ECN March 2024

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THURSDAY 21 MARCH 2024 BIRMINGHAM 9.30AM - 4.00PM ECN2024 Pre-register today!
4 Editorial Solar makes pollinators hap-bee! 6 Industry News CTEK offers free EV charge point training for UK installers; Regional winners move on to SPARKS Learner of the Year final; Latest DfT plans will help to bolster confidence in EVs; and more 12 Cover Story LED dimmers just got smarter 14 Contract News Luton Borough Council upgrades LED street lighting; Arctic wins London Business School contract; Advanced provides fire protection to 5 Aldermanbury Square; and more VOLUME 44 NO. 03 • MARCH 2024 CONTENTS CONTENTS… Regulars 38 Fire rating cable management systems: How contractors can ensure peace of mind 40 External influences 42 Why caring for cables pays back 46 Spelsberg IBT enclosures support Legendre UK’s London development 48 Specifying an EV feeder pillar? Here’s what to consider 50 Advancing compliance and safety: Why GRP enclosures are essential for modern infrastructure 51 The shocking importance of electrical test equipment 54 Prolong the life of your hand tools 56 Versatility and flexibility: Power tools for electricians 60 Beyond the surface: Uncovering the importance of wall scanning detection tools 61 Niglon: A company with a long history of looking to the future 64 3Line Electrical rolls-out Podfather delivery management software 66 Wholesalers’ professional knowledge now with Royal approval 68 Screwfix launches ‘Trade Link’ to help tradespeople support the future generation Cable Management Electrical Enclosures/Cabinets Tools & Test Equipment Wholesalers & Distributors THERE'S MORE TO … 20 Training Powering up electrical careers 24 Key Issue Why new VAT relief rules will prove fruitful for electrical installers 27 Advertisement Feature Think high bay lighting, think 4lite 28 Project Focus Banking on becoming greener with intelligent building solutions 30 Interview An exciting time to be an electrician! 33 Ask the Expert Getting into EV charging 34 Advertisement Feature NAPIT FastTest keeps getting better and better 36 Competition Win three Timeguard IP66 Weathersafe SRCDs, courtesy of Timeguard 69 Company Showcase Sponsored content from across the sector

Hello and welcome to the March issue of ECN. While reading through solar news from the past few weeks, an article caught my attention. Amidst the reports of a company winning contracts to repower three major solar farms in the UK and plans for a 750MW solar plant and energy storage system in Lincolnshire, research from Lancaster University has discovered that solar parks in the UK can play a vital role in reducing the decline of bees and butterflies.

The research analysed data from 15 sites and recorded over 1,400 pollinators from more than 30 species, including nearly 900 butterflies, more than 170 hoverflies and over 160 bumblebees, as well as moths and honeybees. The study found that the availability of flowering plants within solar farms and the characteristics of the surrounding landscape are the two crucial factors in determining whether solar parks can be beneficial to pollinators.

Solar parks containing a wider variety of flowering plants saw increased numbers of bumblebees, butterflies and hoverflies. Furthermore, solar parks managed for biodiversity in disconnected landscapes with fewer

features such as hedgerows appear to benefit pollinators the most. The researchers suggest that management decisions such as planting a variety of flowering plants can support insect pollinators in solar parks. These communities can be relatively diverse and abundant, particularly in landscapes where there are few hedgerows and wildflowers for pollinators to depend on.

According to the Principal Investigator of the study, Professor Alona Armstrong, this adds to the evidence showing that solar parks, while helping to meet the UK’s renewable energy goals, also have the potential to support insect biodiversity.

Some great research on how solar is helping to save the planet in more ways than initially spring to mind.

Back to this issue, and there’s a lot going on, as always! This month’s features are Cable Management; Electrical Enclosures/Cabinets; Tools & Test Equipment; and Wholesalers & Distributors. You can read all the latest news and product releases in this issue, plus Timeguard is giving three lucky winners the chance to win a Timeguard IP66 Weathersafe SRCD, so don’t forget to enter!

If you would like to write for ECN, please email me at to discuss possible topics.

I hope you enjoy the issue – see you next month!






The editors and publishers do not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors, nor do they accept responsibility for any errors in the transmission of the subject matter in this publication. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that everything is factually correct, we cannot be held responsible if factual errors occur. In all matters, the editor’s decision is final. Editorial contributions to ECN are welcomed, and the editor reserves the right to alter or abridge text prior to the publication. All articles are copyright and remain the property of ECN. Overseas Subscription Rates: Europe £60.00; Rest of World £70.00. Copyright © 2024, All rights reserved. Printed by Micropress, Reydon Business Park Fountain Way, Reydon, Southwold, IP18 6SZ.
01634 673163 E: GROUP ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: KELLY BYNE T: 01634 673163 E: STUDIO: MARK WELLER T: 01634 673163 E: MANAGING DIRECTOR: DAVID KITCHENER T: 01634 673163 E: ACCOUNTS T: 01634 673163 E: ECN charity of choice Published monthly by All Things Media Ltd., Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent ME5 8UD. Tel: 01634 673163 Fax: 01634 673173 NEXT TIME… April Issue Editorial deadline: 15 March Advertising deadline: 21 March Exterior Lighting Software & Apps SOLAR MAKES POLLINATORS HAP-BEE! Sustainability/Circular Economy @ecn_magazine /electricalcontractingnews @ElecConNews Special Supplement: EV Charging


Talented electrotechnical students are being encouraged to register for this year’s SkillELECTRIC competition. The application window is now open and runs until 28 March 2024.

The event is part of the WorldSkills UK competition network and is designed to promote and showcase high standards and skills across the electrotechnical industry.

During the competition, entrants will be judged on a series of challenging tests in a bid to be named the 2024 SkillELECTRIC champion.

All those who register will take part in an online, interactive app-based task which tests skills around health and safety, inspection and testing, regulations, electrical principles and installation practices and procedures.

The top-scoring competitors from this stage will be invited to complete a challenging practical task at a national qualifying heat around the UK between May and June.

Those who score the highest at the live heats will progress to the UK grand final in November and, beyond this, may also have the chance of representing the UK in the Electrical Installation event at WorldSkills Shanghai in 2026.

The event is organised by the industry charity National Electrotechnical Training (NET) and has Electric Center, the NICEIC and Scolmore Group as its delivery partners. SkillELECTRIC,


Installers can get free training on installing EV charge points from CTEK

The monthly free online training is delivered by CTEK’s UK-based Skillbase team and will equip installers with the knowledge on how to install and network CTEK EV charge points, load balance, configure and troubleshoot. The four-hour sessions are designed to equip the installer to work quickly and accurately so that each installation is high-quality.

The training blends technical information about charging products with practical walk-throughs. Installers will also be signposted to additional support and ‘how to’ guides available online and an introduction to the ongoing CTEK support available in the UK.

The 2024 training sessions will run from 9am-1pm on Thursdays:

• 7 March

• 4 April

• 2 May

• 6 June

• 8 August

• 5 September

• 3 October

• 7 November

• 5 December

CTEK UK Skillbase Manager, Viktors Nikolajevs, says, “Whether you are an installer looking to get into this market for the first time or an experienced EV charge point installer keen to learn more and step up to larger projects, you are very welcome to sign up for a free session and find out everything you want to know.”



