Electrical Contracting News (ECN) June 2016 - Page 26

WIRING ACCESSORIES WIRED UP Marie Parry of Scolmore takes a look at the current state of the wiring accessories sector, the latest developments driving sales and what the future holds. A ccording to AMA research, current forecasts for the wiring accessories sector indicate annual growth rates of 5-6 per cent from 2015 as the economy improves and house building activity increases. It is expected that the market value will be around £1.8bn in 2018. However, this will depend on the speed of economic recovery and any fluctuations in raw material prices. The current focus on solutions and systems within the electrical products market will continue to lead to demand for integrated systems in both the domestic and commercial sectors in the medium term, as well as an increased use of prefabricated wiring and wireless switches. Energy efficiency The demand for environmentally friendly products continues to be a major issue and this is a factor which is likely to be more influential in future years, as homeowners and business operators alike, use whatever means they can to improve the environmental credentials of their properties. This will lead to increased use of individual and central controls for lighting and other electrical products, creating demand in the electrical accessories sector. Even in the domestic sector, where take up for new technology is traditionally slower, controls will become even more mainstream, particularly with development of easy to install RMI products. Product development will continue to focus on environmental efficiency, wireless systems, integrated controls, reduced space and impact, quick installation such as prefabricated units and low installation application such as plug and play connections to reduce time on site and cut down time during RMI situations. The skills shortage within the market place will also remain for some time and lead to greater use of products that are quicker and easier to install, requiring less skilled labour. Smart homes Home automation technology has been available for many years but demand for systems in the UK has until recently been largely limited to luxury homes and specialist projects. However, with declining costs and complexity, plus greater awareness of system b