NECA 2016 Boston: BLOG

All The Latest News from NECA 2016 Boston

Jul 31

Boost Your Company’s Productivity and Explore New Markets at the Energy Forum

Energy Forum at NECA 2013 Washington DC
Saturday, Oct. 12
$145 member/$75 with Full Convention Registration/Included with Weekend Package registration

The July issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR is all about green construction, and there’s no better place to check out the trends covered in the magazine than the 2013 NECA Energy Forum. The fourth annual Energy Forum will focus on how electrical contractors are bringing renewable power and energy conservation to both new and retrofit projects. Learn from many of the people  directly shaping this new energy world, from policy makers to owners and project developers, plus best practices from electrical contractors growing their energy solutions operations.

You can attend the Energy Forum by registering for a Weekend Package, as an a la cart program, or with your full registration. >>

Sep 30

The Real Work Behind Energy Solutions: 2012 Energy Forum

The second NECA Energy Forum compressed intense learning into three far-ranging discussions, covering everything from energy-efficient retail operations to advanced lighting controls to national energy policy.

“I believe the real change will happen at the local level,” said Jack Ryan, CFO/Treasurer, AMC Inc. “We can talk about putting together a national energy policy that includes all the innovation and opportunities for renewable power and energy efficiency that we’ve discussed here today, but for something to work, real people have to be invested in what the change means in their local communities.”

Reyad Fezzani, a global energy business executive with a passion for clean technology, agreed with Ryan. “We will do this grassroots,” he told Energy Forum attendees. “We need to look for partners and work together rather than waiting to be told what to do.”

The second panel discussion introduced NECA contractors who have added energy solutions to their company services. When Rubio Rubio started his company On Target Electric in late 2008, he had a commitment to remaining at the forefront of industry changes. He became an instructor for the California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (CALCTP) and through the program, was awarded a lighting controls project for SCE.

“My company is fairly small, but since we made the commitment to help our customers save money through energy-efficient lighting, we have grown every year. That’s pretty convincing when you’re making the decision about taking on energy solution work,” he said.

Sep 12

Schedule for Energy Forum

Saturday, September 29
1-4:15 p.m.
Mandalay Bay Convention Center

The 2012 NECA Energy Forum is an intensive afternoon of peer-to-peer learning, featuring an excellent keynote speaker and expert panels that will inform and inspire NECA contractors to grow their businesses through energy solutions.

The 2012 NECA Energy Forum will explore the many ways NECA contractors are growing their companies by offering energy solutions that improve building performance and lower operating costs. The 2012 Forum, hosted by NECA Vice Presidents Stan Lazarian and Dan Schaeffer, opens at 1 p.m. with keynote speaker David L. Pogue, Global Director of Sustainability for CB Richard Ellis, Inc.

 2012 NECA Energy Forum Agenda-at-a-Glance

Opening and Keynote
Keynote Speaker: David L. Pogue, Global Director of Sustainability for CB Richard Ellis, Inc.
Learn about sustainable energy practices that can make a real difference in the costs of property management and how electrical contractors can connect with owners and managers.

Panel 1: Opportunities in the Energy Solutions Market: Technology and Policy Shaping Tomorrow
Moderators: Rob Colgan, NECA; Stan Lazarian, NECA VP District 9
Panelists: Jack Ryan, America’s Mart; Reyad Fezzani, Energy Finance Company; Bryan Hansel, Smith Electric Vehicles; Matt Syal, Michigan State University

Panel 2: Developing New Business in Electrical Contracting
Moderators: Mir Mustafa, NECA; Dan Schaeffer, NECA VP District 7
Speakers: Larry Hollis, Rosendin Electric; Dave Peterson, ERMCO Inc.; Rubio Rubio, On Target Electric

Conclusion/Wrap-up

The 2012 Energy Forum is available for individual registration or is included with full convention registration for NECA 2012 Las Vegas.

Your energy solutions education doesn’t stop with the NECA Energy Forum. A series of related management workshops and technical workshops are offered throughout the Convention and the NECA Show.