Luceco has announced that it will be supporting Macmillan as its chosen charity for 2024.

With almost 60% of Luceco employees voting for Macmillan Cancer Support, the company will be taking part in a host of fundraising activities throughout the year, including coffee mornings, cake sales and even coracle racing for the more adventurous.

Sarah Thompson, Communications Manager at Luceco, says, “Macmillan’s work is 98% funded by voluntary donations, so fundraising is essential to make sure they can deliver the vital support people need. Team Luceco is an enthusiastic bunch so we’re looking forward to doing our best to support this great cause.”

Kate Thomas, Relationship Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in the West Midlands, says, “Macmillan Cancer Support is absolutely delighted to have been chosen by the staff at Luceco Group as their charity partner for 2024. One in two people will experience a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Macmillan are here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support. We understand that cancer and its treatment can throw a lot your way. It can affect your body, your money and your relationships, but with support like this partnership, we can be there for people living with and beyond cancer. We are really looking forward to working with Luceco and its employees across the country!” Luceco,


V-Go’s new home, workplace and commercial smart charging range will be available through its exclusive launch distributor, Replenishh, which will provide full trade facilities and online purchasing.

V-Go is aiming to become a significant player in the EV charger market over the next few years, serving private homeowners, house builders and workplaces in the UK. Replenishh will ensure that V-Go’s EV chargers are available for fast delivery, accompanied by customer service and support.

V-Go says it provides safe and secure chargers with high specifications that meet all end customer needs. The chargers are quick and easy to install and are backed up by strong aftersales support, a three-year warranty and one year’s free 4G wireless subscription.

As a Powered by Monta partner, V-Go’s customers will be able to access Monta’s newest features, including over 310,000 roaming charge points, charge point sharing and smart charging. Replenishh,

6 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine INDUSTRY NEWS t: 01205 724754 e: Quick & easy to install Solar Charging* Customisable fascias *Single Phase models only EV regulations compliant 3 year warranty 3 YEAR WARRANTY Built-in PME & load balancing The award-winning EV charger, trusted by UK installers ZURA Manufactured in the UK On orders placed before 1pm NEXT DAY DELIVERY


According to new research, 21% of tradespeople have hearing problems due to their work.

The study by IronmongeryDirect surveyed workers from across the nation to reveal the scale of hearing problems in the industry and how many people are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

As well as those already experiencing problems, 21% fear they will have hearing issues in the future, and 19% have a colleague with symptoms.

Unfortunately, the problems appear to begin early – 49% of 18-34-year-olds say that they have already started to have trouble hearing.

Despite many people seeing symptoms, the vast majority are not taking steps to protect themselves. Only 11% have their hearing checked regularly and just 17% say they always wear ear defenders when they should.

The problem is more significant in some trades than others, with bricklayers the most likely to have issues (50%).

To help explain the importance of protecting your hearing at work, IronmongeryDirect has partnered with Nic Wray, Communications Manager at Tinnitus UK, to explain the consequences of not doing so.

Nic says, “Exposure to loud noise can damage your ears, leading to hearing loss and tinnitus. Noise starts to become a risk to hearing at 80 decibels (dBA) and in a working environment, hearing protection should be provided at 85dBA or above.


The regional heats have taken place in the SPARKS Learner of the Year competition, supported by lighting sponsor Luceco Lighting.

The six talented regional winners will go on to compete in the Grand Final, which will be held at the Schneider Electric Innovation Hub in Coventry, on 24 and 25 of April 2024.

The winners are:

• South West – Daniel White from Bridgewater & Taunton College

• Wales – Jade Norris from Bath College

• North East – Daniel Powell from Derwentside College

• North West – Kian Milroy from St Helens College

• South East – Kian Baker-Humphreys from MIT Skill

• Midlands – Jane Thorp from Suffolk New College

A special mention also goes to the regional runners-up: Curtis Newell, Jared McCarthy, Nathan Cooper, Hari Hussain, James Barnby and Harry Withrington.

Simon Shenton, Head of LED at Luceco Lighting and judge for the competition final, says, “It has been inspiring to see the fantastic talent demonstrated throughout the competition so far, and we look forward to an exciting final in April.”

Zoe Tanner, Managing Director at SPARKS, says, “Well done to the winners of the regional heats – it will be an electrifying final in April!”

Luceco Lighting,

“Protecting your hearing is very important. Once the damage has been done, it cannot be repaired, only managed. Being aware of the problems that loud noise can cause and the steps you can take to protect yourself is vital.”

Ellis Osborn, Ecommerce Manager at IronmongeryDirect, says, “Hearing protection for tradespeople is incredibly important and our research suggests that there’s still more work to be done to make sure people are protected.

“It’s really important that individuals look after their hearing by wearing appropriate protection while working in loud settings, as well as scheduling regular hearing check-ups.”



UK Power Networks is investing £11.5 million in the electricity grid near Heathfield in East Sussex to future-proof the power network for thousands of residents.

The company, which delivers electricity supplies to 8.5 million households and businesses across the South East, London and East of England, is constructing a new grid substation next to the existing substation in Broad Oak whilst protecting native dormice.

As part of the project, two new 60MW, 60t transformers have been delivered to the site. Once energised, these will receive power at 132,000V and step down to 33,000V to distribute to substations and eventually local homes and businesses. The investment will more than double the capacity of the site to 78MW to maintain reliable electricity supplies into the future, including as more low carbon technologies connect to the electricity network.

A new 33,000V switchboard is also under construction, with new circuit breakers to enable control, protection and disconnection of the equipment, keeping power supplies safe and resilient. The new switchboard in Broad Oak will use environmentally friendly technology as part of the company’s commitment to reducing the use of the greenhouse gas sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Before work started at the substation, which serves 22,800 properties, ecology surveys were carried out to check for all protected species, which identified that dormice were present. This led to the creation of an enriched dormice habitat on surrounding land, which included planting native trees and shrubs and installing nest boxes for dormice.

Work to install and connect the new electrical equipment will continue throughout the year. UK Power Networks,


JTL opened its new training centre in Eastbourne on 8 February, attended by the Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor Candy Vaughan.

Located at Highfield Industrial Estate, the centre will provide electrical apprenticeship training to help meet the growing demand for these skills in the local area. This expansion aligns with JTL’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the electrical industry and facilitating the development of skilled professionals across England and Wales.

During the opening event, Councillor Vaughan was accompanied by JTL’s Chief Executive, Chris Claydon, to explore the modern facilities of the new training hub and to meet the wider team, along with some JTL apprentices.

The spotlight on JTL’s newest training centre serves as evidence for the transformative potential of apprenticeships in shaping the future of the building services engineering industry and the wider upskilling of the UK’s workforce. Chris says, “Our Eastbourne centre represents a crucial step forward in our mission to bridge the existing skills gap and support the growth of the building services engineering industry through our training.”


8 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine INDUSTRY NEWS
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In February, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced plans to accelerate the deployment of EV charge points across the UK, including grants for schools, additional funding for councils, and new proposals to boost charge point numbers. The measures have been launched as part of the government’s ‘Plan for Drivers’, a 30-point roadmap introduced to improve the experience of driving and to support the transition to zero-emission driving.

