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Building regs. Know the rules !

Posted by Chris Thompson on 19th October 2009

Read this before starting any work Many jobs in the home need to be notified to and approved by your Local Authority Building Control unless carried out by an installer who is registered with a Competent Person Scheme. Some examples are shown below (those marked * may not need to be notified in certain circumstances).

If you do not comply the work will not be legal. You could be prosecuted and could face a fine of up to £5000. 

The work may not be safe or could cause health problems. It may also not meet energy efficiency standards. 

If work is found to be faulty your Local Authority could insist you put it right at your own expense. 

If the work has not been notified or carried out by a registered installer from a Competent Person Scheme you will have no record that the work complies with Building Regulations. This will be important when you come to sell your home as you will be asked to provide certificates of compliance with the Building Regulations as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP). 





































An installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme is qualified to carry out specific types of work in accordance with Building Regulations and will deal with Building Control issues for you. You will usually have access to insurance backed warranties and a robust complaints procedure to use in the unlikely event work is found to be non compliant. 

An installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme will notify the Local Authority on your behalf and will issue you with a certificate on completion which can be used as proof of compliance for the HIP. It will also show up on a solicitor’s Local Authority search when you sell your home. 

If you do not use an installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme then you will have to submit a building notice or full plans application and pay a fee to have Building Control come and inspect the work you have carried out. 

Visit www.competentperson.co.uk and enter your postcode or the name of the installer in the relevant search box. Alternatively, contact the Competent Person Scheme operators directly; their details are at the bottom of this page. 

New installation or replacement of a heating system or any boiler, regardless of fuel type 

New installation or replacement of an oil tank

Installation of a new bathroom or kitchen if existing electrics or plumbing are altered or if new electrics or plumbing are installed 

Installation of fixed air conditioning systems

Installation of additional radiators to an existing heating system*

New electrical installations in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors*

Replacement window and door units

Please see above and below for examples of work that you do or do not need to notify to the Local Authority before starting. Please note that this list is not complete and there will be other work not listed here that you will need to notify. For some types of work marked * you may not need to notify in certain circumstances. If you are in any doubt you should contact your Local Authority Building Control team for advice.  You DO need to tell your Local Authority Building Control about the following work unless you use an installer who is registered with a Competent Person Scheme. 

You DO NOT need to tell your Local Authority Building Control about the following work but you can still use an installer who is registered with a Competent Person Scheme. 

Most repairs, replacements and maintenance work (except replacements of combustion appliances, oil tanks, electrical consumer units or glazing units which do need to be notified) 

Additional power points or lighting points or any other alterations to existing circuits (except in bathrooms, kitchens or outdoors*) 

Like for like replacements of baths, toilets, basins or sinks

Below is a list of the types of work covered by Competent Person Schemes. 

Installation or replacement of oil-fired boilers, tanks and associated hot water and heating systems 

Installation or replacement of solid fuel burners and associated hot water and heating systems 

Installation or replacement of hot water and heating systems

Installation of fixed air conditioning systems

Electrical work (Fully Part P compliant)

Electrical work in association with other work (kitchen installations, boiler installations) 

Replacement windows and doors

Installation of bathrooms, toilets, washing facilities

These schemes have been listed alphabetically. This does not reflect the size of the scheme or whether the scheme specializes in dealing with a particular type of work. Some schemes may not have members in your local area who deal with the type of work that you are interested in. 

APHC www.competentpersonsscheme.co.uk 0121 711 5030 

BESCA www.besca.org.uk 0800 652 5533 

BSI www.kitemark.com 08450 765610 

CORGI www.trustcorgi.com 0800 915 0485 

CERTASS www.certass.co.uk 08450 948025 

EC Certification/Elecsa www.eccertification.co.uk www.elecsa.co.uk 08458 738786 08456 349043 

FENSA www.fensa.org.uk 020 7645 3700 

GAS SAFE REGISTER www.gassaferegister.co.uk 0800 408 5500 

HETAS www.hetas.co.uk 08456 345626 

NAPIT www.napit.org.uk 0870 444 1392 

NICEIC www.niceic.com 0870 013 0382 

OFTEC www.oftec.org.uk 08456 585080 

Categories: electrician training

Electric car chargers will drive Brighton and Hove forward

Posted by Chris Thompson on 6th October 2009

New electric car charging points in Brighton and Hove.











Brighton and Hove is delivering on green promises with the installation of its first electric car charging points. The city is the first place outside London to install them on public streets. Ten will be put in over the coming weeks and the first was installed in Bartholomews, in The Lanes, on Friday.  

Manufactured by Elektromotive, based at the Sussex Innovation Centre in Brighton, they are at the business end of clean energy. But, with only three electric cars zipping around Brighton and Hove, questions have been raised about the battery-powered vehicles. 