Jul 20

NECA Energy Forum – A Great Opening Act For NECA Las Vegas 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

1–4:15 p.m.
Mandalay Bay

Want to make the most of your time in Las Vegas? Want to learn about the hottest topics in energy efficiency and business development? Make plans to be at the Energy Forum on Saturday, September 29 starting at 1:00 pm. And, best of all, if you have a full convention registration, access to the Energy Forum is included!

Electrical contractors offer the solutions for all the emerging technologies affecting building performance, operating costs and occupant productivity. The 2012 NECA Energy Forum will explore the many ways NECA contractors are growing their businesses by expanding into the energy solutions market. The Forum, hosted this year by NECA Vice Presidents Stan Lazarian (District 9) and Dan Schaeffer (District 7), opens at 1 p.m. with keynote speaker David L. Pogue, Global Director of Sustainability for CB Richard Ellis, Inc., speaking on the sustainable energy practices that can make a real difference in the costs of property management and how electrical contractors can connect with owners and managers.

Following the opening keynote, Rob Colgan, NECA Executive Director of Market Development will moderate a panel discussion on “Opportunities in the Energy Solutions Market: Technology and Policy Shaping Tomorrow.” Leaders from across the business community will provide insight and perspective on the energy solutions market. Representatives from wholesale merchandising, electric vehicle manufacturing, and the academic community will share their knowledge about specific electrical contracting opportunities in their business sectors.

A second expert panel on “Developing New Business for Electrical Contractors” will complete the plenary content for the Energy Forum. NECA contractors from across the country will discuss the different ways their companies implemented business development programs to pursue and get energy solutions work. No two methods are exactly the same; each strategy reflects the unique strengths and goals of these individual NECA contractors. NECA Director of Market Development Mir Mustafa will moderate the panel and field questions from participants. The business development panel will appeal to contractors with established business development strategies who want to expand, as well as to contractors who want to get started.

“Energy solutions work and business development go hand-in-hand. You can’t be successful in one without the other,” said Stan Lazarian, chair of NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force.

“Electrical contractors shouldn’t just hope that this work finds them one day. We have to be proactive,” said Dan Schaeffer, chair of NECA’s Business Development Task Force. “The Energy Forum helps contractors put all the pieces together to go where the industry is moving by putting technical knowledge and business development tactics together at one event.”

ABOUT THE 2012 NECA ENERGY FORUM: The 2012 NECA Energy Forum is an intensive Saturday afternoon program featuring an outstanding keynote speaker and expert panels that will inform and inspire NECA contractors to grow their businesses through energy solutions. The Forum will conclude just in time for the Green Energy Challenge finalists’ presentation, the annual NECA Student Chapter design competition where some of the brightest young minds from across the country present their energy solutions to the NECA audience and judges.

Your energy solutions education at NECA 2012 Las Vegas doesn’t have to stop with the Energy Forum. A series of related management workshops and technical workshops are offered throughout the Convention and the NECA Show.

The NECA Energy Forum was launched in 2011 to deliver industry-specific information about the market opportunities and business process of energy solutions work to electrical contractors. The NECA Energy Forum has become an integral part of the NECA convention and tradeshow experience and will continue to address topics like building automation and controls; energy efficiency; electric vehicle charging; energy storage; lighting retrofits; smart grid technology; solar/PV; and wind generation.

The 2012 Energy Forum is available for individual registration or is included with your with full convention registration for NECA 2012 Las Vegas, and will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, 1:00 – 4:15 p.m., at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

May 16

2012 EDUCATION TRACKS OVERVIEW

NECA education tracks are a series of strategies, best practices and newest technology grouped in five tracks of related topics. Each track is filled with hours of content presented by the industry’s leading experts geared to providing strategic and practical solutions for electrical contractors. If your firm is expanding into one or more of the alternative energy markets, then attend the Energy Solutions track, or send one of your colleagues to cover the information while you attend the Management Track. And, make sure your Safety Director attends the Safety Track. Each theme runs from pre-convention workshops to the management sessions to the technical workshops on the NECA show floor. These new streamlined tracks will help you keep up with the ever- evolving needs of the industry.

