A Changing World for Electricians

22/04/16 by Don Morris
This article is about sharing some of my views on the future we face as electricians and electrical contractors.

Can we consider our electrical trade has changed considerably over many years, albeit at a moderate pace?

Electronics have had a huge influence, but let’s face it we still use cable, wire socket outlets, lights and connect equipment in much the same way as we have for most of our working lives. Some of that equipment has changed and got better, some has changed very little. But, will that be true in the next five to ten years? New technology is coming into our trade very rapidly.

LED is a game changed

Recent changes have been driven by LED lighting and all the innovation this new  technology can offer. Savings, Performance, Design, Reliability. LED is really just an evolution, from the humble candle to incandescent and onto LED's. But ahead, LED is leading into a huge revolution, and without doubt LED is already a game changed. In addition, what's scary is that its still in its infancy, and an emerging technology, with massive leaps in light performance and light transfer technologies still to come.

Now let’s consider the future. LED is just going to keep growing and growing, but what about wireless switching and control, automation (of internet connected homes and businesses), intelligent controls, emerging battery technology, solar power, micro-generation, and changes in the worlds Standards and Regulations. To name but just a few.

So what does this possibly mean for us as (electricians)? And as the leaders in our profession?
In essence there is a need to embrace these changes. Being smarter, and realising an 'energy efficient future' is all about deployment of these current and emerging technologies. Not just a few LED’s in a quick low value lighting upgrade; but the whole plethora of technologies that encompass energy efficiency. Energy efficiency will quickly be common place, to a point where it is no longer known as energy efficiency – it’s just the way it’s done. A pulling together of all sorts of systems and products in a managed way to deliver the highest cost - verses - benefit solutions for existing and future customers.

[We need to] educate our customers... in a way that both excited and motivates them

The first steps we as electricians have to take is to embrace these technologies, and educate ourselves as electrical people and trade experts. Then we have to educate our customer; today's and future customers. We need to do this in a way that both excites and motivates them and in a way that they can easily understand. They’ve heard it all before. To many decision-makers “energy savings” sounds the same no matter what it is. And if it costs more than light bulbs, they cringe.

There are opportunities abound, with these existing and new technologies in every corner of our trade and business. But it’s going to mean some new and rather lateral thinking on the part of electrician’s and contractors to reap the full benefits in business growth and profitably.

Active Electrical Suppliers is working hard to be your partner in these new technologies and the change businesses to ensure a successful future for the industry.

- Don Morris

Don Morris is an Electrician, Technical writer, Trainer and Marketing Consultant engaged by Active Electrical Suppliers Ltd.