18th Edition Amendment 1 – What You Need To Know

The first Amendment to BS7671:2018 was released in February. ECA’s Energy Solution Advisor, Luke Osborne, unpacks the changes contractors need to know about.

A key aim of Amendment 1 of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018) is to enable advances in electric vehicle charging technologies which weren’t available at the time of the original publication.

Amendment 1 is solely focused on section 722: electrical vehicle charging installations. It is a response to changes in technologies that are now available which enable the increased roll-out of safe and practical electric vehicle charge points (EVCPs).

The main changes

Aside from several minor alterations, the main change to 722 is in 722.411.4.1. This lists the exemptions for when a PME earthing facility may be used as the means of earthing the protective conductor contact of a charging point, if located outdoors or when it might reasonably be expected to be used to charge a vehicle located outdoors.

The main change has been the addition of regulation 722.411.4.1 (iv).

This gives an option specifically for protection against electric shock in a single-phase installation, by using a device which electrically disconnects the vehicle from the live conductors of the supply and from the protective earth within five seconds.

ECA contributed to BS 7671:2018 Amendment 1 and regards it as a welcome development. It takes on board advances in technologies not previously available. It will offer electrical contractors a method of providing safe, compliant electrical vehicle charge point installations for buildings with a single phase electricity supply, without having to undertake potentially dangerous groundworks or an using expensive and heavy isolation transformers.

The future of transport?

According to a report by EuropeOn, which can be read in full here, by 2030 nearly 200,000 jobs will be created in the electric vehicle sector as a result of a shift to electric cars – more than twice the number that could be lost in traditional car manufacturing. The potential commercial opportunities in this area are clear.

ECA has produced guidance notes to help members navigate the process of registering with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in order to access and facilitate installation grants for customer installations. The guidance covers both registration for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge scheme and the Workplace Charging Scheme. More information can be found at www.eca.co.uk.

More information

The Amendment also includes the addition of 722.411.4.1 (v), which gives the opportunity for industry to develop alternative devices to those listed in 722.411.4.1 (iii) and 722.411.4.1 (iv), which provide protection against electric shock, as long as these devices do not result in a lesser degree of safety than those of (iii) and (iv). This will remove the necessity for hastily updating the Wiring Regulations in the advent of new technologies coming through.

The full Amendment can be viewed for free, or downloaded for £5, at electrical.theiet.org/bs-7671/updates

For more information about the Wiring Regulations and further changes, visit eca.co.uk/Project18.

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