The major talking point is that state-funded education institutions can now apply for grant funding that covers up to 75% of the cost to buy and install charge points. In addition, five local authorities, including three from East Sussex to North Yorkshire and two London boroughs, are set to receive funding to install new chargers under the Government’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund, whilst a consultation will be launched to seek insight into further accelerating charge point installations across the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Jordan Brompton, Co-Founder and CMO of myenergi, says, “It’s great to see the government taking proactive measures to further expedite the installation of EV charge points in the UK. By providing grants for schools and additional funding for councils, we’re addressing key barriers to EV infrastructure development.

“Increasing the accessibility of charging infrastructure will not only bolster confidence in the feasibility of electric vehicles as a viable long-term alternative to more traditional petrol and diesel models but also alleviates the anxieties associated with EV ownership, particularly those centred around range and access to charging points.”



Instaspark, an electrical services provider, has announced the launch of Orbem, a specialist electrical firm servicing the commercial sector.

The news follows a year of unprecedented growth for Instaspark, reaching a turnover of approximately £1.6 million in 2023, driving geographical expansion across the UK, and securing multiple lucrative contracts, including Co-Op, Haribo and True Learning Partnership.

Having built partnerships with major companies and brands across a wide range of industries, Directors Brandon Rowlands, Chris Stott and Rob Stone announced the launch of Orbem to further expand the firm’s commercial offering.

Orbem will specialise in a wide range of electrical solutions, including electrical fit-out projects across all major industries, LED lighting upgrades, commercial EV charging and renewable energy solutions.

Part of the Instaloft Group, which turned over £22 million in 2023 and aims to achieve over £30 million in 2024, Orbem says it will continue the brand’s commitment to excellence in its values of quality, innovation and reliability, creating tailor-made electrical solutions and cultivating long-term commercial partnerships. Orbem,


Stacey Lucas, Vice-President of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA), was an industry panel guest at the recent parliamentary launch of a new report advocating for a technology-agnostic approach to the decarbonisation of heat and buildings.

The report by the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), titled ‘Policy Barriers and Solutions for a Technology-Agnostic Approach to Heat and Buildings’ explains why government policies should be reformed to deploy the most appropriate and diverse range of technologies for achieving the best outcomes from the transition to net zero. The report was launched in partnership with the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG), and the BCIA is an official supporting partner organisation of the report.

The launch event was hosted by PRASEG Chair Alan Brown MP. A panel, consisting of Matthew Aylott (Electrification of Heat Policy Lead, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero), Stacey Lucas, Gary Parker (Head of Technical Standards, ECA), Katrina Young (Practice Manager for Heat Policy and Local Energy, Energy Systems Catapult), Matthew Dodds (Director, Commercial Division, Herschel Infrared) and Johan du Plessis (CEO, tepeo) took part in a Q&A session to highlight the importance of using a diverse range of low carbon technologies and why an outcomes-based approach is favourable in delivering a net zero future for the UK.

After the event, Ben Copson, Policy Advisor at SEA, said, “Smart building controls are undoubtedly an integral solution for creating low-cost, energy-efficient, decarbonised and healthy buildings. We should ensure that all of our heat and buildings policies are valuing the benefits and contributions building controls can make to our net zero journey and providing equal opportunities for their installation. Collaborating with the BCIA has been hugely positive in showcasing the need for these important technologies and enriching the debate to include more appropriate solutions in the transition.” BCIA,


JTL has announced the appointment of Sandra Warren-Smith as its new National Delivery Director. In her new role, Sandra will oversee the management of JTL’s regional teams, training centres and apprenticeship programmes.

Aztec Solar Energy has appointed Andy Rowlands in a new role as Operations Manager. Andy will manage and oversee the implementation to the final delivery of projects for Aztec Solar Energy.

CU Phosco Lighting has announced the appointment of Ben Hiscott as its National Account Manager. With over 15 years of experience in the lighting industry, Ben brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team.

10 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine INDUSTRY NEWS

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Hamilton tells us all about its brand new LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmers and smart devices.

Hamilton’s latest innovation – new Smart Dimmers –provide electrical contractors with a comprehensive and user-friendly installation solution for controlling LED lights in various settings such as homes, office spaces, bars or restaurants.

With features such as app and Alexa voice control, scene setting and scheduling, Hamilton LEDSTAT Smart Dimmers offer an easy-to-install smart home setup that enhances comfort, energy efficiency and convenience.

The wired configuration comprises both Master and Companion units:

• LEDSTAT Rotary Master Wi-Fi 250W

Dimmer: Delivering the smooth LED dimming expected from Hamilton products. Additionally, the LEDSTAT Master Dimmer is packed with features such as app control from Android or Apple devices. It’s also compatible with Alexa, enabling integration into Alexa-powered smart home set-ups. This integration allows users to control the dimmers using voice commands through Alexa devices as well as Google Assistant.

• LEDSTAT Rotary Companion Controller: Serving as dimming extension devices, the Rotary Companion modules are compatible with both the Wi-Fi Master LED Dimmer ((L-SD250MW) and Wi-Fi In-Line Dimmer (L-SD-IN-LINE-250W-WIFI). When installed alongside these products, the Companion enables true rotary multi-point dimming, providing users with the ability to switch the circuit on/off from any position and dim the circuit. Up to two Companions can be connected to the Master, creating a circuit that can be dimmed from three positions.

12 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine COVER STORY
Multi-point dimming (up to three positions)

Benefits of the LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer

• Install

• True rotary multi-point dimming

• Retro fit wiring (no neutral required)

• No hub required

• Fits in 35mm wallbox

• Trailing and leading edge

• Retrofitting made easy: One outstanding feature of the LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer that sets it apart is its adaptability. As living spaces expand, the need to extend lighting circuitry becomes inevitable. The In-Wall Dimmer can be seamlessly retrofitted into existing two-way and intermediate wiring, allowing effortless integration into both newly built kitchen/diners and revitalising older sections. This makes it a versatile solution for both new build projects and renovations.

• Smart also means stylish: The LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer is now available in five popular collections – Hartland, Hartland G2, Sheer, Sheer G2 and Verve – with up to 13 plate finishes, the LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmers combine functionality with style.

• App-controlled brilliance: Homeowners may wonder, ‘Can I control it with my phone?’ The answer is a resounding yes! With LEDSTAT being a Wi-Fi-enabled device, homeowners can control all smart dimmers independently through the Hamilton Lite app. The app enhances the user experience by allowing simple brightness adjustments with a simple swipe of a finger, scene setting for various activities, and scheduling for times when lighting needs to be

activated – a valuable feature, especially when homeowners are away or returning from work.

So, whether it’s a twist or flick of a finger, swiping your phone, or voice commands with Alexa, you have total control over your lighting.

• Control user interface

• Multi-point control options (rotary and toggle dimming)

• App control using the Hamilton Lite app

• Set light levels and control scenes

• Away from home control

• Works with Alexa and Google Home Assistant

Available in five popular collections and up to 13 plate finishes

Explore the range: Hamilton’s LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer isn’t a standalone product; it’s part of a complete range of smart devices designed to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s homeowners.’ The range includes blind control, switch relays for the on/off control of appliances, and RGBW colour control for mood creation and scene setting.

For a closer look at the entire range, simply scan the QR code to download the LEDSTAT Smart Dimmers and Smart Devices brochure.

