Optimism Rises in Commercial Contractor Field

A report from the United States Chamber of Commerce revealed that commercial contractors are becoming more optimistic about the future. The report noted that contractor optimism is being driven primarily by a rise in revenue expectations and better outlooks on hiring and equipment spending plans.

During the first quarter of 2021, 36 percent of contractors reported they anticipated their revenue to increase over the rest of the year, rising 25 percent from the last quarter of 2020.

A moderate to high level of confidence was reported by 86 percent of contractors regarding the United States market’s ability to provide new business in 2021. In the fourth quarter of 2020, 19 percent of respondents said their confidence level was high; in 2021, almost a quarter (24 percent) reported the same.

The report stated, “The score of revenue expectations, one of the index’s three leading indicators, jumped five points to 57, while contractors’ confidence in new business opportunities rose two points to 59.”

In the upcoming six months, 46 percent of contractors said they would employ more people, making hiring plans gain traction, up from 37 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Only three percent of contractors expect to diminish staffing, down from 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020; 46 percent expect to keep the same amount of personnel.

Neil Bradley, executive vice president, chief policy officer, and head of strategic advocacy for the United States Chamber of Commerce, said, “The industry still has a way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels, but rising optimism in the commercial construction industry is a positive sign for the broader economy.”

For all of your electrical contractor equipment needs, contact the experts at J&P Electrical today.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Electrical Contractor Industry Affected by Labor Shortages

Now that construction activity is starting to ramp up again following the COVID-19 pandemic, a familiar issue is facing the industry: labor shortages.

Total hires and job openings within the industry as of Dec. 31, 2020 were down slightly from 2019 before the pandemic forced shutdowns and industry layoffs. The 2020 Marcum JOLTS Analysis showed that the number of job openings was equal to 2.6 percent of available construction jobs, meaning there were 195,000 unfilled positions.

The report’s authors wrote, “When the pandemic began, some thought (and hoped) that the massive job losses observed in March and April would mitigate the skilled labor shortages that have frustrated construction firms for years. That simply hasn’t happened to any meaningful degree.”

Thirteen thousand more workers quit their construction jobs than those who were laid off or discharged by their employers as of December 31.

Wages in the employees’ market are also rising; average hourly earnings for construction employees reached their highest level on record: $32.11 in January 2021. Moreover, average weekly hours worked rose to peak level since 2019’s third quarter.

“This is what might be expected from a strong economy operating under normal circumstances, not one facing a lingering pandemic and elevated unemployment,” the report said.

Certain regions are concentrated areas for job openings within the industry. “Parts of the U.S. like the Southeast, Texas, Colorado, and segments of the Mid-Atlantic region have surging residential marketplaces and reasonably stable levels of nonresidential activity. Other areas, like the Northeast and certain parts of the Midwest, where much of the industry’s job losses have occurred and where population has been stagnant or declining for years, are home to an abundance of unemployed construction workers,” the report stated. 

As the pandemic continues to subside, there are three things to watch according to the report:

  1. Whether construction workers who quit/laid off will return
  2. Whether nonresidential construction will rebound like the residential sector
  3. Whether public construction will continue

For all of your electrical construction needs, contact the experts at J&P electrical today.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Artificial Intelligence Could Be Answer for Mass Power Outages

While some hospitals were forced to use snow water to flush toilets, some homeowners used fence wood as firewood to heat their homes. The power outages in Texas and the southeast wreaked havoc on the area, creating a tragic situation that consequently pushed the nation’s fragile energy grids into the spotlight.

Energy planning has become somewhat of a pipe dream thanks to unexpected cold fronts, heat waves, snowstorms, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. These natural disasters cause power fluctuations and unpredictable availability of green energy sources.

While solutions are varied and complex, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can optimize energy distribution across the grid and is aimed to help the utilities instantly know how much of what type of energy to deliver where.

In Texas, grid operators planned a worst-case scenario where 67GW of electricity was used. As the cold front swooped in, the state rapidly used that energy. The unusually freezing weather deactivated green energy sources and fossil fuels alike, such as thermal power plants, windmills, gas-powered generators, and more. While reserves were quickly depleted, temperatures plummeted, forcing energy demand to spike, which caused rolling blackouts across Texas.

AI technology exists and can help utilities manage energy distribution and demand, preventing rolling blackouts. Nationwide, we should be investing in alternative fuels, grid optimization, and resilience to avoid millions of people being affected by fragile systems.

With AI-based grid modeling happening in real-time, alternative power sources could be ready when needed. These sources could stem from other states, autonomous microgrids, or behind-the-meter battery storage. These systems can continuously learn the environment and clean energy sources on the grid, updating when necessary.

Millions of data points can be continuously collected by AI, predicting the weather, supply, demand, energy prices, etc. This data is useful in building optimal energy models for grid devices such as solar inverters, batteries, wind turbines, and more. These models can be used by utility providers to effectively dispatch energy and control clean energy sources.

In areas that need critical services, such as hospitals, schools, police, and fire departments, these microgrids would always have power, even if disconnected from the primary grid.

Beyond emergencies, AI can be used to process massive amounts of real-time data for ongoing energy management for utility services. This will enable them to route energy to residences and businesses efficiently, reliably, and at the most cost-effective price. With AI, real-time weather, load forecasting, economics, rules, and grid learning can be implemented, which would otherwise be too difficult for people to make, let alone execute.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Women in Electrical Construction

There aren’t many women in the field of electrical construction, though there has been some outreach to attract new prospects. Training programs, high-school advisors, and contractors alike are seeking to bring diversity to the construction and electrical industry, which will benefit women to a traditionally male workforce.

The skilled labor shortage is one reason why women are being recruited for these typically manly professions. The industry will gain momentum by adding women to its roster. The strategies used by businesses and recruiters vary greatly.

Claudia Repman, manager of admin operations for the Northwest Line JATC in Vancouver, Washington, said, “We do a variety of trade and career fairs with colleges and high schools.” Often, she noted, diversity efforts are spearheaded by the contractors themselves. 

Since roughly 2000, the training program for line work includes about five women for every 100 applicants. Because line workers typically cover territory in multiple states, experts hypothesize that travel, along with other perceived challenges, might keep women away from the industry.

Most young adults who have recently graduated from high school typically have not worked with electrical components. Men and women are usually equally inexperienced in their younger years. The person’s background is important, and many women aren’t even told that working in the electrical field is an option.

Specific regional programs provide specialized training to women, such as West Virginia Women Work in Morgantown, W. VA. Their focuses include nontraditional employment, economic self-sufficiency, and poverty. The program has been around for 20 years, and the electrical portion consists of wiring receptacles, light switches, GFCIs, and becoming familiar with typical electrician tools.

The program also simulates direct onsite experience as accurately as possible. The students work eight-hour shifts twice a week while training for the hands-on portion. Their lunch break is 30 minutes; otherwise, they are on their feet lifting heavy items outside. The other two days consist of classroom training, tours, resume building, and applying to jobs.

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J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Smart Meters to Increase in Popularity Worldwide

Around the world, the use of smart meters is continuing to rise. According to a report produced by the Indian firm Prescient & Strategic Intelligence Private Limited, the global smart meter market will reach $20 billion in revenue by 2030. The compound annual growth rate is projected at 4.9 percent, from $13.1 billion in 2019, according to the report.

The study explained, “The market is growing due to the rising focus on smart grids, rising awareness among people regarding energy conservation, and surging focus of governments on replacing conventional meters with smart meters.”

For the past six years, the Asia-Pacific region has been dominating the smart meters market. Experts project this to swell at the fastest pace over other regions, as these nations are widely investing in the implementation of smart meters. China has been leading the way, investing heavily in smart meter infrastructure and grid projects. The regional market is set to expand due to increasing government initiatives.

According to the report, smart meter software is projected to expand quicker than hardware; this is especially true for those that can identify anomalies in utility consumption patterns, making billing more accurate. Correct billing is a driving factor for the growing installation of smart meters.

Additionally, the two-way communication feature of smart meters that support a two-way flow of information is driving the market increase. End-users can collect electricity usage information about all appliances at regular intervals.

“Smart meters make use of the local area network for collecting this data, which is then transmitted to the utility center using wide area network. The utility can also send signals, command, and information to the device at user’s end if needed,” the study wrote.

The software will be used for data collection, meter data management platforms, and to manage and operate the smart meters.

The smart meter market share is currently dominated by electric smart meters, as more governments worldwide encourage their installation. Water smart meters are expected to have the highest compound annual growth rate, and gas smart meters will grow at a slower pace.

Check out Research and Markets to find out more information or read the full study. 

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

How LED Bulbs are Electrifying the Lamp Industry

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates an average of 40 lamp sockets in each of the nation’s 128 million homes, equaling more than five billion lamps across the country. Incandescent light bulbs have a life of less than a year; consumers replacing them have ensured GE, Philips, and Sylvania’s constant stability.

Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs had a historical past similar to the transformation LEDs are going through now. A filament made from bamboo was mass-produced in lamps after a cotton thread was used in prototypes. At the turn of the last century, tungsten filaments were introduced to boost lifespan and light output. Fluorescent tubes were presented in the late 1930s and became a leading technology for commercial and industrial spaces. They were also used as a means of efficient lighting for U.S. war production plants.

Additional improvements took place through the following decades, including halogen, metal halide, and compact fluorescent lamps. The market remained stale until the introduction of LED lights in 2008. Many customers used LED to reduce electricity use, which lowered bills and greenhouse gas emissions significantly. During the Great Recession, hundreds of millions of dollars were dumped into LED research and market development.

In 2021, LED bulbs are still the standard for energy-efficient homes. A 10-watt (W) LED bulb produces an equal amount of light as a 60W incandescent lamp. Due to their extraordinary lifespan, LED lamps are known to last a decade or more. Since these LEDs don’t need the constant replacement that incandescent bulbs do, GE, Philips, and Sylvania have all sold off their lamp-making businesses over the past four years.

The first product series to popularize the advanced capabilities offered by digitally-controlled lighting was created by Signify’s Philips Hue. An assortment of lamps are controllable by app or voice assistant, with customizable white and color-changing capabilities. A number of customers are familiar with the “Hue” brand, as it has had a successful run thus far.

GE also has a color-customizable bulb and tunable white light setting, allowing customers to shift a room’s vibe in one tap. Sylvania is sold through Ledvance, which also offers four-packs of color-shifting bulbs.

A large percentage of the country’s five-billion residential lamp sockets are still incandescent, so some consumers could undoubtedly be pushed to upgrade their existing lamps to receive added technological features. Philips plans on launching a bulb early this year that is capable of Wi-Fi and software updates through apps.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Electric Vehicle Industry Anticipates Rapid Growth

During a recent virtual event, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced a “Coming Wave of Electric Vehicles” and projected electric vehicles (EV) will comprise 40 percent of new car purchases by 2030. Factors such as rapid reductions in purchase price in addition to a wide variety of cost-competitive, high-performance, and lower carbon-emission models than typical vehicles are responsible for elevated consumer interest. Moreover, numerous communities and companies pledged to switch to electric alternatives for buses, vans, delivery vehicles, work trucks, and other ridesharing automobiles.

Economies aimed at decarbonization have implemented EVs as strategic tools in the overall effort. With the rising consumer interest, new demands will be placed on electric utilities and aging infrastructure. Increased research and development will be instrumental for proper execution.

BloombergNEF New York published the Electrical Vehicle Outlook 2020, which predicted EVs will hit 10 percent of global passenger vehicle sales by 2025, rising to 28 percent in 2030 and 58 percent in 2040. “Passenger EV sales jumped from 450,000 in 2015 to 2.1 million in 2019. They will drop in 2020 before continuing to rise as battery prices fall, energy density improves, more charging infrastructure is built, and sales spread to new markets,” according to the site.

Some of the factors driving the EV market include better technology, regulatory policies, and lower lithium-ion battery prices, which fell a whopping 87 percent from 2010 to 2019. In terms of regulations, 13 countries and 31 cities/regions have pledged to lower or phase out classic vehicle sales over time.

Infrastructure needs for EVs will rise, as predicted by Bloomberg NEF. By 2040, roughly 290 million charging points will be required worldwide to support the growing EV market. Charging hardware and installation costs will reach $500 billion globally by 2040.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

UV-C Light Sanitizes COVID-19

Broader interest in disinfectant applications has been sparked by the COVID-19 global pandemic. One sanitation method, germicidal ultraviolet light (GUV), is effective for disinfecting areas, including killing viruses and bacteria. However, a major drawback of this technique is that it is harmful to human health. Thus, GUV use is limited in occupied spaces.

Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center released a study that found UV-C to be effective against influenza and seasonal coronaviruses present in airborne droplets. According to the research, continuous exposure would kill 90 percent of airborne viruses in about eight minutes. In 11 minutes, 95 percent of airborne viruses would die, 99 percent in 16 minutes, and 99.9% would be eradicated in 25 minutes. This new technology has recently been commercialized by Ushio Inc., Tokyo, and is emerging in the North American lighting market through Atlanta-based Acuity Brands.

Filtered far-UV-C cannot reach or damage living cells in the body (within recommended limits) as it does not penetrate the eye’s tear layer or the skin’s outer dead-cell layer. Real-world effectiveness was not measured in the study, so further research is needed. Nevertheless, the promising results suggest filtered far-UV-C has the potential to disinfect occupied spaces as well.

Ideally, areas with high social interaction levels (restaurants, offices, classrooms, public bathrooms, sports venues, public transit, retail, gyms, healthcare areas, etc.) would benefit from the new technology. Permanent pathogen mitigation has a bright future with UV light.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Manufacturers Share their Most Popular Electrician Tools

While most jobs require specific tools that vary by type or need, most electricians carry a few essential tools for basic settings. Here are the most popular tools purchased in the industry as specified by each manufacturer below.

Manual Hand Tools

Klein Tools
NCVT-1 noncontact voltage tester
– 11045 wire stripper and cutter
– 32500 11-in-1 multibit screwdriver and nut driver set

Channellock
– Straight-jaw, tongue-and-groove pliers
– Round-nose linemen’s pliers
– Insulated grip, long-nose pliers

Milwaukee Tool
– Fish tapes
– Electric fish sticks
– Conduit benders

Southwire Tools and Equipment
– Simple PET fish tape
– S7N1HD multitool pliers
– S1018SOL stainless steel wire stripper

Power Tools

Bosch
– 12V Max EC brushless Flexiclick 5-in-1 drill/driver system
– 18V EC brushless Freak 2-in-1 bit/socket impact driver
– 18V EC brushless SDS-Plus Bulldog rotary hammer

DeWalt
– DCE151 20V Max XR cordless cable stripper
– DCE700 60V Max cordless pipe threader
– DCN701 20V Max cordless cable stripper

Hilti
– SID 4-A22 impact driver
– SCM 22-A cordless metal saw
– Cordless hydraulic cutting, crimping, and knockout tool set

Milwaukee Tool
– Crimping tools
– Cable cutters
– Knockout tools

Testers

Fluke Corp.
– Digital multimeters
– Clamp meters
– Basic electrical testers

Megger
– 1kV insulation tester
– Digital low-resistance ohmmeter
– Thermal camera

To find out more about these tools in-depth, read the original article from Electrical Contractor. For electrical equipment replacement products, contact the experts at J&P Electrical today.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Building Emissions Could Be Cut in Half with Heating Electrification

The American Council on Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published a report that outlined how carbon emissions could dramatically reduce if space heating were converted to electricity. In order to meet long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel burning to heat homes and buildings needs to be moderated or eliminated. High-efficiency electric heat pumps (generated from renewable energy) are one way to fulfill this need. The report models the effects of substituting several types of gas-based heating systems in commercial buildings with different electric heat pump systems.

Heating electrification in buildings encompasses replacing electric technologies for combustion-fuel where other fuels are being used. (i.e., space heating and water heating.) Industrial electrification consists of fueling a wide range of industrial processes by electricity instead of combustion fuels.

The different types of Electric Resistance Heating as outlined by the U.S. Department of Energy include:

Electric furnaces: require extra energy to distribute the heated air throughout the home, which makes them more expensive to operate. Air flows through ducts and the furnace’s heating elements activate in stages to avoid overloading a whole-house electrical system.

Electric baseboard heaters: zonal heaters controlled by thermostats are located within individual rooms. Metal pipes encase heating elements that run the length of the baseboard’s housing unit. These are usually installed under windows and can be noisy, giving poor temperature control.

Electric wall heaters: an electric element with a rear reflector pushes heat out into a room through a fan. These are installed on mainly interior walls, as exterior walls are difficult to insulate.

ACEE published a document describing different programs to electrify space heating in homes and buildings. By promoting the programs used to electrify space heating in homes and buildings, the public will become more aware of the options, opportunities, and advantages available. Rebate incentives also increase participation, emphasizing growth within the residential sector.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis under the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Contract prepared a document that outlines the drivers, barriers, prospects, and policy approaches regarding the electrification of buildings and industry in the U.S.

For all your electrical equipment needs, contact J&P Electrical today. 

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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