Our Story... so far 


June 10, 2019

  1.) In the Beginning: We started our small electrical company in February of 1992 after Jim Conlon was laid off from Heritage Electrical in Tewksbury just before they went out of business. Jim believes that he would still be working there for his old boss and friend Carl Bishop (RIP) if Carl could have kept his company alive. In October of the same year, Jim’s son Michael was born.

Back in those days there was a program called The Enterprise Project of which Jim was fortunate enough to be chosen for. It consisted of professional training for young entrepreneurs that allowed Jim to collect unemployment insurance for 6 months (with no extensions) while launching their business. Jim believes that the training received there has a lot to do with Focus Electrical surviving for over 27 years.    

   2.) During the 90’s: As a young Electrical Contractor, Jim gained excellent experience in many aspects of the industry. As with most small companies, he did a lot of residential remodeling at first. Most of the projects he worked on were for very demanding (but appreciative) customers in the Winchester and Brookline areas. 

Jim has always believed that Licensed Electricians should be well rounded in their experience due to the fact that our license grants us access to, and expects us to be proficient at, all types of electrical work. The following list is a partial accounting of the other types of electrical work that he performed in the 90’s: 

-Commercial and Industrial service and installation work 

-Computer Network Cabling 

-Environmental Remediation systems at Superfund sites and polluted gasoline dispensing stations 

-Recreational facility service, maintenance, and renovations 

-HVAC power and control wiring 

-Industrial Loading dock and overhead door equipment wiring 

While performing these projects he routinely observed that lack of preventative maintenance was leading to inefficiencies in energy, safety, water, and personnel on a regular basis in most locations. 

  3.) ZNE: Jim was also very fortunate to have his former boss Carl Bishop working at an Engineering company for Zoo New England in the late 90’s. Carl referred our company to the Zoo for one project that turned into many over the next couple of years. These projects included major infrastructure rewiring projects, new exhibits, parking lot lighting, and many more projects and repairs at both the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos. 

Due to the impression that we made while performing all of these projects Jim was offered the Facility Directors position for both sites. Due to the inefficiency of energy and water that Jim observed in many areas of both zoos, he felt confident that he could have a substantial impact in that role due to his natural ability to recognize and design solutions for wasteful practices. Jim also hoped to be able to divert some of the saved energy expenses towards hard-working, underpaid workers. He had some success with both of his objectives. However, the wasted time in travel (sometimes 2+ hours home) turned out to be too much, and Jim resigned before 1 year was completed and returned to his electrical company shortly after 9-11. 

  4.) Fire Prevention (the 1st Crusade): During the early 2000’s, there was a lot of attention in the electrical industry about residential electrical fires and what could/should be done to reduce their occurrence.  AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupting) breakers were introduced and incorporated into the National Electrical Code. This product and indeed the concept of the prevalence of electrical fires was widely disputed within the trade. Something about the widespread disbelief among Electricians, Inspectors, Firefighters, Instructors, etc. put Jim on a path to find out the truth of whether or not the claims of 350 deaths per year and 42,000 residential fires were indeed caused by preventable electrical failures. After extensive research, he concluded that the evidence did support the claims and developed a testing protocol that he was certain could have tremendous impact on the industries perception of the problem and the housing stock (especially low and moderate income). He presented the Lowell Electrical Fire Prevention Program to the fire Chief who showed little interest. Unfortunately, his quest was self-funded and resources ran out before he could clear the last hurdle. In 2003, Jim and his wife decided to “mothball” the project and get back to “regular electrical work”.  AFCI’s are still disputed with regard to their necessity and effectiveness. 

  5.) Lighting: After his Electrical Fire Prevention “crusade” ended, he reluctantly started performing Commercial Lighting retrofits. From 2003 thru 2014 Focus Electrical Corp. completed over 600 lighting projects in all types of commercial facilities. His work at these sites re-affirmed his assertion that most sites are under-maintained if at all. During this time, he attempted on many occasions to convince Business owners and facility personnel to take action to address these inefficiencies, usually with some variation of “it’s not broke so we won’t fix it” was the reply. It became very clear that without utility rebates or some other solution, the status quo would continue. 

  6.) NESEA: In 2010, Jim attended BE10 (Building Energy 2010) his 1st NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Assn.) annual conference in Boston. He had never experienced such a large, pragmatic group of practitioners of sustainability solutions. This conference has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts, and much of Jim’s academic energy knowledge started here. It was driving through Lowell on his way home from BE13 that he decided to find out how he could use his experience and passion to help implement local solutions. Jim replied to a request on the city of Lowell’s web-site for an energy professional to help with the Lowell Green Restaurant Program. Over the next couple of years they certified 3 local business’, but he felt that the impact they had been having should be much greater, so they parted ways amicably. He has had similar experiences with other environmental groups, and while he supports most of the environmental objectives, he disagrees with much of the polarizing rhetoric that typically alienates potential allies.  

