Connection is defined as the prescribed electrical work (PEW) that is the final step that will allow electricity to flow in the installation or part installation on which other PEW has been done.
Temporary connection for the purposes of testing may have already taken place. Section 82 (4) of the Electricity Act 1992 allows connection for the purposes of testing.
The Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010(external link) use the action of connecting completed work to a supply – which is PEW in itself – as the keystone of the safety regime by requiring those making a connection responsible for verifying the safety or certification of the work being connected. The Regulations also use the expanded certification requirements to ensure safety is achieved.
Any certification must not be dated earlier than six months before the proposed connection.
Before any low voltage installation work can be connected to a supply, the person intending to make the connection must (Regulation 73A(external link)):
- verify that the work has been certified or have certified that work.
- verify that any necessary inspection has been carried out and a Record of Inspection (RoI) completed.
- ensure that the polarity and phase rotation of the supply is correct.
- ensure that the protection of the supply is correctly rated.
- ensure that the installation is compatible with the supply system.
- if the supply system is from a Multiple Earthed Neutral system, verify that there is a main earthing system.
Therisk-based certification requirements that apply to the replacement and installation of meters and load control equipment are as follows:
- If you are replacing a meter or metering system (which includes load control equipment), only an Electrical Safety Certificate (ESC) is required to be issued on completion of the work. All replacements, irrespective of the neutral wiring arrangement, are low risk work; it also includes the relocation or extension of a conductor to facilitate the replacement of a meter.
- If you are installing a meter, as a part of the construction of an installation, the work is subject to certification on a Certificate of Compliance (CoC).
- If the meter can affect the Neutral or Polarity, the work is high risk by virtue of it being mains work. For that reason, it also requires inspection by a person who is not the person who installed and certified the meter. This requires a RoI and an entry in the online Electricity & Gas High Risk Database(external link).
- If the installation of the meter, is the connection of the installation (last piece of PEW as identified in Regulation 73A (5)), then the connection is subject to the verification provisions of Regulation 73A, and an ESC must also be issued after the connections are carried out.
If the meter installation is not the last piece of PEW, the connection may be made by;
- the meter installer,
- the installation certifying electrical worker, or
- a line mechanic making the network connection.
The connection is subject to the verification provisions of Regulation 73A, and an ESC is also required to be issued after the connections are carried out.