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Caution; you could be arrested for engaging uncertified electrician to wire your home

BY: Charles Andoh
You must always engage the services of a certified electrician
You must always engage the services of a certified electrician

Did you know that you could be arrested and imprisoned for engaging the services of a non-certified electrician for internal wiring and other electrical works in your home, office or market place?

Additionally, a distribution or utility company which connects lights to any facility or property which has not been wired by a certified electrician can also be held liable.

The country’s Electrical Wiring Regulations 2011, (L.I. 2008), the Legislative Instrument (LI) that guides professionals who engage in electrical wiring and installation works of facilities in the country stipulates this.

The Programmes Officer at the Energy Commission, Mr Stephen N-ebe Yomoh, who disclosed this in Accra to The Mirror explained that even though the law had been in operation for a while, the public needed to be abreast of the provisions, hence a grace period was allowed “but that has been over since January 2020.”

Apart from the arrest, he said any consumer who flouted the regulations by engaging the services of uncertified electricians would be compelled to use the services of certified ones and pay them both before having access to the Installation Completion Certificate (ICC) which would enable them to either be connected to the national grid or have their personal meters.

“There is no way any consumer who wants a personal meter can get it because the ICC forms which are taken to the Electricity Company of Ghana/NEDCo after the necessary inspections are only issued by the certified electricians under the supervision of the commission and power companies who only recognise that form as a prerequisite to get light to any facility,” he emphasised.

Reason
Explaining the regulations further, Mr Yomoh said it was introduced to check the spate of fires that were usually caused by wrong electrical wiring in homes, offices and market places.

Mr Yomoh said the commission had been working closely with the Ghana Police Service to help with the implementation of the law by way of arresting those who were going contrary to the law.

So far, he said more than 10,000 electricians had been certified “and hope that this year, we will be able to certify about 1,000 more to be able to serve consumers in any part of the country.”

Access to certified electricians
Before a consumer can have access to a certified electrician, they must either download a mobile app (Certified Electrician Mobile App) which has all the certified electricians in the country and their details or visit the commission's website to have access to any of the electricians.

Besides, one can go to the Certified Electrical Wiring Professionals Association of Ghana (CEWPAG) which has offices in all the districts across the country.

Facility owners or landlords could also insist on the certification identification of the electricians before engaging them.

Offence
Regulation 13 of the provision states that “A person who contravenes a provision of these regulations for which a penalty is not provided, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years or to both and in addition, the supply of electricity may be disconnected from the premises on which the electrical wiring was undertaken.”

The seventh guideline also highlights that “A person shall not undertake electrical wiring on premises unless that person is certified by (a) a licensed electricity distribution utility; or (b) a recognised person appointed by the Energy Commission.”

Regulation 10 adds that “An electricity distribution utility shall not supply electricity to premises unless the requirements of these regulations have been complied with and the electrical wiring or installation has been undertaken by a certified electrician as required under regulation 7. An electricity distribution utility shall disconnect electricity supply to premises where regulation 4 to 7 have not been complied with.”