electrical servicesFor a large commercial or industrial building, electricity can be a major expense. Month after month, the electrical bill can be a substantial expense. Toward that end, any steps you can take to cut down on those costs will directly benefit the bottom line.


As a trusted commercial electrician, Varney can help businesses save money and energy with creative, high-tech solutions. This article is going to look at some of the many options available in this area. And, if you have a need for commercial electrical repair or any other kind of work in your building, be sure to reach out to Varney today to get started.


Optimize Your Lighting System

The cost of lighting a large commercial building can be significant. Of course, that cost is directly tied to how much energy is consumed by the lighting system, so saving in one area is going to mean you are saving in another. Upgrading to LED lighting through your buildings and using tools like motion sensors to make sure the lights aren’t on unless they need to be, can go a long way toward bringing down costs and improving the environmentally-friendly nature of the building itself.


Automate Your Buildings

There is no reason to continue to operate your buildings on a manual basis when so many automated features are now available. Through the use of smart controls, such as for your HVAC system or your security system, you can make it easier to get precisely the performance you expect from your buildings without the hassle of manual operation. Automated buildings save time as well as improve performance, so any investments you make in this area will pay off in two different ways.


Utilize Advanced Analytics

One of the ways to save money with electrical solutions is to rely on advanced analytics to see where the building is using more energy than it should. You never want to just assume that your current electrical system is operating optimally, as there is likely room for improvement somewhere on the property. Instead of guessing at what those improvements could be, Varney can use advanced smart tools to collect accurate data and recommend the appropriate changes.


Creating Custom Solutions

A one-size-fits-all electrical solution is never going to be the ideal approach for a building. To get the best possible results in terms of both efficiency and performance, it’s necessary to customize the way the building is wired and how it operates day after day. It’s important to work with a contractor like Varney that can approach your properties like the unique situations that they are, offering custom plans to get the best possible results while saving money and power over the long run.


When using electricity on a significant scale, as you would in an industrial or commercial setting, even marginal improvements in efficiency will make a big difference. For commercial and industrial electrical services that you can trust, turn to the team at Varney right away. 

electrical servicesGood electrical work is at the heart of every building. Not only does proper electrical wiring bring the building to life and make virtually anything possible inside, but it also keeps occupants safe by adhering to all relevant codes and restrictions.


Not all electrical work is the same, however. An electrician who has wired thousands of houses isn’t necessarily qualified to offer commercial electrician services, and vice versa. There are notable differences in these types of projects, and you need to have the right contractor on the job to make sure the results are what you expect.


To work with a commercial electrician who is proven to deliver great results time after time, make sure Varney is your first call. You will be in the right hands with the Varney team and your commercial or industrial wiring project will be completed properly, safely, and in a timely manner.


An Important Starting Point

Before getting into the differences between the types of electrical work that can be done for various kinds of buildings, it should be noted that it is all important. No matter what kind of electrical work is being done, it’s critical that the work lives up to a high standard and meets all code restrictions and expectations. Poor electrical work is not only going to let down the user, but it also poses a significant danger to anyone on the premises.


If you are going to be hiring an electrician, always make sure your chosen contractor holds all of the necessary licenses and insurance to do this work legally. Don’t accept any excuses on that point, as it’s simply too important to ignore. A licensed electrician has a professional reputation and career to worry about, and you can expect that the work will be completed properly as a result.


Basic Introductions

While the names somewhat tell the story of what these three types of electrical work are and where they are performed, the points below make things perfectly clear –


  • The work done by a residential electrician takes place in and around homes. In some cases, that will mean wiring up a new house to add all of the outlets and connections that are needed to bring the home to life. On other jobs, a residential electrician might be helping with a renovation project or repairing and updating some old electrical work that is no longer up to standard.


  • As the name would suggest, commercial electricians do work for businesses. Of course, that category casts a wide net, so work in this space can cover a wide range of types of work. Some smaller businesses might have electrical needs that aren’t entirely different from residential projects – while larger businesses will demand more powerful, complex wiring.


