The Electrical Blog

Can Your DataComm System Handle Your Needs?

Posted by James Rockhill on Tue, Jan 19, 2016

0016.jpgIt used to be that if you heard someone talk about “data” you assumed they were in the software business. Not anymore! No matter what industry you’re in, your business runs on data—on information. It doesn’t matter if you’re in retail, construction, manufacturing, food service, finance, the medical industry, or software: you need reliable access to run your business effectively.

Another thing that’s changed over time is the systems that are required to handle all the data we use. There was a time when all you needed to do was to run a cable from one computer to another and you had your “network.” Today’s systems are a lot more complex—and require skill, training, and experience in order to install them properly.

At Berwick Electric, we employ qualified and experienced project managers with BICSI RCDD certification, as well as a team of highly trained technicians who are dedicated exclusively to data communications. Their training and experience enables them to come up with solutions for your unique industry requirements.  We also offer a wide range of data communication services that include: 

  • Fiber Optic Cabling Systems
  • CAT5E and CAT6 Structured Cabling
  • Systems Integration
  • Photovoltaic Wiring
  • Computer Cabling
  • Telephone Cabling
  • Voice and Data Cabling, Termination, and Testing
  • Intrusion Detection (Security)
  • Full Voice and Data Systems
  • Public Address Systems
  • Professional Sound Systems
  • Uninterruptible Power Systems

Our dedicated DataComm division can provide turnkey solutions that include full design, installation, and regular service of your communication systems.  And we’re constantly training and re-educating ourselves to keep abreast of the needs of a wide variety of industry applications.

So whether you’re building or remodeling a commercial property for yourself—or for tenants—we can help you be sure you’ve got the data communication systems in place that deliver what today’s businesses need to succeed.

Give us a call today at (719) 632-7683, or send us a note at for more information about how we can meet your specific DataComm needs.

 3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, commercial datacomm installation

When Is a Bargain Not a Bargain When Bidding a Commercial Electrical Job? The Hidden Costs of a Low Bid.

Posted by James Rockhill on Thu, Jan 07, 2016


Everybody loves a bargain. Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for products or services—even if you’re responsible for a huge commercial building or rebuilding project. Chances are you’ve got a tight budget to work with and if you can save a few dollars it takes a little of the pressure off.

There are times, however, when a “bargain” is really no bargain at all—especially when you’re involved in something as complex as installing the electrical system in a commercial building.

We’ve all heard that you get what you pay for. Quality doesn’t come cheap. And while pricing needs to be competitive, accepting a bid based on a low price alone can really come back to hurt you—especially when there is so much riding on  the results.

Safe and consistent power is essential for businesses, whether it’s your business that will be occupying the space you’re furnishing or whether you’re finishing the space for a tenant. If you have safety or quality issues with your electrical system, your business won’t function well.  Or if your tenant constantly has complaints about the system you had installed, he or she could easily move out. Either way, that costs you money. And chances are, it will cost you more than you saved on the low installation bid.

Of course, there’s also the issue of meeting codes. Electrical codes are complex—and they change all the time. The most recent National Electrical Code Handbook contains 1,270 pages!  You want to make sure you’re dealing with a company that knows how to install to those codes. In addition to safety concerns, you can end up paying hefty fines for non-compliance—and paying again to have your system brought up to code.

Generally speaking, the two biggest factors affecting the price of your electrical installation are materials and labor. Material costs aren’t going to vary that much from one supplier to another.  That means differences in pricing (for the most part) are going to come down to the people who install for you. Contractors who simply “run wire” for you are going to be cheaper than skilled and trained workers who make sure that the job is done right and that it’s up to code.  Berwick Electric's apprentices are required to complete a five (5) year program consisting of 250 hours per year of schooling and 8,000 hours on-the-job-training administered by our Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC.) The JATC also offers Journeymen Wireman (JW) upgrade training.

New Call-to-action

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, bids on commercial electrical work

Will Your Commercial Electrical Contractor Play Well with Others?

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Jan 01, 2016

Will-your-commercial-electrical-contractor-play-well-with-others_.jpgIt’s always a good idea to hire an expert for an important job. Sometimes, however, experts can be a little hard to work with because their knowledge and expertise can make them a bit unapproachable. They don’t really play well with others.

When you’re hiring an electrical contractor, you want to get the best around. You want someone with background, knowledge, and experience. But it’s important that you find a commercial electrical contractor who also plays well with others, and who understands that—while his or her work is absolutely critical, it’s part of a bigger plan.

