BETHESDA, MD -- Electrical contractors around the country now rank brand availability -- over price -- as their top reason for original brand selection, according to the 2012 Profile of the Electrical Contractor. The biannual survey's key findings also report electrical contractors' increasing influence and involvement in overall electrical design, the design/build or design/assist process, detailed types of work performed, ongoing training, firm demographics and more.
"As a deep dive into our industry, our biannual Profile offers measurable value for our industry partners," said Electrical Contractor Publisher John Maisel. "It reports the most current data on electrical contractors' growing involvement and influence in all work types across all sectors while serving as a benchmark for our subscribers."
Significant findings also include a major jump from 2010 in the level of design/build or design/assist work, and a fifth place ranking for products made in America -- which debuted this year among brand selection criteria.
Key findings include:
--Brand availability leads the criteria for original brand selection and brand substitution ahead of prior experience, price, ease of installation, made in America, durability, manufacturer reputation, energy efficiency, specific features, manufacturer training and support and word of mouth
--On average, a single brand is specified about 25 percent of the time; in all other cases, other factors, multiple brands "or equal to" or performance is specified
--Energy efficiency was chosen by about 25 percent of electrical contractors as one of their three top reasons for original brand selection
--Overall, electrical contractors are able to make brand substitutions about 2/3 of the time
--8 in 10 electrical contractors report having a medium or high ability to influence the overall electrical design -- 44% say their level of influence is "medium;" 36% say their level is "high"
--7 in 10 firms performed any D/B or D/A work in the previous year -- any D/B or D/A work was performed by 85% of firms with 10+ employees
--About 20% of electrical contractors say they currently use Building Information Modeling (BIM) and that on average, it is used on about 6 percent of projects
--8 in 10 electrical contractors receive any plans and specs that are incomplete 46% of the time -- where their firm is responsible for completing the design documentation
--95% of the firms performed traditional power and lighting with 92% lighting
--About 6 in 10 firms worked in power quality, communications systems/connectivity and/or CII automation/controls
--15% of larger firms work on electric vehicle (EV) charging stations; 13% on smart grid technology
To see the full report, go to: www.ecmag.com/research.