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Top 5 considerations when comparing electrical quotes

Budget is always a factor when you’re considering any type of upgrade, revamp, or maintenance work within your factory.

But when it comes to electrical work, you have to consider more than just money. Don’t rush into accepting the cheapest electrical quotes without knowing exactly what you’re getting.

Electrical work is not an area where you want to cut corners. Shoddy electrical work could be extremely costly later down the line. Worse still, it puts you and your teams at risk – an electrical fire or shock could result in loss of life.

So if you are in the process of sourcing prices for electrical work, here are five things to consider when comparing electrical quotes.

Scope of work and cost breakdown

When you’re comparing electrical quotes, the first thing to check is whether they are like for like. This one is obvious when you think about it, but it’s something that catches a lot of people out.

Ensure you understand the scope of electrical work outlined in each quote and that all necessary tasks and components are included in the quotes to avoid discrepancies later on.

If necessary, request a detailed breakdown of costs, including labour, materials, parts, permits, reports, and any additional charges or third-party costs (such as hiring scaffold towers). This will highlight anything that is included in one quote but not another.

You might also want to consider the proposed timeline for completing the electrical project. A smaller team may take longer to complete work, meaning longer periods of disruption and machine downtime. Assess the contractor's ability to meet deadlines and milestones outlined in the project schedule.

Approach to work

When you’re sourcing electrical quotes, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the contractor plans to approach the project. One quote might be coming out much cheaper than the others because the contractor is scrimping on safety.

If work is going to be carried out while the factory is in operation, what safety precautions will be in place? If contractors are working at height, what equipment will they be using?

If machine downtime is required, how can this be minimised? Can work be phased to minimise disruption? If downtime is unavoidable, are there other works that can be carried out at the same time to reduce future disruptions?

Ask contractors to offer ideas, recommendations and guidance – a good contractor should be working with you to find the best and most cost-effective solutions. Find out what else they can offer.


Credentials, experience and reputation

Again, this may sound obvious, but not all contractors will have the same levels of experience, insurance or qualifications.

As a minimum, you should check that any companies providing quotes have adequate insurance and that their licenses and accreditations are up to date.

You should also consider the contractor’s previous experience handling similar projects or working within your sector. Carrying out electrical work in domestic properties is very different to taking on a complex project in a manufacturing facility. Ask for case studies, check out client reviews, and speak to past or current clients (if possible) to ensure the company is reputable and competent.

Evaluate the contractor's communication style and responsiveness during the quoting process – this could be an indication of what to expect. Customer service might not be your biggest concern, but it’s nice to have someone who communicates effectively, turns up on time, and gets back to you quickly.

You will also need to account for any specialist project requirements. For example, will your contractor need to work at height – do they have adequate training? Will any work be required in hazardous areas – are your contractors CompEx accredited?

If it turns out your chosen contractor can’t complete the work effectively, you could end up out of pocket. Get the right person for the job from the start.


Contract terms, warranties and guarantees

What are the payment terms? Does the quote cover all the work? Will there be any follow-up work required that hasn’t been quoted for?

Does the work come with a guarantee, or will you be required to pay additional fees if anything goes wrong? What warranties are offered on any new or replacement installations or parts?

If ongoing servicing is required, what are the fees? And what are the terms of any ongoing contracts? Is emergency call-out covered or does this come with additional charges? How often will your contractor visit? What checks will they do? Are small repairs covered in the service agreement?

It might seem like you’re getting a great deal on the initial installation, but if the ongoing service agreement is overpriced or inadequate, it will work out more expensive long-term.


Environmental considerations

Manufacturers are under pressure to reduce carbon emissions, so it makes sense to use environmentally responsible suppliers.

Ask your potential contractors about their green credentials. Ask them how they can help you reduce your carbon footprint. How can they help your factory become more energy efficient? What solutions can they recommend for minimising energy consumption?

When you’re reviewing quotes, it’s important to understand the efficiency of the solutions your contractors are recommending. The more expensive solution may be significantly more energy efficient, meaning lower running costs and lower emissions.

A good contractor should talk you through the different options (where applicable) so you can make informed decisions.


Why choose AES?

At AES, we specialise in providing electrical contracting services for manufacturers. We can install, inspect and maintain all your electrical installations, including lighting, extraction, wiring and machinery, and we are also CompEx accredited.

This means we have received specialist training to work in hazardous and explosive atmospheres. We can also help you with zone classification in line with DSEAR. Our other industry accreditations include NICEIC, CHAS, SafeContractor, IPAF and PASMA.

We can scale our services to meet the needs of your business, from ongoing planned maintenance and fault repair to machinery installation and factory relocation.

And we provide expert advice and recommendations on energy reduction, battery storage, voltage optimisation and control and automation systems. Contact our friendly team to book your free site survey and energy reduction audit.

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