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Electrical Contractors Increase Revenues in 2011

Linda Hardesty

In its annual ranking of the top 50 electrical contractors, EC&M named Emcor Group of Norwalk, Conn., as number one with annual revenues of $1.7 billion. Following Emcor are: Rosendin Electric of San Jose, Calif., MYR Group of Rolling Meadows, Ill, MC Dean of Dulles, Va., and Cupertino Electric, San Jose, Calif. According to EC&M, the primary factors that affected electrical contractors’ ability to increase business were market sectors and geographic areas in which they worked. Data centers provided a growth sector, as did industrial and institutional. But government projects remained flat, with the exception of funding for renewable energy and smart-grid projects.

Fifth ranked Cupertino Electric, for example, which saw a dramatic growth spurt of 69.8 percent in revenue for electrical and datacom services, attributes its expansion to data center projects, as well as the electric utility market, including both traditional and alternative energy sources.

Emcor Group President and CEO Tony Guzzi attributed the company’s strong 2011, resulting in its number one ranking, to solid growth in the facilities services and industrial segments.

While electrical companies didn’t grow as much as they might like, the 50 firms on EC&M’s list increased revenues 7.6 percent, with total revenue of $12.8 billion in 2011 for electrical and datacom services, compared to $11.9 billion generated in 2010 by the firms on that year’s list.

In other electrical contractor news, a survey from Electrical Contractor Magazine found that contractors around the country now rank brand availability – over price – as their top reason for original brand selection.

The biannual survey found that:

  • 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 percent say their level of influence is “medium;” 36 percent say their level is “high”
  • About 20 percent of electrical contractors say they currently use Building Information Modeling, and that on average, it is used on about 6 percent of projects
  • 15 percent of larger firms work on electric vehicle charging stations; 13 percent on smart grid technology


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