“Overlooked Ways to Modernize Your Business’s Outdated Electrical System on a Budget”

As a business owner, I know that upgrading my company's electrical system can be intimidating and expensive. However, modernizing your electrical infrastructure doesn't have to break the bank. There are several effective yet affordable ways to bring your business's electrical system up to date.

Conduct an Electrical Audit

Before undertaking any upgrades, the first step is to audit your current electrical system. This allows you to identify problem areas and prioritize upgrades based on necessity.

An audit typically involves having a licensed electrician:

This thorough inspection provides a roadmap of what needs upgrading. It also avoids the common mistake of fixing one issue only to have another pop up later.

Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Your main electrical panel is the heart of your electrical system. An outdated panel presents major fire and electrocution risks. Warning signs include:

Replacing an old panel provides safety and opens up capacity for adding circuits. I opted for a value panel with a 200 amp service for $1,500. This was sufficient for my small office with room for future expansion.

Add Circuits and Outlets

Once your panel is up to date, consider adding circuits and outlets. Key areas to focus on include:

I spent around $800 adding 2 new lighting circuits and 4 outlets to relieve overloaded areas.

Update Lighting

Modern, energy efficient lighting greatly improves workspaces while saving money long-term. I focused on 3 key upgrades:

Incorporate Smart Technology

Integrating smart technology allows you to remotely monitor and control your electrical system for safety and efficiency.

Leverage Incentives and Rebates

Check with your utility company and state energy office for any rebates on electrical upgrades. I qualified for a $500 rebate on my panel upgrade and $50 off smart thermostats. Energy efficient lighting and occupancy sensors also often have rebates. These offers defray upgrade costs.

Consider Electrical Retrofits

For more extensive upgrades, explore electrical retrofit options. Common retrofits include:

While pricier, targeted retrofits avoid a full rewiring. I got quotes between $3,000-$5,000 to add a sub-panel and replace aluminum wiring. Compared to $10,000+ for a rewire, it was worthwhile.

With strategic planning and budget-conscious choices, upgrading your electrical system is achievable without overextending finances. Conduct an audit, add capacity strategically, incorporate efficiency measures, and leverage incentives. An upgraded system pays dividends through improved safety, lower energy bills, and reduced maintenance issues.