Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

June 23, 2022

LME David OReilly 400x275By 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. Interestingly, the study claimed that 98% of Canadians have heard of smart home technology, yet only 17% of households have adopted and integrated the technology. I asked David to explain the importance of smart-home technology, as well as this discrepancy in accessibility:

“From the survey perspective we certainly saw that Canadian homeowners see a range of benefits to smart home technology, and what it told us is that Canadians are very interested in using technology to enable their home to be smart, effective, efficient, but also at the same time use less energy. When we looked at that though we also saw some barriers to the interest in the adoption [of smart home technologies]. 58% of Canadians told us that saving money is very important, using less energy, and having good control over their home when they’re not there are very interesting to them. At the same time, over half, 57% said that the initial cost of purchase for the owner and the installation of the smart home technology is a barrier. So they’re interested in it, they want to see it, but they see cost as a barrier.”

To add to that, “about half [are] worried about data privacy, just a little under 50%. So as we thought and evaluated that data, the way we were viewing this was that for Canadians to truly transform the way in which they consume energy at home, it’s critical to go beyond traditional methods of just energy management, and they really need to leverage the latest technology and solutions to have a real impact on climate, so that’s where our solutions like Wiser EnergyTM for the home come in. And our Wiser Home energy solution (version en français ICI) connects directly to the homeowner’s panel, where their breakers are, and is able to automatically read and monitor in a proactive way the energy load to every switch and outlet in your home, in real time. Energy is not just a matter of turning things off or turning things on, the real power that Wiser EnergyTM provides homeowners is in understanding how much power each device in their home is using at any given point during the day. Again, it’s not just about lights being on or off, or thermostats being at a certain level, it’s about the energy usage. And data is power, right? So it’s not just consuming less, it’s consuming smarter, that’s really the way we look at it.” 

As many know, well-educated and well-trained employees can be critical in the success of a product. Given the current labour shortage, (version en français n’est pas encore disponible) a strong and easily accessible training program for those in the industry is extremely important, such as the Wiser Approved Installer program where electricians can gain more specialization in smart-home technologies. Having more specialized individuals working with these technologies will ultimately make them more accessible and more universal for residential and commercial settings alike.

David agrees, stating that “training is critical. We’re constantly working with our broader ecosystem of electrical distributors and electrical contractors and electricians to ensure that we are providing to them the latest insights into how our technology works, the latest technology that’s coming, and we do that through a combination of online on our Schneider Electric website, but also in conjunction (when it gets a little more in-depth or technical), with our wholesale distribution partners who are critical to our success. And what we will do is in certain instances we can provide training for contractors through them. You know smart home technology is increasingly popular and familiar as I said at the outset, and technology will become a must-have knowledge for residential electrical contractors. And the training really needs to go beyond just explaining the function, they need to understand how it’s made, why it’s made, how it operates, how it connects to other technologies, and that’s how we ultimately do it.” 

Speaking of new technologies, I also asked David if there were any developments or new products on the horizon that he could share with me. He opened up, explaining two new exciting launches that we can anticipate in the future. One being a Home Energy Centre, and the other being EVLink. Schneider Electric’s answer to a world demanding a higher quantity and a higher use of electric vehicles in general.

“A big portion of my job is not only looking after the day-to-day, but it’s also mapping out where we’re taking Schneider Electric offers that are available now and in the future for Canadian customers. And so, we have a new lineup of connected breakers coming out that will provide greater insight and connectivity through Wiser-- a lot more On/Off capability and control capability. I can say that we have something called our Home Energy Centre coming out, and the Home Energy Centre should be out in mid-2023, that’s our target. That’s a very exciting offer for us! So as more and more customers install solar technology on to their homes, the Home Energy Centre provides the ability to control the flow of energy to either battery backup through an inverter or back onto the grid, letting the homeowner control when their battery bank is fully charged if they want to continue to have the load run that way, or if they want to use the inverter to send it back out to the grid, which the Ontario government and many other provincial governments allow you to do. And that’s actually an integrated platform where the panel itself would be integrated in with the meter, the panel, as well as the inverter, connected to the solar of the home, and that’s exciting for us.”

