The CRU secured a prosecution against Dara Griffiths of Inspired Homes, Meath Place, Bray, Co Wicklow for illegally carrying out designated electrical works without being a registered electrical contractor (REC) with Safe Electric.
The case was heard on 10 December 2018 and presiding Judge Lucey heard evidence from Mr. Seán Ward, Electrical Investigative Officer with the CRU that the works carried out did not conform with the relevant standards required.
The electrical works were undertaken in a house in Monkstown, Co. Dublin in March 2017. 16 breaches of the national wiring rules were found resulting in the potential risk of a house fire. Judge Lucey fined Mr. Griffiths €500 for the offence of illegally undertaking designated electrical works and awarded costs of €1,845 plus VAT to the CRU.
It is illegal for an individual or company to carry out Restricted Electrical Works or to portray themselves as registered, unless they are a REC with Safe Electric. The penalties for non-compliance include a fine of up to €15,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years. Members of the public who wish to report an unregistered individual who has undertaken electrical works or has portrayed themselves as a REC should visit www.safeelectric.ie.
The CRU’s mission in this area is to protect life, to prevent injury, and to minimise economic loss and it investigates all reports of alleged breaches of legislation.
The CRU’s Commissioner for Energy Safety and Chairperson, Dr. Paul McGowan said: “This successful prosecution sends out a strong message to both unregistered electrical contractors and consumers. When getting electrical work done in your home always ask your electrician if they are a Registered Electrical Contractor before they commence work. If an electrical contractor does not have the required registration or cannot prove membership of the Safe Electric scheme, consumers should not use them.”
- There are over 4,000 RECs in Ireland. By using a REC, consumers can have confidence that they are dealing with a competent contractor who has the required expertise in electrical safety to ensure the safe operation of their electrical installation. The REC is insured, and a sample of their work is inspected by Safe Electric on an annual basis. A REC must issue you with a completion certificate for electrical works carried out.
- Under the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 the CER has responsibility to regulate the activities of electrical contractors with respect to safety. It is an offence under the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 to portray oneself as a Registered Electrical Contractor unless registered with a designated Electrical Safety Supervisory Body. It is also an offence under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (Restricted Electrical Works) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 264 of 2013) for any individual to carry out Restricted Electrical Works unless they are a Registered Electrical Contractor.
- Safe Electric is operated by one Electrical Safety Supervisory Body, the Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland (RECI), on behalf of the CER. RECI carry out the day to day operations of the electrical safety scheme on behalf of the CER, such as inspecting the Registered Electrical Contractors annually.