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Electrical Installation Certificates, or EICs, are an integral document that proves that the electrical installation at a residence is according to the standards outlined in Part P regulations.
If you are looking to do extensive electrical work on your property, then you will have to opt for a professional service that provides Part P-certified electricians who can:
In some cases, you may also do all the electrical work yourself if you have the work inspected by a Part P-certified electrician.
Read on to learn more about EICs, their purpose, their importance, and some useful information for people seeking to obtain a valid Electrical Installation Certificate:
Electrical installation is a highly complex task that can only be completed by trained and certified individuals. Before the advent of the British Standards early in the 1900s, electrical installations weren’t a standardised practice. Everyone had their own approach to installing lights, fixtures, and appliances. While this got the job done for many people, it also resulted in a lot of discrepancies, especially when it came to safety.
When a certified electrician attempts an installation, they have two things in mind:
The problem was, since there weren’t any standards, most electricians just focused on getting the job done by quickly installing and laying electrical wire without giving safety enough attention. It can be argued that most electricians had an erroneous notion about the safety of the wires that were used before the advent of the British Standards. They believed that since the wires were insulated, the chances of them shorting or catching fire were unlikely.
The key factor to understand here is that most electricians were also focused on bringing down costs to maximise profits, which is why they opted for less-than-par quality when it came to crucial electrical installation equipment.
In most cases, these types of installations worked. Sure, there were more repairs and equipment breakdowns, but on all accounts, saving money by going for sub-par installation was hailed as the go-to strategy for electrical work. Fortunately, this trend did not last for long.
Due to the poor electrical installation practices throughout the early 20th century, the number of accidents, and unfortunately, fatalities caused by electrical faults and failure started to rise. The reason for these accidents was clear: electricians were using poor-quality wires that would deteriorate in a few years and were using shortcuts to lay down electrical equipment to save time and money.
One might think that an easy solution for this would be to set regulations for wire manufacturers but in order to get the problem at hand in control, there had to be a systemic change. This is partially what led to the development of the British Standard Institution which would bring uniformity and set standards that were to be followed by every authorised electrician in the country.
Thanks to the constant improvement and evolution of these standards, we are at a point in history where electrical failure is greatly reduced. Today, electricians are required to not just follow all the regulations put forth in Part P regulations, but they are also required to issue a sort of guarantee – a certificate of electrical compliance, which ensures that the electrical work done in a premises was done following all the regulations and standards.
Electrical Installation Certificates were seen as a breakthrough in standardisation and were a result of decades of progress toward setting regulations for electrical installations.
As outlined in Part P, after the successful installation of electrical equipment, the electrician who conducted the work is required to provide the owner of the property with an EIC. This certificate is used as evidence and highlights the fact that the electrical work conducted on the premises was done by following the strict regulations set under Part P regulations.
What makes this document significantly important is that it is also legally required. In the UK, electrical work which includes installation, and even repairs, additions, or alterations legally requires the issuance of a valid Electrical Installation Certificate. The certificate can be issued by any registered electrician so long as they have personally overseen the work done on the premises. The certificate can also be issued by a contractor who is affiliated with the appropriate regulatory bodies.
The certificate includes information regarding the particulars of the installation. For example, it can contain information about the details of the installation, the details of the contractor or installer, the details about the property, the date of issuance, and most importantly, information about the deviations in the installation outside of the regulations.
Finally, the certificate will also contain information about the safety tests and their results. These tests are performed by the electrician, and they ensure that the installation is done correctly and that there are no apparent errors, at least during the tests. If there is an issue highlighted in the results, then the electrician will be responsible to fix those issues before handing over the certificate to the owner of the property.
If there are damages caused by the malfunction of electrical equipment during the tests, then the electrician will make the necessary fixes and rerun the tests until everything is working optimally. After the tests have been completed, the electrician will provide details about the schedule of inspection which is mentioned in the certificate.
These inspections are crucial because just like everything else, electrical equipment is subject to depreciation. Even though modern electrical equipment is built for longevity, the truth of the matter is that there is always room for error when working with high voltage and continuous electricity, especially during humid weather or storms. This is why inspections are mandatory to maintain the safety of the installation.
Another benefit of these inspections is efficiency. Since an authorised electrician will perform these inspections, they can also inform the owners about any areas that require immediate or optional attention to improve efficiency. Increasing or maintaining efficiency in electrical equipment not only keeps the installation safe but can also potentially prevent electrical costs caused by these inefficiencies.
Electrical Installation Certificates are valid until the next major alteration or addition to the installation. For example, if you have just completed the electrical work on your premises and are issued a certificate for the job, then you will have to obtain a renewed certificate in the future should you choose to alter or add to the preexisting installation.
This is an extremely important document that should be shared with the relevant authorities such as Building Control and insurance companies. Renewing the certificate is also an excellent way to indemnify yourself if there is a fault in the electrical equipment, despite proper installation.
