Lancaster, PA Electrician Directory

Find licensed electrical contractors in Lancaster County, PA for Residential, Commercial & Industrial projects here!

Homeowners need electricians to install new modern circuit breaker electrical service panels replacing antiquated fuse panels. You may need extra outlets installed in an older home that didn't have electrical receptacles installed in every corner of the home. Perhaps you're installing ceiling fans and need them wired to switch panels on the walls. Or, you want to add a hot tub to your backyard and need electrical service installed. You'll find electricians available for all of these services and more here on lancaster electrical .com.

Need an industrial or commercial electrician here in Lancaster County? Whether you need high bay lighting installed or a new three phase feed for that new high powered machine your adding commercial and industrial electricians have the skill set to make every installation and upgrade run smoothly.

 



Read the latest news for licensed electrical contractors in Lancaster County, PA.

Consumer Demand for Home-Based Smart Energy Tech Increases
Consumer Demand for Home-Based Smart Energy Tech Increases aconstanza Mon, 01/27/2020 - 12:29

Consumer Demand for Home-Based Smart Energy Tech Increases

According to the latest research report from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC), “2020 State of the Consumer,” consumer interest in residential energy efficiency and energy saving technologies is increasing significantly.

The report, based on insights from over 7,500 survey responses, stated, “Many consumers are ready to engage in renewable energy, home energy management, and other smart energy programs.”

Consumer interests include smart thermostats, time-varying rates (demand-side management by smart meters), rooftop solar, home battery storage, microgrids, community solar and a host of other clean energy and energy-savings technologies.

While interest is high, a large number of consumers still have concerns before jumping into these technologies.

A chief concern is up-front costs, especially compared with payback time. That is, while consumers are interested in these technologies, 67% want to know up-front how much money the technologies will cost and how much they will save by participating. Specifically, 73% see money-savings as the primary benefit of participating, and 49% even expect some up-front incentives before they will even consider participating. A minority, 44%, are interested in the technologies because they want to help save the environment.

Another concern is finding sources of clear, accurate and comprehensive information. For this reason, the report noted that “Education remains a clear, strategic opportunity to increase energy engagement.”

The message for electrical contractors interested in this type of work is to try to create partnerships with local utilities and become a contractor that utilities recommend to interested consumers. Then contractors can act as the go-to source of information for consumers on these technologies—how they work, which ones would make the most sense for individual consumers, the cost, the expected paybacks and any other information the consumers need to move forward with this technology.

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Consumer Demand for Home-Based Smart Energy Tech Increases
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AGC Urges Congress To Help Increase Supply of Skilled Workers
AGC Urges Congress To Help Increase Supply of Skilled Workers aconstanza Fri, 01/24/2020 - 13:04

AGC Urges Congress To Help Increase Supply of Skilled Workers

With the U.S. construction labor market as tight as ever, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is calling on the Trump Administration and Congress to step up efforts to increase the supply of qualified workers.

The AGC and Sage Construction and Real Estate surveyed 1,000 contractors and the results are detailed in their report, “Strong Demand for Work Amid Stronger Demand for Workers: The 2020 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report.” The report found that the labor shortages lead to staffing challenges, more expensive projects and ones that take longer to complete.

Of those surveyed, 75% expect to add workers in 2020, but even more respondents found it difficult to fill positions in 2019. A majority anticipate it will be as hard or harder to do so in 2020. Of the respondents, 81% said it is difficult to fill open positions. More than half of respondents see inexperienced workers and workforce shortages as a major challenge to the safety and health of their workforce.

To recruit more workers, over half raised base pay rates last year more than in 2018, while many also increased or introduced incentives, bonuses and benefit contributions. More than two-fifths of contractors revamped initiatives to recruit labor. One in three firms increased money allocated to technical education and nearly as many restructured or changed programming for current craft professional recruits.

Still, the shortage is affecting costs.

“In light of those staffing challenges, costs have been higher than anticipated for 44% of respondents and projects took longer than anticipated for 40% of them,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “As a result, 41% of respondents have put higher prices into their bids or contracts and 23% have put in longer completion times.”

Respondents report having higher challenges in keeping project costs low and completion times short. Project costs were higher than what half of the respondents anticipated, and nearly the same percentage of firms are including higher prices in their bids.

To ensure contractors have access to an adequate supply of qualified workers, which will then help to relive the pressure on construction times and costs, the AGC is urging the Trump Administration and Congress to double funding for career and technical education over the next five years and to pass the JOBS Act for expanded opportunities for students seeking alternatives to college. They are also asking for Congress to allow more people to legally enter the United States with a goal of helping with the labor shortage and adding a temporary work visa centered on construction.