ELECTRICAL
There is so much to stay abreast of in the world of technology and best practices. This track covers vital information such as pre-fabrication, significant NEC® code changes, measuring power consumption, new tool technology, leveraging BIM, and more.

ENERGY SOLUTIONS
These sessions are a continuation of the Energy Forum, providing an in-depth look at alternative energy opportunities available to electrical contractors. Topics covered include Smart Grid, Solar/PV, the vast market for lighting and controls retrofits, NECAWORKSTM, EVSE, and much more.

LINE CONSTRUCTION
Line contractors are working in extraordinary times. They are at the forefront of electrical grid improvements, smart meters, broadband technology, and distributing power from renewable sources nationwide, as well as safety improvements. The only way your business can be prepared to take advantage of all the emerging market opportunities in our industry is to be exposed to new ideas and solutions. Attendees will find all the latest information and updates.

MANAGEMENT
Immerse yourself in the leadership skills and knowledge you need in order to contribute more effectively as a key member of your management team. Driving improved business results through enabling technologies is crucial to grow sales, reduce expenses, and improve organizational effectiveness.

SAFETY
This safety track extends the learning from the Safety Forum. Topics include new OSHA enforcements, NFPA 70E compliance updates, safety through design, lightning protection advances, and more.

PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE
Attendees will find a complete matrix of the tracks on our website at ww.necaconvention.org. The matrix chronologically outlines all sessions by related topic, so you can customize plan your NECA 2012 Las Vegas education program to fit your business needs.

Oct 28

Guest Post: Mir Mustafa on Business Development at NECA 2011 San Diego

By Mir Mustafa, NECA Director, Business Development

NECA 2011 San Diego may have been my first convention as NECA’s new Business Development Director, but I immediately got a sense of renewed purpose for electrical contractors diving into new and emerging energy solutions markets. Whether renewable and alternative power generation or advanced lighting and building controls, many attendees were there to learn as much as they could about business and market development.

There were many new things about NECA 2011 San Diego. The conference hosted the first-ever NECA Energy Forum, an event that saw a capacity crowd and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback.  It would have been impossible for anyone sitting in the audience to miss one speaker after another reinforcing the same positive message: Emerging technologies represent the direction in which our industry is moving and represent a tremendous opportunity for any contractor willing to tackle a new way of doing business.

In addition to the Energy Forum, NECA also unveiled NECAWORKS™, an energy economic modeling tool. The web-based screening tool provides NECA members with the fundamental tools and resources to capture renewable and energy efficiency project opportunities by determining the Benefit/Cost Ratio. Since transitioning to a new way of doing business is never easy, even with the help of impressive tools like NECAWORKS, NECA went the extra mile in San Diego to describe the importance of business development.

IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill spent much of his time as a guest at the podium for NECA’s 2011 Board of Governors meeting detailing the IBEW’s new emphasis on business development and expressing his strong belief in its importance in recapturing lost market share and gaining new market share.  NECA President and President/CEO of Valley Electric Consolidated, Inc. Rex Ferry also stated the importance of business development for electrical contractors during his keynote address at the conference’s opening general session. Ferry spoke of how there was a new paradigm at work and that NECA members could no longer afford to sit around waiting for bids, but how they needed to proactively engage in business development to capture work.  He talked about how VEC, Inc. was doing just that.

NECA also successfully convened the first meeting of a new business development task force chaired by Daniel G. Schaeffer, NECA District 7 Vice President and President of Schaeffer Electric Company, as well as two meetings on the topic of business development. The first was an internal meeting of the business development working group for NECA and Labor-Management Cooperation Committee (LMCC) business developers, NECA chapter managers and staff working on business development, and IBEW business managers and staff working on business development. I was honored to host the meeting, and I had a great team of panelists: Jim Ayrer, IBEW International; Darlene Besst, Northern California Chapter; Jim Curran, St. Louis Chapter & IBEW Local 1, LMCC; Terry Hatch, Washington, Statewide LMCC; Bernie Kotlier, California, Statewide LMCC; Ken MacDougall, Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter; Thomas Martinez, Los Angeles Chapter & Local 11, LMCC; Jennifer Mefford, SE Michigan Chapter & Local 58, LMCC; and Karen Prescott, San Diego County Chapter.  Together, we updated the audience on our local and national initiatives and described the wide range of activities that constitute business development. James Willson, NECA Los Angeles County chapter manager, also spoke passionately at the event, as did President Ferry, reiterating his belief in the importance of business development.  The audience also deserves thanks for their interest, their questions and thoughtful interactions with the panelists.

