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Bronco Electric Blog

5 Steps for Effectively Planning Your Commercial Renovations or Tenant Improvements

Any type of renovation or improvement needs to be carefully considered and planned out before the work can be done or you may find yourself doing work that doesn’t exactly fit your current or future needs. We want to keep you from living a nightmare and doing work that doesn’t need to be done or not doing something that you should. 
Here are 5 steps for effectively planning your commercial renovations or tenant improvements:

Identify All Your Goals

As mentioned above, you should know exactly what you need before you do any type of work. There are a few questions that you can ask yourself to assist with this process including:

What issues do I need this renovation or improvement to solve?
What is my current budget?
Who will I need to work with to accomplish my goals?
What new technologies can I incorporate into the renovations and improvements?


Get a Team Together

No one person can do all the work on any project, which is why you will need to get a team together. A designer, contractor, and numerous subcontractors including an electrician will make up the team of people that you choose. Most of the subcontractors will do the work that they specialize in, so that all those jobs are done correctly. After all, you are not going to want an electrician hanging drywall or a drywall expert running wires. 

Create a Plan

Everyone needs a plan when they are working on a project and you may need to do some research in order to determine any issues that you may face as the work is being completed. If you can figure out the answers to any questions that you may have before you need them, the work will continue faster than if you need to stop and do the research later. This is also the time to determine how old all the mechanical and electrical systems are and the qualities of the existing utilities. 

Create a Schedule that is Realistic

You may want all the renovations and improvements done in a few days, but that isn’t a realistic expectation. Instead, we urge you to create a schedule that gets the work done in a timely manner, while also scheduling in additional time for little issues that may pop up along the way. You may want to allow extra time in the schedule too for the additional electrical work that may need to be done, especially if you are installing or updating surveillance cameras. 

Prepare Two Budgets

We always say that everyone needs two different budgets, which is why we always tell people to take a portion of their original budget and set it aside. That smaller budget can then be used to pay for any issues that arise during the work. 
Your commercial renovations and tenant improvements will go much more smoothly if you follow these five steps before you begin the work. It may seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but you will be happy with all the time you save later on. 

Oct 31 2018

How to Know When to Upgrade or Replace Your Home’s Electrical System

Many older homes in Bakersfield were built in the 1960s or earlier. These homes may have serious hidden electrical hazards. Don’t let that scare you too much, because each home is different. We aren’t screaming that the sky is falling; just giving you something to consider. Today we want to tell you how to know when your home’s electrical system needs to be updated or replaced. 
Homes Built between 1950 and 1980 May Need Attention 

Age and Condition: Circuit breakers have a life of about 25-40 years under the best of conditions. If you notice any discoloration or age-related issues with your circuit breakers, it’s time to give the electrical panel some attention.
Circuit Breakers Trip: We’ve all overloaded a breaker from time to time, but this really becomes a problem with older homes. 
Dimming Lights: Your electrical system shouldn’t have a problem running everything in your home. If you notice lights dim when you turn on the hair dryer or the vacuum cleaner, give us a call so we can make sure everything is okay.
Power Strips: Older homes don’t have enough electrical outlets to meet the demands of today’s family. You shouldn’t have to use power strips or extension cords to create more outlets in your home. This also runs the risk of tripping the breaker or overloading the outlet and causing an electrical fire. 

Benefits of Newer Electrical Panels
Older homes generally have lower amperage panels than those we use today. Today’s households use a lot of heat-producing appliances such as hair dryers, straightening irons, curling irons, and a variety of other electrical items. These items need a higher amperage electrical panel than those you generally find in older homes. 

Homes built or remodeled past 1980 are probably up to code as far as the national building codes are concerned. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the electrical panel in the home can effectively handle the pressure the household puts on it. Give us a call if you’re concerned that your electrical panel isn’t quite doing the job. We’ll check it out and give you our professional opinion.

Posted by: Admin 

Aug 30 2018

Make Sure Your Office is Properly Connected and Ready for Business in Today’s World

Let’s talk business in today’s world and how things have changed in previous years. 30 years ago, businesses didn’t have internet; can you imagine working and maintaining your business today without full connectivity? The first internet connectivity included a phone line and a modem. Some of us remember the screeching sound and connecting that dial-up modem very well. 
Today, however, we can do a lot of our business on our phone. Small business owners can deal with meetings via video chat as well as maintain our schedule from the convenience of our cell phone. Most companies today require a solid connection to the internet in order to properly function. Everyone from large-scale data centers to hospitals, churches, and other office buildings need connectivity in order to thrive in today’s busy world. 
Here are a few ways we can help you make sure that your company is ready for business: 

Tenant Improvements: We are involved in every stage of tenant improvements from design to construction, and of course wiring and cabling. 
Electrical Design: Every company has unique electrical needs; otherwise every office would be a cookie-cutter copy of the next. 
Data and Telecom Design: Telecom has come a long way in recent years. We will help you design the best system for your company’s needs. 
Fiber Optics Design: Fiber optic internet availability is expanding into many cities. We will design the most effective way to access fiber optics and help keep your company on the leading edge of technology.
Fire Alarm Design and Installation: Keep your employees and your company safe with a custom designed fire alarm system.
Perimeter Detection: Motion detecting lighting and cameras help employees who work late and deter criminals who don’t wish to be caught on camera. 
Surveillance and Alarm System: Surveillance and alarm systems go hand-in-hand with perimeter detection systems in protecting your employees, your business, and your property.

The Short Story

We’re certified contractors and electricians and we can help you design, build, and wire your business from top to bottom. We’ll ensure that your phone system is properly designed and implemented to handle today’s workloads and that your internet connection can effectively pass all the traffic your company needs to pass. We’ll customize lighting for each area of the office so every area has ample lighting for jobs that need to be done.