  • These are projects that are at the bigger, more powerful end of the electrical spectrum. This type of electrician is going to do their work in factories and similar buildings. The electrical system in this kind of setting is going to be used to power many large machines at the same time, so it will have to be designed carefully to handle such a load while keeping everyone safe along the way.


A Matter of Power

The fundamentals of electrical work are the same no matter what type of project is at hand. The way electricity flows, and the general design of electrical circuits, aren’t going to change from one setting to another. With that said, things certainly do change as the circuits get larger and more powerful, as different techniques and equipment are required, and a different skillset is needed on the part of the electrician. It isn’t necessarily that one type of work is harder than another – it’s more a matter of making sure the electrician you partner with understands how to deliver what you require.


One of the core changes from the residential setting to the commercial and industrial setting is the switch from single phase to three phase power. Most of the time, a commercial or industrial operation is going to use three phase power to be able to meet the demands of the building and the many pieces of equipment it needs to run at the same time. Residential properties usually don’t have such requirements, so a single phase system is able to get the job done without any problem.


Locating the Right Partner

In the world of electrical work, the line between residential and commercial is much clearer than the line between commercial and industrial. In fact, most commercial electricians are going to be able to handle industrial projects, with some exceptions. A company like Varney offers commercial electrical work in addition to serving as an industrial electrician service, and is able to handle each with the same degree of confidence.


When in doubt about who you should hire for an upcoming electrical project, it’s best to simply have a conversation with the potential contractors to figure out who is the best fit for the job and has experience doing exactly what you need to be done. Even if you don’t know exactly everything that your project will entail, talking with some contractors to go over the details and clear up what will be required is going to help you identify the ideal partner. Whether your job ends up being commercial, industrial, or somewhere in between, the designation doesn’t matter as much as understanding the details of the work needed and who is up to that challenge.


Don’t Take Any Chances

If there is one place above all else that you simply can’t afford to take chances, it’s with electrical work. This is the thing that must be done right, so turning to cheap or inexperienced industrial electrical contractors simply is not worth the risk. Varney is a proven contractor in this space that delivers unbeatable value to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Take a moment to get in touch today to learn more.

LEDs have come to dominate the lighting landscape over the last few decades. They’re renowned for their energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. From decorative lights to home fittings to multimillion dollar film sets, LEDs are everywhere. But if your business is still using older conventional lighting, like incandescent or halogen bulbs, is there a reason to make the switch? Will you really save yourself by going through the trouble of converting to LED?


The short answer? Yes. As any commercial electrician in Roanoke will tell you, commercial LED lighting will save you a bundle — in more ways than one.


Here are the top reasons to switch to commercial LED lighting:


Increased Energy Efficiency


A 10,000 sq. ft commercial space will spend anywhere from $4,500-$8,500 a year on electricity bills just to power their lighting. That will depend on if they’re using more energy efficient halogen bulbs, or less efficient incandescent bulbs.


LED lights run 65% more efficiently than halogen and 80% more efficiently than incandescent. That means a saving of around $2,000-$6,000 a year just on the electricity bill alone for that 10,000 sq. ft commercial venue. The bigger the commercial space, the greater the saving.


For small to medium size businesses, this is a huge cost saving. Over ten years, you can save over $20,000 — just by switching your lights to LED.


Longer Life Expectancy


You’ve just saved a bundle on your electricity bill by having an electrician in Roanoke replace your lights to LED. That’s where the cost savings end, right?


Not quite. LED lights also have substantially longer life expectancies than other bulbs. Incandescent bulbs last around 2,000 hours of use, halogen lamps last up to 4,000. LED, on the other hand, last over 50,000 hours.


You will replace incandescent bulbs 25 times before you replace your LEDs once.


So even if you’re concerned about the upfront cost of having a commercial electrician in Roanoke replace every bulb in your commercial space with LEDs — and it can be an investment — it will more than pay for itself in a year or two.