The second business development meeting was held as a convention management seminar. Karen Prescott started off the meeting with introductions. I followed with a recap of the prior day’s meeting and emphasized the wide range of activities a successful business development program can consider.  Next, Jennifer Mefford gave an impressive presentation on the nuts and bolts of business development and how to get started when it seems like you don’t know where to begin. Bernie Kotlier closed with specific game changing examples, including the California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (CALCTP), the Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP), and the Sustainable Sales Placement Program which is focused on retraining highly successful sales people on the art of selling sustainable services and placing these individuals at member contractor firms.

NECA will hold its next meeting on business development at the Association Executive Institute (AEI) in at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012.  You can also expect to hear more from me on our business development blog, along with guest blogs authored by my business development peers from throughout the country. They are doing some amazing work, and they are growing in numbers. I wish all of them could have spoken at this year’s conference, but you will hear more from them shortly.

I would like to close by giving thanks to all that help raised awareness of the importance of business development at this year’s conference. Emerging energy technologies and business development truly represent a paradigm shift for our industry and NECA will do everything in its power to help members prepare.

See recent energy solutions projects from NECA Members >> Learn more about NECA’s business and new market development strategy >>

Oct 28

Energy Forum Featured in San Diego Daily Transcript

Mir Mustafa, NECA Director, Business Development, and other speakers and participants from NECA’s first Energy Forum held Oct. 21 in San Diego, immediately prior to NECA’s convention and trade show, was quoted extensively in an article about the event by James Palen in the San Diego Daily Transcript. From the article:

After opening remarks from Stan Lazarian, president of Pasadena’s Electric Service & Supply Co. as well as vice president of NECA’s ninth district, several high-profile names from both in and out of the immediate NECA family took to the podiums and convention halls, touching on everything from opportunities to challenges facing the crowd.

“Is there anyone here that doesn’t think that this energy solution market does not represent an opportunity for them?” Mir Mustafa, NECA’s director of market development, asked the crowd at the last of Saturday’s general session addresses.

Not a single one of the hundreds in attendance raised a hand.

Mustafa then asked how many of them were confident they knew how to go about seizing that opportunity. Just three hands flew to the air.

“It is very confusing,” Mustafa responded.

He then went on to explain how his interest in green energy was brought on by chance through a conversation with a client — Mustafa was previously a lawyer — about energy efficiency. Despite his lack of working experience as an electrician or engineer, he and the client wound up starting a company together doing energy retrofit work.

“We didn’t know what we were doing when we started, but we learned quite a lot along the way, so it’s quite possible for all of you to become quite efficient at it,” Mustafa said.

And so set the tone for the forum. Through six morning breakout sessions and three in the afternoon, electricians learned how to incorporate detailed energy financial analyses in their proposals, listened to what their place may be in the emerging electric vehicle infrastructure market and learned about options regarding the financing of energy projects so they can better approach potential customers.

>>Read the full article from the San Diego Daily Transcript online or NECA’s recap of the event on blog.necaconvention.org.

Oct 23

First Energy Forum Makes Green Energy Market Accessible for Electrical Contractors

District 9 Vice President Stan Lazarian is a true believer when it comes to energy solutions, as witnessed by everyone who attended NECA’s first Energy Forum yesterday.

Over 250 electrical contractors and their employees participated in the event, which focused on numerous opportunities available for electrical contractors and their customers in renewable power technology and integrated, energy-efficient building systems. Lazarian, who chairs NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force, has been a tireless cheerleader for both the Forum and these opportunities.