Hamilton Litestat,

March 2024 | 13 @ecn_magazine /electricalcontractingnews @ElecConNews COVER STORY
A valuable addition to any smart home setup All smart devices are compatible with the Hamilton Lite app


The London skating venue for this season’s ‘Dancing on Ice’ masterclass with Torvill and Dean has installed Luceco’s flagship luminaire.

The Lee Valley Ice Centre reopened in June 2023 following a £30 million investment and now boasts Callisto, a contemporary linear LED surface mounted luminaire.

Lee Valley, the only venue of its kind in south east England offering state-of-the-art dual Olympic-sized ice rinks, a fully equipped gym and dynamic fitness studios, now boasts a complete lighting solution solution, thanks to Luceco. The company’s Dimmable Callisto illuminates the venue’s ice rinks, along with LuxPack, Climate Extra, Platinum, Contour, Celeste, LuxPanel and emergency lighting.

Callisto offers over 100,000 hours of maintenance-free, operational life and provides an efficacy of 135Llm/cW, with lumen output variants ranging from 11,000lm up to 32,000lm.

It benefits from IK10 rating, so it can be used in semi-industrial applications as well as recreational and sports facilities, offering both wide and narrow optical light distribution.

The gym at Lee Valley, along with the studios, are now lit with a combination of recessed 600 x 600 LuxPanels and contemporary suspended Contour luminaires, with the entrance hall displaying Platinum Downlighters.

As with Callisto, these luminaires are available as fixed output, DALI dimmable, emergency back-up variants and Luceco’s Wireless Lighting Controls, Platform.

The venue’s auditoriums are illuminated with linear LuxPack, benefitting from quick slide release tabs for fast and easy installation of the plug and play hinged LED diffuser and the stairs are lit with Celeste; a stylish yet robust bulkhead luminaire providing a backlit halo effect, ideal for stairwells and corridors.



Fire system specialist, Triple Star Fire & Security, is streamlining its fire detection and alarm system installations with a lightweight pattress solution – Tufflex Tile.

Kent-based Triple Star Fire & Security supplies, installs and maintains life safety equipment, including fire alarms and detection systems for a diverse range of properties ranging from the iconic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool and Goldsmiths University of London, to care homes and prestigious London mansions.

Managing Director, Daren Pool, wanted to find a way to streamline the installation of fire detection and alarm systems in suspended ceilings as part of the company’s drive to deliver a high level of service.

Tufflex Tile from Marshall-Tufflex, which Triple Star Fire & Security purchased from electrical wholesaler Rexel in Maidstone, provided the perfect solution. The tile is manufactured from Correx, making it extremely lightweight yet robust. Significantly, Tufflex Tile is pre-cut to the standard 595mm2 ceiling tile aperture which reduces cutting and sawing time on-site so pattress installations can be carried out quickly and trouble-free. In addition, as Correx is flame retardant and (LSF) low smoke fume, it removes a vital component of the fire triangle, significantly benefiting the end user.

By adopting Tufflex Tile, Triple Star Fire & Security has enhanced its efficiency without compromising on quality.



Acrospire is working with Luton Borough Council to reduce carbon emissions, save energy, minimise light pollution, and enhance public safety through clearer surveillance footage.

Luton Borough Council is responsible for over 18,500 streetlights on the public highway. The ‘Keep Luton Lit’ street lighting policy is designed to foster a safe, green and accessible environment, contributing to the overall prosperity of Luton.

In 2019/20, Luton BC initiated a program to replace HID lanterns with energy efficient LED lighting on all traffic routes and residential roads. The council sought not only energy efficiency but also the return to photocell control switching at a reduced light level, following the failure of the previously operated CMS.

Acrospire was appointed as the main supplier out of two suppliers that were chosen for the project.

Tim Barker, Managing Director at Acrospire, says, “We provided luminaires for the mass LED rollout based on our previous successful collaboration with the council. The Sprint range of LED luminaires met the high specifications, which resulted in the deployment of over 4,000 Sprint Mini and Micro units across Luton’s traffic routes and residential roads.”

The chosen Sprint luminaires offer energy efficiency, lightweight recyclable aluminium bodies, a seven-pin Nema socket for controls, a fully programmable driver, and toolless entry for easy maintenance. Working to Luton BC’s lighting designs, a mix of over 4,000 Sprint luminaires finished in light grey (RAL 7305), 45W and 90W 4000K, have been installed by VolkerHighways across Luton’s traffic routes and residential roads, contributing to the council’s goal of creating a sustainable and secure urban environment.

The 4000K Sprint luminaires were selected to meet lighting requirements whilst enhancing surveillance capabilities for public safety. With a fully programmable driver allowing for dimming, Sprint offers further energy savings and user comfort.

The Council opted to install 35/18 lux photocells which have delivered a 5% saving, based on the old CMS burning hours.

In four years, the adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting has yielded 43% in energy savings and a 61% carbon reduction for Luton Borough Council. Acrospire,

14 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine CONTRACT NEWS

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The delivery of new transformers to a Canada Water development has marked a key milestone, as part of a multi-year project to power homes and businesses in the area.

UK Power Networks, in partnership with Clancy and British Land, is building a new underground substation to deliver energy for the Canada Water Masterplan. The development transforms a 53-acre central London site, creating workspace for 20,000 workers and 3,000 new net zero homes, along with one million square feet of retail and leisure space.

In November, the project team took delivery of two new water-cooled transformers to the substation that will span 40m wide and 10m deep.

The third and final transformer was successfully delivered to the site in January 2024.

Works on the development continue and the substation project is scheduled to be completed by 2026.

Symon Bacon, Development Director at British Land, says, “The design and delivery of the 86MVA substation will service not


only our 53-acre development, but the wider South East London area.

“It’s a great example of partnership working, including British Land, UK Power

Artic Building Services has announced its latest contract win, partnering with London Business School (LBS) to manage its air conditioning contract requirements.

London Business School is a world-renowned business school with a campus located in the heart of London. The school was founded in 1964 and is known for its academic excellence, innovative programs, and global reach. LBS has a diverse student body from over 160 countries and its alumni include many of the world’s leading business leaders.

Under this contract, Artic will provide support for the school’s air conditioning units, air handling plant and chillers. A dedicated contract manager and contract admin team will be appointed to the contract, who will be responsible for actioning, guiding, monitoring, and managing the bespoke service requirement.

LBS will benefit from Arctic’s CAFM platform, MRI Concept, offering quick and seamless job allocations, worksheets and reports, along with extensive data export capabilities that measure contract performance against an agreed Key Performance Indicator Framework.

In addition, the London Business School will also have full access to Artic’s 24/7/365 help desk facility, ensuring immediate response to any reactive issues.

Arctic Building Services,




enabler of change for the area. It supports our delivery of 3,000 new homes, one million square feet of


Fire protection solutions manufacturer, Advanced, has supplied intelligent fire panels to 5 Aldermanbury Square, London, as part of a major refurbishment.

Advanced’s MxPro 5 analogue addressable fire panels are providing protection to all areas of the 22-storey building.

leisure and retail and two million square feet of workspace, which wouldn’t be possible at such a level without this new substation.”

