The Institute of Engineering and Technology and the British Standards Institution have announced some important changes that could be made to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations.
Dubbed Amendment 2 2022, the changes to BS 7671 will have a wide ranging impact on the way the electrical industry works. This is the second time the 18th Edition has been amended, following updates to the electric vehicle charging requirements which were implemented this year.
While the new changes aren’t as dramatic as the 18th Edition itself, it’s still important to know what has been proposed. The reason it’s so important is because nothing has been set in stone as of yet. In fact, the IET and BSI are both asking for feedback on the proposed changes, meaning you get the opportunity to voice your opinion.
What are the proposed changes?
One of the largest proposed changes in Amendment 2 is a new Part 8 – Functional Requirements. Part 8 includes Chapter 82: prosumer’s Low-Voltage Electrical Installations, which sets out the requirements for Prosumer Electrical Installations (PEIs), including considerations for interaction with the smart grid, safety requirements (including earthing arrangements), proper functioning and implementation.
Electrical installers will have a large part to play in the selection of the most appropriate equipment and a comprehensive knowledge of this area will be key as prosumer technologies develop.
Important changes to fire safety requirements are also proposed in Chapter 4, covering the design of electrical installations in industrial, commercial and multiple-occupancy homes, as well as new information for ‘protected escape routes’.
Additional changes are also proposed to the following areas:
- Regulation 421.1.7 – further information on the use of Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs)
- Regulation 443.4 – further information on Overvoltages
- A new Normative Annex (542) on Earthing Arrangements
- Multiple changes within Section 7: Special Locations
This is not every change that’s been announced, although we shall update this article with any more changes we come across.
Why are the new changes being proposed
The 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations is constantly evolving, with the IET and BSI constantly looking at international and European standards, as well as the industry itself to ensure that the regulations are always relevant.
Mark Coles, head of Technical Regulations at the IET, said of Amendment 2, “This Amendment is the result of years of work by the JPEL/64 committee, the committee responsible for BS 7671, taking on board requirements from international and European standards, as well as input from organisations such as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the findings of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (2018).
“It is vital that the electrical installation industry keeps up to date with the constant developments in technologies that impact our work, improving the efficiency of installations and enhancing sustainable development. Above all, we must ensure that safety remains of paramount importance, and this is reflected in the proposed changes to BS 7671:2018.”
Dan Palmer, associate director of Committees at BSI, added, “In our role as the UK National Standards Body, BSI has published the draft standard, called BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations, for public comment. We welcome industry experts to review the newly amended standard and share best practice and learnings from their experience. The standard will be published with consensus amongst stakeholders.”
The Draft and information on submitting your comments is available on the BSI website from today. You can find more information and links to the content at theiet.org/updates.