The 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations (otherwise known as BS 7671) will be out in July 2018 to come into force at January 2019. The edition and year both being 18 are a coincidence. We don’t think this means that Wiring Regs will be coming out annually from now on, so you can relax! But there are some important changes.
Firstly, energy efficiency is being embraced into the fold, which is most welcome. There have been substantial developments in metering and adding off grid electrical sources that the Regs needed to catch up on. So we have a new 25-page part called Part 8. The really big news here is the requirement for contractors to discuss with clients what level of energy efficiency they want their installation to have.
In addition, RCDs play a bigger part now and that’s also welcome given the major safety benefits of these devices. Chapter 41 is no longer a risk assessment job: electricians will be fitting RCDs everywhere now, including on domestic lighting circuits. The issue of how to ensure a proper earth/have protection on TN systems is picked up, which has been a source of consternation for older large building owners. Some changes have been made to special locations such as S.704 construction sites and S.708 caravan parks. Hook-ups for electrical vehicles have been clarified too.
There’s an 800-page consultation document from IET to digest and comment on between now and 23 August – you need to be a registered with BSi to comment. IET, ECA and NICEIC members are already engaged in responding collectively but it is worthwhile H&S practitioners giving BSi some feedback if they can. The Regs themselves have always been a bit opaque in the past, for non-electricians, which can make it hard to develop awareness of electrical safety for a lay audience. Despite the new focus on efficiency, the Regulations’ main aim is safety, after all.
Source – International Workplace