UK Power Networks,

5 Aldermanbury Square is located in the City of London, with the Eric Parry designed landmark delivering exceptional views across the London skyline. Fire safety and security specialist, Pacific Security Systems, was contracted to undertake the upgrade of the building’s current Advanced fire panel network. The existing system was an Advanced MX4000, so migrating the system over to new MxPro 5 panels was the obvious solution due to the useful backward compatibility. As all works had to be completed overnight to ensure the system was fully operational during the day, this compatibility proved essential.

Pacific Security Systems was involved in the design, installation and commissioning of the fire system. Twelve MxPro 5 panels were installed, along with an Advanced graphics system and a two-stage staff alarm for false alarm management. Advanced’s special build service was also able to design and build a bespoke floor-standing double annunciator that sits on the network via the PEN network device and provides: zonal indication; sounder control; damper status and control; fire phone control; and sprinkler and wet riser indication. The Advanced system is linked to over 3,000 devices, including access control systems, dampers, BMS and plant shutdowns. The system uses Apollo protocol and Discovery optical smoke detectors are installed throughout.


16 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine CONTRACT NEWS
Clancy, Galldris Southwark Council providing major

The Circuit Protection Solution

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Contactum’s Defender range allows the Distributor, Contractor & Specifier to access a premium Circuit Protection solution. This is complimented by a full range of supporting devices including MCB’s, Compact RCBO’s, AFDD’s & Surge Protection.

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Consumer Units & Distribution Boards are produced in- house with independent Third Party Type Test Certification.

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Almac Sciences has appointed BGEN as principal contractor for its new state-of-the-art molecule production facility in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.

BGEN is responsible for the development of the new building and the delivery of the mechanical, structural, electrical and instrumentation components of the facility. This includes the installation of four reactors, two isolation trains and ancillary equipment.

The company is working in collaboration with principal designer the DPS Group, and BES – part of the BGEN group of companies – which is responsible for the facility’s HVAC, civil and architectural aspects.

Ian Humphries, Director at BGEN, says, “BGEN is delighted to have secured the award of this important contract with Almac. It reinforces our experience in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) facilities and uses our group capabilities to enable in-house seamless delivery of the overall construction scope. The award was secured in part by BGEN’s experience and expertise in delivering successful projects using integrated project delivery (IPD) techniques.”

Almac Sciences’ GMP Manufacturing Plant was constructed in 1997. This current expansion project will bolster the company’s API production capabilities.



A new Tyneham heat pump system, set up in a hybrid installation from Hamworthy Heating, has been installed at Sunderland Council’s offices in Stansfield Business Centre to help reduce carbon emissions.

As the existing gas boilers at Stansfield Business Centre were operating at elevated temperatures and the heating system was designed to operate with high-grade heat at peak loads, Sunderland Council decided that a hybrid system (with an air source heat pump being the lead source of heating with a gas boiler providing a top up) was required, when its existing system reached end of life.

The new Hamworthy Heating system consists of a 32kW Tyneham air source monobloc heat pump which is connected to a 500L buffer cylinder. Tyneham heat pumps feature a co-efficiency of performance (COP) rating of up to 4.85, to provide efficient, low carbon heating.

Serving as the primary heat source within the new hybrid set up, the Tyneham heat pump efficiently increases the heat up to 55º to a buffer tank. As and when additional temperature is required, the system, which also includes a Stratton mk3 condensing wall-hung boiler as a secondary heat source, will switch over to the boiler to meet the required load. In addition to providing year-round reliability (as the boiler supports the heat pump), this also ensures that the building is supplied with the most energy-efficient system, at any given time. Hamworthy Heating,


A Victorian mansion in Powys is being transformed into a sustainable events venue using a combination of renewable and low carbon technologies, including an innovative new Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) boiler working alongside a Megaflo 1,000l cylinder. It’s believed to be the first heating solution of its kind fitted into a UK events venue.

Work underway at Bronllys Hall, parts of which dates back to the 18th and 16th centuries, will create 40 ensuite bedrooms and various entertainment areas – a lot of space to heat. It was important to find a boiler solution that was suitable for the job, so Hughes Architects, the conservation architecture specialist that is managing the Bronllys project, teamed up with Suffolk-based Hounsfield Boilers to tackle the challenge.

The systems integrators for Bronllys Hall, working with a local plumbing company, have connected Hounsfield’s highly efficient UK HVO boiler technology into a thermal storage system provided by Baxi Manufactured in the UK, the Megaflo 1,000 litre cylinder is highly insulated to achieve low heat losses, constructed of duplex stainless steel for longevity, and maintenance-free with no sacrificial anodes.

It’s a key step forward in the major renovation project at Bronllys, which aims to transform the deteriorated 18th-century structure, which retains elements from the 16th century, into a five-star events venue that operates sustainably and uses only renewable energy sources.

The team aims to complete the first stage of Bronllys Hall’s transformation into a carbon neutral event venue by the end of 2024, setting new precedent for event venues, hotels and businesses.


18 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine CONTRACT NEWS
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Last month, National Apprenticeship Week took place, providing a great opportunity for ECN to take a closer look at the commendable efforts made by companies within the electrical industry to encourage more apprentices to join the field.

UKPN apprenticeship expansion

Electricity company UK Power Networks is planning to take on over 100 apprentices in 2024.

To invest in a skilled workforce for the future, the company is planning to hire 34 apprentices with previous work experience for a two-year course, and another 16 school leavers on a three-year scheme.

In addition to the craft apprentices, the firm is adding another 50 apprentices in other parts of the business – 24 Level 3 and Level 5 Leadership Academy recruits, 10 Level 3 Data Technicians, 10 Level 4 Data Analysts, six Level 7 Data & Technology Solutions Specialists and three finance apprentices will be added to the roster.

Half of the 54 apprentices hired in 2023 were career changers with some making the leap from other professions such as a barber, a zoo worker and a brewer. The company is also striving to find apprentices from under-privileged and under-represented backgrounds, through a range of tailored schemes.

Higher apprenticeship schemes are also open to existing employees who can build new skills to help them progress at the company. The Top 50 Inclusive Employer aims to include young people from under-represented backgrounds, including with its ‘Power Among Us’ internship scheme organised in conjunction with multiple youth groups in London.

Centre for excellence

Oxford-based electrical/mechanical contractor, Lowe & Oliver, marked the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week by launching its new apprentice training facility, the ‘centre for excellence’.

Thousands of pounds have been invested into developing this advanced training facility, which has the capacity to teach not only Lowe & Oliver’s roster of approximately 30 apprentices, but dozens more from across central and southern England.

In the facility, there are six bays – five electrical and one mechanical (plumbing), with demo equipment installed to give the apprentices a feel of what a real site will look like. In addition, there is a classroom and other facilities to enable the apprentices to learn on and off the tools.

Lowe & Oliver will be using this new centre as part of its pitch to local schools and colleges to encourage more young people to take the apprenticeship route. Having been in the industry for over 100 years, Lowe & Oliver has developed a strong reputation in the area for its commitment to apprenticeship development.

The company’s apprentices will be advancing through a mix of onsite work and development learning in the centre for excellence.

“Our skills centre has been manufactured for both the practical and technical development of our apprentices – following the curriculum of the Electrical and Mechanical traditional apprenticeship under the NVQ Level 2, 3 and above, supported by the JIB, JTL and BESA,” says Paul Tuson, Lowe & Oliver Chairman.