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Chicago IBEW 134 Trains Fire Inspectors and First Responders in Solar Safety
Chicago IBEW 134 Trains Fire Inspectors and First Responders in Solar Safety aconstanza Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:55

Chicago IBEW 134 Trains Fire Inspectors and First Responders in Solar Safety

Solar installations are heating up in Illinois due to robust state incentives that reimburse homeowners and businesses for costs. Unfortunately, hazards for fire fighters are also on the rise.

Addressing this circumstance is IBEW 134, one of the nation’s largest IBEW local unions with 13,000 members in the Chicago area. Experienced in solar installations, Local 134 aims to train and educate labor partners in addition to apprentices and journeymen.

“Burning panels may produce hazardous substances, but most firefighters can handle these with standard gear,” said Bob Hattier, IBEW 134 business representative and master trainer for the Illinois IBEW Renewable Energy Fund. “Electrocution is by far the biggest danger. It’s hard to stop an array from generating power. Even lights from fire equipment can energize it. The only way to truly shut it off is to remove all light sources. Also, backup batteries continue to power lights and appliances even when utility power is shut down”

Alsip Fire Department, which serves the community where IBEW 134’s apprenticeship school is located, inspired Hattier to develop first responder training.

“They started seeing more requests for solar installations and contacted us,” Hattier said. “It made me realize, we’re always thinking of the electrical inspectors who work with permitting authorities to prevent problems, but what about the first responder’s safety?”

So far, about a dozen Chicago suburban fire departments have received training.

“All 60 of our firefighters went through the training in three shifts,” said Berwyn Fire Department Captain Joseph P. Lotito. “Now we can tell by just looking at a house if there are going to be problems. Are the panels set back properly—three feet from the roofline and sides of the building? If we don’t see that, a lot of other things may be wrong.”

Those other wrong things can include conduit placed too near the rafters, which increases risk of electrocution when fire fighters pierce roofs for ventilation; lack of roof support, which increases risk of collapse; and lack of hazard labeling for solar conduit leading to inverters and batteries.

“This training definitely adds to safety,” said Robert Morris, executive director of the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association. “Fire inspectors work to prevent problems at the installation stage, so it definitely helps knowing what to look for in building plans.”

In March, Hattier will train inspectors from 100 or so Illinois municipalities at the association’s Fire & Life Safety Conference.

“We don’t charge for the training,” Hattier said. “This is a workforce development program. It’s designed to bring allied professionals up to speed on current technologies and to encourage municipalities to adopt the most recent codes to ensure public safety.”

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Solar Workforce Development Partnership Aids Puerto Rican Recovery
Solar Workforce Development Partnership Aids Puerto Rican Recovery aconstanza Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:35

Solar Workforce Development Partnership Aids Puerto Rican Recovery

More than two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, recovery efforts are still underway.

Last month, a partnership of state government and nonprofits announced the launch of a multimillion-dollar program to provide business assistance and workforce development for the island’s solar industry.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has teamed up with the Solar Foundation, and PathStone Corporation Inc. to offer the Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator, Workforce and Small Business Development Program.

The $4.5 million project will train and place workers in solar-plus-storage and construction. It is also receiving support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Proponents of the program say it will increase economic resiliency in Puerto Rico by helping island businesses increase operating efficiencies and enabling them to participate fully in major post-hurricane reconstruction efforts.

The program has three fundamental components.

The “Solar Accelerator” will help solar companies on the island improve financing, expand the workforce pipeline, disseminate information on consumer protection and develop two solar and storage microgrid demonstration pilots.

The technical assistance component is intended to raise the capacity of locally owned and operated businesses to expand their role in the rebuilding the island’s economy with a focus on resiliency and job creation.

The workforce development component will screen, train and place workers in full-time employment within industries that are primarily engaged in the production, sales and installation of solar energy productions and construction.

NYSERDA is providing $30,000 in cost share for seven qualified instructors from the State University of New York and City University of New York to provide training in Puerto Rico. New York state has taken a leading role in the post-hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

The EDA, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce with the mission to foster job creation and attract private investment to economically distressed areas, provided $3.8 million for the program.

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Apprenticeship Programs Are Financially-Viable Alternative to College
Apprenticeship Programs Are Financially-Viable Alternative to College aconstanza Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:52

Apprenticeship Programs Are Financially-Viable Alternative to College

A new study, “The Apprenticeship Alternative,” jointly researched and published by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana finds that those who graduate from registered joint labor-management construction apprenticeship programs earn virtually the same as (and, in some cases, more than) individuals graduating college with a bachelor’s degree.

