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Month: September 2010

Lighting Controls for Energy Savings

Lighting Controls for Energy Savings

If you’re ever looking for an interesting perspective on technology, chances are your parents have one.  Take my father for instance; he has taken lighting innovation to the next level.  As opposed to upgrading his lighting controls to reduce his energy bill, he has evolved to develop echolocation sensory capabilities (what bats use to navigate in the dark) so he can walk through our house with scarcely any light.  Honestly, two fixtures, dimmed to their lower limit, is Read more [...]
Not for Sale

Not for Sale

Today’s release of August home sales data reveals what is essentially a market bouncing along the bottom. Over the last two months sales have remained only slightly below the all-time low that was set back in May 2010 in the immediate aftermath of the federal homebuyer tax credit’s expiry. In addition to weak sales, homes are staying available on the market for a long period of time—a median of 10.3 months as of August 2010. One of the biggest problems plaguing housing Read more [...]
NEMA Lighting Division efforts bear fruit in California

NEMA Lighting Division efforts bear fruit in California

This week the State of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved and published their Strategic Lighting Plan, which was two years in the making. NEMA staff and members participated directly in the development and drafting of the SLP from start to finish to provide the manufacturer perspective in effort to balance out the advocates and regulators, and to serve as a reality check by leveraging NEMA's extensive experience with consumer acceptance and consumer desires.  The Strategic Read more [...]
Lack of Transmission Siting Hinders Energy Independence

Lack of Transmission Siting Hinders Energy Independence

With little happening in Congress as the midterm elections loom large, our nation’s effort to modernize the electrical grid, create jobs by installing new technologies, and connect renewable generation to population centers is in jeopardy of stalling due to the lack of new electrical transmission siting.   Transmission lines are the lynch-pin that connects electricity from generation sites to our homes and businesses that use electricity.  But without a national transmission Read more [...]
Rogue websites and the war on counterfeits

Rogue websites and the war on counterfeits

Over two years ago I posted a piece on this blog entitled "A Letter From the Counterfeit Wars" that exposed how counterfeiters are using bogus websites to sell poorly made, counterfeit products, in that case -- hair straighteners, to unsuspecting consumers.  Over the years, the electrical industry has seen a similar phenomenon, not on fake "branded" websites devoted to selling only counterfeit items, but primarily English-language websites in China aimed at Read more [...]
Indiana – Safety Holdout!

Indiana – Safety Holdout!

 Indiana is the only state that has not embraced electrical safety devices known as Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).  In 2005 the State building officials removed the AFCI provision in the state code.  In the adoption process for the 2008 National Electrical Code officials propose once again to remove the AFCI provisions.  This has caught the attention of the local TV station.   They pointed to Indiana’s Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission which Read more [...]
Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Utilities need to trim trees around overhead power lines to minimize power outages that may occur during powerful storms due to falling branches.  Many times a utility’s tree trimming program runs into opposition from a locality’s tree canopy preservation policy.  A town wants to preserve its tree canopy and residents will vociferously complain that a utility “butchered” the tree in of their home.  These same residents will also complain that their electrical Read more [...]
Clean Air Act: 40 Years and Counting…

Clean Air Act: 40 Years and Counting…

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the preeminent federal law enacted by Congress in 1970 to combat air pollution.  The CAA defines the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation’s air quality. According to EPA, since 1970 the six commonly found air pollutants have decreased by more than 50 percent, while air toxics from large industrial sources have been reduced by nearly 70 percent. EPA’s Read more [...]
More Signs of Gloom

More Signs of Gloom

Approximately once every six weeks, the Federal Reserve published the Beige Book, which contains a collection of anecdotal reports of local economic conditions within the 12 regional Fed districts. In general, this report is not given a lot of fanfare, but during times like these any new piece of information that can offer insight about the economy’s trajectory is near and dear. So what is the main takeaway this time? Essentially, the report highlighted the importance of a region’s industrial Read more [...]
Affordable Energy Media Campaign

Affordable Energy Media Campaign

This is a press release issued by NAM today directly from John Engler, President and CEO. Congress returns from its summer recess next week, and high on the agenda will be proposals from President Obama and congressional leadership to raise taxes on America’s energy sector. These potential tax increases would cause serious damage to the manufacturing sector, job creation and the U.S. economy. To counter this politically-motivated drive for higher taxes, today, the National Association of Manufacturers Read more [...]