The Electrical Blog

How Solar is Impacting Colorado Springs Commercial Electrical Market

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Nov 02, 2015

Colorado Springs gets an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, making it a prime area for an explosion of solar power growth. Colorado consistently hits the top 10 list of states with the most solar installations per capita, and Colorado Springs are among those cities leading the charge. The state legislature has enacted regulations requiring utilities to use 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, making solar the most viable alternative in new commercial electrical installations. Regulations are only the beginning, though. City, state, and federal governments are all offering incentives to business owners for installing photovoltaic cells and otherwise becoming involved in the solar energy movement. 

New Employment Prospects
Solar installation in Colorado Springs is seeing exponential growth, and it shows no signs of stopping. One of the largest growing industries in the building trades today is solar energy installation technology. Commercial electrical contractors have been getting special training to learn to install these green technology power sources. With waiting lists for new buildings growing longer all the time, solar energy installers are in high demand throughout the city as well as the state.

Incentive Programs

As governments continue to offer incentive programs and tax breaks to customers who install solar power cells on their buildings, the percentage of businesses that save money with green power is growing. Colorado Springs alone has four different programs for varying solar setups. Add to the totals offered by the state of Colorado and the federal government, business owners can't help but take a serious look at converting their older power systems, and those with new building projects are making solar a standard in many communities.

Solar Gardens

Taking the idea of individual solar cells even further, solar gardens are a connected group of homes and businesses that share in the savings from a grid array of solar cells. Each member of the group receives a credit on their power bills, even if their building was in the shade for much of the time. Some solar gardens are being used to run municipal buildings or to give business communities a virtual group discount on their electrical bill. Solar gardens share in the installation costs, and reap the rewards for years afterward.

Passive Designs

Using solar power doesn't always have to mean installing photovoltaic cells and wiring them to a battery bank in the basement. A growing movement among electrical contractors is to work with builders to create passive solar designs that affect the heat flow in a building. The direction a building's largest windows face, the color of the building's paint, and even the landscaping can all affect the amount and type of wiring needed when installing a new system into a commercial building. Varied companies in the building trades are cooperating more, subcontracting to create more efficient buildings.

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Topics: commercial electrical contractors

Getting the Job Done: Why Choose a Commercial Electrical Contractor in Colorado Springs Who Works on Weekends

Posted by James Rockhill on Sat, Sep 26, 2015

You're busy and so is your business, and you can't afford to shut your doors for longer than absolutely necessary. For many businesses the weekends are the slow time, making Saturday and Sunday the perfect days to have a commercial electrical contractor come in to do the work. Unfortunately, contracting can often be a weekday job, and finding a good contractor to come in on the weekends can be something like looking for buried treasure. Finding a contractor who works weekends doesn't just benefit you by allowing you to choose your days to shut down. There are other benefits, as well.

Easy to Work With

A contractor who is willing to come in on what some people consider a normal day off is someone who presents himself as willing to compromise. He's able to meet you halfway when it comes to business matters instead of setting rigid rules for the way he's willing to work. He'll be more open to creative ideas and alternate choices when it comes to the planning stage of your project, and may be more innovative in his design ideas. A contractor with an open mind about weekend work may be more likely to have an open mind about other parts of his business.


Most people who insist on having weekends off keep that time separate for leisure activities. Having hobbies and activities outside of work makes you a well-rounded person, but a contractor who's willing to rearrange his fun time to accommodate clients is one who puts a great deal of importance on the goodwill of those clients. If he's willing to treat you as a priority in his schedule, it's likely that he'll take care when doing work on your business. Extended working hours may cost a little more, but it shows that he's sensitive to your business needs and puts them above his own, if need be.


When he gets the job done faster, your business is closed for fewer days. If he's willing to work weekends for your convenience, he may also be open to working a crew at night for a premium, if getting the job done more quickly is your priority. You'll save money in the long run when you're up and running days earlier, so it's worth exploring the subject with your contractor.


Contractors who are set in their ways don't like to work outside the box. They work set hours, do certain kinds of work, and never take a chance at doing anything new. While you'll get very solid workmanship out of this company, you'll have a hard time getting him to innovate or get creative when it comes to figuring alternate ways of doing parts of your project. If you're looking for rooms with combined usage or simply a renovation with the latest green technology, a contractor who's open to working alternate hours will probably be open to alternate ideas. There's no guarantee, but the signs are in your favor that you'll end up with a more satisfying work relationship with a contractor who's willing to break some of the unwritten rules of his craft.