Alternative power and energy efficiency upgrades are the next boom market for contractors, Lazarian constantly preaches. But it’s hard for electrical contractors to know when it’s the right time for them to add new services to their traditional business model. Hence, the Energy Forum was born.

“While other companies are only interested in selling you the largest solar array that’ll fit on your roof, only a NECA contractor can give their customer honest data and a complete energy solution that’s going to lower their utility costs,” Lazarian said. “I think that’s wonderful. I think it’s something we should be proud of. But it means we have to make a transition at our companies to accommodate these new demands from our customers. But this is the way things will get better for our industry.”

The Forum dealt with three major factors that can get in the way of electrical contractors taking charge of the energy solutions market:

1. Understanding what the opportunities are.

Right now, there is tremendous momentum and incentives for sustainable construction. With those new energy markets come services like installing and maintaining electric vehicle supply equipment, designing “net-zero energy” buildings with integrated systems, and energy storage.

Energy work is “counter-cyclical” – meaning, that in tough economic times, customers want and need to save money on operating costs. Energy work is a revenue opportunity independent of the construction market. For building owners and operators, the savings and tax credits energy solutions deliver are very desirable. When an electrical contractor can help them save money, it doesn’t matter how healthy the rest of the construction market may be.

From utility-grade wind power, solar PV installations or helping a customer save on his electric bill by swapping out old ballasts for energy-efficient LED drivers, NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum covered all the options and opportunities in the new energy economy.

2. Real-world info from contracting colleagues about the different ways they’ve entered the market.

The good news is that many electrical contractors already have the technical knowledge to engage with these markets – but most don’t know how to integrate energy services into their existing businesses or market their capabilities to existing and potential customers.

There isn’t one right way to incorporate energy efficiency, conservation and renewable power into an electrical contracting company. Moderators and presenters at the Energy Forum all came from the front lines of the industry to help contractors answer when and how they can add new energy services to their traditional business models.

3. Resources and information

The Energy Forum was proposed by NECA’s Energy Solution Task Force. The Energy Forum covered concrete examples of how to become an energy solutions contractor by addressing some fundamental questions, like:

  • Is there a tool I can use to show realistic projections for energy and cost savings to customers?
  • What types of financing are available for renewable energy projects, and how could financing be impacted by future regulations?
  • How do we integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency to ensure reliable power?

“There isn’t  a single path of entry for all NECA member companies to pursue this work,” Lazarian said. “The one thing we know for certain is if we don’t begin immediately offering our expertise and services, customers will go elsewhere to get their renewable and energy-efficiency needs met.”

>>PDF files of session presentations and handouts are now posted online at www.necanet.org/EF2011. 

Aug 15

4 Reasons to Attend the 2011 NECA Energy Forum

There’s never been anything like the Energy Forum for the electrical construction industry that kicks off NECA’s 2011 Convention and Trade Show in San Diego. Making sense of the range of opportunities in green energy will be the focus of this all-new event which will be held on Saturday, October 22, 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Speakers and session leaders will discuss the many ways electrical contractors can enter this market and what questions they need to ask.

In addition to hearing an exciting keynote address from Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Energy Forum participants will hear from industry experts on energy economic modeling, the electric vehicle market, and innovative energy storage technology. An informational brochure is provided through the link to “Related Documents” at the end of this article.

Here are four good reasons to attend:

1. To Understand What the Opportunities Are

According to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine, alternative power and energy efficiency upgrades are the next boom market for contractors. We don’t want to lose what could be the largest game-changing trend to hit our industry in the past two decades. Right now, there is tremendous momentum and incentives for sustainable construction. With those new energy markets come services like installing and maintaining electric vehicle supply equipment, designing “net-zero energy” buildings with integrated systems, and energy storage.

Energy work is “counter-cyclical” — meaning, that in tough economic times, your customers want and need to save money on operating costs. Energy work is a revenue opportunity independent of the construction market. For building owners and operators, the savings and tax credits energy solutions deliver are very desirable. When an electrical contractor can help them save money, it doesn’t matter how healthy the rest of the construction market may be.

