ESC shows support for Part P at Building Regulations Inquiry
Post Date: 09 March 2012
The director general of the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), Phil Buckle, this week joined a number of leading electrical industry figures giving evidence to the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee Inquiry into the Building Regulations in relation to electrical and gas installation and repairs in dwellings.
The committee's investigation will feed into the government’s ongoing review of the Building Regulations – and Part P in particular – with a view to reducing red tape and cutting costs, and will close on 27 April, with any deregulatory changes coming into force 12 months later.
Speaking to the Select Committee, Buckle reiterated some of the key points which the ESC had previously submitted as written evidence and noted that:
- Part P is the only legal framework in England which protects the consumer from unsafe electrical installation work in the home.
- Part P has had a significant impact on safety - with fires attributed to mains wiring reduced by 17.5%, from 1,057 in 2004, to 872 in 2008 (CLG statistics).
- Approximately 50% of the housing stock in England do not have adequate RCD protection – so Part P is important not only in relation to new and upgraded work but also to support regular checks on older housing stock.
- Additional benefits of Part P – other than peace of mind from using a competent person – include a warranty covering the work and the availability of a complaints procedure, should it be needed.
- The ESC would support a reduction in the type of work that is notifiable, as long as it does not extend to bathrooms or kitchens. These are higher-risk areas, the safety of which cannot be compromised.
"We are committed to consumer protection but we also understand the need for balance – reducing the complexities of Part P, without compromising safety," Buckle insists.
"We have, therefore, worked closely with industry to see how this can best be developed. We also see the ESC's expertise in campaigning as a strength which can benefit both consumers and industry, by supporting an integrated approach to the promotion of Part P".
To see the public consultation document, click here.