Commercial Electrical Sustainability: Audit, Bulbs and Power Down

There are numerous areas of the modern world where sustainability has become a more important theme over the last couple decades, and the electrical realm is no exception. This is a particularly interesting field with regard to environmental friendliness and sustainability – not only are these robust goals to aspire to, they also tend to feature the same kinds of practices that will also save your business money.

At Orange Electric, we’re proud to offer a wide array of commercial electrician services, including everything from basic installations of simple electrical components to large-scale repairs or build-outs as-needed. We’ve helped numerous clients not only become more sustainable with their building’s electrical practices, but also save significant funds on their energy bill in the process. This two-part blog series will go over several of the top themes for building owners or managers to keep in mind when it comes to a sustainable electrical setup.

commercial electrical sustainability bulbs

Energy Audit

One regular appointment you should be scheduling, often in coordination with your basic building inspection, is at least a once-yearly energy audit. This audit, performed by our commercial electricians, involves us examining every relevant area of your electrical setup, from the simple connections to the total power output your system is generating.

We’ll also look for irregularities, such as systems that have improper wiring setups or those where power is being throttled in certain areas. This audit will allow us to recommend various efficiency upgrades that not only save you money, but limit the amount of power and energy you’re using to meet your needs.

Basic Power-Down

Perhaps the single simplest technique building owners or managers can take to limit their electrical costs and footprint: Turn devices off when they aren’t in use, particularly overnight. There’s simply no need to leave computers and huge numbers of lights on during the wee evening hours when no one is in the office, especially in today’s modern times where bright lights are not necessary for security (modern cameras use night-vision and high-quality lenses). Assess your various power usage areas, particularly after-hours and over the weekends, and look for ways you can save during these hours.

LED Bulbs

For the most cost-effective bulb option that’s also ideal in terms of carbon footprint, modern offices and commercial settings should be making the switch to LED bulbs if they haven’t already. These bulbs are both long-lasting and extremely efficient, requiring far less power than previous bulb types to provide the same level of lighting. They’re also durable and require very little maintenance, a major factor for owners or managers of large commercial facilities.

For more on how to make your commercial electrical setup more sustainable, or to learn about any of our commercial electrician services, speak to the staff at Orange Electric today.

Electrician Types: Training and Differentiation

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic similarities and differences between the three primary forms of electricians. Residential, commercial and industrial electricians will certainly share certain basic areas of training, but will also serve very different areas and require entirely unique skill sets depending on the circumstances in which they’re working.

At Orange Electric, our primary services are in the commercial electrician field, though we also offer others to many clients. Our commercial electricians boast a specific array of skills that are used in commercial office buildings, stores and similar locations, from basic wiring and power outlet setups to major commercial electrical builds and repairs depending on your needs. Today’s part two of our series will dig into one more important area when it comes to the qualities of these electricians, plus how to make your eventual choice.

electrician types training differentiation

Training and Apprenticeship

One general area where these three electrician types are relatively similar is in the length of time it takes to obtain proper training and licensure. All electricians will go through a lengthy academic and hands-on training process, which typically includes at least four years of overall training and as many as five or six. One of the most significant parts of this training will be during an apprenticeship, where the trainee will work with an experienced electrician in the field to get hands-on knowledge.

Now, while the length of time involved here will often be relatively similar, the actual areas covered during this training will vary significantly. As we noted in part one of our series, electricians in various settings handle a varying range of wiring and other needs, and many of these areas involve very specific training themes that will be given or not given based on which field the electrician will ultimately end up in. While all electricians will spend a similar amount of time learning their craft, they’ll do so in very different ways.

Choosing Commercial Vs. Industrial

As you’ve likely gleaned from reading to this point, residential electricians are relatively easy to set apart from the other two types. Any electrical needs for your home, involving single-phase power supplies, will be handled by a residential electrician.

For jobs outside the home, however, the lines can be a bit blurrier. When does a given facility cross over from commercial to industrial? While the latter generally refers to larger facilities like manufacturing plants, the true differentiator is the type of electrical systems maintainedindustrial electricians will often be called on for system types like micro-currents and high-voltage components, while commercial electricians tend to run simpler MTC and MC cable.

For more on the varying types of electricians and how they’re different, or to learn about any of our commercial electrical services, speak to the staff at Orange Electric today.

Electrician Types: Work Locations and Wiring Setups

Within the world of electrical services, there are a few different designations for professionals. The most common here are residential, commercial and industrial electricians, who as their titles suggest are split based on the areas they most commonly work in – but these are not the only differences between these roles.

At Orange Electric, while our primary services are in the commercial electrician realm, we also offer robust industrial and residential electrical services to many clients as well. Beyond simply working in different places, what kinds of different qualities do these roles require, and which should you be considering for your upcoming electrical needs? This two-part blog series will look into everything you need to know.

electrician types locations wiring

Basic Work Locations

It’s the most obvious part of this conversation, but is also worth clarifying. The three major forms of electrician are primarily split by where they work:

  • Residential electricians: Work primarily, and usually exclusively, in homes and residences. These include single-family homes, condominiums and several other setup types you may be living in. Residential electricians will be highly cognizant of factors like personal comfort, wiring aesthetics and related areas.
  • Commercial electricians: Commercial electricians are primarily found in stores and office buildings, performing a variety of tasks from installing power outlets to setting up lighting and performing basic repairs. Commercial electrical setups will often have a bit less of an eye toward aesthetics and more toward functionality, especially in non-customer-facing areas.
  • Industrial electricians: The least obvious differentiation here is between commercial and industrial electricians, who are sometimes confused for each other. While the former works mostly in smaller or moderately-sized commercial buildings, the latter tends to be utilized for larger facilities like factories, mines, chemical plants and more. They will often be called upon to set up and maintain power sources for entire facilities and other large-scale jobs.

Wiring Systems

Getting a bit deeper on the technical side, each of these electrician types will generally work with different wiring setups:

  • Residential: These electricians use single-phase power supplies, meaning either 120 or 240 volts of power. They run romex cable, wrapping wiring in a sheathed insulation that, as we noted above, will usually be hidden from public view. This limits exposure and wire damage, plus prevents any shock risk to residents.
  • Commercial: Commercial electricians, on the other hand, generally use a three-phase wiring approach. Two smaller legs run a single voltage, then a larger leg runs a higher one simultaneously. This allows for commercial power setups ranging from 120 volts/208-240 volts, or 277/480 volts.
  • Industrial: Industrial electricians also use a three-phase wiring setup. However, they mostly use different kinds of cables than commercial electricians – namely RMC conduit, which powers various motors and control instruments often used in industrial settings.

For more on the differences and similarities between various forms of electrician, or to learn about any of our commercial electrical services, speak to the staff at Orange Electric today.