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How to find fair electrician rates & still get a quality job

February 26, 2018

Imagine finding an outrageously low electrician rate while you’re gathering quotes for your next job.

Your immediate instinct is to go for it and sink your hard-earned into the pocket of the cheapest electrician…

Only to find out the dodgy contractor you’ve hired has done subpar work.

The lights are flickering.

The powerpoints are crackling when you plug things in.

Turning on the kettle? Forget it. You’re not prepared for another power surge and a trip to the control box.

We all love a discount, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of safe, reliable power.

Poor electrical work and wiring can increase the chance of fires, power surges, and arc faults in the lights, and with electrical malfunction being the third most common cause of house fires, it’s time to rethink who you pay to do your wiring.

Your electrical work should be completed by a qualified professional.

We want to help you understand how electrician rates work, what you can expect when you’re looking for a quote, and how to get the best deal – along with lasting quality work.


How electricians bill for their time

Most electricians have a range of payment options and plans available. However, there are three common methods electricians use to charge for time:

    1. Call out fees


    1. Service fees


    1. Hourly rates


Call out fees help electricians weed out the “time wasters” i.e. clients who get a quote but never follow through, or cancel the job hours before the tradie is due to arrive. It’s kind of like a safety net for the electrician and is considered common practice for most electricians – as well as tradies in general.

These fees usually include the first hour of work.

Service fees are similar to call out fees. At GKT, we charge a service fee which includes our travel time to the site and the first 30 minutes of work. After that, we charge an hourly rate which is calculated and invoiced in 15-minute increments.

All electricians charge differently based on the job to be done and the amount of time it takes to complete the work, but their billing usually comes down to these three categories.

Now, we need to talk about what to expect from the actual electrician rates.

Imagine finding an outrageously low electrician rate while you’re gathering quotes for your next job.


Average electrician rates 

Understanding the average rate of an electrician can help you find lower prices, better deals, and hopefully – better work.

The price differs from electrician to electrician, but the national average ranges from $40 to $150 depending on who does the work and what kind of work it is.


Average Electrician Prices 2018

Image: Home Advisor


For example, a fresh-faced first-year apprentice will cost around $40 per hour, while a manager or supervisor will cost around $100 per hour. If the job needs to be tackled as a team, it could cost up to $150 per hour for a group of tradies and apprentices.

A few things can affect the cost of the work and time spent on the job:

    • Electricians have a legal and moral duty of care, so before leaving the house, he/she has to be sure the work is finished and safe for use


    • Houses older than 50 might require extra time to ensure safety. The electrical safety standards have continually changed over the last century, so older homes will need a little extra care.


  • The nature of the work, for example; commercial buildings, construction sites, industrial maintenance, air conditioning, communication, and new houses.

We aim to be as transparent as possible with our rates.

Our service fee (including the first 30 minutes on site) costs $100.00, then we charge $20.00 per 15 minutes – not all work takes several hours, and we don’t believe in ripping off clients with an hour fee for half an hour’s work.

Check out our pricing page for more information about electrician rates, then have a crack at our job calculator to get a rough estimate of what costs to expect.


Expect higher prices for after-hours, weekends, and emergencies

There’s not a person on earth who likes being called out of home, moments after sinking into the couch after a long day – electricians included.

The price of electrical work changes after hours, over the weekend, and in case of emergencies.

At GKT Group, we offer our services during the week from 6am to 6pm, but if there’s an emergency, we can travel out to help with a slight increase in cost.

Our after hours service includes a $265 call-out fee, then $30 per 15-minutes from then on – a small jump from our usual $20 per 15-minute fees.

We know power outages and accidents don’t happen during business hours, which is why we’re always happy to help out customers when they need us most… but please keep in mind that our after hours services involve extra costs.

Unsure whether to call a tradie in late at night, or thinking of fixing the problem yourself? You need to leave electrical work to the professionals.


The dangers of dodgy electrical work (and how to identify it)

It might seem exciting to find a cheap, fast-working electrician, but poor work can lead to short circuits, house fires, or worse – electrocution.

It’s crucial to understand the link between cheap, rushed work and malfunctioning lights, appliances, and air conditioning units.

A few simple signs to look out for:

    • Burn marks on power-points and/or light sockets


    • Buzzing or crackling noises coming from the lights (this is called “arcing” – check out our blog on light bulb problems for more information!)


    • Blowing fuses and/or light bulbs which consistently trigger


  • Tripping circuit-breakers or power outages

These signs might sound like regular, everyday annoyances, but ignoring them could be fatal if touched, mishandled or exposed to water.

Above all else…

We do not recommend trying to fix these problems yourself.

We know how irritating dodgy electrical work can be, especially after paying a shady electrician to fix the wiring problems for you, but unlicensed, DIY electrical work can be just as dangerous – if not more.

At-home electrical work puts you at risk of potentially deadly consequences. Also, the work could be left in an unsafe state – unfinished or faulty work isn’t always immediately apparent, so the wiring could be unknowingly dangerous until it’s too late.

Take our advice and hire a qualified, professional electrician to re-do the work for you, even if it’s after hours. The safety of you and your family could be at risk.

Give us a call on 1300 766 324 if you’re having any trouble with your power after hours and our team of experts will make sure your electrical problems are fixed as quickly as possible.


Finding the right price and the right electrician comes down to a little extra research

Flashing (or popping) light bulbs, constant power outages (in the middle of your favourite show, no less), and alarming, exposed wires are no joking matter.

You need your electrical work to be done right.

No dodgy jobs.

No continuous circuit-breaking blackouts.

Just quality, reliable work, completed by a proven professional.

The secret to finding the right electrician – as well as the right price – comes down to finding out everything there is to know about electricians and their prices, asking for multiple quotes around town, comparing them, and checking out the qualifications of your chosen electrician.

Arming yourself with knowledge and experience about electrical work could save you the trouble of poor jobs, wasted money, and the potential for danger in your home.

We’re transparent about our prices, our experience, and our commitment to reliable electrical work. If you’re thinking of hiring GKT Group, make sure to check out our testimonials page for feedback from our clients, then get an obligation free quote to discover our affordable prices.


Get in touch via our contact page, visit our pricing page, or give us a call on 1300 766 324 for a free, reliable and affordable quote you can trust for electrical work in Newcastle, the Central Coast & the Hunter.


Image Source: Pixabay

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