Less Prone to Faults


Incandescent bulbs may last 2,000 hours, but they’ll usually start to dim before then. Halogen can start to flicker.


LEDs, on the other hand, are much less prone to faults and won’t dim over time. They’re also much less likely to cause electrical faults and sparks, leading to potential fires.


Save on Air Conditioning


A perhaps unexpected cost-saving benefit of LED is the lack of heat. Incandescent and halogen lighting convert 90% and 80% of their energy into heat respectively. For all that extra energy they use, little of it turns into light.


LEDs, on the other hand, convert 80% of their energy into light and only 20% into heat. This means your commercial space won’t heat up as much, lightening the load on your air conditioning system.


Interested in saving yourself a bundle by switching to LED lighting? Contact your commercial electrician in Roanoke, Varney today to get started.


switchgearOwning commercial property comes with many obligations and responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to care for the electrical system that serves the building or buildings you own. If the electrical system falls out of repair and becomes dangerous, those issues are yours to handle.

Working with the right Roanoke electricians is the best way to stay ahead of any electrical issues on your commercial properties. Reach out to Varney today for assistance with this important matter.

It’s the Law

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that your legal responsibility is to care for the electrical system in a building that you own and rent out. There are various laws that relate to this obligation, including the Landlords and Tenants Act of 1985. Not only does the landlord have to ensure that the electrical system is safe when a new occupant moves in, but also the landlord must ensure the safety of the system throughout their stay. There is little room for ambiguity here – it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure the electrical system is fit for service.

Making a Plan

So, against the background of that obligation, it’s important to think about how a landlord can stay ahead of the game on this point. Obviously, in addition to the primary concern here – which is safety – there is also the issue of client satisfaction to consider. If the power is routinely going out in a commercial building, the tenants will not be happy and may not wish to continue their lease. Also, it will be hard to get new tenants to occupy that space if known electrical problems are a concern.

Getting the right help is the best thing you can do to avoid electrical problems at your properties. Working with an experienced team like Varney can take this task off your plate and place it in the hands of talented and knowledgeable professionals. A good commercial electrician will be able to install new systems, inspect old systems, and perform any repairs that are needed. You’ll rest easier at night, and your tenants will be happier, when electrical work is done right and passes all inspections.

Ongoing Schedule

Getting electrical systems installed properly at the start of a new development is a good foundation, but that doesn’t mean the job is done. Rather, ongoing inspections and updates should be performed at regular intervals as time passes. Keeping up with the electrical system means you won’t be as likely to run into big problems down the line – you can address little issues here and there and maintain a system that serves your buildings and tenants nicely.

Again, with this point, working with a commercial electrician in Roanoke like Varney is the easiest and best solution. The Varney electrician will help you set up a schedule for inspections and updates and will be able to provide valuable advice along the way when any problems arise.

Thermostat phootThere is no way around the following point – electricity is dangerous. While the modern world has managed to harness electricity in a way that allows us to do many things that would have previously been impossible, it still remains true that we need to be very careful around any live wires, outlets, etc. There are some specific electrical safety risks that arise in the winter months, and this article will take a closer look at those points.

To work with a leading commercial electrician in the Mid-Atlantic, don’t hesitate to reach out to Varney. The pros at Varney will navigate your electrical projects safely and in a timely manner, so you can focus on moving your business forward.

Taking Some Basic Precautions

Fortunately, most of the things you can do to avoid electrical hazards in the winter months are pretty simple. You certainly don’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of electrical work or anything like that – just paying attention to what situations are risky and how to mitigate those risks will be good enough. Here are some good starting points to avoid electrical fires, shocks, and other bad outcomes in a commercial setting.