“Whether specific development is required around mains distribution, power, lighting/controls, building management systems, data, fire security, domestics, gas, heating, ventilation, boilers or air source heat pump, audio visual and testing and inspection, vehicle charging, battery, solar or PV – it can deliver.”

Paul says that the basis of Lowe & Oliver’s training is designed to add support to the levels already provided by apprentices’ existing training provider and current college facility, and beyond.

Open for applications

NG Bailey has launched the application process for its nationwide apprenticeship programme as it looks to kick-start successful careers and nurture fresh talent.

The company will be offering apprenticeships across a number of different disciplines, with around 70 vocational opportunities including electrical, mechanical and technical specialist roles. The scheme also includes a range of business-based roles, offering multiple opportunities for people to gain a holistic understanding of the construction industry whilst embarking on an exciting career.

As part of the programme, the company will be continuing its IT Services apprenticeship scheme following the success of the business unit’s first year. The scheme will continue to nurture the next generation of UK digital talent, offering two degree apprenticeships in internal auditing and digital and technology solutions.

20 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine TRAINING
Lowe & Oliver has launched its new centre for excellence NG Bailey has launched the application process for its apprenticeship programme

‘A Day in the Life’

JTL has unveiled inspiring ‘A Day in the Life’ videos featuring two newly qualified electricians, Ben Gillin and Demi Whitehead.

Ben Gillin, a newly qualified electrician currently working at Lloyd Morris Electrical in Wrexham, recently secured the remarkable achievement of reaching the finals of SkillELECTRIC UK, where he secured second place. Ben’s video offers viewers a glimpse into his daily routine, providing insights into key tasks such as fitting control panels and wiring panel doors, showcasing the skills that earned him recognition in the competition.

Demi Whitehead, another newly qualified electrician, embarked on her trade career at William Davis Homes in Derbyshire following the completion of her electrotechnical apprenticeship with JTL. Demonstrating her dedication and skill, Demi was also one of the eight UK-based apprentices to reach the finals of World Skills SkillELECTRIC UK. Her ‘A Day in the Life’ video captures the electrical jobs she skilfully completes on her employer’s new housing developments, highlighting her success in the industry.

In addition to these insightful videos, JTL also announced the opening of its 13th training centre in Eastbourne, furthering its commitment to providing high-quality apprenticeships.

BGEN’s apprenticeship pledge

BGEN has pledged to expand its apprenticeship programme to 75 employees by the end of this year.

Fifty apprentices already work for the company, who receive valuable vocational training and are studying to achieve industry-recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships range from Level 3 to degree and are in a variety of disciplines – enabling recruits to forge careers as electricians, mechanical engineers and pipefitters, as well as quantity surveyors, and network and systems engineers.

The scheme is also being used to upskill a further 10 existing BGEN employees – enabling the company to grow talent through the provision of learning opportunities for career development.

To invest in its future and create a more diverse workforce, BGEN has already doubled its apprentice headcount over the last two years. 2024’s planned intake follows several recent new business wins and supports the firm’s ambitious targets for further growth.

Supporting young talent

Luceco Group has highlighted the success and growth that Dan Heyes has found through an apprenticeship with the company.

Dan had been looking for an opportunity to start a creative career in design engineering and ‘earn as he learned’ in an apprenticeship. Through his apprenticeship at Luceco, he gained the qualifications and experience needed to kickstart his design engineering career.

Whilst his course at Shrewsbury College covered maths, electrical engineering, project, and design engineering (CAD and Solidworks), pneumatic/hydraulics, machinery, welding, and computed aided manufacturing (CAM), through his apprenticeship, Dan was able to try different engineering roles and gain additional qualifications and wider experience, alongside the qualifications he needed to become a design engineer.

Throughout his trainee years, Dan benefitted from expert training and support from Luceco managers and seniors. After qualifying, the company offered him an additional short course that was more specified for his line of work.

Since qualifying from his apprenticeship, Dan has gone from lighting design trainee via junior lighting design engineer to recently becoming a lighting design engineer.

Dan says, “I feel like I have developed a lot as a person since being at Luceco, I feel more professional in the way I act as well as more confident with my abilities and social situations, compared to when I first joined. I would certainly recommend apprenticeships to other young people thinking about their future careers.”

The case for apprenticeships

For anyone looking for a career in the electrical industry, an apprenticeship is a great place to start. With hands-on experience, the ability to earn while they learn, and opportunities for career advancement, an apprenticeship provides a solid foundation for a successful future in the field. Not only that, the skills shortage and skills gap are being talked about all the time – apprenticeships could be the key to unlocking fresh new talent. As the world advances with new technologies and infrastructure gets more complex, the need for skilled electricians is on the rise. To meet this growing demand, electrical apprenticeships are playing a vital role in equipping individuals with the necessary expertise and knowledge to excel in their careers. These apprenticeships offer practical and theoretical training, preparing aspiring electricians to handle the challenges of the trade and become valuable members of the workforce.

22 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine TRAINING
Dan says that he would recommend apprenticeships to other young people BGEN has pledged to expand its apprenticeship programme to 75 employees by the end of this year Demi’s ‘A Day in the Life’ video captures the electrical jobs she skilfully completes
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Jordan Brompton, Co-Founder and CMO of myenergi, discusses the Government’s recent decision to extend VAT relief for energy-saving materials (ESMs) in residential buildings, explaining why this offers widespread opportunity for independent electrical installers and how to take immediate commercial advantage.

According to research from the Microgeneration Scheme (MSC), 2023 was a record-breaking year for domestic renewable energy and heating installations across the UK. In total, more than 225,500 systems were fitted, including 189,000 solar PV arrays, as well as small-scale wind, hydro, heat pumps and home energy storage.

This boost in popularity is providing a knock-on effect for electrical installers, where rapidly growing demand is leading to a sharp rise in bookings. Indeed, some firms are reporting enquiries increasing tenfold year-on-year, with customers offering to pay over the odds to shortcut waiting lists.

To harness the greatest opportunity from the ESM boom, installers will need to adopt a refreshed focus on clean energy tech and consider changing up their commercial strategy to fully embrace microgeneration. Training and investment is required, but the long-term opportunity is extensive.

The rise in home energy tech

Self-generating renewable energy is a cost-effective way for homeowners to reduce reliance on the grid, decrease utility bills and protect themselves from energy market volatility. As adoption rates continue to soar, purchase prices are falling fast. The average cost of solar panels, for example, has dropped by nearly 90% over the past decade, with a relatively standard 3.5 kilowatt (kW) array (perfect for a three-bed home) now available to purchase for less than £7,000 and capable of saving users more than £400 per annum on their energy bills.

However, while users might find the prospect of streamlining spend and minimising carbon emissions an attractive option, the drawback of domestic renewables is that generation periods are often irregular. Alongside relying upon favourable weather conditions, peak generation is typically during the day when most users are away from home.

As a result, the average consumption rate for self-generated domestic power stands at just 45% in the UK, with some users only able to reduce their reliance on mains energy by less than 25%. Rather than making full use of self-generated energy at home, electricity is often exported to the grid at times of high generation and low use, and then typically bought

back (at a higher price) when it’s needed most.

myenergi believes that eco-smart tech is the most effective solution to bridge the gap between generation and consumption. After all, there are a number of products on the market – including the company’s own integrated ecosystem – that enable homeowners to harness up to 100% of their self-generated energy.

