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Supergrids: The Next Electric Grid Trend?

Much as been written about microgrids recently, suggesting that, more and more, the electric grid's distribution system will become more isolated and self-reliant.


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Making Cities 'Cooler'

A report published in December 2016, "Achieving Urban Resilience: Washington DC," documents how the District of Columbia could save $5 billion over 40 years with smart surface technologies, such as cool roofs, green roofs, solar PV, bioretention, rainwater harvesting, reflective pavements, permeable


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Eyes Up, Feet Forward

The Farmer’s Almanac is still chugging along after 199 years of sharing weather prognostications and astrology forecasts and Best Days, among other things. Jan.


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New Administration, New Congress, New Opportunities

It can be safely said that 2016 has been a memorable year in Washington, D.C. Everything the experts knew about politics was turned upside down and inside out as the election results broke nearly every rule we have ever known.


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Preliminary Results Show Promise for Tunable White Light in Senior Care Facilities

Color tuning opens a world of opportunities in lighting design, proving itself useful in a seemingly endless supply of applications—designing lighting “scenes” for special occasions, creating different atmospheres for a hotel versus a hospital or shifting the color temperature of the light in the ro


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Solar Growth Eclipsing Previous Records

Recently, the solar industry has managed to persevere and thrive, notwithstanding a political climate that is always casting an ominous cloud of uncertainty.


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Bipartisan Compromise Brings Energy Reform To Illinois


Partisan politics has almost become the norm in the United States, and disagreements over energy policy are no exception. Except, perhaps, in the state of Illinois.



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New York Bridges And Tunnels Receive LED Makeover


In October, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to “transform” New York City’s bridges and tunnels “for the 21st Century.” The plan has four goals: reduce congestion, combat emerging security threats, increase flood resiliency and promote energy conservation.



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Corporations Embracing Renewable Power


A report released jointly in October by the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Wildlife Fund shows that leadership in the corporate world may now be fully engaged in the push for more renewable-energy generation.



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Loans And Cash Eclipse Leases And PPAs In The Solar Market


As the economics of solar technology continue to change, homeowners are also changing the way they pay for rooftop installations.



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LED Forecast

In its latest LED energy savings forecast, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts LED lighting will represent 30 percent of the installed lighting base within five years and 59 percent by 2025.



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Growing Pains: 2016 Fiber Optics in Review


The application of fiber optics has been growing rapidly.


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Ideas That Work: Taking Measurements, Easy Handling and Inspiration

Every month, we pick the top Ideas That Work submitted by you, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers.


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A case in point

A Case Study Of Bad Faith Negotiations

Everyone has encountered difficult contractors. You may or may not have an idea of what would be the ideal contractor to work with, but everyone has at least one clear instance of a general contractor that seemed to be from some evil nether region.



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Milwaukee Tool 6-in-1 combination wire  pliers with redesigned  stripping capacity
Cool Tools: The Evolution Of Hand Tools

Pliers, wire strippers, screwdrivers and crimpers are all basic hand tools electricians have used for decades. However, compared to older versions, continuing advancements and improvements have made today’s hand tools more versatile, easier to use and more durable.



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Always Be Prepared: Utilities Improving in the Face of Stormy Weather


For proof that electric utilities have been hardening their systems, consider two recent weather events: Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.


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Duct Banks: Advanced Feeder Takeoff


I perform many takeoffs for industrial projects. One of the significant differences between commercial and industrial work is the feeders, which can account for more than 80 percent of the time needed to complete the takeoff.


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Guiding Light

In this month’s column, I talk with Brett Brenner, president, Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), about the foundation’s mission, the services it offers, the dangers of counterfeit electrical products and more.
 What is the ESFI and its membership about?


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Web Exclusive
2017: The Year For Infrastructure

With the new presidential administration coming into the White House, will this be the year of advancing infrastructure? Will there be a diversified trillion dollar infrastructure project to jumpstart the economy as well as fill your schedules and your wallets?


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Ideas That Work: Best of 2016

Ideas That Work is one of the most consistently well-read features in the magazine. Every month, it fosters community and idea sharing among contractors, electricians, and installers with the goal of saving our readers time, money, and frustration.


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