Many builders may think that copper is a resource that will last forever or that is in abundant supply, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Current copper inventories are estimated at 200,000 tons – scarcely enough to cover three days of global consumption.
This scarcity drives up the price of copper, which leads to increased value in copper scrap. With building wire theft already being a major problem, things will only continue to get worse.
So, where does that leave home builders?
The growing scarcity of copper pits U.S. home builders squarely against the global automotive industry. By 2026, the global demand placed on copper for electric vehicles (EVs) is projected to dwarf that of electrical wire used not only in U.S. residential construction, but also for all other uses in the entire domestic market. Since the growth in global copper production has been historically limited to single digits year over year (despite strong demand), this news doesn’t bode well for those U.S. consumers dependent on access to electrical building wire.
These economics affect builders in two detrimental ways: price inflation and copper theft. As the cost of building wire made with single-metal copper climbs, so too will its theft.
Copperweld offers a solution. Copperweld Building Wire® is made with genuine copper-clad aluminum (CCA), a bimetallic material composed by mass of nearly one-third copper, all of which resides at the wire's surface and periphery. The copper in the wire provides for safe, long-term electrical connections and splices. The grade of copper used to make Copperweld CCA is known as 'oxygen-free copper,' which is the most expensive copper grade with the highest values for electrical conductivity, thermal stability, and corrosion resistance. This copper is metallurgically bonded to an aluminum core. Once bonded, just as with any traditional alloy, the two metals can’t be physically separated.
As a result, scrap bimetal gives thieves only a miniscule fraction of the payout of pure copper, making it an effective deterrent to theft. The result: a better building wire with built-in theft deterrence.
Upgrade your building wire.