Chuck Ross

Freelance Writer

Chuck Ross is a freelance writer and editor who has covered building and energy technologies for a range of industry publications and websites for more than 25 years. He specializes in building and energy technologies, along with electric-utility business issues.

Articles by Chuck Ross

May 2016
Once a bedroom-only requirement, arc-fault 
circuit interrupters (AFCIs)­—either as breakers or receptacles—today are required in almost all areas of the home. The 2014 edition of the National 
Electrical Code (NEC), in effect in 27 states as of March 2016, has added kitchens, laundry areas and dormitory rooms to the list of living spaces in which such protection is necessary. READ MORE
May 2016
The press has had much to say about the death spirals on the way for the 
electric-utility industry, thanks to the rapid proliferation of rooftop solar panels and other distributed-energy resources. The thought is customer-owned generation could upend current income streams and place unforeseen stress on local distribution systems that are not designed for a two-way electron flow. READ MORE
  • Looking beyond the apps

April 2016
In the not-too-distant future, 
a time may come when electrical contractors will entertain their grandchildren with tales of lighting fixtures that existed for the sole purpose of illumination. READ MORE
April 2016
When the Supreme Court put President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) on hold in February, pending a federal appeals court case scheduled for June, clean-energy advocates feared this move would jeopardize national efforts to reduce carbon emissions. READ MORE
March 2016
The state of Nevada’s rapidly growing residential solar-power industry ground to a halt in January 2016, as public utility commissioners approved a new rate structure that effectively erases state-level incentives for rooftop-solar installations. READ MORE
March 2016
Five years ago, as plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) began hitting the road in numbers, U.S. gasoline prices were running around $3.50 per gallon and heading upward, and automakers saw a great market opportunity for cars that granted their drivers independence from the gas pump. READ MORE
February 2016
When we last left the U.S. solar-power industry, it was staring at a fiscal cliff. In “Clouds Ahead for Solar” (ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, December 2015), we reported on the possible expiration of two important tax credits at the end of 2016 and how this could mean the loss of thousands of solar-related jobs and billions of dollars of related investment. READ MORE
January 2016
In January 2014, a weather front known as a “polar vortex” descended from Canada’s arctic north and brought frigid temperatures and heavy snow and ice as far south as Texas and eastward to the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Along with the cold came concerns that electricity supplies could run short, leaving millions without light or heat. READ MORE
December 2015
It’s not news that the solar-power industry has been shining brightly the last few years. In the second quarter of 2015, 729 megawatts (MW) of commercial and residential solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was added to the nation’s utility grid, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Thanks to the scheduled expiration of a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) on Dec. READ MORE