Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

April 19, 2021

EIN EDA new logo 400By Blake Marchand

Presented in partnership with Hydro One, The EDA Safety Forum – held on March 23, 2021 – featured noted safety and legal experts who delivered actionable insights on current safety issues, research, and best practices relevant to one of the most important priorities and performance metrics for local distribution companies in Ontario.

The Forum had over 50 in attendance and featured the following agenda and expert speakers:

  • The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act, David Reiter, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP
  • IESO and the Pandemic' s Impact on the Electricity System, Kausar Ashraf, Senior Manager, Demand & Conservation Planning, IESO
  • ESA - COVID-19 Proactive Response and Evolving Approaches, Nansy Hanna, Senior Director, Engineering & Regulations, ESA
  • How has the Safety Training Program Changed, Al Leger, Manager, Powerline Apprenticeship Training, IHSA
  • Pandemic Safety: How Utilities Have Adapted to Keep Employees Safe During COVID-19, Chong Kiat Ng, Vice President, Distribution, and Teri French, Vice President, Forestry, Hydro One

Teresa Sarkesian EDA“The EDA held a successful Safety Forum on March 23 with expert best practices presented and valuable industry knowledge shared. We know that a great many EDA members, and the electricity sector as a whole, responded with exceptional efforts over the last year and that they continue to do so in 2021,” commented Teresa Sarkesian, President & Chief Executive Officer, Electricity Distributors Association. “The EDA Safety Forum sessions highlighted these remarkable efforts that ensured the safety of employees and the reliability of the electricity system during the pandemic, plus more. My thanks go out to everyone who attended from across the province for an engaged discussion on safety.”

Following opening remarks from Sarkesian, David Reiter provided some best practices with respect to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and handling workplace safety incidence.

In the first portion of his presentation, David Reiter, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP focused on training and training oversight. Ensuring that employees receive proper health and safety training and that there is a record what training and inspections have taken place. There should also be an oversight systems and corrective measures for those not following protocol, that Reiter said should also be documented.

Reiter noted that safety programs should be monitored and adjusted over time, as best practices and safety requirements evolve. Also adding that, inspections are meant to be a preventative measure, an incident or complaint isn’t needed to trigger inspection, inspectors will sometimes conduct inspections spontaneously.

Reiter recommends designating one point person to cooperate with the inspector/inspection who knows where everything is, what procedures are in place and, has all updated/correct information. When it comes to incidence, he recommends the same, that one person should be pre-designated to run/control the situation.

When an incident occurs, the scene should be secured, Reiter noted that if anything is moved or disrupted that may make investigators suspicious it was done to hide something. The next step is to talk to those involved to nail down what led to the incident, the initial impression may not be accurate.  After that you want to deliver applicable notices, particularly those that involve an injury, even if its minor.

You will then need to conduct your investigation into the incident and collect all of your relevant records with regards to training and inspections. You may also want an investigator/council to conduct interviews with those involved.

Improvements to safety programs/infrastructure as a result of an incident should be addressed in a timely manner. Not all incidents are a result of negligence, there may be gaps or blind spots that need to be addressed/learned from, and quick action shows that you are serious about safety.

Kausar Ashraf from IESO presented on how the pandemic has impacted demand, as well as providing insight into their projections moving forward.

“What we were able to do is stitch together various data sets, smart meter data included, in order to distinguish these segments, to see what’s happening to residential customers, commercial and industrial demand, as well as small businesses; so, for this analysis that I’m presenting here, we’ve mined through a fair bit of data,” said Ashraf at the top of her presentation.

Ashraf noted that weather is a main factor in demand. When its hot during the summer and cold during the winter demand goes up, which was compounded by the pandemic because so many people were working from home and running AC and heat longer because they were home more. 

Demand dropped over 10% during peak lockdown periods. Largest increase to peak occurred during summer months due to the suspension of Industrial Conservation Initiative and increased residential air conditioning load. Since the fall, energy and peak has returned closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Industrial and commercial demand dropped by 20% during closures in March and April and had a sharp 14% increase for stage 2 and 3 re-openings. Demand is still down around 5-6%.

The pandemic has understandably caused some uncertainty on the demand outlook. IESO’s annual planning outlook was broken into two scenarios: scenario one considers rapid recovery with demand returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2022. The second scenario factored a more significant economic downturn with demand recovering slowly.

Forecast updates include an increase in demand for the agricultural sector (950 MW increase over previous forecast), near-term increases in residential consumption, rail and transit electrification with accelerated timelines, and near-term increases in mining, with existing mines end of life assumptions beginning in 2028.

The commercial sector forecasts a decrease in consumption due to changes in office space uses, retail and restaurant closures, and changes to school and university schedules. There’s also an expected increase to warehousing demand as a result of more online shopping.

