Chapter Corner

Cheryl Weber

Updating the Playbook

Every three years, electricity becomes a little safer with the adoption of new National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements, and 2014 saw the latest updates. Staying abreast of code expansions is essential, and it’s also an opportunity for electricians to learn more about innovative safety products. Many of the latest devices are more versatile, solve problems, and save time.

The Mainstreaming of Home Automation

It’s no surprise that the U.S. home automation market has been growing steadily in the past five years, from $3.2 billion in 2010 to a projected $5.5 billion in 2016, according to BBC Research. In 2010, most of that market (58 percent) was made up of components electrical contractors install regularly, such as lighting, home entertainment, and security systems. That makes it a promising niche for contractors eager for new revenue streams.

Storm Troopers

The cover of IEC member KenMor Electric's hurricane preparedness brochure features wispy clouds floating above a sparkling ocean and the words "The Calm Before the Storm." That phrase might apply to weather patterns, but for electrical contractors, it's a misnomer. As Hurricane Ike barreled toward the Gulf Coast in 2008, the Houston-based company's field crew was working frantically to protect its customers' homes and businesses by securing large signs, disconnecting feeder power lines, and walking properties to point out items at risk.