The report noted that, “Registered apprenticeship programs produce good middle-class careers and should be encouraged as a viable alternative to college. Journeyworkers graduating from joint labor-management construction programs earn about $40 per hour, resulting in lifetime incomes that parallel the average for workers with bachelor’s degrees.”

The report defines registered apprenticeship programs as “training programs in which participants get the opportunity to ‘earn while they learn’ with tuition costs covered by employers or joint labor-management organizations, who gain access to a pool of skilled, productive, and safe workers.”

According to the report, on average, apprenticeships in joint labor-management construction programs are required to complete 7,306 hours of training, while the typical bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois requires a minimum of 5,760 hours.

And while the average joint labor-management construction programs have had a 54% completion rate since 2000, the graduation rate at non-profit universities was 66%, 61% at public universities and 43% at for-profit universities.

After completing joint labor-management construction programs, the average first-year apprentice earns $19.15, and the average journeyworker earns $40.40 per hour, while those with bachelor’s degrees were earning about five dollars less per hour ($35.28) by midcareer.

And, despite the likelihood of suffering an unemployment spell, according to the report, a union journeyworker will earn about $2.4 million during his/her career, while a worker with a bachelor’s degree will earn approximately $2.5 million (after repaying student debt).

In addition, some careers provide even more economic advantage. For example, after completing a five-year apprenticeship through the IBEW-NECA Institute, a journeyman wireman in Illinois makes more than $49 an hour.

In addition, first-year union workers had higher average hourly wages ($19.15, as noted above) than those with just high school diplomas or their equivalents.

As a result of these data, the report suggests that, “Pre-apprenticeship programs should be expanded to end the stigma of choosing trade schools over college.”

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Image source: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt


Three Utilities Win Annual EEI Emergency Recovery Awards
Three Utilities Win Annual EEI Emergency Recovery Awards aconstanza Tue, 01/21/2020 - 16:17

Three Utilities Win Annual EEI Emergency Recovery Awards

In early January, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an association for investor-owned utilities, handed out its annual Emergency Recovery Awards to three electric utilities for their impressive responses to weather emergencies.

One of the recipients was Georgia Power, which has won the award eight times before, including last year. This year, the award was for its power restoration efforts following 14 tornadoes that hit the state in March 2019. The outbreak broke or damaged hundreds of poles and forced more than 16 miles of downed wire that led to approximately 19,000 power outages. Over 600 personnel were mobilized to restore power, including other Southern Company operating companies. The personnel worked approximately 20,000 hours during the restoration efforts and fully restored power within three days.

A second winner was Dayton Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of AES Corporation, that won for its restoration efforts following a series of 15 tornadoes that hit Ohio in May, resulting in outages for over 100,000 customers. Crews dedicated 80,000 man-hours to restoration efforts and were able to restore power within 10 days.

The third winner was Entergy Power for its restoration efforts after Hurricane Barry hit Louisiana in July 2019 that caused over 140,000 outages. Crews committed over 430,000 man-hours to restoration efforts and were able to restore full power within eight days. Entergy also won an Emergency Assistance award for its efforts to help restore power for a Dallas utility hit by a storm in June 2019.

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Special Equipment in Chapter 6
Special Equipment in Chapter 6 aconstanza Fri, 01/17/2020 - 17:14

Special Equipment in Chapter 6

This Article focuses on revisions in Chapter 6 of the 2020 NEC, “Special Equipment,” and it includes the requirements for special equipment such as electric signs and outline lighting systems, electric vehicle (EV) supply equipment, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, equipment, fire pumps and so forth. This part of the series looks at a few significant changes in articles 600 through 695.

Section 600.5 Branch Circuits

Section 600.6(A) has been revised to clarify that a sign or lighting outlet is not required at entrances for deliveries, service corridors or service hallways. Section 600.5(B) addresses markings, and it has been revised to require all disconnects supplying signs or outline lighting systems that are remotely located must be marked with the identity of the sign or lighting system it controls.

Section 600.35 Retrofit Kits

A new Section 600.35 contains requirements for retrofit kits. Retrofit kits must be listed and installed in accordance with the installation instructions. During a sign conversion, any parts found to be damaged must be replaced or repaired. A retrofitted sign must be marked to inform people that the illumination system has been replaced. Signs that are converted to tubular LED lamps powered by the existing sign sockets must include a label to alert personnel that the sign has been modified. The label must include a warning not to install fluorescent lamps.

Article 625 Electric Vehicle Power Transfer System

Article 625 has been retitled “Electric Vehicle Power Transfer System.” The scope of Article 625, Section 625.1 has been revised to clarify that EVs can be connected for the purposes of charging, power export or bidirectional current flow. EVs can also now be used as a standby power source in a similar manner to the use of a standby generator or energy-storage system.

