Learning, Concepts of Electricity,

Why is Electrical Wire So Expensive?

Electrical wiring costs have risen appreciably, and most people wonder why.

As an electrician, I know why you are paying more for electrical wires. The cost of any final product is affected by multiple factors, including market forces and prevailing issues that alter labor costs. It’s vital to know the factors that influence the price of electrical wires to make reasonable choices.

In general, several factors are behind the price hike of electrical wires, including:

  • Copper price
  • Resin costs
  • Transport costs
  • Size of the wire spool
  • Labor charges
  • Aluminum is ineffective
  • Indoor & outdoor uses
  • Expensive packaging

Let’s go into more detail below.

Copper (Cu) Price Increases

Electrical wiring must have copper in it. There has recently been a large increase in the price of copper in general.

Reasons Why Cu Prices Are Hiking Fast

  • Copper is a popular material when creating electrical wire since it is a generally safe conductor.
  • Cu doesn’t heat up as quickly as other kinds of metal, which reduces the likelihood of an electrical fire starting. So, the metal is less likely to distort when heated.
  • Manufacturers incur higher expenses to produce their goods. So, customers will have to cater to the increase by paying more prices — that cover everything, from wiring to plumbed pipes.
  • Manufacturers spend a lot of money because they use a lot of copper to create their products —their clients pay for those expenses.
  • Cu is in high demand, which is driving up its price. When the weather is better during different times of the year, more construction projects are going on. People are rewiring homes, making upgrades, or upgrading their plumbing, from homeowners to companies to everyone in between.


A Rise in Resin Prices

The cost of other things is also rising, not only metal. The cost of plastic resin is also rising.

In electrical wiring, the resin is crucial. In addition to replacing cable jackets, it aids in joining and repairing cables. Specifically, the resin covers the jacket, shielding the exposed wire inside. It offers a moisture barrier as one of the defenses for the wire. So, resin costs more due to high demand. And that has led to large production costs for electrical wires.


Transport Charges

Transport costs are a further issue driving up the cost of electrical wire.

  • Manufacturers of electrical wire must pay a variety of transportation expenses. Before that, they must pay for the delivery of raw materials to their plants. Manufacturers are responsible for paying the shipping costs even if someone else uses their trucks and drivers to transport the goods to the companies.
  • If specific products need to move from one factory to another, a few additional shorter types of movement may occur during this phase.
  • When the product is finally ready for suppliers, they deliver it to their customers. The expense of logistics and transportation has become a problem.
  • The scarcity of drivers is one of the causes. Due to the lack of commodities to be transported during the COVID-19 epidemic, several fleets had to cut the number of drivers they employed.


Size of Wire Spool

different size and colors of wires
Video | Matt Inglot

The spool size is one element that affects the cost of electrical wire. At various providers, you can obtain wiring in a variety of lengths.

The cost of wiring increases with length. For instance, some of the priciest electrical wiring spools are nearly 1,000 feet long. With just one spool, the electrician or general contractor can wire a sizable portion of a room, if not a bigger house.

A 1,000-foot electrical line costs more to produce than a 500-foot electrical wire. The manufacturer must charge a greater price for it to offset those expenses.


Labor Charges

Various factors influence electrical wiring prices in addition to material costs. Additionally, labor prices have gone up.

COVID-19 — Employees Demanded Salary/Wages Increments

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, workers advocated for increased pay in general. Many places now have living expenses that are much higher than what their wages can support. Workers requested more compensation.

As a result, the factory’s operating expenses are higher. They have to charge more for their items to recoup those expenditures.

So, rising production costs have led to a corresponding rise in the cost of electrical wires.


Lack of Viable Alternatives — Aluminum is Ineffective

Even though there are numerous brands of electrical wire, there aren’t many other options. One of the greatest materials for wiring is still copper.

Aluminum was considered, but it doesn’t handle the heat well and causes fires.


Indoor & Outdoor Uses

Some electrical wiring is suitable for use both indoors and outside. However, because more materials are needed to make this wiring safe and appropriate for indoor and outdoor purposes, it is more expensive than other types of electrical wiring.

The companies selling it also know that you are more likely to purchase this kind of electrical wiring than separate interior and outdoor wiring. They raise the wiring cost that does both tasks to ensure they still make money from the wiring you were initially planning to purchase. Electrical wiring is pricey if it’s necessary to wire objects indoors and outdoors.


Packaging Costs

In some circumstances, specific packaging is needed for electrical wiring.

Manufacturers frequently package their wiring in items like plywood, other wood goods, and corrugated cardboard to prevent that. The issue with these packing materials is that their costs have increased recently.


Increase in the Building of New Homes

A rise in home purchases characterized the COVID-19 epidemic. People could make down payments on properties and purchase them with a little more money. Due to the increase in the number of homes that required new wiring, the housing boom also increased the cost of electrical wiring.


Tariff Pressures

Tariffs hurt consumers due to the price hike of all imported products. As importers pay a service tax (tariff) on the stuff, they pass on that additional cost to customers causing higher prices.




Video References

Matt Inglot

Art City Malayalam

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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