by Erika Shaughnessy, Product Manager, Wiremold
After a tumultuous year full of unprecedented circumstances, the trends in the electrical industry have undoubtedly changed. The year 2020 brought massive changes to the commercial landscape, making it more important than ever for electrical contractors to stay up to date with the latest and seemingly ever-changing trends across the industry. As we begin 2021, Erika Shaughnessy, Product Manager, Wiremold, shares her insights on the top trends that will shape the electrical industry this year. From ensuring buildings are set for the future to implementing smart, flexible devices, these trends reflect an increased consumer craving for safe spaces that provide power, security and convenience.
Commercial Renovations – Before 2020, facility upgrades qualified for tax deductions but to reap the full benefits, facility managers would have to claim a 2.5% write off each year for up to 39 years. With the passing of the 2020 CARES Act, facility managers can write off 100% of qualifying facility improvement costs in the first year. Because of this new rule, there’s likely to be a huge boom in commercial renovations, so facility managers should reach out to their tax advisors to check if their projects qualify. A few improvements that qualify for the tax deduction are the installation of standard rack power strips, uninterruptible power supplies and modular power revitalization services.
Flexible Power – With more people returning to schools and offices after working from home for much of 2020, it’s crucial for the workplace to follow standard health and safety protocols such as social distancing and providing adequate sanitation measures. While workstations should be stationed at least six feet apart, it can be a challenge to provide seamless power solutions throughout the office. The experts at Legrand recommend implementing flexible power solutions like the Wiremold ModPower™ System, the first code compliant modular power system that allows for six-feet of separation and can connect up to six separate units to bring power where it’s needed.
Industrial Productivity – Efficiency is key at work, home and school, and the same goes for industrial and commercial spaces. Installing the proper electrical infrastructure system can have a huge impact on the efficiency and productivity of a workplace. In addition, the benefits of a well-designed electrical infrastructure include lower initial and maintenance costs, plus a boost to facility and worker safety. Open cable management systems like ladder tray and wire mesh cable management systems are two easy options to consider when designing a factory floor or other commercial space. They are easy to install and add flexibility and greater functionality with an open system that allows for better access to electrical infrastructure.
Because of the unexpected events of 2020, it might still be too early to accurately predict the large scope of changes to come to the electrical industry. As our lives slowly adjust to the new normal, so will our needs for power and infrastructure in commercial spaces—particularly as more offices reopen. It’s crucial for electrical contractors and facility managers to create spaces with flexible power options and stay up-to-date on the products and solutions that can make spaces more safe and efficient in 2021 and for years to come.
Erika Shaughnessy is a product manager for Legrand’s Wiremold business and leader of the new technology initiative. She focuses on bringing power to new and existing spaces with advanced technology and product innovation. She specializes in solutions that increase collaboration, enhance productivity and maximize guest engagement in a variety of commercial spaces, including retail and hospitality. Erika has been with Legrand for over five years.