Section 625.60 AC Receptacle Outlets Used for EVPE

The term “electric vehicle power export equipment” (EVPE) is new and defined in Article 100. EVPE as defined is the electric vehicle serving as the source of electric supply. New 625.60 requires AC receptacles in electric vehicles intended to supply off-board utilization equipment to comply with 625.60. These receptacles must be listed, overcurrent protection must be provided and ground- fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection is required. Indication and reset capabilities for the GFCI device must be readily accessible.

680.35 Storable and Portable Immersion Pools

A new 680.35 provides requirements for storable and portable immersion pools. These pools are intended for ceremonial or ritual immersion of people. This requirement mirrors existing requirements for other pools mandating minimum distances from the pool and required GFCI protection.

680.45 Permanently Installed Immersion Pools

A new 680.45 provides requirements for permanently installed immersion pools. These pools also are intended for ceremonial or ritual immersion of people. This new requirement mirrors existing requirements for other types of pools mandating mini- mum distances, clearances and required GFCI protection.

690.12 Rapid Shutdown for PV on Buildings

The requirements in 690.12 have been revised to protect first responders. Rapid shutdown reduces the risk of electrical shock that DC/AC circuits in a PV system. To prevent PV arrays with attached inverters from hav- ing energized AC conductors within the PV array(s), the PV circuits must be specifically controlled after shutdown initiation. DC and AC circuits of PV arrays must be controlled without regard to their source of supply.

690.53 DC PV Marking

The marking requirements of 690.53 have been revised to limit the amount of information necessary, and the number of locations that must be labeled. The information on these labels must be available to qualified persons before servicing PV equipment. There are now three options for the placement of this label, including at the DC PV system disconnect, at the PV system electronic power conversion equipment or at the distribution equipment associated with the PV system.

Section 695.3 Power Source(s) for Electric Motor-Driven Fire Pumps

Section 695.3 requires fire pumps to have a reliable power source. Section 695.3(B) (1) recognizes that reliable power may not be available and permits two or more of the power sources identified in 695.3(A). The exception now permits a combination of power sources from 695.3(A), a feeder source in 695.3(C)(1) and a source in 695.3(A). Section 695.3(C)(3) has been revised to clarify that all supply-side overcurrent protective devices must be selectively coordinated.

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Cheers to Renewable Beer
Cheers to Renewable Beer aconstanza Fri, 01/17/2020 - 10:13

Cheers to Renewable Beer

World’s Largest Brewing Company Commits to 100% Renewable Electricity

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewing company in the world, plans to purchase 100% renewable electricity to power its 14 breweries in Western Europe, according to an article in Forbes. The brewer set commitments to procure 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources and reduce CO2 emissions across its value chain by 25% by 2025, according to its 2025 Sustainability Goals.

This is the largest corporate solar power deal in history, covering over 50 brands brewed and sold across 12 countries, according to an article in Solar Industry Magazine.

To make its 100% renewable electricity brewery operations a reality, AB InBev is working jointly with BayWa r.e., a German company that specializes in the renewables sector. The electricity for the 10-year virtual power purchase agreement will be supplied by two new solar farms being built in Spain, totaling 200 mW (AB InBev will receive 130 mW). BayWa r.e. will provide the funds for the new solar plants that are expected to be online in March 2022. One of the plants, dubbed the Budweiser Solar Farm, will provide 250 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually for AB InBev’s breweries, or enough to power nearly 670,000 homes. In the meantime, BayWa r.e. will provide 75 GWh of renewable energy from its wind farm in Zaragoza, Spain.

This is not the brewer’s first venture into renewables. AB InBev secured renewable energy deals for its operations in the United Kingdom and Russia, according to an article in CNBC.

A 15-year power purchase agreement with U.K.-based renewable energy developer Lightsource BP will enable AB InBev to brew Budweiser sold in the U.K. with 100% renewable electricity, the largest unsubsidized renewable solar deal in U.K. history. Lightsource BP will provide 100% of the purchased electricity for Budweiser’s two main U.K. breweries, which brew 17 million bottles and cans each week. The project will bring 100 mW of renewable capacity to the U.K. grid, enough to power 18,000 homes with electricity annually, according to a December 2019 blog post on AB InBev’s website.

By 2020, Budweiser sold in the U.K. will have a renewable electricity symbol on their labels for consumers to identify. Budweiser brewed in the United States is already made with renewable electricity generated from wind power.

