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December 2003

Genlyte's Lightolier Named Top Choice of Architecture and Architectural Lighting Magazine Contest for Second Year in a Row - For the second straight year, the Lightolier division of Genlyte Thomas Group has been chosen the most preferred lighting company by readers of Architectural Lighting and Architecture magazines.

Lightolier won 2003 ACE (Architects Choice for Excellence) Awards from both Architectural Lighting magazine and Architecture magazine. ACE Awards salute manufacturers for their commitment to product excellence in the areas of durability, value, service and design. Some 113,000 architectural and architectural lighting professionals were asked to choose the best lighting manufacturer as well as their preferences in other categories. Lightolier also took top honors in 2002.


Energy Department To Hold Blackout Meetings in December  - The Energy Department recently announced investigators will hold three public meetings in December to discuss the power blackout in August that spanned eight U.S states and part of Canada, and left 50 million people in the dark. The meetings are scheduled for Dec. 4 in Cleveland, Dec. 5 in New York, and Dec. 8 in Toronto.

In addition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will meet today at its headquarters to take public comment on a report investigators released last week. The report largely blames the outage on the Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., saying in addition to failing to keep trees trimmed, it didn’t have adequate alarms or computer equipment to flag the growing drain on its grid. The report claims the outage was largely preventable. The meeting will also focus on how the agency can promote grid reliability standards.


NEMA Publishes Six ANSI-Approved C37 Switchgear Standards  -  NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, has published a series of ANSI-approved switchgear conformance assessment standards that were revised by the ANSI C37 accredited Standards Committee.

The sponsorship of ANSI C37 switchgear standards was modified in 2002; NEMA transferred custody and copyrights of thirteen C37 standards to the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and retained sponsorship of eight conformance assessment standards, which were deemed highly important for manufacturers. Simultaneously, an accelerated effort was initiated to revise most of the conformance standards in order to align them with current state-of-the-art technology and testing procedures. Six of the eight standards have been revised, approved by ANSI, and published by NEMA.    > View revision

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Dateline: November 2003

House Passes Massive Energy Bill - The House of Representatives approved Energy Policy Act of 2003: a far-reaching energy bill that would for the first time, impose federal reliability rules on operators of high-voltage power lines, to reduce the likelihood of another cascading blackout like the one last summer.  It would provide billions of dollars in tax incentives for oil, gas and coal producers and give a boost to corn farmers by requiring a doubling of ethanol use in gasoline. About two-thirds of the incentives would go to the coal, oil and natural gas industries.

Despite passage in the House, the bill could stall in the Senate over a provision that would shield the makers of a gasoline additive from liability lawsuits.


Industrial Manufacturers Upbeat About Coming Year - The majority of senior executives of large, U.S.-based industrial manufacturers agree that the domestic economy is growing, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' new, quarterly Manufacturing Barometer survey. 

Moreover, 70 percent are optimistic about the economy's prospects over the next 12 months, just shy of the 73 percent consensus of companies from a cross-section of industries. In contrast, only 46 percent are upbeat about the world economy, a direct match with the consensus view.

UL and CSA Announce New Agreement - CSA and UL signed an agreement to develop a mutual component acceptance program that will eventually provide for the acceptance of components used in end products submitted to UL or CSA for certification/listing. Under the terms of the agreement, each organization will accept the other organization's certification/listing of components in end-products provided that each organization can apply their existing component acceptance procedures to the components certified by the other organization, and only after equivalence of follow-up programs has been evaluated and confirmed. The agreement will initially be limited to Low Voltage Distribution and Industrial Control Equipment and will be re-assessed over an 18-month period.

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Dateline: October 2003

P & S/Legrand introduces jobsite productivity program - Pass & Seymour/Legrand,  a leading provider of electrical and network wiring devices, today announced Configurable Solutions, wiring devices that are designed for specific applications to further enhance electrical installation productivity on or off the job site. Configurable Solutions allows the electrical contractor to order wiring devices without the parts that are sometimes removed for unique applications.

P&S/L wiring devices can be modified in a variety of ways, including without mounting screws, without auto grounding clips, without mounting ears, straps cut flush, split circuit tabs removed and in bulk packaging. Based on the application, the modifications are determined, a configured part number is developed and the product is shipped within lead time for standard products!

Manufacturing economy grows for third straight month
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in September for the third consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 23rd consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

ISM's PMI was 53.7 percent in September, a decrease of 1 percentage point compared to 54.7 in August. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.