We’ve been doing Commercial, DataComm, and Residential electrical installations since 1921; not only in the Colorado Springs area, but also nationally and even internationally. We know that nobody installs a sophisticated electrical system just so that they can show it off to their friends and colleagues. The electrical system has to work with the rest of your commercial building to deliver the power you need to run your business efficiently.

We also know that in order to make that happen, we need to work hand-in-glove with your general contractor as early in the planning process as possible. If we don’t, you won’t get the results your want. So we’re happy to bring our skill, knowledge, and experience to the table and work with others to achieve the best possible solution for you.

The general contractors we’ve worked with seem to appreciate that approach as well.

We had done several projects over the years in Colorado Springs and had heard very good things about Berwick Electric. It was our first experience working with them and they proved to us through the course of the project that they were the true professionals that we had heard about. They were the quiet, unsung heroes during the project.

Darrell Eastwood
Vice President, Operations
Saunders Construction, Inc

It’s all about working together to provide you with a superior overall experience in your commercial building. And besides—playing well with others is a lot more fun!

New Call-to-action  

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, work with general contractors, electrical installation experts

Does Your Commercial Electrical Contractor Make You Nervous—Or Confident?

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Dec 28, 2015

Does-your-commercial-electrical-contractor-make-you-nervous-or-confident_.jpgHiring an electrical contractor for your major commercial installation isn’t something you do everyday. And choosing between contractors isn’t always easy.

There may be pricing differences you have to take into consideration. And naturally, you’ll want to look at capability and experience. But sometimes there’s a more personal aspect involved in choosing the right commercial contractor—and it can come down to whether your potential contractor makes you feel nervous—or confident.

I’m not talking about personality traits. You don’t have to be best friends with your electrical contractor, but he or she should give you a sense of confidence that the work being done will be done safely and to the highest standards. Here are a couple of areas you can watch out for.

  • How Does Your Prospective Contractor Talk to You? When describing the job that needs to be done, does your contractor explain it to you in terms that make sense to you (without talking down to you)? Does your contractor describe things to you in terms of achieving your goals? Do you end up confident that the work will be done correctly, or are you nervous because you’ve heard a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo that makes no sense to you?
  • Does Your Potential Contractor Give You the Sense That He’s Been Down This Road a Time or Two? There is something very comforting about knowing that your contractor has experience doing what he’s about to undertake for you. Maybe it wasn’t the exact same specifications, but you don’t want a contractor scratching his head or saying, “Wow, we’ve never seen a project like this before!”
  • Does Your Prospective Contractor Get Defensive When You Ask Questions? I understand that there can sometimes be a fine line between asking questions about the process and (ultimately) trusting your contractor to do the job. At some point, you do need to let the electricians do the work they are trained to do. But a contractor who is unwilling to field honest, pertinent questions simply doesn’t inspire confidence.

For more than 90 years we’ve dealt with thousands of clients—both in the residential and commercial sector—and we know how important it is to have confidence in a professional contractor. That’s why we encourage potential clients to review what our clients say about working with us—and how we won their confidence.

 New Call-to-action

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, selecting the right electrical contractor, evaluating commercial electrical contractors

How Much Do You Need to Know About Electrical Systems In Order to Hire the Right Contractor?

Posted by James Rockhill on Wed, Dec 23, 2015


How much do you need to know in order to hire the right contractor?

The good news is that you don’t need a degree in electrical engineering to make a good choice. It is important that you understand what your requirements are and have a clear understanding of what you want to be able to do (from a power/data perspective) within your building. You’ll want to be able to clearly communicate that to your contractor, but it’s really not your job to figure out how to make it happen.

So how do you know if your contractor has the capability to deliver what you need? One way is to take a look at your prospective contractors’ certifications. You want a contractor with enough breadth and depth to handle all the facets your project requires. If your electrical installation requires a certain level of sophistication and expertise, you don’t want to hire a company that just runs wire or cable from point A to point B. You’ll want to make sure they have the training and certification to handle everything you’ll ask of them. Click here to take a look at  just some of our certifications.

Another way you can be sure to get the right contractor is to see if that contractor has done other projects similar in nature to what you have in mind.  For instance, if you’re looking for someone to install electrical systems for the medical field, you know that there are specific requirements and demands for that kind of work. So you’ll want to see other projects they’ve done in the medical arena.  In the same way, if you’re constructing something for the hospitality or restaurant business, you want to deal with someone who knows the ins outs of the hospitality and restaurant business—and all the demands that such a setting brings.

