Electrical Wiring Certification to curb shoddy works

Electrical Wiring Certification to curb shoddy works

In continuing efforts to curb rampant shoddy electrical wiring works and use of substandard electrical fixtures, a new Ghana Electrical Wiring Certification Guidelines has been launched by Deputy Energy Minister, John Jinapor.

The guidelines, which will operationalize the recently passed Ghana Electrical Wiring Law, aims to both inject professionalism into the electrical wiring trade, by weeding out unqualified practitioners, and curb the rampant use of substandard electrical fixtures.

Negative impacts attributed to shoddy electrical works on both the national economy and human life has been on the ascendancy in recent times.

“In the first quarter of this year alone, 14 electrical and commercial fires have been recorded with seven lives lost and 18 more injured,” Mr. Jinapor disclosed adding that of the total 700 fire incidents recorded in the period and estimated to cost over GHC 1.47 million, a lot more of them are attributable to electrical faults.

Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, the lead agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of the Law, explained that the guidelines have been issued by the Commission in fulfilment of the provisions of Regulations 8 of the Electrical Wiring Regulation, L.I 2008 which was passed by Parliament in November 2011 and became effective in February 2012.

He disclosed that the Regulation provides answer to who qualifies to undertake electrical wiring in the country; how the professional performs the wiring function; and what quality of materials is used in electrical wiring.

“Because most of so-called electricians are not trained, they lack the ability to distinguish between good and bad electrical cables and perform their trade with any wire they lay hands on.

“In many instances, they ill-advise clients into buying inferior cables because of minor price differences,” Dr. Ahenkorah said explaining that the most dangerous aspect of the activities of the unqualified electricians is the way and manner they perform the electrical wiring function; by joining wires where they are not supposed to.

He said with the new regulations, certifications shall be given at three different levels depending on the qualifications and experience of the wiring professional.

One level shall be a certification for domestic electrical wiring and installation. A second shall be commercial wiring and installation and the third for industrial wiring and installation.

“A novelty is that all electrical installations shall be signed off by the person who performed the wiring installations and the client shall be provided wth a drawing of how his property is wired,” Ahenkorah added.

An Electricity Distribution Utility henceforth, may only connect a premise to its distribution system only upon presentation of a signed and sealed Electrical Installation Certificate accompanied by the “As Wired Drawing, which is a single line diagram showing the details of the installation as completed by the certified electrical wiring professional (CEWP) and capable of being used to trace and rectify faults in the installation should they occur.

All CEWPs shall be issued with identification numbers, cards and seals by the certifying authority.

The certification process shall be in three stages and shall consist of a written examination, a practical examination, and an interview.

All persons currently practicing who have been certified by the Electricity Company of Ghana and all aspiring professionals who fail to take or pass the examinations and interview shall from 24th February 2015, cease t    undertake any wiring and installation works in Ghana.

A certificate shall be subject to renewal every five years after an interview.

The regulations also provide for Wiring Inspectors who will periodically insect old installations to confirm that the integrity of the installations is intact.