Ahead of next year’s Wiring Regulations updates, Steve Martin, ECA Acting Head of Technical, offers a sneak peak in to what might be heading our way.
The IET Wiring Regulations –otherwise known as BS 7671 –are currently under full review, with a new 18th Edition planned for the near future. Although the proposals are still in draft form, the ECA can provide an update on the timeline and some of the likely changes:
Why the changes?
a) Harmonisation with CENELEC and IEC 60364 standards;
b) An opportunity to clarify existing regulations;
c) Allows new technology and methodology to be incorporated.
Anticipated timeline of events
● 1 June – 24 August 2017: Draft for Public Consultation (DPC);
● 24 August – 9 November 2017: JPEL panels review public comments;
● 9 November – 30 November 2017: JPEL 64 approval of DPC changes;
● 28 June 2018: 18th Edition published;
● 1 January 2019: 18th Edition comes into full effect.
Significant headline changes
1. Protection against over-voltages – Updated guidance on Surge Protection;
2. Protection against Fire – Updated guidance on Arc Fault Detection;
3. Updated guidance on Special Locations;
4. New Part 8 Energy Efficiency.
Part 8 – Energy Efficiency
Up until now BS7671 has only ever taken steps to safeguard against fire and electric shock. A proposed new section in BS7671, harmonised document IEC 60364-8-1 details the steps to be taken during the design process to consider the energy efficiency of an electrical installation. This document gives a framework for clients to stipulate levels of energy efficiency, in order to achieve:
● Less impact on the environment;
● Reduction of energy losses and energy cost;
● Use of energy at lower tariffs;
● Less reactive maintenance;
● Optimisation of performance for life cycle.
Representing the practitioner’s view
The ECA technical team has representation on all of the following committees which help determine the Wiring Regulations:
● JPEL 64 Committee – Final approval;
● Sub Committee Panel A – Covers: definitions, verification, inspection & testing;
● Sub Committee Panel B – Covers: thermal effects, cable sizing;
● Sub Committee Panel C – Covers: protection against electric shock, isolation and switching;
● Sub Committee Panel D – Covers: special locations & external influences.
What is the ECA doing?
a) Consulting our members and wider industry on the changes and representing views;
b) Creating cost saving initiatives to smooth the complete process;
c) Providing guidance and updates to contractors, clients and the wider industry.