Whether it’s utility-grade wind power, solar PV installations or helping a customer save on his electric bill by swapping out old ballasts for energy-efficient LED drivers, NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum will cover all the options and opportunities in the new energy economy.

2. To Hear from Colleagues about the Different Ways They’ve Reached Out For Business in These New Markets

The good news is that many electrical contractors already have the technical knowledge to engage with these markets — but most don’t know how to integrate energy services into their existing businesses or market their capabilities to existing and potential customers.

There isn’t one right way to incorporate energy efficiency, conservation and renewable power into an electrical contracting company. Moderators and presenters at the Energy Forum all come from the front lines of the industry to help contractors answer when and how they can add new energy services to their traditional business models.

3. Because NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum Is the Most Comprehensive Energy Education Forum Available, at the Lowest Cost in the Least Amount of Time

These days, everyone is doing more with less. If you want to minimize the time and money you spend away from the office, while maximizing your education and experiences in San Diego, the Energy Forum will give you the biggest potential gain for your business.

4. Because NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum Was Created Specifically for NECA Contractors by NECA Contractors

The Energy Forum was proposed by NECA’s Energy Solution Task Force members who are electrical contractors just like you. And like you, we are each trying to determine what our place in the emerging energy solutions market can and should be.

The Energy Forum was developed to help contractors answer some of those questions. We understand that there isn’t a single path of entry for all NECA member companies to pursue this work. But we also know that if we don’t begin immediately offering our expertise and services, customers will go elsewhere to get their renewable and energy-efficiency needs met.

The Energy Forum will discuss concrete examples of how to become an energy solutions contractor by addressing some fundamental questions, such as:

“Electrical contractors are the vital link between energy-efficient technology and cost-efficient construction,” said Stan Lazarian, President, Electric Service & Supply Co., Pasadena, California, and chair of NECA’s Energy Solution Task Force. “Our goal at the Energy Forum is to provide contractors and their customers with an opportunity to share what they’ve learned about working on renewable energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency projects.”

“How and where we get our energy has become a serious question for building owners, government leaders and developers. Rising energy prices and energy inefficiencies have everyone thinking about what the smart alternatives could be, but those alternatives have to make financial sense, both for the customer and the electrical contractor,” said Rob Colgan, NECA executive director, Market Development.

Alternative power and energy efficiency upgrades are the next boom market for contractors, Lazarian said. “But it’s hard for electrical contractors to know when it’s the right time for them to add new services to their traditional business model,” he said.

DOWNLOAD THE 2011 ENERGY FORUM BROCHURE TO LEARN MORE! >>

Jun 30

Stan Lazarian Wants YOU to Attend NECA’s First Energy Forum

When he’s not busy with his duties as NECA District 9 Vice President  and Chairman of NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force, Stan Lazarian is running his company, Electric Service & Supply Co., in Pasadena, CA.  ESSCO was founded in 1949 by Stan’s father, Steve Lazarian, who had served as an electricians mate in the Navy during WWII. Throughout its history, ESSCO has performed a variety of construction projects including commercial, industrial and design build. A large percentage of ESSCO’s work has been public works contracting and public buildings.

But Lazarian is also looking towards the future of electrical contracting – and he sees energy efficiency and alternative energy moving from the industry’s fringes to its center.

“We don’t want to lose what could be the largest game-changing trend to hit our industry in the past two decades. Right now, there is tremendous momentum and incentives for sustainable construction,” he said.

Lazarian and members of the Energy Solutions Task Force proposed  a one-day event to introduce NECA contractors to the opportunities available in this growing market. The result is the NECA 2011 Energy Forum.

“As electrical contractors, we are each trying to determine what our place in the emerging alternative energy solutions market can and should be,” Lazarian said. “The Energy Forum can help NECA contractors answer some of those questions. We know there isn’t a single path of entry for all NECA members to pursue this work. But we also know that if we don’t begin immediately offering our expertise and services, our existing and potential customers will go elsewhere to get their renewable and energy-efficiency needs met.”

>> Learn more about the NECA 2011 Energy Forum and register now!