  7.)  SCRCx (The 2nd Crusade): In 2013, Jim developed SCRCx (Small Commercial Retro-Commissioning) project. This project was designed to address the inefficiencies due to lack of maintenance, and to facilitate replacement of inefficient electrical and mechanical equipment that he has witnessed his entire professional life. As with the Electrical Fire Prevention program he attempted to develop, his objective was to resolve widespread physical problems that are mostly caused by complacency. The solution he proposed required a pilot program overseen and funded by a utility or other organization for an interested host city (preferably Lowell). The intended result is a scalable, systematic, local job creating, energy expense & co2 reducing program that would deliver the measurable results needed to convince small to medium size commercial customers to take action. As of 10-20-2017, the current adoption of premium efficiency mechanical equipment was approximately only 30% upon replacement. 

Unfortunately, like his 1st crusade, this project consumed him and his resources until he was forced to put it aside and concentrate on “regular electrical work” again. Fortunately this included Solar installations.

  8.) Solar: It took years of effort, but we finally landed our 1st Solar PV project in 2013 with GoGreen Industries out of Westford. As of June 2019, We have completed over 100 Solar PV installations and many repairs (mostly with Go Green) without incident. Most of our installations have been sub-contract work for larger Solar companies, but we also sell directly to consumers.  

  9.) A New Era: In 2014, Jim’s son Michael joined the company full time after graduating from Ben Franklin Institute of Technology with a degree in Electrical technology.  At this point, Jim made the decision to considerably scale back lighting retrofit work so that he could properly train Michael to be a well-rounded Electrician. Lighting work is very repetitive and therefore (in Jim’s opinion) not a proper apprentice training ground by itself. 

  10.) Mercier and UML: In 2014 we also started subcontracting to Mercier Electric and Communications primarily at UML. We have successfully completed many projects of all types at most sites around campus since then including solar PV inspection, maintenance, and repair (4 sites); decommissioning Ball hall solar PV; lighting retrofits & replacements (Tsongas arena, Kitson hall, Lelachure Garage, etc.); WIFI, communications, and security wiring; electric vehicle chargers; generators; power, heat, etc. Working at UML helped to fulfill Jim’s goal of properly training his son and apprentice. Michael obtained his Journeyman Electricians license in 2015, and is currently employed by Mercier Electric. 

 11.) Guzovsky Electrical: From 2016 to 2018 We subcontracted to Guzovsky Electric to run two 6 month projects. the 1st was a new 52 unit luxury apartment building in Medford. And the 2nd was replacing a fire alarm system in a US Army office building at Fort Devens. Both projects were completed on-time and on-budget. 

  12.) Sustainability Contracting: Thanks to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center,  we have been approved as a Clean Energy Employer and now have the privilege of working with our (MassCEC sponsored) new summer intern, Rachel Nadolny, to help us reach our goals. Rachel is a recent Graduate from Roger Williams University with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability (she gets it). 

Solar energy is booming right now and Massachusetts is leading the country in Energy Efficiency. We are currently involved with numerous programs for solar installations, maintenance, and repairs. We believe wholeheartedly in the potential for Solar Energy (and other Renewables) to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but it cannot solve all energy problems by itself. Maximizing energy efficiency and adjusting energy consumers perspective are critical pieces to the puzzle. To address efficiency we are getting back into the Small Commercial Retro-Commissioning (SCRC) project. It is clear that maintenance work is highly important, frequently overlooked, and needs to be incorporated as part of the solution for sustainable energy independence. Once we have successfully completed a pilot (hopefully in Lowell), we intend to establish regional territories across Massachusetts (and beyond) and to  assist universal implementation however we can. 

It appears to us that the toughest battleground may be in between our ears. Although the evidence of the need to change our methods of producing and using energy in sustainable ways are demonstrated to us worldwide on a daily basis, here in America, political preferences skew the way way we perceive these events. At Focus Electrical we believe that if all the energy you need, can be made and stored on-site until you use it efficiently, then buying it for a higher price just doesn’t make sense. 

It is worth the effort, and it is our only logical choice.




Explore Sustainable & High Quality Electrical Services Today!

Focus Electrical Corp – 118 Hampson Street – Dracut, MA. 01826

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