ESC White Paper gives industry views a voice

14 June 2013

Industry summit

The Electrical Safety Council’s (ESC) recent Industry Summit was a milestone for the electrical industry in terms of taking a collaborative approach to policy issues. Now the ESC has published a White Paper, which will be submitted to relevant government departments, and other key organisations, based on the views and ideas expressed at the event.

A key ESC objective in hosting the Summit - which brought together a range of stakeholders to discuss consumer safety and the changing industry landscape - was the production of this discussion document. This is the first time a paper of this nature has been developed and it aims to give the industry one voice when addressing the impact of regulatory changes and emerging public policy programmes.

“While we can’t dictate the political agenda, we may be able to influence it with the ideas and comments outlined in our White Paper, by offering expert comment that will help improve consumer safety and reinforce industry best practice”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC. “The Summit was designed to get the views of the industry because, as our keynote speaker at the event – Don Foster MP, the Minister for Building Regulations - noted, we will be more effective if we all work together. To put it simply, collaboration is fundamental to consumer safety and industry success – especially when the only certainty is change.”

The ESC White Paper focuses on the three significant developments explored at the Summit: the changes to Part P and the on-going review of the Building Regulations; what the Green Deal means for contractors; and how smart metering is likely to affect the safety of electrical installations.

The Paper emphasises the need for greater collaboration across the sector – including retailers and wholesalers - to increase consumer awareness of Part P. It also strongly recommends partnership working to gather data on Part P’s effectiveness in relation to safety and best practice. And it calls for further investigation on restricting third party inspection and testing.

Other key recommendations relate to ensuring Green Deal assessors engage with householders on home safety issues and developing the smart meter roll-out to ensure electrical safety for both consumers and contractors. This would involve checking the earthing in homes as part of the installation process and developing a mechanism allowing electricians to safety isolate energy supplies in dwellings. (Currently, contractors have to call out the local network operator to turn off the electricity – which is costly in terms of time and money for the consumer).

The Right. Hon. Don Foster MP adds: “I was delighted to speak at the ESC’s Industry summit. It allowed me to emphasise the importance of consumer education and awareness to ensure safety; and highlight the need for increased industry engagement and collaboration. Just as important, however, was the fact that it gave us the opportunity to hear the views of the industry. I will read the White Paper’s recommendations with interest.”

For more information please contact Angela Murphy on 020 3463 5127 or at