Hager’s Install of the Year supports industry excellence

Kevin Curran, Hager's Head of Sales presents Shane Casey with the Winning Trophy.

Shane Casey is Hager’s Install of the Year winner!
Hager’s Install of The Year competition 2022 was held in January 2023 via Instagram and their website. It was the industry’s time to shine, and voting began for your favourite Hager installations.

The competition was considered to be an encouraging way of supporting electricians within our industry. The finalists were selected, and your votes decided who would win first, second and third places.

Hager launched the competition on Instagram and invited everyone to vote for the finalists through their website. Each of the finalists provided a brief description of their work experience, along with a photo of their Hager installation.

The reaction to the competition was outstanding and thousands of your votes were counted to determine first, second and third places. The winner of the competition was Shane Casey with a fantastic installation, showcasing Hager’s increasingly popular Invicta range. Shane will join Hager (along with a fellow electrician of his choice) on an inspirational visit to the Hager Forum and Factory in Obernai, France. Jack Duignan and Danny Cotter won second and third place prizes, respectively.

Kevin Curran, Hager’s Head of Sales in Ireland, commented; “It was really encouraging to see the incredible support for colleagues within our electrical industry. Hager also hold monthly competitions for electricians and apprentices on social media, and we get an extremely positive response to them. However, the reaction to our Install of the Year competition was on another level. It’s great to see electricians applauding and promoting the excellent standards of work within our industry, and this should be nurtured.”

Kevin Curran interviewed Shane Casey to get an insight into Shane’s working life:

Congratulations Shane, on winning Hager Ireland’s Install of the Year competition. The response to the competition has been extremely positive. How did it feel to be voted Hager Ireland’s Install of the Year?
It was great to have been voted Hager Install of the Year, it’s a great recognition to get from a fantastic brand. Also, it was fantastic to think that the voters throughout social media took the time to give us their vote, as there was some great competition throughout the finalists.

L to R: Niall Moynihan, Eoghan Barry, Zak Loveday, Donagh Murphy, Mark Crowley (Foreman), Shane Casey (MD), David Keane, Darragh O’Connor, Brendan Arundel Sheehan and Joe Downey (Not Present)

Do you think standards in the industry are improving and that electrical contractors are increasingly interested in the quality of work that is being done?
I would say it is definitely going in the right direction. Luckily, I think that the younger generation of apprentices and electricians are certainly taking a lot of pride in their work.
And I think Hager’s install of the month incentive really brings that to life, when the guys and girls tag that in their social media posts, you know they have put their heart and soul into trying their level best to do a fantastic job of the install they are carrying out.

Obviously, there is plenty of room to improve, in certain areas of the trade, but all in all, I think Ireland would have one of the best standards to work and thrive towards, among other countries.

Hager Invicta Distribution Board Installation by Shane Casey

Has an electrical contractor’s role changed much since you first set up SCES?
Massively. I was a one-man band when I first set up SCES in 2012, doing mainly domestic work on one off houses, extensions, call outs and breakdowns. Fast forward 10 years and we currently have a team of twelve guys on the ground direct, two in the office, one Quantity Surveyor, and a team of Subcontractors. Unfortunately, I don’t get to be on the tools half as much I would like anymore, and I found that very difficult, as I love being hands on in our installations. But when I do get to work on the tools, I love every minute of it. More so if I have a set of the infamous (blue) Hager screwdrivers in
my hands!

In recent years we have all had a lot to deal with, increased cost of living, cost of material, pandemics, and a labor shortage throughout the entire construction sector.

The electrical contractor now has a key role to play in the designs of the projects and it is great to see design teams taking on board what we have to say with regards the use of new products and materials to make the job faster, cheaper, and more productive.

What advice would you give apprentices starting out in this industry?
This is a tough one… here’s what I think is helpful:

  • Learn to walk before you can run in this industry.
  • Don’t stop asking questions (you will never know everything about the electrical industry, and neither will any of us, so always seek information).
  • If you are working within a progressive company with
    good mentors, don’t chase the next 50c or euro by jumping to another company where you won’t get that training
    and experience.
  • Invest in your tools from very early on. Buy once and buy right. I still have my very first multimeter I bought in first year in 2007, and it continues to work perfectly.
  • In my personal opinion, the electrical trade is one of the best apprenticeships out there. The options you have once you qualify are endless. Your trade will be invaluable to
    you forever.

How do you think the global drive towards energy efficiency is affecting the industry in Ireland?
It is definitely going in the right direction. You can see that by the vast number of renewables that people and businesses are putting in. We have installed solar photo voltaic and storage on our own offices and stores to try and curtail the spiraling costs of energy.

The SCES fleet of vehicles.

We are entering a different era with regards renewable energy and energy efficiency and that can only be a good thing for our industry as we will all need to diversify with it and learn more about how best to do it.

Do you believe smart homes/building automation will eventually become standard for new builds?
In short yes. I think 90% of houses, even now, have some form of smart home device in it, be it a smart speaker or a smart heating thermostat.

I think the full smart home systems are still out of reach for most homeowners, but it’s definitely a question that is coming up more and more.

On the commercial side, building automation and BMS systems are integral to the running and monitoring of these buildings, and it will only get better as time moves on.

What has been your most challenging project to date, and why?
I will say it was probably my first large commercial project in 2017, we did a large two-story extension onto a factory in West Cork. I was thrown in at the deep end, and we had a lot of new things to learn, see and do. But we got on with it and got it done on time and on budget.

After that, each project has its own challenges, more so because of the scale of the projects that we now undertake. Skilled labor is probably our number one challenge at the moment and that is across the board I would say.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
I love a challenge. Tell me I can’t or won’t be able to do it, and I will go for it and make it happen!

I love building a team around me where we all have to common goal to do the best for each other and for the progression of the SCES brand. We have a fantastic team working with us and they are the main reason why we can drive the company on to where we are today. And we are always looking for like-minded talent to join our team.

Every day is a school day. There is no day that you don’t take away another bit of information or learn something.

The mayhem and the chaos… I love it!

What do you value most about Hager?
The product is just fantastic, you know when you are using Hager that you have a quality piece of kit in your hands. You literally can feel the difference from its competitors in your hands.

The support that I get from the guys and girls in Hager Ireland is brilliant, if I’m out on site I can pick up the phone and talk to Brendan or Luke in Dublin, and that is invaluable to me and my foremen as contractors.

The range they carry is second to none. If you can think of it, they will have a solution for it!

And of course… those blue Hager screwdrivers!