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. 

It stands to reason that, in a desert state such as Arizona, solar power would be something of a no-brainer. But in Arizona, the issue of harnessing one of the most plentiful and valuable resources has caused a controversy.


I was recently following a forum discussion about issues related to using spreadsheet software for estimating. It turned into a spreadsheet–versus–database argument and got a little heated. The truth is both systems have a place in your estimating toolbox.


The United States is undergoing a major shift in the way it generates and consumes electricity. In the midst of such visible changes, strong metrics are enlightening—even if they are, in some ways, stating the obvious.


A prognosticator forecasting the end of electric utilities as we know them isn’t news. Economists and market researchers have been telling this fortune for several years. But when the people in charge of utilities corroborate those reports, it’s no longer a tale read in the tea leaves.

More on Your Business

 
Power Quality Meets Remote Metering
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Measuring energy usage in real-time by remote metering is becoming increasingly viable, but in order to be economical, its cost must be offset with new power quality and energy management services.

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When to Call in the Big Guns
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Contracts are drafted by committee. The group always includes an attorney who may or may not give practical considerations to the language drafted. That language, however, is of paramount importance to you. So what do you do when confronted with a book of terms and conditions? Ignore them?

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The Educated Consumer and Electric Utility Restructuring
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A retail clothing store advertises, “An educated consumer is our best customer.” Prices are adjusted weekly, and if you know the value of designer merchandise on the racks, you can get some very good bargains.

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Resizing Service or Feeder Loads
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At one time or other, all contractors have been faced with a decision to either recalculate the size of an existing service or feeder or just guess at the amount of spare load and install new circuits while hoping for the best. Guessing will usually only get you in trouble.

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Speaking to Strengths
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At the recent Power Quality World Conference, I chaired a session on “Specifying and Purchasing PQ Equipment.” Afterward, I met one of the presenters from an electric utility who said he planned to bring his lawyer with him to the session the next day.

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Predicting the Unpredictable
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I generally choose to leave predictions of the future to “psychics” and tarot card readers. They rely on special powers of divination, and I give them credit for trying. After all, it’s a daunting task to predict the future of anything these days.

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Before It Strikes Again
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A couple of months ago we dealt with lightning and the fast transients that can be coupled onto the electrical distribution system of the utility or within a facility, and the use of TVSS (transient voltage surge suppressors) to minimize the potential damage from such.

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