Sparking change: a greener era for electrical safety

For most electrical professionals, the world of work will have changed considerably over the last few years.

There are several reasons for this: the global climate crisis, new energy efficiency legislation, not to mention rapid advances in technology.

Sustainability is now at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

To meet the UK Government’s Net Zero by 2050 obligations, urgent action will be needed in the way our buildings use energy. As such, greater use of electricity as a power source will be the cornerstone of meeting the UK’s environmental obligations, presenting the electrical industry with ample opportunity to grow and diversify their income stream.

To reflect these new industry needs, the amendment to the IET Wiring Regulations, BS 7671:2018+A2:2022, not only enhances the safety of electrical installations, but also now covers prosumer electrical installations (PEI).

This change to the Wiring Regulations is an exciting step into the future of managing renewable sources of energy and their integration into our lives.

The future of electrical installations

Along with other important electrical safety changes, the new 2022 amendment to BS 7671 contains a new chapter on prosumer’s low voltage electrical installations.

This new chapter covers energy efficiency measures, the interface with the smart grid, the management of electricity consumption, the management of renewable sources of electricity, and energy storage.

The concept of the PEI has been developed to answer the needs of the end-user, making them both a consumer and a producer of electricity. For example, where a PEI has a storage capability, the user could take advantage of low demand to store energy when its price may be lower. With active energy management, the end-user should be able to permanently monitor and control his or her own electricity consumption and production.

One of the key components of a PEI is its electrical energy management system (EEMS).

The objectives of an EEMS are to control the connection of the PEI to the smart power grid; to manage, locally, the electrical energy production; to manage electrical consumption; and to manage the energy procurement from the grid or supply network. This is carried out using meters and measuring equipment, to communicate the correct electricity parameters to the EEMS and the direction of the energy flow.

Early adopters of PEI technologies, such as renewable energy and energy storage systems, will reap the benefits in this under-skilled but rapidly growing part of the electrical industry. BS 7671:2018+A2:2022 outlines the latest industry best practices in this emerging area.

The role of the electrical professional is changing, but the future could be brighter than ever for those who adapt. BS 7671:2018+A2:2022 is currently available to buy from the BSI Shop online. Get your copy of BS 7671:2018+A2:2022 today.

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