CMTC Presents ISO 9001/2000 Overview and Internal Auditor Workshop - California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) presents the ISO 9001:2000 Overview and Internal Auditor Workshop. This workshop is designed to teach attendees the ISO 9001:2000 standard and how to implement Quality Management Systems into an organization. The workshop is two and one half days and will be held Monday through Wednesday, November 10-12, 2003, at the Holiday Inn in Torrance, 19800 S. Vermont Avenue, Torrance, CA, 90502.

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Dateline: September 2003

July Construction Activity Falls 4% - New construction starts in July slipped 4% from a very strong June, according to the McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge. Both nonresidential building and housing were down slightly, while a more substantial decline was reported for non-building construction, which includes public works and electric utilities. Through the first seven months of 2003, total construction activity was 1% below the same period a year ago. The modest retreat in July was expected, since June was helped by projects that had been previously deferred.

…Construction Spending Rises In August - Construction spending increased 0.2 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted rate of $882.7 billion, according to the Commerce Department. The August construction spending rate is the highest it has been since January 2003.

Private builders increased spending by 0.1 percent in August. Residential construction spending reached $453.4 billion of the $665.4 billion spent in all of private construction.


Advance joins Rebuild America - Advance Transformer Co., Rosemont, Ill., recently joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rebuild America program as a business partner. Advance will support state and community partnerships and drive training and educational efforts to improve energy efficiency throughout the nation’s buildings and communities.

Rebuild America is a Department of Energy initiative that connects people, ideas, and resources among communities, states, and the private sector to reduce energy consumption through energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy sources, and energy-efficient operations and maintenance practices. The program was launched in 1994 and serves as a tool for job creation in many communities.


NEMA releases standards on fittings - The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently released FB 2.10-2003, Selection and Installation Guidelines for Fittings for Use with Non-Flexible Metallic Conduit or Tubing, and FB 2.20-2003, Selection and Installation Guidelines for Fittings for Use with Flexible Electrical Conduit and Cable.

FB 2.10-2003 provides guidance on selection and installation criteria for installing fittings for non-flexible metallic conduit or tubing, and FB 2.20-2003 offers guidelines for installing fittings for flexible electrical conduit and cables. Both are in accordance with the NEC.


California adopts NFPA 5000 and NFPA 1 - The state of California recently adopted model building and fire codes of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to protect public safety. The California Building Standards Commission voted to adopt NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, and NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code. The codes will provide the basis for the 2004 California Building Code and the 2004 California Fire Code.

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Dateline: August 2003

Trade Show Electrical Uses Expertise to Manufacture Top Product - Trade Show Electrical (TSE), a division of GES® Exposition Services, Inc., has announced the addition of a retail sales component for its temporary electrical distribution equipment for tradeshows and special events in the world.

In response to an increasing demand for more efficient temporary power from production companies, hotels and public facilities, TSE has taken its well established line of electrical products and made them available for purchase.  TSE is the only electrical provider in the tradeshow industry that manufactures its own line of Underwriters Laboratories (UL®) listed products.

In the press release, TSE also announced the selection of Norton Electric Wholesale (NEW) as its distributor. (Full press release)

UL Warns of Potential Electric Shock Hazard with GFCI - Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is notifying consumers, electricians, contractors and manufacturers that a particular GFCI (described below) does not meet current UL requirements and may pose a fire or electric shock hazard to users. UL encourages users to stop using the GFCI immediately and return it to the place of purchase.

The ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) rated 15 or 20A, 125V, is manufactured by Shanghai Meihao Electric Inc. of Shanghai, China and also sold under the name of The Designers Edge, Preferred Industries and USI Electric Inc.

The UL Listing Mark appears on the product and packaging. The UL Mark is not authorized and the product is not considered Listed by UL. More information

U.S. July Construction Spending Highest Since January - Spending on construction projects rose about 0.2 percent in July after climbing a revised 0.7 percent in June, according to the Commerce Department. The month's construction spending was up 2.5 percent from July 2002. It was the fastest pace of seasonally adjusted spending seen since January.

Through first seven months of 2003, the nation's construction spending is up 1.8 percent from the comparable period in 2002. Non-residential construction spending in the private sector increased 0.1 percent in July.

Meanwhile, spending in the public sector fell about 0.4 percent, while spending on highways dropped 0.9 percent to a level 1.5 percent below July 2002 and spending on schools fell 1.2 percent to a level 0.2 percent higher than July 2002.

Most of the deterioration in public-sector spending was at the federal level, where outlays dropped 3 percent. State and local governments decreased spending by 0.2 percent.