Topics: commercial electrical contractors, weekend electrical help Colorado Springs

4 Reasons to Use a Financially Stable Commercial Electrical Contractor in Colorado Springs

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Sep 21, 2015

4-reasons-to-use-a-financially-stable-commercial-electrical-contractor-in-colorado-springsHiring a commercial electrical contractor can be a stressful situation. Doing your due diligence and checking for recommendations from local businesses can reduce the tension in the situation, but you're still hiring someone to do hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of work on your business. Give yourself an extra bit of security by doing a background check on the potential contractors by contacting your local Better Business Bureau (its free!). Finding out if they're financially stable might help seal the deal in a number of different ways.


If a contractor has a history of paying his bills on time and not running up a lot of debt, he's usually an honest business person. It’s contractors that renege on their promises and don't do the work that end up getting sued, causing them financial worries from bad settlements. If someone is upfront with their financial dealings, he's usually honest with his clients in the rest of his business life.


Contractors need credit in order to get tools and supplies to do the work they do. It's crucial that your commercial contractor has good credit with a number of different vendors or you may be stuck with long delays while he finds the money to pay cash at the: 

  • Home improvement store
  • Online parts supplier
  • Electrical supply shop
  • Local tool shops 

Be aware that if your contractor fails to pay his vendors, electricians or their subcontractors, you may be faced with liens placed against your property - potentially forcing you pay them in addition to what you already paid the contractor. Another important consideration is that the contractor is properly insured to protect you from a possible law suit if a worker is injured on your project.


A contractor who pays his bills and doesn't have financial judgments against him is one you're more likely to be able to trust. He sticks with his word, and does the job he was hired to do. Even more than reviews from random past clients, this may be the one factor that's the most important when it comes to trusting a contractor with your business. You want the work done quickly and efficiently so you can get open again, and finding someone you trust to do this is the first step in getting the job done.


Topics: commercial electrical contractors, Colorado Springs electrical, finding a contractor

How Insulation and Air Sealing Boosts Your Commercial Electrical Savings in Colorado Springs

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Sep 18, 2015

how-insulation-and-air-sealing-boosts-your-commercial-electrical-savings-in-colorado-springsIt's very easy for energy dollars to fly out of your business if you haven't insulated your building correctly. You can keep your windows and doors closed, adjust your thermostat to the most efficient level, and even buy energy efficient appliances, but the greatest power loss you'll have is heating and air conditioning leaking through insulation cracks in the building. Beef up your R factor to keep in more of the air you've already heated or cooled, and you'll see a big difference in your monthly power bill.

How Insulation Saves Money

Your HVAC system heats or cools the air inside your building, depending on the season, to a comfortable level for a workplace. Every time the air temperature inside rises or lowers, the system will go on until the air temperature has been stabilized again. The better your insulation and air sealing in the building, the longer your air will stay the same temperature. If you've got cold air leaking in around your windows or heat baking the upper floors of the building, your system will have to work that much harder to get the air inside back to a comfortable lever. And every time it has to do that, it costs you more money.

How to Find Air Sealing Leaks

Temperature changes can occur any time the weather outside is extreme, but windy days are the worst. Fortunately, they're the best days for finding out exactly where the leaks are happening in your building. Light a stick of smoky incense and walk around inside the building. Hold the stick near the edges of your windows, around the doorjamb, near the ceiling, and near any spot where wiring or ductwork comes through the wall from the outside. Every place that has an air leak will make the delicate smoke from the incense stick waver or blow around. Each of these spots is a place where you need to add insulation or improve your air sealing methods.

Most Common Air Leak Spots

Air leaks happen most often when two materials are joined on an outside wall. When windows are installed, doors are put into place, or ducts are fitted, a tiny amount of space might be left where air can transfer from the outdoors inside. Some of the most common are: 

  • Doors and windows that need caulking and weather-stripping on the outside edges
  • Breaks in walls where ducts or electric wiring have gone through
  • Around electrical outlets and switch plates
  • Single pane windows
  • Exhaust fans 

For most leaks, simple weather-stripping or foam sealant will do the job. Check with your electrical contractor for more elaborate jobs.

