March SCECA General Meeting

Meeting Details


Thursday, March 21, 2024


7:00 PM


Courtyard Marriott
5000 Express Dr. S, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
(Next to Red Lobster and Smokey Bones)

Phone: (631) 612-5000

Program Topic:

Doug Cahill from PSEG LI will be discussing the PSEG LI energy program and financial incentives, as well as what you need to know to assist your commercial customers. Also, we will be having a code discussion about cable bundling and derating, led by Jim Smith and John Canjemi, our code expert consultants.

Vendor of the month:

No vendor.

Food Provided By:

N&S Supply

Meeting Minutes


S.C.E.C.A. General Membership Meeting Minutes

There were approximately 30 members in attendance.  Those Officers and Board of Directors present were: Rob Szalay, Rob Tschoke, Ralph Lambiase, Jack Morrell, Tom Orlando and Mahesh Panchal.

Excused: Dave Kennedy, Brian McAuliff and Joe Mikulas.

Called to Order:  7:16 p.m.

Rob Szalay led the Pledge of Allegiance.  A motion to accept the General Meeting Minutes of 2/15/24 was made by Rob Tschoke and seconded by Tom Orlando.

**President’s Report:

Rob S. deferred his report.


Treasurer’s Report:  Tom Orlando

Tom O. reported for the month ending February 2024 the income was $875 and the expenses were $8,636.27.  The Tom Palk Scholarship Fund is still open if anyone would like to donate.  A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made by Jack Morrell and seconded by Jason Goetz.

 Secretary’s Report:  David Kennedy

Dave was not present.

Legal Counsel:  Michael Ganz

Mike Ganz was not present.

Insurance: Patti Muldoon from Borg & Borg, Wally Boorum from Sunrise Benefits Solutions, Diane Mullahey-Senior from Executive Ins. & Financial Svcs. 

Patty Muldoon, Wally Boorum and Diane Mullahey-Senior were not present.

PROGRAMS:  Doug Cahill and Mario Todisco, Senior Energy Consultants with PSEG-LI gave a presentation on 2024 commercial and residential programs.  They break up their organization into groups:  managed groups are schools, hospitals national brands, villages, telecommunication, etc. and non-managed groups broken up by zip code – small to medium businesses.  Every Friday morning at their Melville location (395 No. Service Rd.) they have an open house from 9 to 10 for any questions about commercial or residential energy efficiency programs.  Their EV guys will be there also.  They have a Trade Ally program that unites PSEG with electricians.  There are simple steps to become involved.  You can now start to use the PSEG-LI logo as part of your marketing material.  This can help you gain business trust.  Historically lighting has been the major part of their portfolio.  The money may be going away for the lighting program.  He has heard 2026 as the target date.  They have not announced it but other utilities are announced by 2026 the rebates will stop.  Screw-in light bulbs are more expensive now because the State told us we cannot rebate that anymore because they feel the market is saturated in the residential business.  The T-12s are almost gone; the T8s are still there and first-generation LEDs.  Note:  Outdoor lighting is not street lighting – you will not get a rebate for street lighting.  There is a lot of confusion on this.  HVAC is a big issue in the State.  Governor Hochul said there is a goal of decarbonization of 40%.  The way they are going to get there is with air source heat pumps.  It is a more efficient heating system but it may not save you any more money.  One member asked if it will cost more.  The answer was – it depends on a few things.  The big push in rebates is going away from lighting and to air source heat pumps. Particularly in cold climates and with variable refrigerant flow.  There are no more CAC rebates; just air sourced heat pumps.  Air source heat pumps will simultaneously give you heating and cooling.  They do have custom programs.  There is a Heat Pump Technologies and Solutions Conference on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM • Hilton Long Island / Huntington.  They will explain how heat pumps work and why they are so energy efficient.  Time of use for electric is coming soon for residential customers.  Between 3 pm and 7 pm it will cost you more money to use electricity.  There is also a PSEG Long Island EV Make Ready Program.  It offers incentives for the infrastructure needed to power Level 2 and DCFC across Long Island. This program is available for all commercial customers including Multi-Unit Dwellings, Retail/Offices, Parking Facilities/Lots, and more.  Go to the website to register.  It is an all-day event; Starts at 7 am.  Any questions on EV program call EV Manager, Paul DiBenedetto – 516-761-7226.  You can also look it up on the PSEG-LI website.  A question-and-answer session followed.

Jim Smith, former Chief Electrical Inspector, went over code issues on bundling.  When installing more than two types of Romex cables through same opening you have to apply an adjustment factors.  You need spacing to dissipate the heat.  Once you have more heat your capacity goes down.  He went over article 334 and tables 310.15.  An informative question-and-answer session followed.