In 2019, AB InBev Efes, a subsidiary of AB InBev, signed an agreement with Enel Russia to explore joint opportunities for renewable energy generation, according to a press release from Enel. Enel Green Power currently supplies renewable energy to AB InBev operations in Chile and the United States.

This commitment to green energy makes AB InBev the largest corporate buyer of renewable electricity in the consumer goods industry. The brewer’s global operations are involved in its renewable endeavor, including Australia, China, India, Mexico, Russia, the U.K. and the United States.

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Competence Is Knowing the Limit of Your Abilities
Competence Is Knowing the Limit of Your Abilities aconstanza Thu, 01/16/2020 - 16:38

Competence Is Knowing the Limit of Your Abilities

Most contractors feel confident that they have the qualifications to install any fire alarm system, regardless of size or complexity. 

You likely already know that only an unfinished fire alarm system can delay the occupancy of a building. A building can open with the elevators not working, or no carpet throughout the building. But, without a complete fire alarm system installation, accepted by the authority having jurisdiction, the owner will not get their occupancy permit, so it’s important that you know what you can and cannot deliver. If you can’t provide what you’ve promised, your reputation and profits will take a major hit.

You may have already experienced this and have come to realize that no matter how well your other systems installations went, delayed fire alarm system acceptance will be what the customer remembers.

If you plan to act as a full-service contractor to your customer base, you must display competence in each service offering to that customer base. For example, if you only performed work in residential one- and two-family homes, you would not even think of undertaking a system installation in a high-rise building. After all, the fire alarm system requirements for one- and two-family dwellings differ widely from those required in the tall building arena. I do not mean limit your work. Rather, I want to emphasize the scope of each challenge you may encounter.

NFPA 72-2019, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, recognizes this. The code devotes Chapter 29, “Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Signaling Systems” to the specific subject. And in fact, states in section 29.1.3, “The requirements of Chapters 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 21, “2 3, 24, 26, and 27 shall not apply unless otherwise noted.” [Emphasis added.]

All other chapters in the code state the requirement differently. For example, section 24.1.3 states, “The requirements of Chapters 7, 10, 12, 17, 18, 21, 23, 26, and 27 shall also apply unless otherwise noted in this chapter.” [Emphasis added.]

So, even the code indicates you must have greater knowledge of the code requirements when you install a fire alarm system in a high-rise occupancy than when you install a fire alarm system in a one- or two-family home.

All the above provides just one example of the differing levels of competency needed to install fire alarm systems in each occupancy. Even when given the examples in the code, many contractors look at a commercial fire alarm system as an easy and profitable add-on to their contract with the owner.

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U.S. House Introduces Comprehensive Clean Economy Bill
U.S. House Introduces Comprehensive Clean Economy Bill aconstanza Thu, 01/16/2020 - 16:31

U.S. House Introduces Comprehensive Clean Economy Bill

This month, three members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce released the legislative framework of the draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act, with the goal of ensuring that the United States achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050.

“Record wildfires, flooding, heat waves and drought have spelled out a dire reality; the climate crisis is here, and we can no longer afford to address this crisis along the margins,” said Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). “Today, we are providing the kind of serious federal leadership this moment requires. This plan represents our commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas pollution.”

For the power sector, the Act proposes a nationwide Clean Energy Standard that requires all retail electricity suppliers to obtain 100% clean energy by 2050. The draft legislation stipulates that suppliers must possess a sufficient quantity of “clean energy credits” at the end of each year or make an alternative compliance payment. Suppliers may also buy and trade clean energy credits from one another or purchase them by auction.

The draft legislation intends to improve the efficiency of new and existing buildings and the equipment and appliances that operate within them. It establishes national energy savings targets for continued improvement of model building energy codes and leading to a requirement of net-zero energy buildings by 2030. It also provides assistance for states and tribes to adopt updated model building energy codes and support full compliance.

The draft also calls for the reduction of transportation emissions by improving vehicle efficiency and building the infrastructure needed for a clean transportation system. It also directs the EPA to set new and increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The draft legislation establishes a Buy Clean Program that sets performance targets to steadily reduce emissions from construction materials and products used in projects that receive federal funding. The Buy Clean Program is also designed to reduce climate pollution by promoting the use of low-carbon materials and expanding the market for cleaner products.

The legislation is also designed to establish State Climate Plans that would empower states to complete the transition to a net-zero economy based on the existing “federalism model” in the Clean Air Act. The bill sets a national climate standard of net zero greenhouse gas pollution in each state by 2050, and then states are granted the flexibility to develop plans to meet the 2050 and interim standards based on their policy preferences, priorities and circumstances.

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