  • Heaters require supervision. It’s common – and okay – to run heating units in the winter months to take the edge off in a cold building. It’s not okay, however, to let those heaters continue to run while no one is around.
  • Use power strips carefully. There are occasions when it’s suitable to use a power strip to provide electricity to several different items. With that said, power strips have their limits, and properly wiring some of your equipment may be necessary if you find your team reaching for power strips too often. As a general rule of thumb, power strips should not be seen as a permanent option – if they are used to deliver power to something that is always in use, work with a commercial electrician like Varney to create a proper solution.
  • Careful with flammables. This is another one that should fall into the category of “common sense”. In the winter months, you may have more items around your building that are flammable in nature, such as jackets, extra towels, blankets, and more. None of those things should be left to any source of heat where they could potentially combust. Make it a rule to place nothing, flammable or otherwise, particularly close to heat sources just to be safe.

Get Professional Help with Electrical Matters

Since the need for power often goes up in the winter as the temperatures drop and sunlight is less prevalent, you may find yourself cutting corners or making sacrifices on safety just to get the job done. That’s never okay when it comes to electricity. A seemingly minor change or adjustment to how your electrical equipment is being handled could lead to a dangerous spark or fire. Get out ahead of these problems by working with Varney to solve any electrical challenges in a way that is up to code and will keep all people and equipment safe.

The electrical system that serves your building is one of the most important components that you rely on each day. And, given the inherent risks associated with electricity, it is also one that presents potential danger if it is not in proper working order. By having an electrical inspection performed, you can track down any problem areas and have them addressed before a fire or injury occurs.


As a leading commercial electrician in Richmond, Varney is the right team to call on when you need an inspection performed. The trained professionals that do the work will pay attention to the smallest details and provide you valuable insight into the health of your whole electrical system.


It’s All About Safety

Without a doubt, the top reason to have regular electrical inspections performed at your commercial property is safety. You don’t want to endanger anyone who works in your buildings or visits the property for any reason. Electrical fires can often be prevented by finding signs of trouble before they reach the point of creating a spark and igniting a blaze. Work with a professional team like Varney to thoroughly inspect all the electrical work that serves your buildings and get in front of this issue before it causes a disaster.


Stay in Business

If you run into surprise electrical problems during the normal course of business, you may have to halt operations while you deal with those issues. That kind of interruption can have a major impact on the bottom line. Avoid such losses by investing in electrical inspections to make sure your whole system is in top working order.


Optimize Efficiency

Are you spending more on power than you think you should given the way your location operates? It may be that an aging electrical system is running inefficiently and is leading to higher electrical bills. Inspections can spot parts of your system that might be due for an upgrade, allowing you to keep up with the times and avoid having inefficiencies drag you down.


Boost the Bottom Line

This is one of those areas where you might need to spend some money in order to save some money. Electrical inspections aren’t always free, but they do have the potential to save you significantly on the back end. If some of the points above play out at your facility – you avoid a fire or can improve efficiency, for example – the financial gain from an electrical inspection can be significant.


Find Ways to Become Better

Every business manager or owner wants to improve the way the company operates each day. While the electrical system that serves your buildings might not be your main focus, every little improvement can help. Think of it this way – if your competitors are doing the work of optimizing their electrical system to save money and operate more efficiently, shouldn’t you be doing the same? There is no potential advantage too small to pursue, meaning it’s well worth your time and investment to book an appointment for an electrical inspection right away.

Have you ever tried to do office work in a poorly lit space? While your computer screen provides its own light, the rest of the space can be hard to use if the overhead lighting is not sufficient. This article will take a closer look at why this topic is so important and what you can do to solve any problems that exist in your space.


For lighting and other projects that require a commercial electrician in Richmond, VA, turn to Varney. As a leader in this industry with a strong reputation throughout the Mid-Atlantic, your project will be in good hands with the Varney team.


Practical Limitations

Perhaps the most obvious issue associated with correct lighting is simply not being able to see what you are doing. If part of the office is poorly lit, workers in that area may struggle to see the things they are trying to use or create. In the worst-case scenario, that work won’t get done, or it will be done poorly. More likely, the workers will have to find ways around the lighting limitations, such as moving the work, using additional light sources, etc. All those workarounds take time and effort and will take away from the overall productivity of the space.


