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The Electric Current Blog

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The Role of Electricians in Promoting a Sustainable Environment

Electricians are the frontline soldiers in the fight for a sustainable future. They install and maintain every major weapon we have against climate change from decarbonization, electrification, and solar arrays to wind turbines and electric vehicle charging stations. 

The most skilled and experienced electricians with these systems happen to belong to the IBEW.

IBEW Local 26 has been partnering with environmentalists, nonprofits, governments, and industry leaders to advance the transition to a sustainable carbon future. Almost a year ago, Local 26 created the Green Energy Collaboration, bringing stakeholders together to prepare for the upcoming Inflation Reduction Act grants and tax credits. The Biden administration has also incentivized using union labor and the IBEW has been happy to teach the industry about new labor standards.

On March 20th IBEW Local 26 co-hosted an event with The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) and the Baltimore/D.C.-Metro Building Trades Council. The event, Inflation Reduction Act Tax Credits and Workforce Standards Workshop, brought in headliners Betony Jones, Director of the Office of Energy Jobs, and Congressman Glenn Ivey.

“Energizing people to fully take advantage of incentives in the environmental realm is important work,” said Congressman Glenn Ivey. “Talking about the economy in ways that show just how important the Inflation Reduction Act is to everyday Americans is one way to build momentum. I look forward to being a part of this forum to disseminate meaningful information.”

The workshop was an opportunity for contractors and developers to learn how to take advantage of IRA tax credits. The IRA includes tax credits and workforce standards for clean energy jobs in the solar industry, electric vehicle (EV) charging, energy efficiency, fleet electrification, clean energy, and renewable energy sectors. 

The event also promoted business opportunities for local contractors with an emphasis on women and minority-owned businesses. It did so by encouraging the creation of clean energy jobs that pay prevailing wages and provide registered apprenticeship training.

Being at the forefront of changing technology is nothing new for the IBEW. For years, our electricians have received special training to install wind turbines off the coast. For example, in the DMV, Local 26 offers EVTIP certification to install EV charging stations. In addition, Kelly Electric, one of our NECA contractors, built the largest solar array in the history of DC. 

The Electrical Alliance of IBEW and NECA will continue to prioritize protecting our environment through innovative sustainability solutions and partnerships like the Green Energy Collaboration.

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Looking Forward

As we begin 2023, I wanted to reflect on goals for the next 12 months. I’m so proud of all we have accomplished together in 2022 and I believe we will build on that momentum.

Online Presence

We’re in the process of revamping the IBEW and Electrical Alliance websites, as well as our marketing campaigns to bring in new members and contractors. We want to continue putting an emphasis on growing our contractors through initiatives with local governments, SWAM enterprises, and general contractors.

The Electrical Alliance site has been steadily receiving upgrades directed by the marketing team at Drio, who have done a great job so far. The Local 26 website is also being modernized with the help of our current hosts, Web Connectivity. The goal is the same for both: Create streamlined, modern sites that serve as a gateway into our trade, in concert with a new package of digital advertisements.

Expansion in Southern Maryland

We are looking to expand the Local 26 office in Southern Maryland. Having had a presence in Southern Maryland for over 30 years, we plan to extend our footprint by offering apprenticeship training and continuing education classes.

Environmentalist Collaborations

It is important that we partner with our environmentalist brothers and sisters as the grants come out from the Inflation Reduction Act. This will ensure we win work that upgrades our country’s infrastructure. These are the projects that will set us up for success, not just this year, but for many to come.

In 2022, we started the Green Energy Collaboration between labor and environmentalists. In 2023, we’ll continue following the new projects that come down from the IRA and give guidance to developers on how to best meet labor standards by utilizing our contractors.

I believe 2023 will be a landmark year for us. We will attract new contractors, grow existing contractors, and establish creative partnerships. Here’s to another successful year with IBEW Local 26 and the Electrical Alliance.

 

Joe Dabbs
Business Manager
IBEW Local 26

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Happy Holidays

Wishing you a season filled with joy and hope!

It’s been another eventful year at the Electrical Alliance. Here are some of our favorite stories from 2022.

 

STATEWIDE JOURNEYMAN AND APPRENTICE LICENSE FOR MARYLAND ELECTRICIANS

The Maryland Electricians Act now offers a statewide Journeyman and Apprentice License.

Read More >

DC FAST CHARGING STATIONS ARE FULL SPEED AHEAD IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Fast Charging Stations are bringing convenience to electric car owners in the Washington, D.C. area.

Read More >

GREEN ENERGY COLLABORATION

Environmentalists, contractors, manufacturers, and union members formed a new coalition to advocate for labor standards in green energy legislation.

Read More >

REFLECTIONS ON A RETIRING BUSINESS MANAGER

Celebrating the legacy of George Hogan, business manager of the IBEW Local 26.

Read More >

VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘THE LIFE CYCLE OF AN ELECTRICIAN’

We’re so excited to have partnered with Maryland Center for Construction Education & Innovation on the video ‘The Life Cycle of an Electrician’.

Read More >

 

Thank you for making 2022 a truly outstanding year. We send you our best wishes for a prosperous and healthy new year.

The Reach at The Kennedy Center

Electrical Alliance Honored With Every WBC Craftsman Award

Electrical Alliance contractors, powered by their well-trained, skilled, union workforce, provide the highest level of quality for the jobs they service and supply workers for. Their workforce’s attention to safety, elevates them above the rest. Thus, it is no wonder that year-over-year Electrical Alliance electricians continue to sweep The Washington Building Congress (WBC) awards.

New Electricity Laws Enacted to Combat Climate Change

With global warming becoming a major concern, nations around the world are thinking of ways to halt climate change.

What is global warming? According to National Geographic, global warming is the gradual increase of the planet’s overall temperature. This increase correlates with the increase in the human population. Human activity has been labeled as the primary cause of global warming due to the volume of fossil fuels burned. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas caused an increase in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and has therefore strengthened the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the process in which the sun’s heat reaches the earth’s atmosphere and gets trapped by greenhouse gases, causing the earth to grow warmer. In simple terms, an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes an increase in the amount of heat absorbed, therefore raising the earth’s temperature.

So, What about the Smart Grid?

It seems like all new electrical projects somehow have something to do with a smart grid at one time or another. What is a smart grid? The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) describes the smart grid as “an intelligent electricity grid—one that uses digital communications technology, information systems, and automation to detect and react to local changes in usage, improve system operating efficiency, and, in turn, reduce operating costs while maintaining high system reliability.”

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Growing Interest in Green Building Investments

By Michael Mock, VP of Industry Development, The Electrical Alliance

Today there is a growing interest of investors and financial institutions in funding green/sustainable projects. In fact, a recent report from Goldman Sachs illustrates this trend.

Alberto Gandolfi, a managing director at Goldman who specializes in utilities research states: “What started as a decarbonization process, thanks to better technology, is about to become a process driven by costs and the economics.” Put another way, what is good for the environment is also good for the bottom line.

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Here Comes the Sun

By Michael Mock, VP of Industry Development, The Electrical Alliance

The dog days of summer are upon us. And while sunny days bring high temperatures, they are also a reminder of a rapidly growing market – solar-related projects.

The marketplace for electrical contracting services is changing rapidly. Some traditional markets are dwindling, while others, including solar, are on the rise, seeing growth in the commercial, governmental and institutional sectors.