The Forum concluded with a panel discussion on how utilities have adapted during COVID-19 with Chong Kiat Ng (CK), Vice President, Distribution, and Teri French, Vice President, Forestry, Hydro One. Coincidentally, both took on their current roles during the pandemic. CK and French discussed their transition and how the experienced the challenges of pandemics.

French was with Enercare when the pandemic hit, she noted that although they had business continuity plans around systems and facilities, although pandemic response was not part of it, “At the very beginning it was daunting, we had to keep our customers and employees safe, but the information was so varied, it was dynamic, it was coming in so quickly, synthesizing through it was overwhelming.”

Coming into a new role at a new company, unlike CK who was already with Hydro One in another capacity, presented another challenge for French. Which included not being able to meet many of the people she would be working with in person.

“Onboarding onto a new organization has a lot of challenges in the new way of working – to do anything that used to be a quick conversation at the water cooler, or you could grab someone quick after a meeting and have a quick chat, it’s no longer like that. So, we ‘ve spent so much of our time in meetings, back-to-back meetings, it’s a struggle. And when you have a field-based organization so widely dispersed through the province, it puts on that incremental challenge of really starting to be able to get those personal connections. That’s been the biggest challenge for myself, is really being able to connect with people in a new virtual platform.”

When it comes to managing confined spaces in the field, getting to the jobsite, and operating in bucket trucks, CK explained, “that was a topic of lots of conversation over the past year or so. We did hit the pause button when the pandemic hit because we did not have a playbook on how to do many things.”

That pause allowed them to recalibrate and get a better idea of how to continue to operate safely, and adjust as more and more information came out, “The bucket truck is a challenge because there are only so many of them and the work has to be done. We were able to come up with ways to make sure if a job required two people in the truck, then they would drive around as a team of two and try to keep them together as much as possible, and asked them to wear masks while driving,” explained CK. On top of that workers were supplied with the proper PPE for when social distancing was not possible.

Looking at her time with Enercare, French said there were a lot of similarities to how they managed the pandemic, although she said, “one of the key differences, I would think, with Enercare, is the residential customer base. Because Enercare is a personal service and installation organization, much of the work done by technicians is in independent customer’s homes. So, that was a bit of a challenge at the very beginning with some of the unknowns that were there, particularly around our technicians who were visiting multiple customers a day, and how we would ensure the safety of both the customers and the employees.”

When it comes to her role with Hydro One, a big challenge is how large the coverage area and the geographical span, “really, the key to pandemic response is making sure that all of our teams have very clear, definitive actions on specific safety protocols. One of the key elements when you have a workforce of that size, is making sure you take all of this information, synthesize the important points to get to the field staff, and making sure you have a constant communication flow to our field force as well as back, so a lot of different types of websites, different types of notifications,” explained French.

Ultimately, to ensure field teams had the resources to do what they needed to do safely, which includes the ability to communicate with the company easily.

Another important focus was ensuring they were correctly interpreting the policy related information being passed down by government as well as guidelines being issued by public health.

What’s next? Mark your calendars for the EDA’s Construction and Infrastructure Forum on May 4 with a half-day online session that will include a mix of legal, regulatory and sector perspectives, with leading experts speaking to unique constraints and considerations, plus many more events planned for 2021. Visit the EDA website at eda-on.ca for all registration and event details.

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the  ...
The Electrical Contractors Association of BC (ECABC) has announced the impending departure of ...
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough was at ...
The launch of the Apprenticeship Service stands to help overcome financial barriers employers face ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out ...
43 years ago, Steve Silverstein bought a table saw and a delivery van and began a revolution in the ...
E.B. Horsman & Son (EBH) has announced their Victoria location will be officially moving to a ...
 The Maritime’s largest Mechanical and Electrical event took place last Wednesday and ...
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is calling all professional and student-apprentice electricians to come out ...
Vivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority ...

Become a Wiser Approved Installer

Wiser Approved Installer

Get access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.

 

 

 

Read More


 



Government of CanadaThe federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). The initiative’s 2022 CFP will help fund new and innovative projects that aim to increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.


Natural Resources Canada will provide funding through non-repayable contributions of between 50 and 75 percent of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum funding of up to $300,000 per project. The CFP will close on August 18, 2022.

Read more


 

Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

Read More

 


 

Atkore United Poly SystemsAtkore Inc. announced that it has acquired United Poly Systems, a manufacturer of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pressure pipe and conduit, primarily serving telecom, water infrastructure, renewables, and energy markets.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of United Poly Systems, which strengthens Atkore’s product portfolio, expands our manufacturing capacity and further enables us to meet HDPE customers’ needs,” stated John Pregenzer, President of Atkore’s Electrical business. “HDPE pipe and conduit is a growing market that is expected to benefit from U.S. infrastructure legislation, and United Poly Systems is a great addition to Atkore. We welcome these employees and look forward to working together to continue to serve and support our customers.”