Ensuring the entire office is properly lit should be seen as just one of many steps you take toward optimizing productivity. For the same reasons that you don’t want employees doing their work on old, slow computers, you also don’t want them working in dimly lit spaces. Provide them with the light they need to do a great job and you can likely expect some improvements.


Worker Wellbeing

Beyond productivity, there is the matter of the wellbeing of your staff to consider. Without the right light, workers may struggle with issues like headaches and strained eyes, leaving them feeling uncomfortable at their desks. Poorly lit spaces can also contribute to drowsiness, which is not an enjoyable feeling in the middle of a workday. Of course, these issues are not only problems for your team to deal with, but they will tie back into the discussion on productivity. So, we see again how lighting will help your teams get more things done, and you will be doing them a favor by avoiding some of the unwanted side health side effects that come with bad lights.


Asking Questions

One of the easiest ways to learn about the lighting in your office spaces is to ask the individuals who work in those spaces each day. Are there certain parts of the office that aren’t bright enough for the tasks at hand? Or perhaps there are areas that are actually too bright? No one will know better than those who use the space regularly, so one way to find out what would help them is go directly to them to get feedback and to decide on how to improve your office lighting and then contact Varney to see what needs to be done.  

Electrical systems are a necessary part of any business. Large buildings, especially in the industrial sector, require one or more electric panel boxes to control the entire electrical system. When more electricity is being pulled than what an electric box is able to handle, it gets overloaded. Even with safety precautions in place, an overload can be dangerous if not handled properly by a commercially licensed electrician.

By knowing what to look for, you can catch the problem before it gets serious. If you notice any of these 6 danger signs, you may have an overloaded electric panel box.

  1. Tripping circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much power is being drawn. This is a safety measure that simply cuts off electricity to the outlet or area where the electricity overload is coming from.
  2. Dimming lights. If the lights seem to dim randomly or especially when fixtures or equipment is turned on, it’s a sign that the electric box is overloaded and cannot supply sufficient power for everything that is connected to it.
  3. Electrical appliances and tools lack sufficient power. Does it seem like your power tools are running sluggishly? Are appliances a little weak? These are signs that electrical equipment is not getting the necessary amount of electricity from the box as it should, most likely due to an overload.
  4. Outlets or outlet covers feel hot. Excessive electricity creates heat. When your electric box is over loaded and too much electricity is being drawn to and from it, things start to get heated. Heat is just one step before fire, so it should be taken seriously. If electrical outlets, wires, switches, or electrical components of any kind feel hot, discontinue use of them immediately.
  5. A burning smell coming from any electrical source or equipment. Where there’s smoke, there is usually fire. If you smell something burning, then something has become hot enough to burn. An electrical smell is unique to other burning smells, so you should know that the source is something in the electrical system. As stated before, discontinue use of electronics until the source of the burning is discovered and repaired.
  6. Buzzing sound coming from an electrical outlet or switch. Buzzing is typically due to an overloaded circuit or electric box. When too much electricity is surging through a circuit, vibration occurs, causing the buzzing sound. This is often a warning sign that one of the above signs is likely to occur next.


Safety Should Be Your Top Priority

Electric panel box overloads are not something to take lightly. Electrical systems are still the most common source of building fires. To keep your people and your building safe, call a licensed electrician at the first sign of an electrical overload. If even one of the above danger signs is present, turn off electricity to the box in question (or the entire building to be safe) and seek help from an experienced commercially licensed electrician, such as Varney Inc. Call (540) 343-0155 or request service.

Commercial ElectricianAre you in need of a commercial electrician in Roanoke, VA? If so, do you know what to look for? With so many choices, it can be difficult to determine who to call for your business’s electrical needs. Consider these important qualities when comparing commercial electricians.


One of the most important qualities to look for in a commercial electrician is experience. How many years of experience does the company have? Is all of that experience in commercial electrical work? Residential electrical experience does not count for commercial experience. Don’t hire someone who claims to be able to handle commercial-grade electrical work unless they can prove it by giving you references of other businesses they have done work for.