If you've got a working fireplace, you may be leaking a large amount of air through a damaged flue. Fireplaces are already great consumers of electrical power, because they're impossible to seal airtight, but damage to the flue pipe can mean even more heat or air conditioning lost through the roof. 

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Topics: commercial electrical contractors, energy savings, insulation values

Limiting Your Liability: Electrical Issues for Commercial Properties

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Sep 14, 2015

Limiting-your-liability-electrical-safety-for-commercial-propertiesIf you lease commercial property to another business, liability for electrical safety may be the last thing on your mind. You’ve got plenty of other issues to deal with, including heating, air conditioning, lighting, and general maintenance. And while you surely care about the safety of your building’s occupants—it’s something that’s easy to take for granted . . . until something happens. 

Then you can have a serious problem on your hands. If someone is injured on the job because of faulty electrical work you could be facing huge consequences—especially in today’s litigious environment. 

It’s not just lawsuits for personal injury you have to worry about either. If a business isn’t able to perform properly because of an inadequate or unsafe electrical system, you could be on the hook for loss of income as well. So how do you limit your liability—and ensure the safety of your tenants? Here are a few simple steps you can take. 

  • Perform Regular Inspections: A qualified electrician can test your system for potential overloading, improper wiring, faulty connections, possible hazards, and code violations. Your electrician can then summarize anything that needs to be addressed and provide you with an accurate estimate of what repairs or fixes will cost.   
  • Install Emergency Lighting: It’s easy to assume that emergency lighting is in place, but you should make sure you have a back-up plan for safe evacuation of tenants if your building’s electric service fails —for whatever reason. Emergency lighting should automatically kick in even during power outages and provide tenants with safe egress. Again, this is something your electrician can set up for you and test on a regular basis. 
  • Perform Simple Safety Checks Yourself: Sometimes you really don’t need an electrician to perform some safety checks. A good commercial electrical company can bring you up to speed on simple checks you can perform yourself to ensure your safety. 
  • Set Up Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors are an inexpensive way to add another layer of safety. And many newer detectors also check for the presence of CO2 as well. Of course they only “detect” when they’re working properly. So even if you have smoke detectors installed make sure they’re tested regularly and powered. 

If you’re taking over a new building, or if you’re just not sure about the status of the electrical system in an existing building, it just may make sense to have a certified electrician evaluate your building. It only takes a little time and money to limit a great deal of liability.

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Topics: commercial electrical contractors, Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, liabilities for commercial property owners

When “Good Enough” Isn’t Good Enough: Penrose St. Francis Medical Center

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Aug 10, 2015

when-good-enough-isnt-good-enough-penrose-st-francis-medical-centerFrankly, we think “Good Enough” is unacceptable in any situation, but there are certain instances where a lack of attention to detail and quality can have dramatic—life-impacting—consequences. Healthcare is one of those industries, in which “good enough” simply isn’t good enough. Things have to be done properly and expertly, or there can be disastrous consequences. 

That’s one reason Berwick Electric was selected to install the electrical system for the Penrose St. Francis Medical Center.  This is a place where people’s livelihoods—and lives—depend on reliable, uninterrupted electrical service. 

There was, of course, a lot more involved than simply “running electrical lines” and installing outlets. This six-story facility encompasses nearly 465,000 square feet of space, including the full-service, 522-bed acute care facility. This was a major project with many intricate and interacting parts that included a Central Utility Plant (CUP), four floors of medical facilities, and mechanical areas located on both the fourth and sixth floors. 

The hospital required three 4000 amp 480 volt services with an emergency system consisting of 8000 amp 480 volt paralleling switch gear, two 1500 KW generators, future for two generators, automatic transfer switches, switchgear and distribution. 

There is, of course, more to the hospital than just operation theaters and patient rooms. The facility also includes a 4,000-square-foot commercial kitchen, and a 5,000 square foot dining room. 

If you have an electrical installation project that’s large, complicated, or simply needs to be done right because “good enough” just isn’t good enough for your needs, we’d love to help you out. We don’t believe it’s good enough until it meets our exacting standards and requirements—and you’re happy with the end result. 

Here’s a snippet of what the Project Manager said about the work completed: “Berwick Electric’s workmanship and attention to detail on this project, as well as meeting strict schedule and budget constraints, was unparalleled! It was a pleasure to be able to work with them and hope to do so again in the very near future!

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Topics: commercial electrical contractors, Colorado Commercial Electrical Company, Exceptional commercial electrical services