Read the full release at

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Dateline: July 2003

N.E.W. President Reaches Mount McKinley (Denali) Summit - Walter Norton Jr., President and COO of Norton Electric Wholesale, (NEW) successfully reached Mount McKinley’s highest summit after a twenty-one day ascent. Mt. McKinley, Alaska, also known by its indigenous name “Denali,” is North America’s highest mountain peak at 20,320 feet. (6,194 meters)

Family members and employees had virtually no news of the progress during the climb and only bits of information regarding the arrangements and preparations for the expedition. However, a report by the Los Angeles Times; Jul 15, of a “Freak Summer Storm” with winds averaging 100 mph and satellite phone warnings to all Mt. McKinley climbers, created quite a stir at the NEW offices. (More…)


FERC Sets New Generator Interconnection Standards - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued standard procedures and a standard agreement for the interconnection of generators larger than 20 megawatts. The actions are designed to facilitate development of needed infrastructure for the nation's electric system. The Commission also proposed expedited procedures for small generators.

The Commission said that the rule covering the larger generators will reduce interconnection time and cost, help preserve reliability, increase energy supply, and lower wholesale prices for the nation's customers by increasing the number and variety of independent generators that can compete in the wholesale electricity markets,.

The rule requires public utilities that offer transmission services also to offer nondiscriminatory, standardized interconnection service. It amends Order No. 888's pro forma tariff to help remedy remaining undue discrimination under the open access required by Order No. 888.


2002 LA Airport Terrorist Foiled By Electrical Contractor - A Copley News Service story, dated July 3, has identified Arie Golan, an "athletically built 55-year-old electrical contractor," among those foiling last year’s July 4, 2002, terrorist event at the Los Angeles Airport.

Golan was, according to the report, the first to grab Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian, after Hadayet had killed two people. Hadayet went to LAX on that day, "with two handguns, extra bullets, and a six-inch hunting knife."

Haim Sapir, El AL's LAX security chief, fired a single shot and hit Hadayet -- but he continued to struggle. Raanan Vissman, an El Al sky marshal, helped Golan -- and the terrorist dropped the gun but he continued to fight, slashing Vissman and Sapir. The Egyptian died later as a result of the single gunshot.

The Copley News Service said that contractor Golan "has not sought out publicity and doesn't see his actions as special."


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Dateline: June 2003

NECA Issues Publication for Dealing With OSHA Inspections - The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has issued the Contractor Action Plan for OSHA Inspections; a practical guide for helping electrical contractors deal successfully with OSHA inspections on their job sites.

The new publication offers many benefits which include a reduced risk of citations and fines, less disruption of construction projects, a safer environment for contractor employees, and improved productivity as well as being prepared when a compliance officer shows up at the gate. Contractor Action Plan for OSHA Inspections presents practical, usable information about the following:

  • U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • State workplace safety agencies
  • A company's rights and duties during job site inspections
  • Citations, violations, penalties, and the OSHA appeal process
  • OSHA requirements that must be followed to minimize possible problems
  • The most common citations issued to electrical contractors


UL Celebrates 100 Years of Developing Safety Standards - Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), founded in 1894, celebrates the 100th anniversary of its first safety standard this month. UL has published more than 880 safety standards since 1903 for products ranging from fire-rated building materials to information technology equipment to electrical household appliances.   UL's first standard for safety, UL 10A for Tin-Clad Fire Doors, has grown into the 886 current UL standards and more than 17 billion UL marks appear on products annually.

NEMA Releases Specification on NEMA Premium Motors - NEMA issued the publication General Specification for Consultants -- Industrial and Municipal: NEMA Premium Efficiency Electric Motors (600 Volts or Less) which is intended to outline the minimum requirements for three-phase AC induction motors applied to municipal and industrial/commercial applications for operation on voltages 600 volts or less, rated 500 horsepower or less, operating more than 2000 hours per year at greater than 75 percent full-load.  This is the first specification developed to assist users and system designers in specifying the use of NEMA Premium electric motors.

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Dateline: May 2003

FERC to Defer Market Design Action until Energy Bill Passes - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will wait until Congress produces a final version of a comprehensive energy bill before issuing a ruling on its wholesale power market platform — formerly called Standard Market Design.

FERC Chairman Pat Wood told reporters last week the agency would wait until Congress completes its work on the energy bill so the commission "won't have to do it twice." The Senate version of the bill includes a provision that would require FERC to put off implementing its Standard Market Design plan for two years, and that both the House and Senate rule out any requirement that utilities participate in regional transmission organizations.