By-Laws & Nominating:  Jack Morrell

 Jack announced nominations open for all officer positions and two, possibly 3 board seats.   The slate will read:  Rob Tschoke for President, Mahesh Panchal for Vice President, Tom Orlando for Treasurer, Dave Kennedy for Secretary and two Board positions are open.  Rob Szalay will be Past President.  Mahesh is a Board member so if he becomes Vice President there will be a vacant spot.  The requirement for a Board Position is two consecutive years as a member before you can run. Tom O. nominated Rob Tschoke Jr. for a Board position.  He asked members to send SCECA an email if they want to nominate someone for the Board positions.  Nominations will close in May and then we have elections.  So, we have Rob Tschoke Jr. and Mike Towers who expressed interest.  Jack said we have a Board meeting in two weeks and will go over the nominations and reach out to whoever is interested.

Education/Seminars:  Rob Szalay, Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase

Rob S. reported our 3/23 CEH class is full.  We have another class 4/27.  The classes fill up fast.  It is not just for someone needing to renew their license.  You can come for education also.  The class is on One- & Two-Family dwellings right now.  Rob S. announced the TPSF to the ETC students at the meeting.  They can take advantage of it by filling out the application and writing an essay.  It is a $1,000 scholarship.  John McGinn will help the students take advantage of it.

Steve Danielson was offered a job at Walmart, but it is too big for him.  Someone else can bid on it.  He will give them the details.

Electrical Safety:  Robert Tschoke, Ralph Lambiase

Rob T. brought in the January issue of Electric Construction magazine and talked about 3 great articles in there.  1) How to avoid catastrophic electric failures  2) Dedicated electrical spaces (this was interesting and we all run into this.  Sometimes builders put extra equipment in a dedicated electrical space and we cannot get to our stuff.  Remember, we are in charge of the electrical system.  They cannot do whatever they feel like doing.  Be aware of this.  and 3) What to do when your electrician days are over.  This article is great for electricians thinking of retiring. You can become an inspector, although they don’t pay well or just work less if you don’t want to retire completely.  He will leave the magazines on the table for anyone that wants to read them.

 Jack reported what he found out about harmonics.  He had two guys come into his office from Fluke last week and they came in with power monitor testers and a couple of things he got out of it were:  the number one harmonics creating devices today are VFDs. (variable frequency drives – they control speed of motor) now more than ever before,  LED lights that flicker are from harmonics or an unbalanced load.  Mike Towers added in regard to generators you have to watch the VFD because it will affect the alternator of the generator and if it is not properly sized, it will create problems with the voltages.  Also look at computer equipment and put it into your calculations also to properly size the generators.  One member Dan Sherry said, he heard harmonics can increase your utility bill and Tesla came out with a device to reduce it.  Jack said they sell individual filters that can go on a circuit to lessen harmonics.  He does not know if it will save on your power bill.  Rob T. asked Dan to email him on what he found out about the filters.  Member Steve Danielson said he used to sell those devices.  Rob S. said maybe we can have Fluke come to a meeting.  This is an interesting topic.

 Entertainment:  Dave Kennedy, Scott Eastman, Mahesh Panchal

Mahesh reported we are planning a dinner for June and will talk to the Board about the budget.

 Good & Welfare: Joe Mikulas

Joe was not present.

Inspection Agencies: 

 Certified Electrical Inspectors: #896-A   Rob Ceriello was present.   He commented that LBs are not used as service heads.  It will not pass his inspection.  And regarding what Rob T. said about inspectors, we have a competitive salary.  You educate and code compliant the next generation of electricians.  It is great to be an inspector.  Take the test.  If you cannot work because you get hurt; become an inspector.  They are looking for inspectors because we are aging out.  Secondly, If you are doing car chargers in an auto dealership, label the disconnect next to the car charger.  And if it is outside, you need to protect the charger from damage.  Educate your customer.  And last if you have a 480V transformer it cannot be used as a shelf for a parts department.  It is common sense but it is a problem out there.

East End Inspection Agency:  #1193-A Ed Seltenreich was not present.

EII: NYBFU:  #1109-A Philip Goehring was not present and Rich Jendzo was present.

Suffolk Bureau of Electrical Insp.: #856-A Gene Surdi was not present.

Southampton Town:  Ron Linsalato was not present.

Alliance Electrical Inspect.  Ltd.: Michael Dumitru was not present.

Licensing: Jack Morrell, Rob Szalay

Jack reported James Andrews, Director of Consumer Affairs, will be here next month.  The bulk of the conversation will be they are changing the way they do the renewals.  There have been issues with the timing and delays.  They problem was you only had 32 days to renew your license; so, they are fixing that.  He is coming as a friend not an enemy.  If you have issues, talk to him but do not make it a challenge.  He will address all of your renewal issues.  Jack’s brother is a licensed plumber.  He was at a meeting and the Town of Babylon started it and now all the Towns are doing it.  They issued a notice to all plumbers that there will be consequences for anyone farming out their license.  They will notify your liability insurance and workers compensation board also.  That could trigger an audit.

