Your customers depend on electricity for their light, heat or air conditioning, refrigeration and access to their digital lives – your customers’ lives run on electricity!

Customers are so accustomed to having all this at the flick of a switch, so when the power goes out, most customers’ first call will be to their electric provider. However, there are common electrical problems your customers won’t contact their utility about – ones that might indicate they need emergency electrical repairs by a licensed electrician.

Most common electrical problems include light bulbs burning out quickly, flickering or going off abruptly; breakers tripping frequently or tripping and not coming back on; and light switches and electrical outlets not working properly.

Most light fixtures are designed for 60 watt bulbs – and many utility customers are unaware of that. Using a higher wattage bulb than a fixture is designed for can cause bulbs to burn out quickly and damage the fixture. That can cost between $129 and $179 per fixture to repair – a steep price for a little more light.

Flickering lights can be benign, merely indicating changes in demand on the grid or larger appliances needing more current, although the latter may mean a homeowner should install a dedicated circuit to feed that need – at a cost of about $292 for parts and labor. The cause also could be more serious, such as a failing switch or loose connection, requiring a professional.

When a breaker trips, it’s usually only a temporary overload, but it could be a more serious short circuit or ground fault. If it’s a short circuit or ground fault, it will cost approximately $179 to $212 to have a professional electrician replace each breaker. If the problem is serious enough to require rewiring the home, it will cost an average of $3,500 to 8,500 and can go as high as $30,000, depending on the size of the home and local contractors.

Outlets and switches usually don’t work because a breaker has tripped or a short circuit – or it might simply be a faulty outlet, which can be replaced at a cost of $81 to $98, parts and labor, for an outlet, or a cost of $42 to $103 for a switch.

According to HomeServe USA’s State of the Home survey, a third of homeowners have $1,000 or less set aside for home repairs, with an additional 18 percent indicating they have no savings for any kind of emergency home repair. In addition, 57 percent of homeowners with household incomes under $50,000 have $500 or less or no funds set aside for unexpected repairs. An unexpected expense can be a burden on a homeowner, and one that would be particularly difficult for the newest wave of homeowners – millennials.

Millennials now are the nation’s largest demographic, outstripping Baby Boomers, and they are buying houses, with 36 percent of them homeowners, according to the Census Bureau. While some millennials have embraced the DIY lifestyle, many others are more DIFM, or “Do It For Me.” Even among those who see themselves as handy, their expertise trends more toward technology than home repair – and many are unaccustomed to hiring skilled tradespeople such as electricians.

More millennials are buying homes, but don’t have the money or know-how to do basic repairs – and this is where a service provider can step in and save the day. When a utility customer has a home electric problem, it opens an opportunity for their electrical provider to position themselves as an expert and trusted advisor who can help their customers navigate the issue. By providing an optional home warranty program, a utility provider can cut through the hassle of finding a qualified and licensed contractor and save customers the unexpected expense of an emergency repair.

To learn more about how HomeServe can help you become a trusted partner to your customers, contact us.