Elektromotive managing director Calvey Taylor-Haw, a passionate supporter of the electric car, said the chargers would pave the way for an electric revolution. He said: “It’s proven that if you put the infrastructure in it will encourage ownership. 

“There aren’t cars available to buy at the moment but that will start changing next year. 

“All the major car manufacturers will be introducing their electric car models to the market next year.  

“In five years’ time, the roads will look much the same as they do today. But roads will be much quieter and there will be far less air pollution.  

“The Department for Transport is saying there will be in the region of two million electric vehicles throughout the UK by 2020. Now Brighton has taken the first initiative, it won’t be long before other towns start to look at this. 

“A lot of cities are starting to install the infrastructure.”   

Mr Taylor-Haw defended Brighton and Hove City Council’s decision to install ten charging points across the city, despite there being a tiny number of electric cars on its roads. He said: “It’s a chicken and egg situation. We need the infrastructure in place before the cars come into the market.”   At the moment, electric cars can travel about 100 miles on a full battery, which is fine for nipping across city centres but not so effective for long-distance journeys.  However, according to Mr Taylor-Haw, developments in battery technology will improve the distances substantially.  He said: “The 100-mile range is short term. With the advance of the batteries it won’t be long before the cars are doing a 200- mile range.  “If someone wants a long-range car, they would opt for a plug-in hybrid car.”  

The cars are much cheaper to run than those with petrol and diesel engines. According to Mr Taylor-Haw, a 10,000-mile journey in a traditional 900cc car would cost about £1,200. The electric equivalent would cost £200 to travel the same distance.  But he concedes the cars would initially be more expensive because there would be a “slight premium”  on the cars. 

Critics have argued the electric cars aren’t as green as proponents claim, because electricity generation still relies heavily on burning fossil fuels.  But Mr Taylor-Haw defends their environmental credentials. He explained: “When the power source is from a mix of renewable energy and a fossil-fuelled power station it is substantially greener than an equivalent-sized petrol or diesel car and that’s allowing for the carbon dioxide emitted during manufacture and transportation of the car to the customer.”  

The city’s reputation for its environmentally aware residents makes it an ideal place to run an electric car scheme.  Brighton and Hove has more Green Party councillors than any other city in the country and embraces schemes including car-free day and eco homes. Mr Taylor-Haw added: “The city has a reputation for being innovative. It’s good news for Brighton and Hove to start the ball rolling on this.”

Street chargers installed to motivate drivers to switch to electric, A G-Wiz electric car charging in London from a Juice produced by Elektromotive which is now installing similar on-street charging points in Brighton. 

Not content with trying become self-sufficient in food, possibly electing the first Green party MP and weaning itself off oil as a Transition Town, Brighton & Hove is launching a bid to become one of the UK's most friendly cities for electric cars.

This week the city sees a major investment in electric car charging infrastructure, with the installation of four street-side charging stations and a further 16 completed by the end of 2010. The charging stations, which are vital to create a viable charging network for electric cars that mostly have a range of less than 100 miles, will reportedly be the first street-side points outside London. 

The capital currently has more than 100 on-street charging stations, and in April mayor Boris Johnson said he wanted London to become the electric car capital of Europe with 25,000 stations and 100,000 electric vehicles. Other cities such as Bristol and Gateshead have existing public charging points but only in car parks. 

Brighton-based charging company Elektromotive has already completed installation of the first four Brighton & Hove pilot sites. The first 10 stations will be paid for by £130,000 from clean transport initiative Civitas, which is part-funded by the EU.  

Calvey Taylor-Haw, managing director of Elektromotive, said: "By encouraging drivers to switch to electric, Brighton will benefit hugely. There will be less air pollution and local residents will appreciate the quiet of electric vehicles. The installation of the bays will take place over a short period of time, providing electric vehicle users with rapid access to charging facilities."  

The bays work with a standard mains plug and wireless key fobs that open the charging stations, which recharge cars within four to eight hours. Electric car owners will pay an annual fee to Brighton & Hove council for a registration scheme to access the network, pricing for which is unconfirmed but is expected to be in the region of £75-100 to join and £30-50 annually.  

The scheme has come in for some criticism on The Argus local newspaper website, with users commenting on the fact that there are only three electric cars in the city. A fact confirmed by Taylor-Haw. Electric car owners, who already enjoy a 50% discount on parking permits for the city, will be able to use the bays from November when the council registration scheme opens.  

Yesterday the secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Miliband, announced a £10m fund for local carbon-cutting initiatives such as charging stations, and earlier this summer the government said it would offer electric car buyers grants up to £5,000 to encourage take-up of the new technology.

Categories: renewable energy, electrician training