Due to be issued in July 2018, and co-published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the British Standards Institution (BSI), the updates are likely to be wide-ranging and will affect the whole industry. For instance, due to the increasing demand for lower energy consumption, it is expected that energy efficiency will be added to the regulations, BS 7671:2018. Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director at ElectricalDirect, commented: “Although next July seems a long way off, it’s never too early to consider how the 18th Edition will affect your business. Since the majority of our customers are sole traders and small businesses, we understand the challenges they face in adjusting to such shifts, compared to larger organisations. “However, the changes will soon be here. In order to protect their reputation and maintain a trusted service to customers, we strongly encourage electrical tradespeople to understand how the new Regs could affect the work they do, while they have time on their side.”Key expected updates to the Regs include:• An entirely new section (Part 8, Section 801), encompassing requirements for energy efficiency.• Over voltage – protection against transient overvoltage where the outcomes are likely to have a significant impact. • Heating Section 753 – to be expanded to apply to electrical systems for surface heating.• Protection against fire – use of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to minimise risk of electrical fire in final circuits of a fixed installation.According to ElectricalDirect, the steps tradespeople can take to prepare themselves include keeping up to date with industry news. Since the 18th Edition is currently in draft form, further changes may occur as the details are finalised. Signing up to online forums where tradespeople discuss key issues can help professionals to stay updated, and could help them to find the answers to any questions they may have.Additionally, once the regulations are published, new training courses will become available so electricians are urged to keep an eye out for the latest opportunities. It is also worth taking the necessary City & Guilds exam to get qualified and, therefore providing evidence to your customers that you are up-to-date with the new regulations.
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