You don’t have to be an electrical expert to hire the right electrical contractor. But you want to make sure the company you hire has the experience, training, and certification to deliver what you want.

 3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, hiring commercial electrical contractor, help in choosing the right electrical contractor

How Do You Know if Your Electrical Contractor Has the Experience to Complete Your Complex Job?

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Dec 18, 2015

How-do-you-know-if-your-electrical-contractor-has-the-experience-to-complete-your-complex-job_.jpgEnthusiasm in business is a great attribute. It’s refreshing to come across a company with lots of energy and a “can do” spirit—until you realize (too late) that they really can’t do it because they simply don’t have the experience to tackle a complex job.

That’s especially true when it comes to electrical installations in commercial buildings—where a lack of knowledge and experience can have significant implications for both performance and safety.

At Berwick Electric, we’re still excited and enthusiastic about each new project we take on, but we also have a 90+-year track record of successful electrical installations that include everything from simple residential installations and repairs to extremely complex installations for medical facilities and data centers.  We definitely have the experience you’ll want for your complex project. And we have the commitment to safety that’s essential for any installation you have in mind.

Just because we’ve been around since 1921, however, doesn’t make us the right choice. We have the qualified personnel on staff, including: Master Electricians, Journeyman Electricians, Registered Apprentice Electricians, NICET (Fire Alarm), BiCSi (Tele Data), RCDD (Tele Data), AMP Certified Installer (Tele Data), and UL Certified Installer (Lightning Protection) who are ready to tackle the toughest projects.

But we know that technology never sleeps. That’s why we are committed to the latest education, certification, and qualifications in the industry. We’re proud of our history, but we’re not willing to rest on our laurels.

If you’re looking for enthusiasm that’s paired with experience, a commitment to safety, and an ongoing pursuit of new services and skills that can ensure you’ll get the kind of attention your complex electrical installation requires—give us a call.

 New Call-to-action

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, experienced electrical contractors, contractors for complex electrical jobs, choosing electrical contractors

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrical Company for Your Commercial Installation

Posted by James Rockhill on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

Hiring an electrical company for a major commercial installation isn’t something most people do every day. You’ll probably want to interview at least a couple of companies before you make your choice. And while you may have a number of electrical companies from which to choose, not all of them are created equal. How can you make sure you select the company that will deliver the solution you can depend on? Here are five questions you can ask to help you make your decision.

  1. How Long Have You Been in Business? Why does it matter how long a company has been around? The Colorado Springs area has always been a somewhat transient area. You want to make sure you’re dealing with a company that has been around enough to really know what they’re doing—one that has a reputation that’s allowed them to not only stay in business for generations, but to be recognized for excellence.
  1. Have You Done Installations of Similar Scope and Complexity? There is a huge difference between an electrical company that has run cable or done some smaller installations and a company that specializes in complex installations that require high levels of skill and training—the kind of installations that medical centers depend on.
  1. What Kind of Certification Do You Have? Certification in the field of electrical installation aren’t just letters to put after your company name. Certifications are an indication of a company’s commitment to ongoing training and adherence to safety and excellence.
  1. How is Your Safety Record? If a company doesn’t pay attention to the safety of their employees, how can you expect them to pay attention to the safety and security of your electrical system? When dealing with electrical systems, safety needs to be an integral part of how a company does business.
  1. Can You Provide Us with References? What a company says about itself is one thing, but what that company’s past clients say about them and the quality of their work is a whole different ballgame. It’s always a good idea to get and check references.

Hiring an electrical contractor is too important to leave to chance. Make sure you take the time to ask questions that will ensure you select the right contractor for your important project.


Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company

Keeping Up with Code: Why It Matters and Why You Don’t Want to Do It Yourself

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Nov 13, 2015

Electrical codes generally don’t get people too excited. Of course if your commercial building isn’t up to code and fails an inspection, you’ll have more than enough excitement on your hands. In addition to hefty fines, there’s even the possibility that your building won’t be able to be used. That can shut down your business—or your tenants’ businesses, and that’s not something you even want to think about.

Of course you could run into the same situation if you’re building a new structure or renovating an existing commercial structure. Fail the inspection and you or your tenants won’t be able to move in. The costs (both financially and to your reputation) can be formidable.

You could, of course, try to keep up with code yourself. You can order a softcover version of the 2014 NEC National Electrical Code (the most recent version of the code—adopted in all 50 states, including Colorado) for only $126.95. The NEC is one of the most widely used codes for the built environment in the world, and sets the standard for safe electrical installation and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards.