LFI 2003 Posts Record Numbers - LIGHTFAIR INTERNATIONAL, the world’s largest and most comprehensive trade show and conference devoted to architectural and commercial lighting, announced that the number of attendees at the 2003 show, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City between May 3 - 8, has broken all previous records set by the event.

Now in its 14th year, LIGHTFAIR INTERNATIONAL 2003, has currently drawn an attendance of more than 19,000 and is set to unveil final results when the show concludes after May 8. Successfully attracting architectural, engineering, design and end-user professionals from around the world, this figure marks an impressive 16% increase over the final results for the 2002 show. In addition, more than 550 leading-edge domestic and international companies exhibited at the event.


Crescent/Stonco Introduces T-Bay Fluorescent Fixture - Crescent/Stonco, a division of Genlyte Thomas Group, LLC and a leading manufacturer of lighting products for both the industrial and commercial markets, introduced its Stonco T-Bay fluorescent fixture. The new fixture, which contains the mounting flexibility of high bays, includes T5 or T8 linear fluorescent lamps and is designed to replace conventional HID lighting in industrial applications.

The four-light 54-watt HO T5 T-Bay requires 239 watts as compared to the metal halide, which consumes 454 watts, equaling a 50 percent savings in energy use. Furthermore, standard 400-watt metal halide fixtures rated for 36,000 initial lumens lose up to 45 percent of their lighting ability through depreciation and fixture inefficiencies. When compared to a 6 percent loss of the fluorescent T-Bay rated for 20,000 initial lumens, the maintained lumen output is virtually the same.


Leviton Offers Next Generation eXtreme 6+ - Leviton Voice and Data Division has announced the next generation of its eXtreme™ 6+ cabling system––with re-designed connectors, panels, patch cords and a Category 6 version of Leviton’s unique Angled Panel.

The system features Leviton’s innovative connector-based “Retention Force Technology”, which reinforces the contact in connectors for improved channel performance, protects against damage caused by insertion of 4P and 6P plugs, and ensures consistent error-free performance over the life of the termination. The system meets requirements for channel/component-level performance per TIA/ EIA Category 6, and delivers reliable, error-free transmission in an active, real-time network environment.

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Dateline: April 2003

MGE's Newest Telecom Inverter Receives NEBS Certification - MGE UPS SYSTEMS the technology leader in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for telecom and network systems has received NEBS Level 3 certification on its popular Topaz S4 Inverter after passing a series of performance tests witnessed by highly regarded Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL). The S4 DC/AC inverter system increases reliability and availability for AC power systems in mission-critical telecom and data applications with its scalable architecture and “N+1” redundant capabilities.

The system is scalable from 3.5 to 21kVA and was designed specifically to meet the demanding power requirements of today's central offices, wireless base stations and ultra-critical servers. As one of the first inverter systems to meet the rigorous NEBS standards critical for telecom switches and other zero downtime applications the S4 equipment is designed to deliver six 9s of reliability.

California Energy Action Plan - The Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (CEC), the Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority (CPA), and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) have released the Draft Energy Action Plan, proposed by a subcommittee of the three agencies. The Draft Plan establishes shared goals and specific actions to ensure that adequate, reliable, and reasonably-priced electrical power and natural gas supplies are achieved and provided through policies, strategies, and actions that are cost-effective and environmentally sound for California's consumers and taxpayers. Read Complete Draft

New Standard for Underground Enclosure Integrity - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently issued the country’s first National Standard for underground enclosure integrity. The new ANSI/SCTE 77 2002 standard was developed to help ensure the integrity of underground enclosures and is applicable to any material and industry where the long-term performance of underground enclosures is desired.

The intent of ANSI/SCTE 77 is to prevent performance problems and minimize liability issues by establishing conformance tests and requirements that underground enclosures must meet to help ensure long service life with minimal maintenance. A copy of the standard may be purchased from ANSI or a PDF file of the standard may be found on SCTE’s website,,  

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Dateline: March 2003

NEW and SEMPRA Team Up For Cal-OSHA Education – Norton Electric Wholesale (NEW) drew record breaking attendance at a Cal-OSHA compliance presentation hosted at the SEMPRA Learning Resource Center in Downey, CA. The topic, presented by instructor William Uzelac of San Diego Gas & Electric, covered Sections 2320.2 Energized Equipment & Systems as well as Section 2940.6 Tools & Protective Equipment. To accommodate the overwhelming response from electricians, facility managers, supervisors, HVAC and safety personnel, NEW had to arrange for the same presentation on two separate dates. NEW Marketing Services also teams up with SEMPRA for an annual Mini-Seminar in September, providing industry updates to facility managers and engineers.

