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.

What’s Your Breaking Point?

SimPRO Industry Bundled Program

If you’ve ever learned how to ride a bike, a surfboard or even tried your hand at yoga– you know how difficult it can be to find balance. You can focus on a fixed point in the distance and shift your weight around all you want. But at the end of the day, there are often things out of your personal control that can send you tumbling.

We’re all experiencing what it feels like to be thrown off our balance right now with looming economic uncertainty. If this uncertainty has already impacted your business, you’re not alone. How can your business continue to thrive in the face of challenges out of your control?


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2021 Canadian Electrical Code Overview of Changes

EIN CSA Group Logo 2022 400CSA C22.1:21, Canadian Electrical Code, Part I contains many updates and changes that are potentially significant to electrical professionals. This online, self-guided course provides the key changes and impacts to the industry presented in an easy-to-follow format.

 Designed for professionals with a good working knowledge of the Code and who solely need the key changes including general updates or those made for clarification, safety, and new products and systems. Key changes due to Rule relocation or deletion are also noted.

This course may help save valuable time to help keep electrical projects safe and in compliance. This training is developed with input from a broad cross-section of electrical industry experts and with cooperation from all provinces, territories and several key jurisdictions across Canada. 

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Yukon Canada

Communities across the North and Arctic are prioritizing cleaner, more reliable energy sources, as they continue to feel the impacts of climate change. By investing in renewable energy initiatives that support energy independence and economic development, we can keep our air cleaner and build resilient, healthy communities for everyone to call home, all while creating good-paying, sustainable jobs and lowering harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Yukon is leading the country in its pursuit of cleaner energy and climate change initiatives. 



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Linde announced it has inaugurated the world's first hydrogen refueling system for passenger trains in Bremervörde, Germany.

Linde’s hydrogen refueling system, which it built, owns and operates, will refuel 14 hydrogen-powered passenger trains, enabling each train to run for 1,000 km emission-free on a single refueling. It has a total capacity of around 1,600 kg of hydrogen per day, making it one of the largest hydrogen refueling systems ever built. Linde’s future-ready hydrogen refueling system has been designed and constructed with the ability to integrate future on-site green hydrogen generation. The new hydrogen trains will replace existing diesel-powered trains.

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Chris Lane

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Lane of Johnson Controls to the CABA Board of Directors. As Director of Product Management for Building Automation System (BAS) products at Johnson Controls, Lane leads a team of product managers responsible for designing the strategy and direction for Johnson Controls’ global portfolio of BAS products. 

"I’m honored to have the opportunity to join CABA’s board and support their vision to empower connectivity among people, spaces and technology,” said Lane. 


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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 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


When 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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HellermannTyton Double Slit Conduit

HellermannTyton announces HelaGuard Double-Slit Corrugated Conduit. The two-piece solution features one semi-circular tube that snaps over another to envelop a wire or cable bundle. This makes it possible to add flexible corrugated protection to wiring that is already connected on both ends.

Standard conduit requires installers to guide cabling into and through the length of tubing. That is less of an issue at the time of manufacture. But if the ends of the wire are soldered to a terminal or otherwise inaccessible, non-slit conduit – and even single-slit conduit – can be tedious or impossible to apply.



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Greenlee Mobile Bending Table

By Blake Marchand

For the new Bending Table for Greenlee® 881 Series Benders, Greenlee Tools, Inc. set out to improve ergonomics and product security.  Previously, contractors usually had to disassemble their bender unit for relocation off the jobsite due to it being harder to secure on the jobsite. New anti-theft features incorporated into the bending table product design allowed the cart and its accessories to be more fully locked. 

This increases contractor productivity by helping reduce the need for tedious setup and tear down of the bender due to off-jobsite storage. Greenlee wanted to make the Mobile Bending Table as versatile as possible and intentionally designed it to fit through most 32” wide doors.  

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Siemens PBSI Sept1 GIF fire test

Product News

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DCC-11 EV Energy Management System

DCC-11, manufactured by Thermolec, is an energy management system designed to allow the connection of an EV charger to the main feeder of a panel without affecting the load calculation. 


  1. DCC does a real-time reading of the total power consumption of a home or condo electrical panel;

  2. It detects when the total power consumption of the main circuit breaker exceeds 80% and temporarily de-energizes the charger.



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Klein Tools Knee Pads

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Knee Pad Sleeves

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  • Elastic cuff with slip-resistant silicone helps knee pads stay in place.


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Sponsored Content

Fire Protection for Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems


Lithium-ion storage facilities contain high-energy batteries combined with highly flammable electrolytes. In addition, they are prone to quick ignition and explosion in a worst-case scenario. Such fires can have a significant financial impact on organizations. Rapid detection of electrolyte gas particles and extinguishing are the key to a successful fire protection concept. Since December 2019, Siemens has been offering a VdS-certified fire protection concept for stationary Li-ion battery storage systems.

Click HERE to learn more.

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sdgs poster 936 enBy Blake Marchand

With many organizations, governments and policymakers finding it challenging to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) , CSA Group has developed a methodology for mapping CSA standards to UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs) aimed at demonstrating how organizations, governments and policymakers can use CSA standards as an effective tool in developing and implementing their SDG strategies. The methodology was developed as part of a research project initiated by CSA Group, completed in collaboration with University of Guelph, Niagara College and the Toronto Metropolitan University. To support the methodology, CSA Group also launched an interactive searchable database that allows standards users to quickly find out how and where CSA standards support specific UN SDG targets.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all UN member countries in 2015. The agenda includes 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim to promote and provide strategies to improve health, education, inequality, and the economy while prioritizing climate change and the environment. 

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All code-related information bulletins and directives that have been issued to date remain in effect. All potentially impacted information bulletins and directives will be reviewed for consistency with the new code edition and revised if necessary. 

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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