But then you’d need to actually read and understand all 910 pages of this book. That’s a pretty daunting and time-consuming endeavor in and of itself. But it’s not the end of the story. You’d also need the skill and expertise to actually perform the tasks that would allow your building to pass inspection.

You know that safety for your employees and tenants is extremely important. And it’s not just because you could face fines or lose business if you don’t pass inspection. Ensuring safety within your commercial building is simply the right thing to do.

Like you, we take safety very seriously. Ethical, safe, quality work is a top priority and is at the heart of our company culture. That’s why we stress the importance of keeping up with the latest education, certification, and qualifications in the industry. We have the knowledge, the expertise, and the skill to ensure that your building will be safe—and deliver the kind of consistent electrical service that your company and your tenants can depend on.

That’s why we’ve been asked to provide electrical service for projects ranging from the The Veterans Affairs Clinic to the The Broadmoor Fishing Camp.

We’d love to help you with your commercial electrical system needs. We keep up with the code so you don’t have to!

3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade  

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company

Safety: Why It Matters for Electrical Contractors—AND for You

Posted by James Rockhill on Wed, Oct 21, 2015

Many of us grew up hearing the admonition: “Safety first!” The message was clear: No matter what you might be doing, or how important the task, the number one priority was to take steps to be safe.

We all tend to take safety seriously on a personal level. Whether we’re purchasing an automobile or a car seat for a child—we check out the safety ratings before making a purchase. 

Businesses take safety seriously as well. There are websites devoted to the topic of business safety. There’s even one site we discovered that boast more than 1,000 slogans to promote safety! You may have been on construction sites or in a manufacturing facility and seen signs that proudly proclaim: “256 Days Without An Accident!”

At Berwick Electric, we take safety very seriously as well. That’s probably one reason we’ve gone more than eight years and 1.7 million man-hours without time lost due to an injury. That’s a pretty amazing statistic, but what does that mean for you?

First of all, it means we’re paying attention to details when we’re performing an installation for you. The attention to safety details is an indication of our overall approach to the work we do. We plan carefully, we use the right materials and equipment for the job, and we employ workers who take their job seriously. We believe that means you get an excellent installation.

Our focus on safety extends to your safety as well. Electricity is a powerful tool when it’s used properly. Your business depends on it. But improperly designed or installed systems can pose a serious threat—not only to your business, but also to the well being of your employees.

Berwick Electric has long been recognized for our commitment to safety. You can click here for a list of the awards we’ve won. But for us, it’s not about winning awards—it’s about doing the job right from the design, through the installation process, to the completed project. The right design, coupled with the right materials installed by highly trained individuals results in a system that functions safely and effectively. And that allows your business to be more effective and gives you peace of mind that your employees are working in a safe environment.

 New Call-to-action

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company

Design-Build: Why It Matters for Your New Construction or Renovation

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Oct 19, 2015

If you’re building a new commercial facility—or renovating existing business space—one of the key elements of that process is your electrical system. There’s a lot more to getting a reliable, safe, and robust electrical system, however, than just “running wire” from a power source to the outlets. 

What you really want (and need) is a system that’s designed to meet your current requirements—and can be adapted and expanded as your needs change and grow. Businesses today rely on consistent, quality power supply that’s capable of delivering exactly what they need. To make sure that happens, you need to take a look at much more than just the number of outlets that are being installed.

That’s one reason design-build and design assist projects are such a big part of Berwick Electric’s construction portfolio. We partner with you, the engineers, and your construction team during the pre-construction phase to contribute our expertise in planning and cost estimating to develop “best-value” solutions.

We use computer-assisted design (CAD) and the appropriate engineer interface to develop the project concept and refine project plans to meet your exact specifications. Design-build and design-assist are excellent ways to expedite the construction process and deliver projects that meet your critical electrical standards within your budget and schedule.

One of the advantages for you is that the same people who design your system are the ones who install it—making for a much smoother and trouble-free process. It helps eliminate confusion, delays—and the finger pointing that can occur when contractors have conflicting agendas. You end up with a better solution, less stress, and a better chance of sticking to your schedule and your budget.

That approach has delivered great results for our clients over the years. We invite you to check out a couple of our recent projects to get an idea of our capabilities. We’d love to design and build a great electrical system that meets (and exceeds) your business expectations!

3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade

Topics: Colorado Commercial Electrical Company