24 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine KEY ISSUE
The boost in the popularity of renewable installations is providing a knock-on effect for electrical installers, where rapidly growing demand is leading to a sharp rise in bookings
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What does zero-rated tax cover?

In January, the UK government announced that VAT relief for ESMs in residential buildings would be extended to include home batteries, power diverters, EV chargers and water-source heat pumps, to widen the accessibility and affordability of home green energy tech.

This means that myenergi’s popular eddi power diverter and zappi solar EV charger are now in scope for VAT relief when fitted to an ESM, while the libbi home battery is classified as zero-rated both as a standalone technology and when connected to (or installed alongside) renewable energy generation solutions.

Households can now, therefore, save thousands of pounds on purchase and installation prices while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint, streamlining utility bills and taking complete control of their energy use.

These cheaper prices mean higher demand and inevitably more inbound enquiries. Alongside the uptick in direct orders, installers will also benefit from the greater ability to up-sell these products – bolting on a solar EV charger or energy storage device to an existing ESM installation has become a much easier sell with such significant price cuts.

VAT relief product highlight

One type of product now covered by tax relief is the power diverter. Despite being an incredibly useful device and integral part of consumer energy independence, many homeowners don’t really know what

a power diverter is or why they need one. Diverters have yet to reach the same place in public consciousness that EV chargers and home batteries have, primarily because their use case is a little bit obscure to the average consumer.

In a nutshell, power diverters make clever use of excess renewable generation to improve domestic functions, and power diverting can be assigned based on personal use and benefit. For example, some users may be best served by using excess renewable energy to power their immersion water heater, while others may wish to run a heat pump for year-round comfort. The best part is, good power diverters can be configured to send energy to more than one appliance in sequence, automatically switching between them for the greatest efficiency.

The result is a dramatic reduction in reliance on the grid and the increasingly costly bills associated with it. Considering the price, power diverters are a no-brainer for those with self-generated renewables. myenergi believes that power diverters are a crucial bit of kit for intelligent and forward-thinking homeowners looking to make the most of their investment in small-scale solar, wind or hydro generation.

What does all this mean? Well, with this new tax relief, power diverters have become an even easier up-sell. They’re low-cost (myenergi’s eddi comes in at around £360 without the VAT), they save even more in the long run, they provide users with greater energy independence, and for the eco-conscious consumer, they help reduce carbon footprints.

How can installers take advantage?

The opportunity is clear, but it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. Is your business positioned to take advantage? Have you and your team undertaken the necessary training? With so many new products flooding the market, are you aware of the best solutions available for customers?

First and foremost is training. The efficient and effective installation of products such as power diverters and energy storage require specialist knowledge, so installers should prepare for a boom in tech installations by seeking the right guidance and product materials. To find out more about the training and qualifications required to install renewable energy tech, head over to the City & Guilds website. Here, you’ll find a wide range of expert courses and further details about how you can harness the opportunity.

myenergi is expecting further government incentives to continue driving up consumer demand for domestic renewable tech

Additionally, installers can benefit from manufacturer-led training to get the most up-to-date installation advice and, in some cases, receive the best deals. myenergi’s Product Champion Scheme, for example, brings together a trusted pool of installers that become authorised subcontractors and offers the ability to receive free product training sessions to enable easier installation, more effective up-selling, marketing, and customer service, and even financial incentives for installing particular myenergi products.

When it comes to understanding the tech options available, there’s a huge number of comparison tools online. These free services compare the features and benefits of the market’s leading solutions – as well as the cost – making it simple to advise the right products for your customers. Becoming acquainted with the latest and most advanced solutions should be a priority.

The future’s bright for electrical installers

The government is currently incentivising decarbonisation solutions, delivered through instruments like tax relief and subsidies, and will continue to do so in the future. In October last year, for example, the government upped the maximum grant available towards the installation of heat pumps from £5,000 to £7,500. Prior to the update, there had already been a rise in home heat pump adoption – in 2023, heat pump installations grew by nearly a fifth (with over 200,000 heat pumps now installed across the country) – and this number is only expected to continue rising with the availability of larger government grants.

Looking ahead, myenergi is expecting further government incentives to continue driving up consumer demand for domestic renewable tech, so now is the perfect time for independent electrical installers to join the party early and get ahead of the curve.


26 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine KEY ISSUE

Think high bay lighting, think 4lite

Delivering powerful illumination, LED high bay lighting is the lighting solution for commercial, retail and industrial settings.

Built to withstand the rigours of demanding environments whilst providing optimum energy efficiency, LED high bays ensure value for money and longevity, even in the most challenging conditions.

As the name implies, high bay lights are typically used to illuminate large spaces where ceilings range in height from 5-20m from the ground. They deliver high-intensity output across a wide beam angle and so are ideal for warehouses, factories, large recreational spaces and open retail stores.

Providing customers with the largest choice of high bay LED solutions in the UK, lighting manufacturer 4lite has joined forces with Screwfix to offer customers an unparalleled selection and quality in high bay lighting options.

Available at Screwfix online and in all 881 stores for same and next day delivery/collection, (dependent on required quantities) fittings in the range are available in 100W, 150W and 200W outputs, offering the flexibility to meet individual project requirements.

Expertly engineered, all 4lite high bay LED’s are made from a robust, die-cast aluminium with powder-coated body for added durability. The integrated heatsink ensures excellent thermal performance, effectively dissipating heat and enhancing the overall performance of the LED light. With an extensive LED lifespan of L70 50,000 hours, all products come with an IP65 ingress protection rating and IK06

impact rating, making them suitable for a variety of installations, including factories and warehouses.

For added functionality, convenience and energy efficiency, 4lite LED high bays are also available with microwave sensor and emergency options.

Incorporating advanced motion detection technology, the microwave sensor option automatically triggers activation of the high bay LED when movement is detected; shutting off when stillness resumes. Ideal for areas with varied occupancy patterns, this function reduces unnecessary usage and enhances energy efficiency.

High bay LED’s with emergency option have backup power functionality, ensuring continued illumination in the event of a power outage or emergency situation. With built-in battery backup systems, the luminaire automatically switches to emergency mode, providing reliable lighting to facilitate safe evacuation and operations during unforeseen circumstances.

Pre-wired with 1m of H05RN-F cable, 4lite LED high bays streamline the installation process, ensuring a hassle-free experience for electricians and contractors alike. The inclusion of pre-wired cable eliminates the need for tedious wiring work, saving valuable time and effort during setup. With the cable already in place, installation becomes a simple and straightforward task, allowing for swift deployment of lighting solutions in various environments.

The versatility of 4lite LED high bays extends beyond just ease of installation. The fixtures are engineered to be compatible with a range of mounting options, including

drop rods, jack chain, and catenary wire. This adaptability enables users to customise the installation according to the specific requirements of the space, whether it’s a high-ceilinged warehouse, a manufacturing facility, or a retail showroom.

