An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is an evaluation of a commercial property’s electrical installation. Conducted by an approved contractor or qualified electrician, an EICR examines the condition of electrical installations and systems and determines if they comply with national safety standards.
After the assessment, landlords and business owners receive a formal document provided by the contractor or electrician. This document states if your electrical systems are in good working condition or if some defects or deficiencies need to be corrected.
Laws in England require businesses to comply with specific electrical safety standards to keep their property, customers and employees safe. These regulations include:
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
Employers must ensure their electrical systems are safely installed and maintained to protect their employees in the workplace. Businesses must continually monitor the condition of their electrical systems through regular assessments and testing.
Landlords and Tenants Act 1985
Landlords of commercial and domestic buildings must exercise all precautions to protect their clients from injury and damage caused by electric fires and shocks. An EICR is required to ensure that all systems have been checked and tested by a qualified electrician.
A commercial EICR proves that you have complied with these standards, ensuring that the property is safe for employees and customers. These electrical safety regulations apply to commercial properties including:
All commercial electrical systems and installations must be checked and tested by a qualified electrician at least once every five years. Some properties require more frequent testing for reasons including:
Why should I have my electrical system periodically tested?
The lack of an EICR and failure to complete periodic testing makes you liable under UK law for damage or injuries caused by an electrical fire or shock. Without an EICR, it is difficult to prove that all measures were taken to ensure the safety of employees and customers.
Some insurance companies also require an EICR as part of their policy. This document is proof to the insurer that you took the necessary steps to reduce the risk of an electrical fault in your property. If you need to make a claim because an electrical-related accident happens, the insurance company is more likely to cover the damages with an EICR.
Step 1: Getting in touch with an electrical contractor
The nature of a commercial EICR means that the electrician handling your inspection must be certified to work on large electrical systems. When hiring a contractor for an EICR, make sure the electricians have Level 3 diplomas from the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in the fields of:
Commercial electricians must also be accredited by governing bodies like the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting. These qualifications ensure that the inspection and necessary remedial work comply with electrical safety regulations.
Step 2: Setting operational limitations and extent of testing
Before the electrician arrives, they’ll discuss the extent of testing and operational limitations in your property. There might be certain areas in the property where assessment and testing cannot be undertaken. The electrician will note down these limitations and explain the reasons for this in the report.
An example of operational limitations includes installations concealed within the fabric of the building since testing would require reconstruction of the flooring, wall or roof space. You may also exclude other installations from being examined and tested, although doing so will not give you a full and accurate report of the condition of your electrical system.
Step 3: Inspection and testing
The electrician will inspect and test all electrical systems on your property (excluding those that are part of the agreed limitations), taking note of issues such as:
Step 4: Report and remedial work
After the assessment and testing, the electrician will generate a report that will be signed by their qualified supervisor. A copy will be sent to you, detailing the findings and recommendations of the inspection.
The law requires landlords to ensure their electrical installations are checked by a qualified person every five years.
Likewise, it is their responsibility to maintain the integrity of the installations throughout the tenant\'s stay
New regulations from the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector state:
By 1 July 2020, a landlord must give a tenant an accomplished EICR before their move-in date. The rules will apply only to new tenancies.
By 1 April 2021, a landlord must supply any current tenants with an EICR
Failure to comply with regulations can cost fees of up to £30,000
How much is a commercial EICR?
The cost of a commercial EICR depends on your contractor and the extent of the assessment. Comprehensive electrical inspections take around five hours to complete and costs around £120 to £150 for a two-bedroom flat, excluding VAT. Assessments for commercial properties usually cost £15 to £20 per circuit tested.
Expect to pay more for additional repairs and replacements that your electrician may recommend after the EICR inspection.
Stay compliant with building regulations and maintain the safety of your electrical systems with an EICR from Energy Performance Certificates.
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