I have been politely pestering my MP about the new electrical regs which are being imposed from next April, because those regs are a threat to my business in so far that they require certification of work, and I'm not (yet) qualified to provide that certification. That means that for some jobs around the home where a test certificate will need to be issued I probably won't be able to take the work on.
Just received a reply from Nick Raynsford MP (minister responsible for this crap), c/o my MP. In this reply NR advises that if I can't do the certificates myself there is an easy way out - call in the local council who will do the test and issue a certificate - at a cost of course. NR advises that householders will be happy with this additional cost because they will be reassured that the work carried out meets the regulations (sure they will....).
Anyway, got on the phone to the local council at the end of last week, asking the questions "if I've got to get the local council to do this as advised, then what is the procedure, how much does it cost, and what is the turnaround time?".
Quick answer: "What new regulations?". More discussion follows where I politely explain what's going on. Even quicker answer comes back: "That's madness". Oh dear, it seems that local councils aren't happy with what's going on in central government.
This morning I got a call from the manager of the department in the local council that is responsible for these sorts of things. He'd been away for a few days and was wondering what the note on his desk was all about. I explained. His response: "Well I know there is going to be new regs coming along in the future, but no-one has told us anything about it being from April". Furthermore, it turns out that he is a member of NICEIC and reads all their publications, and the NICEIC apparently know nothing about the imposition next April either.
As far as costs go, they haven't figured that out yet. But I am advised that it would have to be a minimum of 50 quid. More likely 100 quid, and if it requires a full test of the installation then there wouldn't be change out of 200 quid. Householders are really going to love this extra charge aren't they! And if they get a sparky in to do the work who is qualified to issue certificates on completion then the dear old sparky is going to ramp up his prices in the knowledge he's now got a captive audience to squeeze the life out of.
Now get this extra info which was kindly provided to me today. According to my source (who I consider to be very reliable given his position in the organisation) council employees are forbidden by law to set foot on or work on private premises, so there's no way they can carry out these tests and certifications.
Anyone spot a problem with these new regs yet?
If you haven't already, get cracking with letters to your MPs folks.