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Volume 11 | June 11, 2021
ECAO Mobile App Launches June 14, 2021!
Available on iOS and Android.
Global Supply Chain Disruption Causing Spike in Construction Materials Cost
Most of you are aware that there is currently a growing concern on the shortages of construction materials in Ontario. And, the electrical contracting industry, specifically, is being impacted by delays in supply and increased costs of materials. In addition, some customers, in the bidding process, are now questioning the validity of the expected cost increases in the project estimates and/or the difficulty in procuring certain materials. ECAO has also heard from several contractor members that materials such as ENT (non-metallic conduit), wiring devices, rough-in device boxes and smoke detectors are particularly in short supply.
Our associations are in constant contact with major manufacturing associations to monitor the situation and to track any major changes in supply chain improvement. Members are encouraged to share this Bulletin with clients either before or during your bidding process to provide validity to the supply chain uncertainty. Also below is a synopsis of the situation provided by the Ontario Sewer and Water Main Contractors Association that provides some background and rationale on the situation.
In the meantime contractors should follow these recent guidelines provided by several Ontario Construction Associations to assist you during this time of supply chain uncertainty:
  • Ensure your project budget and expectations are in alignment with current reality before tendering. BUYERS and design consultants now more than ever need to work up-front with builders on budgets to reflect current market prices.

  • Do not seek a 60 to 90 bid validity period to approve a project. The shorter the bid approval timeline the better as anything more than 30 days is unworkable given that suppliers and subcontractors are in many cases offering 7 or 14-day terms on their pricing.

  • Consider a material payment adjustment clause in your project tender to deal with price fluctuations of certain materials.

  • Plan your project with all parties in the subcontractor and supply chain as early as possible - order in advance - pay for materials when it arrives.

  • Communicate early and regularly.
Other risk mitigation tactics include: securing metals contracts where possible and a value engineering approach to reduce the need for materials that are unavailable, contract to be paid for stored materials (this allows you to secure the materials at current levels). 
These latest supply chain challenges are expected to last through most of the 2021 construction season as the global economy recovers from COVID-19. Here in Ontario, we are continuing to face a housing supply crisis and strain on our critical core infrastructure.
Please feel free to contact us at ECAO if you have any questions or updates.

Further to the major disruption in the construction supply chain across all sectors, the Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association has issued a bulletin to their members. Similar to most industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in the global supply chain for the construction industry; however, as the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” Labour strife, logistics, and microclimate impacts are all contributing to wreak havoc, creating a perfect storm that is resulting in wild swings in construction material prices and uncertain delivery times.

Featured Spotlight
Ontario to Move to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen Tomorrow
Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

ECAO Fire Alarm & Protection Certification Program – Distant Learning Summer Courses
We are currently arranging the Distant Learning Summer Courses for all levels. Our tentative course start dates will be as early as June 2021.
Our program offers to those who have already completed one of the 4 levels to progress to the next level; those who are about to renew their Certi-Fire credentials; and is open to all those interested in getting started in Level 1.
*** Don’t miss the chance to become a Certi-Fire Fire Alarm Electrician who can provide “One-Stop Electrical Services” that you can install, test, verify and maintain all fire alarm needs!! ***
To register please contact our Certi-Fire Program Administrator at or 1-800-387-3226 ext. 8509 for more information.
Diversity & Inclusion Column
June is National Indigenous History and Pride Month!
This year is dedicated to the missing children, the families left behind, and the survivors of the residential schools. #NIHM2021

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866 925-4419 is there to listen and support.
Love is Love!
Happy #PrideMonth!
Electrical Utility Safety Excellence and Innovation Award
The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) is accepting nominations for a new award that will be presented during the 2021 Annual General Meeting of IHSA.

ECAO members are encouraged to apply for this year’s Awards to showcase your company’s advancements in promoting health and safety in the Utility Sector.

The Award
The Electrical Utility Safety Excellence & Innovation Award recognizes organizational excellence and is presented annually at IHSA’s Annual General Meeting to an organization that has demonstrated health and safety innovation and advancement within the Electrical Utilities Sector.

The Electrical Utility Safety Excellence & Innovation Award is awarded to a member of the Utilities/Generation/Transmission/Distribution group that has contributed to the advancement of Occupational Health and Safety through completion of an innovative program, procedure, technology enhancement, project, initiative, or other significant accomplishments.

Please review the activities and accomplishments of your organization and submit documentation you feel is deserving of this award by June 30, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding this award you may contact

NETCO welcomes Chris Swick and Denise Miller
The National Electrical Trade Council welcomed a new national coordinator and a communications & marketing coordinator.

Tim MacDonald retiring after 40 years with Ideal Supply
After 40 years of combined service and leadership of Ideal Supply, Tim MacDonald, president, is retiring as of June 30, 2021.

Tim started his career with Ideal Supply in 1981, working in several different capacities until he succeeded his father as president in 1995. Tim became CEO in 2000.

Celebrate Noramco's 50th Anniversary!
Energy Storage Market Member Workshop by CES
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 | 1PM- 2PM

Customized Energy Solutions is providing a series of energy storage webinar workshops for ECAO members that reviews the basics of energy storage applications and market opportunities. CES is a recognized thought leader in energy market services and emerging technologies and is the largest third-party operator of advanced energy storage in North America, scheduling over 300 MW into wholesale markets across multiple jurisdictions, including Ontario.
This is the fourth and final webinar in a series offered to ECAO members by Customized Energy Solutions, and will review the following for members:
Workshop 4: Advanced Storage Applications & Project Examples
  • Storage-as-Wires & Dual-Use Storage
  • Case Studies

IESO “Summit-Lite: Focus on Innovation” – June 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ontario’s IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) invites you to its “Summit-Lite’ on June 22, 2021, calling it a “morning of forward-looking conversations on how innovation can help solve system needs, focusing on the advancement of distributed energy resources [DERs]”.

ECAO Health and Safety Program of Excellence 
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

More Details coming soon!!