Posted by: Admin 

Aug 30 2018

Coming Soon!

Watch this space for our upcoming blog!

Safety Tips for Using Outdoor Outlets Safely

Outdoor outlets can be a lifesaver when you are entertaining, displaying holiday lights, or even doing home improvement projects. However, those same outlets are a disaster waiting to happen. Did you know that outdoor outlets can become damaged over time? And that those damaged outlets can cause you or your family to be electrocuted? 
They can also start a fire unexpectedly!
Here are 4 safety tips for using your outdoor outlets safely:

Inspect them regularly

Looking at your outdoor outlets regularly will allow you to notice deterioration and other damage before it becomes too late. If you see any wires sticking out, missing pieces, sparks, or anything else that doesn’t seem normal, it is time to stop using the outlet and call an electrician. 

Make sure you have weatherproofed outlets installed

Not any type of outlet can be installed outside and if you are not sure if yours are suitable for any type of weather, you should have them replaced immediately. According to the national codes, any outlet that is placed outside must have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or a GCFI. This feature will instantly interrupt the electricity flow if anything comes into contact with water. You should be familiar with a GCFI, because you should also have them in any of the rooms in your home where there is water. 

Utilize proper extension cords

You might think that you can take an indoor extension cord and use it to plug in your holiday lights outside, but that would be like waiting for disaster to hit! We recommend only using outdoor extension cords with your outdoor outlets, because they have more insulation to protect them from the sun, moisture, and even the fluctuating temperatures. You should be able to tell the difference between the two cords, because those designed for indoor use have two prongs, while outdoor extension cords have three prongs. 

Cover your outlets

All your outdoor outlets should have metal or plastic covers to keep them dry and away from the elements. You should also make sure that all the wires are tucked beneath the cover, so that they do not get wet either. 
We don’t want you to stop using your outdoor outlets, but we do want to make sure that you are safe when you do. If you are unsure about any part of your outdoor outlets, give a professional electrician a call so they can inspect them and let you know if they are safe to use. 


What You Need to Know about Charging Your Car at Home

Electric cars are becoming more popular, but some people like yourself are shying away from purchasing them. The reason for that is that you have no clue what you need to be able to charge your car at home. And, if you can’t charge your car at home for some reason, what good would it be to own an electric car? 
So much to worry about, but we are going to get you the answers that you need, so you can stop hesitating over a car purchase. 
The first thing that you will need to know is that almost every electric car that is sold can be charged using a standard 120-volt wall socket. This is normally considered a Level One charging and can take a long time to do. Therefore, we recommend that you at least install a 220-volt wall socket, so you can have a Level Two charging station for faster results. 
An EVSE, or Electric Vehicle Service Equipment, is your best option for charging your electric vehicle though. The EVSE is a box, cord, and plug that mounts to the wall near where you park your car. This type of charger will cut your charging time in half while giving you important information. In fact, it can also turn the electricity supply to the car on and off, let you know how much electricity is available currently in your vehicle, and ensure that there are no electrical problems. 
The best part about EVSEs is that they can provide you with daily usage reports to allow you to determine how much money you are saving by using this vehicle. 
The features that you need to look for in an EVSE are a 30-amp service, a good-sized charging cable, and excellent connectivity. The 30-amp service will allow you to add thirty miles of range in approximately an hour, while the charging cable will need to easily reach where you plan on parking your car. As for the connectivity, this is ideal so that you can control your EVSE without needing to be home or outside. Instead, you can do it from a mobile app on your phone from wherever you are. 

We do recommend that you call an electrician to install your EVSE, because even though they are easy to do, electricity is involved. We don’t want you or anyone else to take a chance with something you are not familiar with, when there are plenty of experienced electricians that can do it without electrocuting themselves or their family. 

Understanding a Commercial Energy Audit and How it Can Increase Energy Efficiency

Commercial energy audits can be quite helpful in improving the energy efficiency of your building, and those improvements will bring your energy bills to an all-time low. Your commercial energy audits will include a utility bill analysis, a survey of the property, and diagnostic testing. Once all the data is gathered, you can use that information to see what changes you need to make to save energy. 
The recommendations from those audits are normally divided into two sections of energy efficient measures. The first energy efficient measures are changes that will pay for themselves within five years, while the second group are changes that will take more than five years to cover the costs. 
The energy efficient measures that take the least amount of time to pay off include:

Lamp replacement, de-lamping, and lighting retrofits
Installing variable speed drives to all fans and pumps
Repairs, enhancements, and control changes
Daylight controls as applicable

Some of the biggest savings will be seen from the second group of energy efficient measures which include:

Upgrading to ENERGY STAR products
Replace the chillers and boilers within a central plant
Replace HVAC units with higher efficiency models
Take a constant air volume system and change it to a variable air volume system
Rewire lighting systems

Commercial business owners like you will need to decide which of the above energy efficient measures they are willing to pay for and implement, as they are trying to save energy and lowering their energy bills. This might be a difficult decision for you to make, because you may be hesitant to spend money if you are skeptical on how much you will save later on. 
However, the benefits of increasing energy efficiency are more than saving money. The operations within your building will improve due to the new modern technologies and everyone will be more efficient while performing their jobs. You will also lower the amount of carbon emissions that you are sending out into the environment. You may not see how that benefits you right now, but it is definitely something that benefits everyone in the world, now and in the future. 
You should also understand that you will only see the full benefits of increasing your energy efficiency if you make the changes to all the recommendations. If you only do one or two, then you are not going to see the results that you desire.