For the firms on EC&M’s 2012 Top 50 Electrical Contractors list, being able to take advantage of last year’s turnaround in the construction industry, albeit slow and spotty, largely depended on the market sectors and geographic areas in which they worked.
In 2011, private industrial and manufacturing sectors led the limited recovery for the industry. Telecommunications, driven by the need for new data centers, also grew at a steady clip. However, uncertainty about the general U.S. economy and the upcoming presidential election stunted the return of public-sector projects. Markets that rely on government funding, such as transportation, government buildings, and public works (including wastewater and sewer), remained stalled. Yet, incentives and grants for the power segment, including renewable energy sources and storage and the upgrade of the country’s electrical infrastructure to the smart grid, were still made available.