Fuel Cell Power Plant Now Operating in Los AngelesFuelCell Energy, Inc. has brought the next generation, clean energy production to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. (LADWP) The John Ferraro Building Fuel Cell Power Plant provides 250 kilowatts of environmental clean electricity.
The power plant, which sends electricity to the City’s power grid, uses up to 50% less fuel per kilowatt-hour than the average conventional power plant and produces nearly zero emissions of pollutants.
The JFB Fuel Cell Power Plant is the latest in a series of LADWP programs designed to address air quality in Los Angeles.

Leviton Introduces New Safety Disconnect Switches - Leviton’s Industrial Products Division has expanded its line of Power Switch™ Industrial Grade Switches with the addition of a new line of Safety Disconnect Switches.
The line previously consisted of Motor Starter Switches (MSS) in 30, 40, and 60 Amp ratings. Now it also includes Safety Disconnect Switches in an IP65 Watertight 30 Amp Non-Fused Model and IP67 Watertight Non-Fused models in 60 and 100 Amp with Fused models in 30 and 60 Amp.
Leviton’s MSS Series Motor Starter Switches in metal NEMA 1 and NEMA 3R enclosures are suitable for a wide range of industrial MRO and OEM applications, including manual ON/OFF switching control of conveyor lines, machinery, air compressors, heaters, and other heavy manufacturing equipment.
They are high priority, “Class A” inventory items ideal for well-equipped electrical maintenance shops.

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Dateline: January 2003

Schneider Electric/Square D Busway is EC&M Product of the Week - EC&M staff posted the online exclusive Product of the Week on Jan 27, 2003.

The Square D Powerbus 225 low-amp busway is designed for rapid installation and reliable power distribution. It’s rated at 225A and 100A and intended for use where conduit and cabling are typically installed. The busway is designed to specifications, built, and tested at the plant, so end-users needn’t worry about conduit bending on-site.

For more information, visit


NEW Customers Revisit Voice-Data-Video - NEW Marketing Services and Shaxon Industries provided an expanded voice-data-video (VDV) presentation in response to various requests from NEW customers. Facilities managers acknowledged that there had been a significant drop in VDV jobs after the “High-Tech” bust, but that nevertheless the technology was here to stay. With ongoing maintenance requirements and new projects under way, the offering was very timely. The presentation included updates on state of the art products and services, fiber optics, custom cables and independent certification programs.


SpecPartner Version 3.0 Now Available - Pass & Seymour/Legrand, a leading manufacturer of electrical and network wiring devices, offers SpecPartner Version 3.0, a tool that simplifies specifying electrical devices for consulting engineers and design-build contractors. Version 3.0 now offers Section 16740 Network Wiring specification and an updated Section 16140 Wiring Devices specification that includes the most comprehensive and accurate specification guidelines, including the 2003 new UL GFCI requirements, While-In-Use weatherproof covers information and NEMA Turnlok® configurations, including a NEMA locking device selection chart.


FCI-Burndy introduces new QikPwr Connectors - A leading manufacturer and provider of connector solutions to the industrial, energy, application tooling and automotive industries, FCI-BURNDY presents QikPwr connectors, ideal for two-pole applications in the telecom and OEM/Industrial markets. Typical applications include UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supplies) systems, forklifts and unlimited battery applications. Ensuring quick, accurate connections and disconnections, QikPwrSeparable power connectors with color-coded installation tooling system connectors provide a one-of-a-kind color-coded solution wherever quickly disconnecting AC or DC power applications are needed.

New Joint Technology Development Agreement Announced - Square D/Schneider Electric and Leviton Manufacturing Company revealed that they have agreed to jointly explore the development of a Residential Structured Media System for existing homes. As part of the agreement, a team consisting of members of both companies will work on developing feasible prototype systems during the first part of 2003. Current plans would have each company independently market and sell these products.


Appleton Celebrates a Milestone Birthday - Appleton, SKOKIE, IL, a foremost brand with a diversified range of quality electrical products, is proud to announce that 2003 will mark its 100th year anniversary. Originally founded in Chicago by Albert Ivar Appleton as the Appleton Electric Company, today Appleton is a brand of the EGS Electrical Group, which is a joint venture between the Emerson Electric Company (NYSE: EMR) and SPX Corporation (NYSE: SPW). As it celebrates this important milestone, Appleton looks to the future with the same sense of excitement and purpose that has driven it since 1903.

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