From January 2016, the Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland – or RECI as the organisation is better known, – is the only Safety Supervisory Body (SSB) in Ireland and operates under the Safe Electric brand. The Safe Electric brand will be the only consumer facing brand and will allow the general public to more easily identify the scheme and access a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC).
The CER says these arrangements will benefit both consumers and RECs and will remain in place until the end of 2022, giving customers peace of mind that RECs who carry out work in their home do so safely, thereby protecting lives and property.
Safe Electric was operated by two Electrical Safety Supervisory Bodies on behalf of the CER for the first designation period, which concluded at the end of 2015. These bodies carried out the day-to-day operations of the electrical safety scheme on behalf of the CER, such as inspecting the Registered Electrical Contractors annually.
There are almost 4,000 RECs in Ireland, all of which will be supervised by the Electrical SSB so that consumers can be assured that contractors working in their homes are competent, audited and inspected by RECI and are insured. Under the scheme, contractors must also provide a completion certificate to consumers on completion of their work certifying that it’s is carried out to specified standards.
According to the CER it is an offence to carry out certain electrical works, to describe oneself as a REC or to act in a manner likely to suggest that one is a REC while not being registered. The CER carries out prosecutions on non-registered individuals who violate these laws and act illegally. The regulatory scheme, which has been in existence since 2009, will be strengthened by improvements which will build on the benefits to date in terms of safety. The scheme will move from having two Electrical SSBs to one Electrical SSB, allowing for a more focused and efficient scheme.
The greater benefits to RECs will include access to the Electronic Certification System, making the return of safety certificates more efficient and a listing on the approved contractor register on the Safe Electric website, allowing easy location by consumers and access to technical bulletins.
Paul McGowan, CER Commissioner, said, “We congratulate RECI on their appointment as the Electrical Safety Supervisory Body for a seven year period, which commenced in January. We will work with RECI to ensure that the Safe Electric regulatory scheme continues to improve and grow in effectiveness. The objective of the changes to the scheme is to create a more consistent application of safety standards amongst Registered Electrical Contractors and enable a more focussed and efficient delivery of service for both RECs and consumers.”
The CER says it is committed to ensuring the next stage of the scheme will benefit the public and improve electrical safety in the home. The CER will work closely with the newly appointed Body, the current incumbents and all industry stakeholders to ensure that this is the case.
T: (RoI) 01 492 9966 or (NI) 00353(0)1 492 9966 or visit www.reci.ie