“And the other thing that we’re working on very diligently that we don’t have a date for a Canadian launch for yet – but it is coming – are electric vehicle chargers. Our solution for this globally is called EVLink, and EVLink will be launched in Canada, and we will have a solution for the individual single-family home. We will have a solution for multi-tenant, as well as commercial environments, so we’re pretty excited about that. We had electric vehicle chargers in Canada many years ago and many of them are still operational in a number of geographies, but we stopped it and we began to look at where the standards and codes are going with this. So, we believe that once standards and codes are decided for electric vehicle chargers in Canada, which should be in the not-too-distant future, then we will match that up and launch our EVLink solution here.”

I asked David if he thought that smart home technology, such as the Wiser Energy system could be mandatory in the future for new builds, in the way that EV chargers are currently in many municipalities and some provinces in accordance with respective climate goals. He didn’t think that would be happening anytime soon, but that it wouldn’t be impossible in the distant future: “We spend a lot of time talking to provincial and federal people about future policy on this sort of thing and where we think it should go, we’re asked for our opinions. I do believe that we could someday see a point at which smart home technology that monitors and utilizes AI insights to check and watch energy usage could be mandatory, but it’s not on the horizon right now.”

David continued, and our conversation veered towards Schneider Electric’s climate pledge and objectives, as well as sustainability in general:

“When we talk a lot about the “carbon conundrum” as I call it, which is meeting our carbon goals by 2030 and then 2050. We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the power generation side, so how the power is generated. But if you look at the big macro things that are happening in the world today [you see that] we have a huge number of people moving globally from rural areas to urban centres—and they’re using more electricity. You see data centre usage going up substantially. You see factory industrialization happening at a scale in the developing world that’s also demanding and consuming a great deal of energy. We will never solve the carbon conundrum by focusing on the power generation side. What we need to begin thinking about is how do we become-- we being all of us as individuals-- in our home environments, 2.5 times more efficient than we are today? Because using that as the metric will be the only way that we will be able to solve this. So, it’s not just a matter of producing or generating the power in a more efficient way, which still does need to be done, you know, using less fossil fuels and more renewables, but it also needs to focus on how we’re using energy in our homes and in our businesses more effectively.”

“When you think about where Schneider Electric is spending its time, trying to provide our clients insights by IoT enabling operating technology, byDCS Schneider ecostrux 400 IoT enabling, and providing insight into our homes’ energy usage through things like Wiser EnergyTM—this is really going to help get us there, and we really need to get that message out to a much broader market. You know, Wiser EnergyTM is a fascinating thing, even just in terms of the AI capabilities of it. Someone at a recent tradeshow asked me, what happens if I plug a device into one room, and then I unplug that device and plug it into another room. [In that case], we always use the vacuum example. Wiser EnergyTM is smart enough to automatically read the load signal and identify that that device is a refrigerator, and that device is a microwave, and that’s a flat-screen TV, but this is a vacuum. When you move that vacuum, as an example, from one room to another, it will tell you that it has been moved to the living room or to the den, or to a bedroom. And it will say whether it’s using more load time in a given room—probably in a place like a kitchen or living room more so than say in a bedroom or upstairs hallway, right?”

I followed this up by asking how this fits into Schneider Electric’s sustainability goals, and he told me that “We believe that from an energy usage perspective, we have to be 3 times more efficient from the end-user perspective. We feel that the Wiser EnergyTM solution is absolutely what is going to help the broader population get there. But from a Schneider Electric perspective, we’ve set very aggressive goals ourselves in terms of our climate conditions and our climate goals. We are working very hard to reach our pledge, which is striving toward the 1.5 Celsius climate trajectory, as per the Paris accord (version en français ICI). We feel that we are making some pretty good headway, and we were the most sustainable organization in the world last year, and this year we’re certainly right up there with the best of the best. We feel that as an organization, it’s not just about what we sell and provide to our end users, but we also have to live every day and deliver on what we pledge ourselves.”

This sort of technology enables homeowners to understand, with a lot more precision than ever available before, how and where the energy is being used in their homes, as well as easy solutions to reduce that consumption. For more information on Schneider Electric’s Wiser EnergyTM Home technology system, please click HERE.

Changing Scene

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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. 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Product News

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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...

 

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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.”

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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


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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. 

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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