Regulations explained

What is Part P of the Building Regulations?

Since 2005, all electrical work in dwellings in England and Wales, whether carried out professionally or as DIY, must meet the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations.

Part P is in place to keep you and your family as safe as possible from electrical hazards, and applies to new domestic properties, as well as any alterations or additions to electrical installations in existing properties, including full or partial rewires.

Who is responsible for making sure that electrical work in your home meets the requirements of Part P?

By law, the homeowner or landlord must be able to prove that all electrical installation work on their property meets the requirements of Part P, or they will be committing a criminal offence.

Local Authorities have the power to make homeowners or landlords remove or alter any work that does not meet the requirements of the Building Regulations.

England

What electrical work is notifiable in England?

Electrical work which requires notification differs between England and Wales. Additional changes were introduced to Part P in England in April 2013. This means that electrical work in a dwelling, or associated with its surroundings, is notifiable to a local building control body where it includes:

  • circuit alteration or addition in a special location*
  • installation of one or more new circuits
  • installation of a replacement consumer unit (fuse box)
  • rewire of all circuits
  • partial rewire
  • new full electrical installation (new build)

* Certain zones within a room containing a bath or shower, or a room containing a swimming pool or sauna heater.

An alteration or addition to an existing circuit in a room containing a bath or shower is notifiable only where carried out in the space surrounding a bath or shower shown below:



What do I need to do if I wish to have electrical installation work carried out in my home?

All electrical work in the home in England must comply with Part P of the Building Regulations. In addition, those items described as notifiable above are required by Law to have a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.

It is strongly recommended that you employ an electrical installer who is registered with one of the Government-approved Scheme Operators listed on this website. This is the only way in which you can be sure of employing someone who has had their domestic electrical competence verified and is authorised under the Regulations to arrange for you to be issued with the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.

There are other ways of complying with the Building Regulations, but these do not verify the competence of the electrical installer and they involve making a further payment for electrical work to be inspected. The most common route for home owners to do this is by informing the Building Control Department of your local authority before the work commences. See www.planningportal.gov.uk for full details of how to comply with building and planning regulations.

What should I do if the work is non-notifiable in England?

If you determine that the work is not subject to notification under Building Regulations, we strongly recommend that you use a competent, registered electrical installer for safety reasons.

Wales

What electrical work is notifiable in Wales?

The following are examples of electrical installation work in a dwelling, or associated with its surroundings, that is notifiable to a Local Authority Building Control in Wales:

In general:

  • a complete new installation or rewire; or
  • the replacement of a consumer unit (fusebox); or
  • the installation of:
    • a new circuit, whether at low voltage (typically 230 V) or extra-low voltage);
    • a solar photovoltaic power supply;
    • electric ceiling or floor heating;
    • ­an electrical generator;
    • ­power / control wiring for a central heating system

In a special location*, the installation of:

  • wiring/equipment for telephone or extra-low voltage communications, information technology, control or similar purposes
  • a prefabricated equipment set and any associated leads with integral plug and socket connections (for example lighting)

In a kitchen** or special location:

  • extension of an existing circuit within a kitchen or special location

Outside of the dwelling, the installation of:

  • a supply to a detached garage, shed or other outbuilding
  • a supply to an electric gate or pond pump
  • garden lighting
  • a socket-outlet

* A special location is a room containing a bath or shower, swimming pool or a sauna heater
** For Building Regulations purposes, a kitchen is a room or part of a room which contains a sink and food preparation facilities

What do I need to do before electrical installation work can be carried out in my home?

All electrical work in the home in Wales must comply with Part P of the Building Regulations. In addition, those items described as notifiable above are required by Law to have a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.

It is strongly recommended that you employ an electrical installer who is registered with one of the Government-approved Scheme Operators listed on this website. This is the only way in which you can be sure of employing someone who has had their domestic electrical competence verified and is authorised under the Regulations to arrange for you to be issued with the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.

There are other ways of complying with the Building Regulations, but these do not verify the competence of the electrical installer and they involve making a further payment for electrical work to be inspected. The most common route for home owners to do this is by informing the Building Control Department of your local authority before the work commences. See www.planningportal.gov.uk for full details of how to comply with building and planning regulations.

What should I do if the work is non-notifiable in Wales?

If you determine that the work is not subject to notification under Building Regulations, we strongly recommend that you use a competent, registered electrical installer for safety reasons.

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To start using the Registered Competent Person Electrical search facility, simply enter your postcode to find a registered electrician near you. Alternatively, search by company name to see whether an electrician you may be considering is listed as registered.