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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions. Take a look and feel free to contact us if you can't find the information you are looking for.

I keep hearing about how the government is going to pay me to produce electricity is this true?
It is true you can become your own utility. The Government of Ontario is working on letting homeowners produce their own electricity and sell it back to the utility. This may be a new concept in Ontario but the Europeans have been doing it successfully for years. You as a homeowner will be allowed to produce up to 10 Kilowatts of electricity and sell it back to the utility through the installation of a solar array and/or wind turbine.
Is solar and wind energy as great as everyone keeps saying?
Absolutely; wind and solar energy has progressed tremendously over the last twenty years. The new Ontario Government programs and incentives under the Green Energy Act have made wind and solar installation possible for average homeowners.
What electrical energy savings measures can I do in my home and does your company offer any energy saving devices?
The easiest way to start on an energy savings program is by simply changing some of your regular Edison light bulbs to energy star rated compact fluorescents. For those who choose to go further and would like to decrease their carbon footprint, increase their savings and profitability, we can provide a combined installation of solar arrays, wind turbines along with energy management devices. These are a few ways for our customers to become leaders in today's energy management and conservation.
Can I dim fluorescent lights?
Dimming fluorescent bulbs is possible only if the fluorescent lamps are marked or approved for dimming purposes. The tube style, as installed in most office buildings, should be specifically marked and installed with approved dimming ballasts. We strongly recommend you do not use a dimmer style switch on any regular fluorescent that is not marked or approved for dimming capability.
When my air conditioner starts I notice my lights blink, is this normal?
Your air conditioner is probably one of the largest loads in your house. When the air conditioner cycles on there is a momentary large in-rush of current. This is a normal occurrence and usually is not related to your house wiring.
I have surge protection on my main service, am I protected against lightning strikes?
Transient voltage surge suppression or TVSS provides a precautionary measure and will protect from some Transient voltage surges. Surges can be generated from lightning strikes, electrical appliance motors and compressors or by utility switching. We strongly recommend you install whole house TVSS protection along with TVSS protected power bars or TVSS rated receptacles for all electronic equipment to decrease your chances of exposure. It all depends on where Mother Nature chooses to strike.
Why do my recessed pot lights keep turning off after they have been on for a while?
Recessed lights or pot lights have a built in sensor or thermal cut out that senses excess heat build-up. The heat build-up is normally due to an oversized or incorrect type of bulb, or an overly sensitive or poorly located thermal cut out. The thermal cut out is a safety device to protect your home against fire and should not be tampered with.
I am building a house, what size electrical service do I need?
The size of service 100amp, 200amp or 400amp depends on the load, or amount of power you need, as well as the square footage of your home. This is calculated based on demand. Hot tubs, air conditioners, swimming pools, saunas and other major appliances play a large role in this calculation.
My smoke detector keeps chirping what does this mean?
Chirping detectors usually signify a dead or low battery and/or possibly the end of detector life expectancy. All smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years depending on the manufacturer. For your safety, we strongly recommend you have your detectors changed at the end of their life cycle. In Ontario, it is the law to have working detectors.
Can I use a compact fluorescent when on a timer or photocell?
Compact fluorescents may be incompatible with some electronic timers and photocells and may not work or shorten the life of the light bulb. Check with the timer or photocell manufacturer for compatibility when installing compact fluorescents.
What is an arc fault (afci) breaker?
Arc fault circuit interrupters (Afci) protect against unintentional and sometimes minor electrical discharges that may cause fires. Arc fault tripping is usually caused by undetected or non-visible faults in an electrical system, damaged extension cords, high arcing motors, a ceiling fan, or faulty receptacle wiring to name a few. If you have a problem with an arc fault breaker tripping, you should contact your electrician as arc fault tripping problems are sometimes difficult to locate. An electrician would be able to diagnose the problem and correct it.
What is a ground fault (gfci) breaker?
Ground fault circuit interrupters (Gfci) protect against electric shock. A perfect example would be when using an extension cord in a wet environment, the Gfci would sense the slightest problem tripping when you have a potential of getting shocked. Gfci's should be tested once a month by pushing the test button on the receptacle and resetting by pushing the reset button. If the receptacle does not trip or will not reset have it replaced immediately.
Why do I need Tamper Proof Receptacles?
Tamper proof receptacles are a great idea. So many young children have been hurt by placing paper clips, forks etc into electrical outlets. Tamper proof receptacles, although not fool proof, do go a long way in protecting our little ones. Since the 2009 electrical code, it has become a mandatory install for the majority of outlets in residential homes.
Why do I need a separate permit for my electrical when all the other trades fall under my building permit?
Electricity is dangerous and is a highly specialized field. Building inspectors are not electricians and although they may be familiar with some electrical installations and safety, they are not proficient with the electrical code.
What is ESA?
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is a government mandated company. ESA inspectors are electricians and have at minimum seven years experience in the field. You should feel confident that you had your home inspected by an ESA Inspector.
What is net metering and should I have it done?
Net metering, what a great idea. Net metering allows you to send unused electricity produced by you back into the utility grid for a credit against the power you use. This is accomplished by installing a solar array and/or wind turbine. For example, most of the day we are out or at work and our demand for electricity is low. During this low demand period, a solar and/or wind energy system is producing energy and sending it back into the utilities system, simplistically turning your meter backwards and letting the utility store your power. When you return home your demand increases and you now get to use the power your system has produced from the utility. Your monthly bill will reflect the power you have used, less the power you have produced.
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