Commission for Energy Regulation enacts new safety legislation for domestic electrical contractors

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), Ireland’s national energy regulator, has put in place new safety legislation for electrical contractors operating in the home.

As a result, from 1st October 2013 only Registered Electrical Contractors may complete significant electrical work in residential premises under Irish law. Minor electrical works such as changing switches, sockets or light fittings are not covered by this legislation.

This law has been put in place by the CER following a CER public consultation and the Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte bringing the draft legislation for approval by both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Electrical installations in the home, if not properly installed and maintained, can kill. In Ireland, on average 5 people per year are killed each year in their home from either direct contact with electricity or from fires with a suspected electrical cause. This includes fires related to electrical appliances which in some cases may have been avoided by putting adequate electrical protection in place.

This new safety law will improve safety by requiring that only Registered Electrical Contractors carry out significant electrical work in the home. For example, it will be illegal for anyone other than a Registered Electrical Contractor to carry out works on the distribution/fuse board in a home.

All Registered Electrical Contractors are insured and must issue the customer with a certificate of conformance to show the work is to an approved standard, thereby improving safety standards. To find a Registered Electrical Contractor please visit

Commenting on the new legislation, the CER’s Commissioner, Dr Paul McGowan, said:

“This new law means that any significant electrical work in the home can only be carried out by a Registered Electrical Contractor. This will improve safety standards for customers and reduce the risk of electrical accidents from substandard work, saving lives and protecting property.” 

This new electrical safety law follows a similar system that works well in relation to Registered Gas Installers where the CER has taken three successful prosecutions against unregistered individuals.