Read More


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Grimard is More Competitive and Produces Estimates 3X Faster with Procore

ProcoreWhen the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

Read More


 



 

Iron+EarthThe RenuWell Project partners are excited to announce the groundbreaking of two pilot sites located near Taber, Alberta. These pilot sites are the first of their kind to repurpose inactive oil and gas infrastructure as a foundation for renewable energy development and job creation.

When operating, the solar projects will generate 2,030 MWh annually – enough electricity to power 280 average Alberta households or irrigate 11,700 acres of farmland for an average year. This is roughly equivalent to $200,000 in electricity sales per year with 1,100  tCO2e savings in GHG emissions. Over a 25-year lifespan, the projects will generate 50,750 MWh, with GHG emission savings of 28,420 tCO2e.

Read More


 

David O'ReillyBy Elle Bremmer

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David O’Reilly, Vice President Home & Distribution and Secure Power Divisions with Schneider Electric Canada for a discussion regarding the Wiser EnergyTM smart home solution, the Wiser Approved training program, and his thoughts on several different subjects, including sustainability and future technologies currently in the works at Schneider Electric. David has been with the company for five and a half years in his role.

We recently published a study (version en français ICI) from Schneider Electric showing a strong interest from Canadians in smart home technology. 

Read More


 

SimplySnap: It Just Works.

SynapseSmart technology is only smart if it works, and SimplySnap? It just works.
Scalable, field-proven, DLC NLC 5.0 qualified, and easy-to-install wireless network
lighting controls are in-stock. Explore energy code compliant SimplySnap
technology here.

Read More

 


 

Product News

  • Prev
Ericson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and ...
Intermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation ...
Klein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, ...
Cree LED, anSGHcompany, announced the launch ofXLamp® Element G LEDs, delivering a new ...
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed ...
IDEC Corporation has released a complete product line of S3TL series ferrules, wire strippers, ...
Corning CCH pigtailed cassettes are factory assembled, quality tested, and available in LC and ...
QuickLink delivers the fastest downlighting installation HALO has to offer. Installers can power up ...
Kidde HomeSafe™ is a comprehensive suite of smart home safety devices to help protect against ...
Combination Couplings used to join 3/4" EMT conduit via set screw to 14/2 through 10/3 Steel and ...


Ericson String LightsEricson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and SL, LED Stringlights. These new and updated products have several key features important when safe, code compliant lighting for industrial workspace is necessary.

Infinitely capable, these ruggedly built products have several industry leading & exclusive features including:

Industrial String Lights:

  • A United States Navy Specification since before WWII, they’re time and application tested...

 

Read More


 

 

Intermatic Pool and Spa SolutionIntermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation panels for pool-only applications, as well as its new PE24GVA 24-Volt Valve Actuator, an easy-to-install valve actuator that allows for tool-free cam adjustments. Both solutions remove obstacles for pool service professionals while delivering lasting performance.

“Intermatic load centers and valve actuators have been the preferred choice of pool professionals for more than 30 years,” says Brian Lamberty, product marketing manager at Intermatic. “The PE24GVA and P40000 Series build on that tradition, helping pool professionals streamline service calls while setting the standard for quality and performance.”

Read More


 

 

Klein Tools Zipper BagsKlein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, both designed to handle tough jobsite conditions and stand up so tools and small parts can be easily accessed when working.

Stand-up Zipper Bags, 7-Inch and 14-Inch, 2-Pack (Cat. No. 55559)

  • Perfect for storing pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, drill bits and other small tools and parts
  • 4 1/2’’ tall zipper bags come in two sizes:
    • 14’’ (36.6 cm) dark gray
    • 7’’ (17.8 cm) royal blue


Read More


 

Emerson HV SafetyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed annually in electrocution accidents, which roughly equals one fatality per day. In the face of these dangers, OSHA officials and industry safety consultants alike recommend eliminating potential hazards on work sites, rather than simply relying on contractors or employees to follow safety guidelines.

To help safeguard employees from electrocution, Emerson has launched its Appleton™ Powertite™ Lock Collar, a device that fastens over plug and connector connections and is secured with a padlock, preventing unauthorized personal from disconnecting the cable connection once in place. 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Watt’s the Word is a recently launched Electrical Industry Podcast hosted by Zack Hartle and ...
Allana Kellett-Jamieson loves working in the electrical sector and is proud of the great focus ...
As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the ...
Karen Pullen knows what it’s like to be the only woman on a construction site, and as a proud ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada.   ...
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. ...

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil