In a world of "eco" this and "energy efficient" that, we're all striving to save the planet, with the added bonus of trying to save a few pounds here and there....
Seriously though, the impact of energy efficient equipment and practices in the world of electrical contracting is staggering. Take the recent move away from fluorescent lighting and into LED's. Year on year, the manufacturers are reporting increased market share as more and more customers become aware of the benefits of LED lighting.
As with all new technologies, the cost to change at present is quite high but this is coming down and it won't be long before prices reach parity with "traditional" lighting.
In recent times, we have carried out works for local authorities and companies whereupon LED lights have replaced traditional fluorescent style light fittings and presence detectors have been fitted to ensure even though they are incredibly efficient when on, the lights are only on when required.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to energy efficiency - within the next few years, home automation systems will become commonplace as people realise the power that a smartphone can have in controlling their home systems from remote locations. Left the heating on and it's a hot day? Open the app on your phone and reduce the central heating thermostat. Going away for a weekend? Program lights in your house to come on when your are away for security purposes.
The possibilities for this type of "instant access remote control" are seemingly endless and will all help us reduce our usage of resources and our costs.
So why the blog post? Surely this topic has been covered elsewhere and in greater detail?
Well, here's the thing. We hear about customers employing "energy management consultants" who will visit their premises, assess their usage and make recommendations on how they can improve their efficiency whilst reducing costs. They will also notify the customer of "payback" times - how long it will take to recoup your expenditure on the new equipment via savings in energy - and that's a fantastic and worthwhile piece of information to have at hand.
Meanwhile the customer receives a large invoice from said "energy management consultants" for services rendered - and it's this that the blog post is about.
A wise man (ok, it's the same wholesaler representative from previous posts but bear with me) once said employing management consultants is like giving someone your watch and then asking them the time.
Customers do not need to employ consultants such as this and pay their fees. Any contractor in our trade worth their salt will have access to people who will carry out these surveys for free. Recommendations will be made not only on the product the consultants are promoting but all of those available in the market. Customers will have more choice as well as potentially bigger savings due to reduced initial expenditure.
As with a lot of things in life, when it comes to employing consultants it's merely an appeal to authority. "We've employed XYZ to assess our needs and they've recommended 123. They are the experts on this. Here's their bill"
Customers CAN do this themselves and it WILL save them money.
Why not give your local electrical contractors a call and see if THEY can help you when it comes to saving energy and money. You never know, it might just be the most cost-efficient decision you make all year.