Sep 13

National Association of Electrical Distributors Earns NECA 2009 Industry Partner Award

NECA recognized the contributions made to electrical contracting by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) during yesterday’s Board of Governor’s meeting with the association’s 2009 Industry Partner Award.

2009 NECA Industry Partner Award to NAED accepted by Bob Reynolds of Graybar

NECA Industry Partner Award recognizes those organizations or individuals that, though not members of NECA, contribute to the electrical contracting industry’s success through their decisions, actions, or cooperation with NECA. Previous winners of the Industry Partner Award include the National Fire Protection Agency (1996), Graybar Electric Co. (2004), and University of Kansas professor and ELECTRI International researcher Thomas E. Glavinich (2007). The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) and NECA have worked together for more than a century to the mutual benefit of their respective members.

Electrical distributors are essential link between companies who make electrical products and the electrical contractors who put those products to use in projects worldwide. Beyond warehousing and selling electrical products, distributors provide extensive product knowledge, technical assistance, on-time delivery to facilitate productivity, market knowledge, and extend credit to end-users.

NAED is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving and protecting the electrical distribution channel. Much of its work centers on helping electrical distributors develop effective working relationships with their best customers. electrical contractors.

NECA and NAED joined forces in 2009 to fight the growing number of counterfeit electrical products making their way to the market. Since its inception, the Anti-Counterfeit Products Initiative, www.counterfeitscankill.com, has educated thousands of electrical professionals and the public on the dangers and liabilities counterfeit electrical products present. “We’re proud of this initiative with the potential to save lives, and we’re proud of our ongoing partnership with NAED,” said NECA CEO John Grau.

Grau wrote in a recent editorial in Construction Today, “We’re all in this together, and we all share a common goal of keeping buildings, their owners and their occupants safe. When your electrical contractor comes to you with a concern about product quality, hear him out. You could be saving liability, property and lives.”

Sep 12

Meet the VPs

NECA’s Board of Governors meeting today included passing a new standing policy on safety programs and safe workers and election of five new district Vice Presidents. The new VPs will start their two-year terms on Jan. 1, 2010. District 1 Vice President David MacKay was elected to a second term.

Take a minute to meet NECA’s newest VPs.

Sep 12

Bright and Shiny LEDs!

Guest Post by Ginger Wilson

First, I’d just like to say that I’m not an electrician, nor do I play one on TV. But as a graphic designer, I’m attracted to all things bright and shiny. And when I heard that Philips Color Kinetics was presenting a hands-on pre-convention workshop on LEDs, I had to take a look.

LED Pre-con 1
Their room was set up with four boards with working samples of LED installations. After the Philips staff talked about the products, we got to see how things work up close. Eden and Scott, the workshop leaders from Philips, were nice enough to walk me through one of the boards, and I’m happy to say that bright and shiny can also be practical and energy-efficient…and really, really cool.

The first half of the board was set up with white lights. The eW Profile Powercore and Cove Powercore have white LEDs at the temperature you select. The lights come right on with no warmup time when you flip the switch, and there’s no annoying flicker. They can be strung together to light large areas or installed one-by-one to provide task lighting. That’s fun, but a white light is a white light.

LED Pre-con 2
So we moved on to the iW Cove Powercore. With this fixture, you can mix the cool and warm white lights to create the color temperature you want. It’s dimmable, too. Even better, when it’s attached to the iW Scene Controller, you can save different settings and then bring them back by just touching a button. You don’t realize how much of a difference choosing the right white temperature makes until the “shades” are right in front of you.

On the other side of the table were the lights that had attracted me in the first place: the ColorBlast Powercore. Big, bright RGB LEDs that can light interiors and exteriors and when hooked up to the ColorDial Pro, are programmable so you can save several light shows and play them again later by touching a button.

Finally, the ColorGraze Powercore uses the same RGB colors but in 12-inch sections so you can put them together to color wash a wall. They had a couple of sections hooked up to an iPlayer 3, which allows you to create light shows. Eden told me that Philips is working on lighting a bridge using the ColorGraze Powercore and the iPlayer 3. Stringing the lights together and programming the iPlayer, she said that Philips is going to “make the bridge dance.”

Now that you know how much I love the bright and shiny, you can understand how the notion that itty bitty light bulbs can make a bridge look like it’s dancing fills me with joy.

The boards used in the workshop are on display at Philips booth at the NECA Show. Come see the bright and shiny for yourself!

Sep 12

Learning How to Perform an Energy Audit

One program that’s generating some early buzz in Seattle was yesterday’s pre-convention workshop on how to do a facility energy audit. Participation swelled, forcing the workshop to relocate to a larger classroom.

Energy Audit: A Portal to Green Projects offered contractors their first look at a brand-new resource developed just for them by NECA – a step-by-step guide to evaluate the energy conservation, efficiency and alternative power opportunities for an existing building.

“The first step to winning a green energy project is proving to your customer that you understand their energy needs anEnergy-Audit-Workshop-1d that you can do the work to meet their green building goals. When an electrical contractor does a facility energy audit, he shows he can meet both needs,” said Dick Nogleberg, chair of NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force. The task force was the driving force behind developing the audit tools and training.

Owners tell us that the firm who does their energy audit is usually the same contractor who creates their green energy project and controls the work. Energy audit expertise is a highly valuable addition to a NECA member’s green energy business and profit development toolkit.

Future energy audit training will be available through MEI.

Sep 11

Welcome to the NECA 2009 Seattle Live Blog!

Hi everyone!

I’m Beth Margulies, NECA’s director of public relations, and I’ll be live-blogging NECA’s convention and trade show in Seattle this week on blog.necaconvention.org.

I hope you’ve been reading the blog to keep up with new sessions and special offers, but now with everything in full swing, we’re shifting our coverage on-site, with daily reports on sessions, speakers and scenes from the Show floor. If you see something you like here, use the Social Media tools on each post to share it on your own Facebook, Twitter or MySpace page.

But this blog isn’t the only way you can keep up with everything that’s going on in Seattle.  You can become a fan of the NECA Convention on Facebook to receive important updates before the events and while they happen.

Or follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/necaconvention for quick updates about new blog posts, room changes, and raffle drawings.  Ginger Wilson has already tweeted tons of pictures and reports from pre-convention workshops and as the Show floor takes shape. If already on Twitter, you can tag your own tweets with #NECA09 to let your followers know you’re tweeting about NECA 2009 Seattle.

For NECA 2009 Seattle attendees who aren’t familiar with everything social media can offer electrical contractors, you might want to attend the management seminar I’m leading on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 8 a.m., What is Social Media and How it Can Help Your Business.  Details about NECA’s own social media can be found on our website, too.

There won’t be a lot of time to spare in Seattle, so take advantage of NECA’s social media for event updates and to stay in touch!