As mentioned above, an Electrical Installation Certificate is issued when you have done extensive electrical work on your premises. An example of this would be the rewiring of the entire house. In this case, the contractor or an authorised electrician will issue the certificate at the end of the job. To understand the extent of the job, you can divide electrical work into two categories:
1: Minor Alterations, Additions, or Repairs
2: Major Alterations, Additions, or Repairs
In the case of minor repairs, you may not need to obtain a renewed certificate. For example, if you simply need a light fixture or switch changed, then this type of work wouldn’t warrant a renewed certificate. Minor work is covered by a different certificate and is not associated with an Electrical Installation Certificate which usually focuses on major work.
Think in terms of rewiring the house or adding new electrical equipment to a newly constructed part of your house. A great analogy for this would be to relate the time it takes to complete the job to the appropriate certificate. If it takes less than a day, or a few hours, then the work will likely be minor. However, if the electrical work takes more than a few days, then you will likely require a new or renewed Electrical Installation Certificate.
Authorised electricians will usually provide the certificate without being prompted but if you are curious about the details of the certificate, then we recommend that you speak about this with your electrician so that you are aware of the type of installation on your premises and whether it warrants a renewed certificate.
Planning to sell your property? Then you will need to make sure that you have a valid Electrical Installation Certificate! Most people skip out on this detail and run into trouble later on in the selling process. If you are opting to sell your property, then you will need to have an updated certificate that accounts for every major electrical change in your home.
As mentioned, regulations around the certificate aim to reduce the chances of electrical faults and the resulting accidents caused by those faults – which is why the EIC is an extremely important document that you will be required to share with the next owners.
Failing to comply with the building regulations may result in penalties and you may even have to restore the electrical work out of your own pocket. If you have lost the certificate and your installation is certified, then you may issue a duplicate of the original certificate and provide that to the relevant parties.
If the work hasn’t been certified, then you will have to ensure the work and indemnify the buyer so that the buyer doesn’t have to pay if building regulations require changes in any work related to the electrical equipment.
In addition to the EIC, there are several other types of electrical certificates, each with its own scope and importance. Here are some of the most common certificates apart from the Electrical Installation Certificate:
Any electrical work that doesn’t involve major alterations, additions, or repairs falls into the Minor Electrical Installation Works category.
As mentioned above, if you simply change a light switch, a bulb, or a blown-out socket, then you will not require a new or renewed Electrical Installation Certificate. For these cases, you can simply go for a MEWIC which covers all the small additions or repair work in your home.
Maintaining a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate is equally important because it provides the owner with a guarantee for the work performed by the authorised electrician. Since the certificate contains details about the alterations/repairs/additions, the completion date, and the scope of the job, the owner can use this information to take necessary action if there is another malfunction in the same equipment.
Part P notifications are the notifications sent to building control to make them aware of the electrical work carried out on a property. Notifiable work includes additions, alterations, or repairs to existing installations. Notifications must also be sent for new installations and even the installation of a new fuse box/consumer unit or electrical work done in locations like the bathroom, kitchen, or garden.
The reason for these notifications is to maintain a trail of paperwork that leads back to the relevant authorities. These notifications ensure transparency and highlight that the property is likely safe from electrical faults.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a separate certificate from an EIC. In the case of a condition report, the certificate will cover the electrical tests done in order to ensure the quality and condition of a preexisting or new installation. The condition report will also contain the results of the tests and will highlight the success or failure of these tests. The Electrical Installation Condition Report is an incredibly useful document that can highlight inefficiencies or problems in an installation. This can not only help owners bring up the electrical efficiency of their property, but it can also greatly reduce the risk of electrical faults.
Providing the exact cost can be difficult because the fee for the issuance of an Electrical Installation Certificate depends on the scope of work. Variables such as inspection and testing, documentation, and travel expenses are accounted for when factoring in the price of the certificate.
On average, an Electrical Installation Certificate for a mid-sized home can range from £150 to £240 exclusive of VAT. We recommend that you speak with an authorised electrician to learn more about the specifics of the fee for your premises.
We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, and testing.
All our work is fully insured, and we work to meet the standards set by the NICEIC to make sure all your electrical installations meet the current regulations, and all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.
If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call-out service to rectify and solve any problems such as circuits tripping, loss of power, broken items that need repairing, or to check if you feel something is unsafe or a potential hazard.
Our team can generate a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to identify anything visual that does not comply with the standards or looks unsafe, as well as a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) where we will identify and test each circuit to make sure they are not deteriorating and are safe for use within the current standards and regulations set by the BS 7671.
We can also provide PAT testing of appliances to make sure that any items such as kettles, computers, and microwaves are safe for use in the home and workplace.
Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 3001 to get in touch with our professional electricians for more information on Electrical Installation Certificates (EICs).
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001