2016 Electrical and Power Study: Six key findings
Respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Electrical and Power Study identified six high-level findings impacting the electrical and power industries today:
- Electrical, power revenue: The average engineering firm specifies about $2.8 million annually for electrical and power systems in new and existing building projects; 15% of these firms specify $500,001 to $750,000 in these systems, up from only 8% in 2015.
- Systems specified: Seven in 10 engineers currently specify circuit breakers and fuses, emergency and standby power, transformers, electrical distribution, and cable/wire systems or equipment. Renewable energy systems have gained some popularity, having been specified by 35% of engineers in 2015 to 42% in 2016.
- Selection involvement: Seventy-five percent of respondents are responsible for determining requirements/writing specifications for electrical or power systems. Another 67% supervise or consult on projects, while 63% research and evaluate options.
- Specifications: Twenty-nine percent of respondents always write performance electrical or power specifications, and another 52% frequently write this type of specification. The regularity of writing open (proprietary) specifications has declined from 65% to 58% over the past year.
- Building structures: The top three building types for which respondents specify, design, or make product selections are office buildings (56%), industrial/manufacturing facilities/warehouses (56%), and educational facilities (48%).
- Critical issues: The constant struggles with budgets/costs, the lack of a skilled workforce, designing for energy efficiency, and keeping up-to-date on new technologies are critical challenges/issues affecting the future of electrical or power system design.