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March 12, 2010 A Penton Media Publication Vol. IX, No. 5



CONTENTS
Solar Installer Certification

FMI Releases NRCI for the First Quarter 2010

Construction Unemployment Rate Hits 27.1% as Another 64,000 Construction Workers Lost Jobs in February 2010

Thirteen Percent Increase in U.S. Homeowners Who Say They Will Remodel in 2010

NEMA Publishes SSL Dimming Best Practices White Paper

Solar Schools Projects in Idaho

Electrical and Instrumentation Systems Modifications in Kansas

Business Brief

Average Annual Pay Increases at A/E/P Firms Continue to Rise

"Cautious Optimism" Describes the 2010 Building Automation Market

Solid Gain in Motors Shipments to Close Out 2009

New Hampshire High School Student Receives Shock in Electrical Trades Class

PowerTest 2011

Electric West 2010

Electrical Safety and Reliability Conference & Exhibition


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    Coming Up in EC&M
    Solar Installer Certification
    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 technology.

    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 beck.ireland@penton.com. Your comments could be included in the article.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    AEMC® Introduces New Dual Display Clamp-On Meters Models 670 & 675
    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.
    Visit: www.aemc.com.


    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 site.


    Construction 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 site.


    Thirteen Percent 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 EC&M's Web site.


    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 site.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    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 world.
    For more information go to www.ieeet-d.org.


    Project Watch
    Solar Schools 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 generating systems.

    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 site.


    Electrical and 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 site.


    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    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 Americas.

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


    Average Annual 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.

    To read more about annual pay raises, visit the EC&M Web site.


    "Cautious 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 2012.

    To read more about the building automation market's expected growth, visit the EC&M Web site.


    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 site.


    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 that afternoon.

    To read the full story, visit the Foster's Daily Democrat's online news source Fosters.com.


    Call for Papers
    PowerTest 2011
    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





    Electric West 2010

    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.

    • Analysis of 2011 NEC Changes
    • Understanding Important NEC Requirements
    • Dwelling Calculations
    • Advanced NEC Calculations
    • Grounding vs. Bonding
    • Swimming Pools and Similar Installations
    For more information, visit our Web site, or click here to register.

    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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