting firms have
faced in recent years, a majority of firms continue to include pay
increases for their staff in their annual budgets, according to the
report "2010 Policies, Procedures, and Benefits Survey of Architecture,
Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms" recently
released by ZweigWhite, a Wayland, Mass.-based business management firm.
Moreover, according to report, the average pay increase that A/E/P firms
project they will provide in 2010 has increased from 2009.
more about annual pay raises, visit the EC&M Web
Optimism" Describes the 2010 Building Automation Market
According to BCS/2010, the latest market analysis from
BCS Partners, cautious optimism prevails for the near future with regard
to the building automation market. The market took a serious hit in
2009, but modest growth is expected in 2010-2011. This marketplace,
however, isn’t forecast to regain its pre-crisis level until
To read more about the building automation market's expected
growth, visit the EC&M Web
Solid Gain in
Motors Shipments to Close Out 2009
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association's
(NEMA) Motors Shipments Index (MSI) increased 6.1% during the fourth
quarter of 2009, marking the second consecutive gain for the index.
Nevertheless, demand for motors remains weak compared to recent years,
with the MSI still 5.7% below the level posted in Q4 of 2008. Inflation-
and seasonally adjusted shipments of fractional horsepower motors rose
for the third consecutive quarter, while integral horsepower motors saw
only their second increase in the past seven quarters.
To read more
about the gain in motor shipments in 2009, visit the EC&M Web
Eye on Safety
New Hampshire High
School Student Receives Shock in Electrical Trades Class
On March 11, a junior at Dover High School, Dover, N.H.,
was shocked during an exercise to construct and deconstruct electrical
circuits at their workstations, according to Aaron Sanborn of
Foster's Daily Democrat. The student was reportedly using
alligator clips when the incident occurred. Unconscious, the student was
transported by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston
To read the full story, visit the Foster's Daily
Democrat's online news source Fosters.com.
Call for Papers
The InterNational Eletrical Testing Association (NETA),
Portage, Mich., will present PowerTest 2011, the electrical maintenance
and safety conference, from Feb. 21-24, 2011 in Arlington, Va. The
organization is currently seeking presentations for the event, including
topics such as review of basics, specific industry skills, reliability
issues, and insights into new methods and testing procedures. Abstracts
are due April 9. For more information, visit the PowerTest Web site.
Shows & Events
The Electric West Show, to be held March 16-18, 2009 at
the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the perfect place to brush up on the
latest NEC topics — and earn continuing education credits in the
process. Geared toward electrical contractors, consulting & specifying
engineers, electricians, and plant facility personnel, the conference
program will offer the following NEC seminars, presented by industry
experts such as Mike Holt, Keith Lofland, and Edward Gorginian.
For more information, visit our Web
site, or click here
- Analysis of 2011 NEC Changes
- Understanding Important NEC Requirements
- Dwelling Calculations
- Advanced NEC Calculations
- Grounding vs. Bonding
- Swimming Pools and Similar Installations
FREE Expo Pass -- Click here
to receive your complimentary pass to Electric West, a $55 value!
Electrical Safety and
Reliability Conference & Exhibition
The Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League
(PEARL), Aurora, Colo., will present its 13th Electrical Safety and
Reliability Conference & Exhibition from April 24-26 in Denver.
Conference topics include safety, electrical failure diagnosis,
reconditioning, inspection, and testing standards and techniques. For
more information, visit the PEARL Web site.
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