PSEG Representatives:  Joe Mikulas, Jack Morrell, Rob Szalay

Rich Jendzo had a complaint about the PSEG inspectors.  He asked if anyone had an encounter with the new inspectors from PSEG.  He found they do not know what they are talking about.  Tom O. had the same problem.  They cannot give you an answer and have to call their supervisor.  It seems they do not get any kind of training.  Keith Budka said; he ran into a couple that gave him a violation and he had to show them the code book.  They are willing to learn but they must be learning on the job.  Tom DiBella will look into it.  Just give him the details.  Steve Danielson asked if it is still a conflict of interest to hold your electrical license and be an inspector.  Mike T. answered yes, you have to shelve your Suffolk electrical license.  Rob C. said you cannot do it in Nassau also.

Tom DiBella always learns a lot when he comes to these meetings.  He spoke with Rich Inserra.  He had a little setback but he is ok.  They have been having shortages with connectors and CTs.  If you have a problem with a job that you cannot get CTs for, talk to your representative or call him and he will work out something.  He does not want to do flat connects yet.  They have been using bigger CTs sometimes and will have to go back to change them later to work around the shortages.  They had to harvest transformers from one area to use elsewhere.  He does not know why but it is hard to get material.

 Jack had a meeting with Trade Ally a couple of months ago with the new fellow in charge, Tony Savino.  They will be sending emails out in the next couple of weeks through SCECA.  It will be from them to us and then we send it to our membership.  Regarding CTs in the last couple of years, every time you do a service change, save the CTs; do not throw them out.  Since Covid he has run into about 5/6 new planners.  Every time he has that experience, he usually let’s Rich Inserra know or Jim Domozych whether it is good or bad because they need that information to know what is going on.  Most of the new ones he did run into were open to conversation.  All these new people have not had face-to-face contact with their peers in 4 years.  Tom DiBella tells the new ones if they do not know what you are saying or doing, do not promise anything.  Tell them you will get back to them.

Rob Ceriello complained he cannot get temps anymore with PSEG.  They want the inspector to go out and inspect first.  He does not know what is going on.  They will not do temps anymore, which adds to the time and cost to the customer.  Rich Jendzo added on the new houses they want a final not a temp but the house is not ready for a final.  Now the customer has to pay for 2 inspections.  Tom DiBella said he will speak to Neal Slattery about the policy.  Rob S. said when we get clarification, we will email it out to our members.  Rob Ceriello also said that AMI meters are blowing out the meter pan.  There may be something wrong with the AMI meter pan.  Mahesh has been having a lot of problems with them also.  Tom DiBella said he will bring a meter engineer here to answer your questions.

Membership/Plaques & Awards, Skills USA:  Robert Tschoke, Brian McAuliff, /Jack Morrell

Rob S. announced one new member:  George Lamond of Lamond Electric Corp. in Massapequa Park.  He was sworn in by Rob T. and given his packet.  Mahesh took their picture for the newsletter.

Rob T. reported that membership is moving along.  Rob S. and he have been trying to meet with all the nonmembers that attend our CEH classes.  Ultimately the members are the mouthpiece to speak up and talk about SCECA.  Jack advised, don’t try to sell SCECA, ask them to a general meeting instead.  Rob S. added it is important that we keep growing our membership.  Invite a fellow electrician to a meeting.

 Nassau Electric League:  Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Tom Orlando

 Mahesh reported Ray Lopez from E.T.C. in NYC did a Code class.  Rob S. said they have their meetings the 2nd Wednesday of the month.  They are educational.

IAEI: (Independent Alliance for the Electrical Industry)  Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Tom Orlando

Rob Ceriello reported they are having a 2020 Code class in Farmingdale on 4/27.  It is a step away from what Jim Smith is doing going to 2023.  At the last meeting they had a guy from SUNation on energy batteries.  Next meeting 4/3 they are bringing back the guy from Buseman.  They are the first Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in Farmingdale.

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: (Rob Szalay, Brian McAuliff – Co-chairs, and Jack Morrell)

Joe Mikulas, Editor – “Light,”

Rob S. had nothing to report.

Joe was not present.

 Energy Expo:  Rob Szalay, Jack Morrell, Dave Kennedy

 Rob S. reported we are in the planning stages.  It will be a joint effort again like last year and will be around October.  We had almost 50 vendors last year – PSEG, TRC, boiler manufacturers, solar, EV chargers, etc.  It is all about energy, equipment and efficiency.  That is where this whole industry is going.  We also had very good classes.

 Legislative Review:  Jack Morrell

Jack had nothing to report.

Old Business: 

Nothing to report.


New Business:

Tom O. announced that our generous sponsors, N&S, will have a new location opening in Mineola.  It is under construction.

Member Steve Danielson commented that the annual sales tax was due yesterday.  You do not get a reminder anymore in the mail.  Maybe set a reminder for yourself.  One member said they got an email about it.   Rob S. added be aware you have to pay sales tax by a certain date.  The reminder will be by email.


3 – $70 cash prizes were won by Scott Eastman twice and Fred Solino who donated $20 to the TPSF.

$100 attendance award was drawn for Tom Pfersching (#695-C) who was not present to win.

A motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:34 p.m. was made by Tom Orlando and seconded by Scott Eastman.

Respectfully submitted,



                                                                                               Barbara George                                                                      Dave Kennedy

                                                                                          Recording Secretary                                                             Secretary