Planning permission is not required for electrical installations within a building unless the building is a listed building or place (LBP) or a potential listed building or place (pLBP)
If you are carrying electrical work in your home or any other building, the work needs to be inspected and tested by a person registered with a competent person scheme approved for the purposes of the building bye-laws.
Competent person schemes
Most electrical contractors employ people who are able to inspect and test electrical work. It is advisable to ask your electrician to provide information about which scheme they belong to and their membership number, before you instruct them to carry out work.
An electrician who is a member of an approved scheme can undertake all types of electrical work without the need to notify the department at commencement, however the electrician must notify the scheme provider at completion of the work to confirm it has been properly inspected and tested. The scheme provider will then notify the department and send you confirmation that this has been done.
Approved schemes for certifiable building work
Work you can carry out without building permission
The building bye-laws allow minor works to be carried out without notice being given to the department. Such work includes:
- replacement of socket outlets, light fittings, control switches on a like-for-like basis
- adding a fused spur (which is a socket that has a fuse and a switch that is connected to an appliance eg heater) to an existing circuit (but not in a kitchen, bathroom or outdoors)
- minor repair and maintenance work
- installing cabling at extra low voltage for signalling, cabling or communication purposes (eg telephone cabling, cabling for fire alarm or burglar alarm systems, or heating control systems)
While such work does not need to be notified to the department it must still meet the safety standards set by the bye-laws and your electrician should provide you with a certificate confirming the work has been undertaken correctly.
Electrical safety technical guidance notes