Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Looking Back

The public’s strong interest in energy-saving products should continue in the coming years, providing a boom for electrical distributors, forecasted Lew Searle of Amesco Ltd., Winnipeg.*

These products included lamps, ballasts, electrical furnaces (especially in new homes), and central air conditioning. He said the demand for air conditioners had increased sharply, indicating to him that air conditioning is no longer the preserve of the affluent.

The trend toward electric heating was continuing in a big way in Manitoba, thanks in part to government incentives. “It is clean, safe, quiet and costs about the same as gas. And it’s a renewable resource, which is an important asset in Manitoba.”

Upgrading gas furnaces was providing distributors with dividends as well, Mr. Searle said, noting that new panels, circuit breakers and other equipment were required.

Homes and buildings were becoming so well insulated to save energy that air systems to help remove carbon dioxide were becoming popular.

Central vacuum cleaners and the growing demand for security systems, with their panels and controls, were two more expanding sources of business for distributors.

On the industrial side, programmable controllers had become such a high demand item — particularly among the many mines and pulp and paper operations in Northwestern Ontario — that Amesco launched a special division to handle them.

In fact, business has been so brisk in general that the firm’s biggest problem is getting adequate supplies on time. “Last year, we had not geared up enough for demand.”

Mr. Searle was adamant about not being left behind by the technological revolution, so the company started an electronics division. “Electricians are buying an awful lot of electronic equipment. They need it for computers and security systems. Someone has to meet the demand, so we started the division.”

* Lew Searle was born in Winnipeg on February 8, 1921. He served in the Canadian Air Force and had a long and distinguished career in the electrical industry. He first began his career with American Electric (Amesco), where he rose to the position of Sales Manager. In 1972 Amesco was purchased by Westburne, where he served as President and General Manager until his retirement in 1992.

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