Your Business

 

 

Articles in this section are intended to help electrical contractors grow and improve their businesses, from financial and legal advice to creating a service and maintenance department. You’ll find articles on estimating projects and more below. 

Once again, I was inspired to write after reading a post in a LinkedIn construction group. The article, “If I Own a Drill, Does That Make Me a Dentist?” laments the belief that simply buying a tool makes one a skilled craftsperson.

From left: Greg Cummins, Ed Schuler and Kevin Rickett

Smarter materials management is especially beneficial in electrical service work. Service electricians are constantly confronted with the challenge of obtaining materials while striving to minimize the amount of lost time, back-and-forth travel and rush charges that inevitably follow.


Klein voltage tester with flashlight

One of the most basic tools every electrician carries is the noncontact voltage tester. Essential complementary tools include circuit breaker finders and tone probes for tracing wires. Scanning devices are able to see through walls and floors to identify wires, conduits and other objects.





A recent World Wildlife Fund survey found that almost half of Fortune 500 companies have at least one climate or clean-energy goal. It’s good business to be eco-friendly, and the construction industry has made great strides in going green without sacrificing profits.

More on Your Business

 
Statistically Speaking

Nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is often credited with the statement, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” This column has discussed the lies and the damn lies.


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Return to Sender

No matter how thorough and complete the drawings and specifications, there will be manufacturing and installation details that are left to the contractor. These details are often shown on shop drawings.


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Renovation 2010

There are different types of lighting retrofit projects: fixture replacement, relocation, repair, ballast retrofit, clean and relamp only, and various other fixture-related tasks; some projects may not even involve working with existing lumminaires.


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Liar, Liar?

Last month, we reviewed the lies in financial statements, which are both legal and ethical; this month, we move up to illegal and unethical actions. Electrical contractors must be vigilant to avoid the steps that can lead to lies and avoid being victimized.


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It's a Small, Small World: Microgrids

Bringing power to the people could be more than just a 1960’s era goal for social change if promoters of localized electricity distribution systems—called “microgrids”—have their way.


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Eastern Utilities Set Records During Cold Spell

As the Eastern United States experienced a severe cold spell, utilities saw record winter peak-electricity demand.


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A Smart Start: Metering

Large commercial, industrial and institutional building owners have been tracking their energy use for years, knowing that even the smallest efficiency improvements can make a big bottom-line difference in facilities of their scale.


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