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  • No Time to Waste -- Smart Grid Makes Primetime in Florida

    A little federal stimulus money goes a long way: Miami, Fla., announced yesterday plans to turn its electricity grid into a Smart Grid with $200 million worth of federal funds. NEMA member GE will hook up with Florida Power & Light and Cisco Systems to place a million advanced smart meters in buildings...
  • A Tough Job

    People around the office have accused me and my fellow economists of being a tad too gloomy. Never mind that manufacturing output continues to decline, the homebuilding sector continues to flounder, major companies are declaring bankruptcy or laying off workers, and...well you get the picture. When times...
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  • When is Safe Safe Enough?

    In designing safe electrical products, the manufacturer addresses the protection against the potential hazards from electric shock, fire and mechanical aspects of the product in operation as intended, and sometimes even when used not as intended. The guidance they use in this effort comes from a significant...
  • Smart Grid Needs a Common Language

    In late March, Popular Mechanics published an article titled "Forget Smart Grid, We Need Smart Spending (On the Grid) ." The author raised an interesting point: The term "Smart Grid" is a poorly defined buzzword. It's being bandied about by so many people with so many goals and...
  • CT Proposes Tax Regulation for Voltage Regulation, Rest of World Scratches Head

    In what could potentially be the most confusing double uses of the term "regulation," the Connecticut Senate Energy and Technology Committee advanced a bill last week to provide tax benefits for voltage regulation devices. The concept is sound: air conditioners, fans, and refrigerators run...
  • L-evating the Stakes

    Last week the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has signed up utilities that service over 70 percent of U.S. electricity consumers. For what, you ask? To support bringing to market and consumers the high-efficiency solid state lighting products that will be identified in the coming months through...
  • Taking Inventory

    With a light week of data releases on tap and no apparent end to bailouts in sight, now is the time to look at under-the-radar indicators that might shed some light on where the economy is headed. Take inventories, for example. As a recession deepens, stockpiled inventories become a widespread problem...
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  • Cyberspies and the Electrical Grid

    Think the "Conficker" computer worm that scared everyone on April 1 was a big deal? It's a pimple on a gnat compared to information in a front-page article published last week in the Wall Street Journal . The article announced that cyberspies have penetrated the electrical grid and left...
  • Mother of All Retrofit High Performance Buildings

    NEMA's promoted retrofitting standard buildings into high performance buildings for several years now, to create substantially better energy, environmental and economic performances. Now we have the mother of all retrofits -- the Empire State Building. The $20 million overhaul announced yesterday...
  • Are We There Yet?

    Identifying turning points in the economy is crucial for economists. Since producers can't make operational decisions in a vacuum, they rely on economic data to help determine whether they should increase production, deploy new capital and/or hire workers. At the earliest stages of a recovery (or...
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