Positive References

Always ask for references and follow through by contacting them. Ask questions about the type of job the electrician did for them and how they felt about the work during and after it was completed. Ask them if they would use the same electrician again on future projects.


Any electrician who performs commercial electrical work must have a commercial electrician license in the state where they provide services. Check with the state Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for the status of a business’s license before hiring them.

Proof of Insurance

Get official proof that the electrician, as well as their assistants, are bonded and insured. Insurance is there to make sure you are not liable for any accidents or injuries the electrician or their employees incur on the job. It also covers any damages that occur from problems during the job and covers the cost of the job in case the electrician doesn’t finish the job.

Status with the Better Business Bureau

The BBB keeps records on businesses that give consumers an idea of the company’s past performance. A business’s rating with the BBB is determined by factors such as licensing, customer disputes and resolution, and years of existence. An A+ rating is the best a business can achieve.

Excellent Teamwork and Communication

This one can be hard to determine without seeing an electrician in action, but it’s very important. Commercial projects are typically large enough that multiple team members will need to work together to complete it. A commercial electrician must communicate well with their team in order to get the job done efficiently. This is a question you could ask when you speak to their references.


Look for an electrician that has solid safety procedures in place and a good safety rating. Electrical work can be dangerous for the workers involved unless proper precautions are taken. It is also important that electrical work is done correctly for the safety of those who use the building.

Looking for a Commercial Electrician in Roanoke, VA with these Qualities?

Varney Inc. has over 60 years of experience in the commercial electrical field. Licensed in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, Varney Inc. has worked on projects throughout the southeastern U.S. If you’re looking for a reliable, experienced commercial electrician in Roanoke, VA, call Varney Inc. today at (540) 343-0155.

electrical services

When it comes to commercial buildings, safety is of utmost importance. Large numbers of people are affected by electrical problems in commercial buildings such as offices, stores, hotels, and apartments. Electrical problems, when not recognized and repaired, can pose a fire risk. For their own safety and the safety of others sharing the space, each individual in a building should be trained to recognize the warning signs of electrical failures. If any of the following signs occur, call Varney Inc., one of the top commercial electrical contractors in Virginia.

  • Frequent flickering or dimming of lights. The electrical system may be over-extended, or there may be a short in the wiring somewhere.
  • Wall outlet discoloration. This indicates electrical overheating that could result in a fire if not repaired. Call an electrician immediately if you see this.
  • Tripped circuit breakers and blown fuses that occur repeatedly. This is a sign of overloaded outlets or circuits. The electrical system in your building needs to be repaired to prevent more serious problems.
  • Appliances that deliver a slight shock when touched. Unplug the appliance and discontinue use until an electrician can evaluate the situation and take necessary measures.
  • Tools or appliances that feel warm to the touch. If your tools or electrical appliances feel warm to the touch, it’s a sign that there may be too much current running through them and could be a precursor to an electrical fire. Unplug them immediately and call for help.

Varney Inc., One of the Elite Commercial Electrical Contractors in Virginia, Recommends the Following Safety Precautions:

  • Use caution when moving televisions, computers, and monitors.
  • Microwaves should only be serviced by a professional.
  • Maintain and monitor electrical cords and plugs.
  • Always unplug electrical appliances before working on them.
  • Use the correct wattage for light bulbs and the correct amperage for fuses.
  • Use extreme caution with portable space heaters.
  • Do not overload your power outlets.

Proper use of electricity can prevent fires and electric shock in commercial buildings, saving the lives of the people inside. Allowing professional electricians to service and inspect your electrical systems will prevent personal injury. Varney Inc., commercial electrical contractors in Virginia are ready and available to solve your electrical problems. Stay safe and let professionals handle your electrical systems. If you see any warning signs of electrical issues, call Varney at (800)456-1399 or (540)343-0155.