PART P OF THE BUILDING REGULATIONS WAS INTRODUCED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON JANUARY 1, 2005 TO PROTECT HOUSEHOLDERS AND REDUCE THE RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK.
It brought all electrical work carried out in the home under statutory control - requiring certain jobs to be notified and signed off by a local building control department, or a Competent Person Scheme registered electrician, so that it meets the appropriate safety standards.
Changes to Part P In 2013 the government announced some changes to Part P.
The range of work notifiable to building control was reduced (For England only. In Wales some of the regulations still apply). Under the new, revised regulations, electrical work undertaken in kitchens such as adding a new socket or installing a new security light outdoors are no longer notifiable unless a new circuit is required.
Work that is notifiable to local building control
Below is an example of the type of work that is notifiable:
The installation of a new circuit
The replacement of a consumer unit or
Any addition or alteration to existing circuits in a ‘special location’
A ‘special location’ is considered to be a bathroom where there is a higher risk of water mixing with electrics, giving rise to an increased potential for an electric shock. When working in bathrooms certain restrictions must be adhered to so that switches, and other electrical equipment are installed at safe distances away from showers, baths and taps where the risk of mixing electricity and water is increased.
Work that is not notifiable to local building control
Below are examples of work that is not notifiable:
Additions and alterations to existing installations outside special locations, and replacements, repairs and maintenance anywhere
Installing a new cooker is not notifiable unless a new cooker circuit is needed
Connecting an electric gate or garage door to an existing isolator switch is not notifiable work but installing a new circuit from the consumer unit to the isolator is notifiable
Failure to adhere to Part P
If you cannot provide the right evidence that electrical work has been carried out in accordance with the building regulations then your local building control may insist that the work is re-done at your cost. Additionally, not having the appropriate certification may cause problems when it comes to selling your home.
It is a criminal offence to carry out work that does not comply with building regulations with a maximum fine of £5,000.
A straightforward way of meeting the requirements is to use an electrician who is registered with a competent person scheme such as NICEIC or ELECSA. They can self-certify the work and notify the local building control department on your behalf. You will then receive an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) or Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate (MEIWC) from your contractor confirming the work has been carried out to the required standard along with a building regulation letter of compliance from the registered scheme body – NICEIC or ELECSA.