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What does the industry think of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations?

December 8, 2017 featured image

The consultation period is over and the electrical industry has had its say. 

The 18th Edition Wiring Regulations will be published on 28th June 2018 and are expected to be in full effect from 1st January 2019. 

But, with some pretty major changes proposed, the response from industry professionals has been a mixed bag, to say the least!

Committee members are currently reviewing hundreds of responses to the Draft for Public Comment and we’ll have to wait to see whether any proposals have been changed as a result.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the industry response to date.

What’s new?

There is a new section on Energy Efficiency, Section 433 Surge Protection has had a significant redraft and other key changes have been made concerning electrical vehicle charging, precautions against fire and floor heating systems, to name but a few!  This blog post lists all the sections that have been changed.

You can watch a series of bite-sized videos from the ECA addressing the potential impact of the new wiring regs here.

Does the industry support the changes?

The ECA published the results of a survey on 24 July 2017, which revealed some significant opposition to the draft 18th Edition:

  • Only 6% of electrotechnical businesses across the industry ‘absolutely support’ the new proposals
  • 28% said that the planned changes were ‘unfavourable’ or were ‘strongly opposed’ to them.
  • 61% ‘somewhat supported’ the draft proposals.

What are the issues?

There were several specific issued highlighted by the ECA survey:

  • 46 per cent said they believed the 18th Edition would ‘increase business burdens’ – New regulations bring an obligation to comply with often stricter regulations. Another common complaint is the increased cost of installs, but electrical industry legend, Tony Cable, thinks this is par for the course in a rapidly changing industry and what seem to be extreme changes will soon become the norm.  He’s written an interesting piece for Professional Electrician & Installer which you can read here.
  • 71 per cent said the 18th Edition would ‘make the design and install process more complex’ – the 18th Edition will require electrical installers to be more involved in the build process that ever before. Rather than simply carrying out an installation and leaving, electricians will need to be involved in the design process.  The impact of the 18th Edition is thought to be wide-reaching, for example it may affect how architects design new buildings, taking into account containment issues to prevent premature collapse.
  • Opposition to the inclusion of Part 8, Energy Efficiency Rules within the Wiring Regs – While most electrotechnical businesses are supportive of improving the energy efficiency of installations, a separate ECA survey revealed that over half of the respondents thought the new energy efficiency rules (Part 8), should be moved into a ‘separate guidance document’.

What do you think about the 18th Edition?  We’d love to hear your views – tweet us @Logic4training

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