The demand for energy-efficient and "smart" heating, cooling, and electrical systems is rising. In 2014, utility-scale wind and solar power accounted for roughly half (47 percent) of new electricity generation in the United States, according to the 2015 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The first quarter of 2015 saw even wider adoption, with non-hydro renewables (wind, solar, geothermal) making up as much as 70 percent of new generation.
If you own or operate an electrical or plumbing business, understanding renewable energy technologies is no longer optional. It’s a necessity for staying afloat in a fast-evolving field. Energy-efficient water heaters, building automation control systems, geothermal heat pumps, smart HVAC systems that diagnose themselves — these and other new and emerging systems are complex to install, maintain, and repair, and require a firm grasp of the technologies that drive them.
Consequently, your technicians can no longer rely on their initial training — they have to continually expand their knowledge and skills to keep up with the market. In fact, many electricians and plumbers are learning about these new technologies as they go, turning to tools like mobile devices and mobile applications to put information at their fingertips and gain an edge in the renewable energy marketplace.
How can mobile apps for electricians and plumbers help?
Mobile applications take far less time to implement than complicated technologies, and they won’t break your budget. After all, your techs most likely use mobile apps in their personal lives, which means you don’t have to spend time and money teaching the ropes. You can get your entire team up and running in no time, with solutions like GoCanvas that require zero app development or programming skills and easily work across all mobile devices. Your electrical contractors and team can use mobile apps to:
- Look up product manuals and documentation, such as diagrams related to electrical wiring
- Find answers to common questions about equipment and pricing
- Calculate proper refrigerant charge for site equipment, or calculate other commonly used formulas (because the formula is baked into the app, there's less chance of making a math mistake)
- And more
But mobile isn’t just a great way to access information — a good mobile app allows you to gather information as well. Paper forms can be prone to errors, and when a field tech or electrician gets back to the office, the paper information has to be entered into a computer. Entering the information into a mobile form app with an intuitive user interface to begin with can save your team a great deal of time — in fact, one California-based provider of commercial and residential drywall services went mobile and reduced its paperwork time from days to 30 minutes. Plus, the information can easily be integrated with other office systems, such as quickbooks, or exported to Excel for further analysis.
What kinds of paper forms can you replace with mobile apps for electricians? Everything from your safety inspection checklists and daily field reports to time sheets, equipment check-outs, and project estimates.
Using a mobile app to replace a paper-based form saves time, because you no longer have to deal with finding paper among other physical files. It also can save your business from making errors, because online forms can alert you to any discrepancies or missed fields. Likewise, you won’t have to haul paper to and from the job site, which is a seemingly minor inconvenience — but one that you won't miss.
Mobile can help your electrician or plumbing business in a number of other ways. For a deeper dive, download our eBook, “Why Mobile Apps Are a Must-Have for Electricians and Plumbers.” It offers budget-friendly strategies to get ahead and succeed, despite the challenges you face in a fast-changing, increasingly complex field. You can also browse our collection of Construction, Repair & Improvement mobile templates to find the mobile template-equivalent of your current paper form, or send us your paper form and GoCanvas will convert your first form to a mobile app for free.
What else will you learn in the eBook?
- Other ways to keep up with renewable energy technologies
- How mobile can help you communicate from anywhere and streamline operations at the job site
- Tips for using mobile to foster collaboration across trade specialists