This page provides information about hiring an electrician to carry out major electrical works and the new building regulations which apply to electrical works.
Building Regulations Part P
From 1 January 2005 the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations will be controlled under the Building Regulations.
The new Part P will apply mainly to dwelling houses and flats including gardens and outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and greenhouses.
- Small jobs such as provision of a socket-outlet or a light switch on an existing circuit will not need to be notified to Building Control (although there will be some exceptions for high risk areas such as kitchens and bathrooms).
- All work that involves adding a new circuit to a dwelling, or electrical work in kitchens and bathrooms or in 'special locations' (see table) will need to be either notified to Building Control with a building regulation application or carried out by a competent person who is registered with a Part P Self-Certification Scheme.
There are two routes available to applicants to ensure they comply with Part P:
- Use an electrician/installer who is registered with a Competent Person's scheme, in which case a building regulation application will not be required for the electrical work.
We would strongly encourage the use of electricians/installers who are part of a Competent Person Scheme.
- Submit a Building Regulation application to the Local Authority:
A. Where an electrician registered with a recognised trade body such as NICEIC, ECA & NAPIT (who need not be registered under a competent persons scheme) tests the work and issues a design, installation and test certificate under BS7671. Building Control will accept the certificate as evidence that the work complies with Part P.
Additional inspections by Building Control may also be carried out in conjunction with the acceptance of a certificate (a list of those electricians competent to inspect and test will be available on the internet at labc-services.co.uk).
B. Where the work is carried out by an unregistered electrician or is a DIY installation, the applicant is required to have the work inspected and tested by a registered electrician as in A. above.The diagram below shows the various routes to ensure Part P compliance:
To notify or not, that is the question?
Except as identified in the chart below, notification of proposals to carry out electrical installation will be given to a building control body before work begins, unless the work is undertaken by a person registered with a Part P self certification scheme.
Whether or not work is notifiable is dependant on the nature of installation work proposed and its location within a dwelling. The location is important because some 'special installations or locations', such as kitchens and bathrooms, may pose a greater risk to people.
Examples of work
|Examples of work||Areas outside of bath/shower room and kitchens||Within a bath/shower room shower rooms and kitchens or kitchen (special location)|
|Complete new/rewire of installation||yes||yes|
|Consumer unit change||yes||yes|
|Installing a new shower circuit||yes||yes|
|Installing an additional socket||no||yes|
|Installing an additional light||no||yes|
|Adding of fused connection unit to ring final circuit||no||yes|
|Installing a new cooker circuit||yes||yes|
|Connecting a cooker to an existing connection unit||no||no|
|Installing or upgrading main or supplementary equipotential bonding||no||yes|
|Replacing a damaged cable for a single circuit||no||no|
|Replacing a damaged socket outlet||no||no|
|Replacing a light fitting||no||no|
|Installation and fit of a storage heater, including final circuit||yes||yes|
|Fit and connection of a storage heater||no||no|
|Installing extra low voltage lighting (not CE marked sets)||yes||yes|
|Taking out a new supply to a garden shed||yes||n/a|
|Installing a socket in a garden shed||yes||n/a|
|Installing a light fitting in a greenhouse||yes||n/a|
|Installing a pond pump, including supply||yes||n/a|
|Installing a hot air sauna||yes||yes|
|Installing a solar photovaltic power supply||yes||yes|
|Installing ceiling or floor heating||yes||yes|
|Installing a small scale generator||yes||yes|
|Installing an additional socket in a motor caravan||n/a||n/a|
Competent Person's Schemes
There are currently five full scope schemes in operation, who can carry out any electrical work and five defined-scope schemes for other trades who can carry out a limited amount of electrical work (for example gas fitters and kitchen fitters, alarm installers and electric garage door fitters).
|Full scope schemes||Defined scope schemes|
|BRE Certification Ltd||CORGI|
|British Standards Institution||ELECSA Ltd|
|ELECSA Ltd||NAPIT Certification Ltd|
|NAPIT Certification Ltd||NIC Certification Ltd|
|NICEIC Certification Services Ltd||OFTEC Ltd|
Building Regulation Applications
If you intend to submit a full plans application for notifiable electrical work we will require a note on the plans which states:
"All electrical work required to meet the requirements of Part P (Electrical Safety) must be designed, installed, inspected and tested by a person competent to do so. Prior to completion, the Council should be satisfied that Part P has been complied with. This may require an appropriate BS7671 electrical installation certificate to be issued for the work by a person competent to do so.
Building Regulation Charges
The charges for notifiable electrical work are as shown on Table C of our Schedule of Charges. If the electrical work is part of a larger scheme i.e. a kitchen extension. The charge for that work will be included in the overall charge in Table B or Table A if it involves a new dwelling, as long as a registered electrician is employed.
Information on the new Part P can be found on the following websites. Some useful links are included below.
- Electrical Contractors' Association website
- Local Authority Building Control website
- ELECSA website
- National Association of Professional Inspectors website
- Institute of Engineering and Technology website
- NICEIC website.
Building Control Services
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council
Surrey RH2 0SH
Tel: 01737 276162
Fax: 01737 276018
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated : 27/11/2012