Built to withstand operating temperatures between -25°C to 40°C, 4lite LED high bays will perform in a diverse range of environmental conditions. Whether in extreme cold or hot climates, the wide temperature tolerance makes them suitable for use not only indoors, but in outdoor settings, such as sports arenas, retail spaces and cold stores.

For added peace of mind, 4lite LED high bays come with a comprehensive five-year warranty, reflecting the quality and performance of the products and providing assurance that they are built to withstand the rigours of daily use. Prices start at £49.98 including VAT.

Expanding beyond high bay LED lighting, Screwfix stocks the complete range of 4lite products, offering customers a comprehensive selection to meet all lighting project needs. From practical solutions to stylish accents, the range includes everything from battens, panels, and downlights to wall lights, pendants and emergency luminaires.

A wide range of outdoor lighting fixtures are also available, including decorative festoons, spikes, bollards, security lights and solar powered fittings.

4lite’s innovative smart lighting range is also readily available at Screwfix stores, and through the Screwfix app. These cutting-edge solutions combine functionality with aesthetics, allowing customers to create customised lighting designs that reflect the unique requirements of the job.

Screwfix is committed to helping customers get their jobs done quickly, affordably and right first time, offering customers unparalleled choice, quality, and value across the 4lite range. So, whether your next project is residential, commercial or industrial, you can be assured there is an array of versatile options suitable for all applications under one roof. 4lite,

March 2024 | 27 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE @ecn_magazine /electricalcontractingnews @ElecConNews
High bay lights are typically used to illuminate large spaces where ceilings range in height from 5-20m from the ground LED high bays ensure value for money and longevity, even in the most challenging conditions


An international bank has incorporated intelligent building solutions at its new headquarters in the heart of the European financial district in Belgium to reach its goals of becoming greener.

BNP Paribas Fortis, the largest bank in Belgium, recently moved to the building in Brussels and has invested in the latest cutting-edge technology that will enable the financial institution to make energy savings of up to 80%.

When the French-Belgian bank set out to replace its outdated 1970s building, it recognised that its prime location was one thing that certainly did not need to be changed.

In choosing to lead the way with the development of a new headquarters on the site of its previous building, BNP Paribas Fortis, or Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Bank of Paris and the Netherlands) as it is otherwise known, selected B.E.G to deliver the required intelligent building solutions, which would be appropriate for such a landmark building.

The design of the new office was set out to embrace the ‘very latest in environmental and energy standards and achieve a genuine balance between ecological, economic, aesthetic, and social ideals’.

Around 4,500 workplaces were created across a total area of 100,000m2 – 70% more than the previous building could accommodate. The elaborate new building also includes an auditorium, a conference centre, an underground car park for 268 cars, 40 motorbikes and 330 bicycles, and even a shopping arcade.

Thanks to BNP Paribas Fortis’s investments in design, recreational spaces, connectivity and comfort, the experience is optimised for the staff who work from the building ‘without compromising on its high environmental performance standards’.

To deliver against the required sustainability factors, the bank uses building automation via the KNX building automation system, with products from experienced building automation specialist, B.E.G.

Due to the size of BNP Paribas Fortis’s new building, networking of building components such as heating, air conditioning, blinds and lighting is mandatory in Europe with huge potential for reducing energy costs and positively impacting the environment.

In the new building, B.E.G. used two models of occupancy sensor which were specifically selected to meet the bank’s requirements. Paul Jones, Sales Director of UK & Ireland at B.E.G. UK, says, “The B.E.G. multi-sensors used detect movements, existing ambient light and react according to the time of day. In this way, it is possible to programme and plan lighting scenes for each area or a combination of areas to facilitate group

control. Illuminance levels, blind positions and much more can be changed quickly.

“The KNX sensors selected can achieve very precise light measurements. This makes them particularly suitable for interiors with difficult lighting situations, such as the corridors and striking staircases of BNP Paribas Fortis, where, thanks to its eye-catching design, light enters from several window fronts at once.

“One of the most significant ways to ensure efficiency savings was the incorporation of presence detection sensors in cloakroom areas. Introducing sensors here can lead to energy savings as high as 80% without any compromise on hygiene or comfort.

“For the required performance here, the building relies on a specific detector which ensures that light is activated in these rooms without any touch contact required, and only when people are present. After a defined follow-up time, the lighting switches off automatically.”

The overall concept of BNP Paribas Fortis’s new sustainable headquarters won one of the highest possible accolades at the Marché International des Professionnels d’Immobilier (MIPIM) Awards, in Cannes in 2023. The internationally-renowned property event celebrates the industry’s most useful, sustainable, and visionary projects. BNP Paribas Fortis won first prize in the category for ‘Best Office and Business Development’.


28 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine PROJECT FOCUS
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Carly Weller interviews Jake Green, Head of Technical Engagement at Scolmore to find out how starting his career as an apprentice has helped him reach his current position, along with what the future looks like for Scolmore Group and the electrical industry as a whole.

CW: Tell us about yourself and how you got into the sector

JG: I started my journey like many others in the industry, with an apprenticeship. This was at Bedford College under the NICEIC training programme. I started my apprenticeship with a small company and handled a variety of installation work including rewires, solar PV installs and LED upgrades. I then spent a number of years running my own electrical business, before taking up a position with a facility maintenance company carrying out work for blue chip companies. From there I took a role with Certsure – more commonly known as NICEIC – as part of the marketing technical team. It was during this time that the opportunity came along to join Scolmore Group as Technical Engagement Engineer. Working for a manufacturer is not something I had ever considered, but it was a natural move from my role with Certsure – putting my in-depth knowledge of the electrical industry and standards to good use. I now head up Scolmore’s technical engagement team.

CW: For those who may not know, can you give us an overview of the work that Scolmore Group does?

JG: Scolmore Group is an extremely well-known name in the industry. We are the UK’s leading manufacturer of electrical accessories, lighting, home automation, security and cable accessory products. Established in 1989, we design, develop and manufacture an ever-expanding range of innovative, energy-efficient and time-saving solutions for domestic and commercial projects. Today the Scolmore Group incorporates Click wiring accessories and Click Elucian consumer units, Ovia lighting and lighting controls, Unicrimp cable accessories, ESP security solutions and Sangamo heating controls and time switches. The Group also includes individual company divisions operating in Ireland. These are Click Litehouse, Ovia Ireland and ESPi.

CW: Tell us about your current role – what are you responsible for and what does the normal working day consist of?

JG: As Scolmore Group’s Head of Technical Engagement, my role is varied and includes engaging with consultants, specifiers and electrical contractors to advise and educate them on the right solutions and products to meet the ever-changing regulations and technical requirements of the industry. I also help develop and present training content at industry events, as well as across Scolmore’s social media channels, including the SGTV YouTube channel.

30 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine INTERVIEW
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CW: What’s next for you and for Scolmore Group?

JG: We are continually investing across all divisions within Scolmore Group to develop and expand the business to bring the best products, solutions and latest technologies to market. Scolmore has a reputation for innovation and whilst continuing to deliver the excellent service that our customers have come to expect, we have invested in a number of significant product development programmes over the last few years to continue to bring new and enhanced ranges to market. These include the introduction of the comprehensive Elucian by Click consumer unit and circuit protection range, and the addition of the Fort smart security, 24/7 Colour CCTV and Aperta IP Door Access ranges to the ESP portfolio. A brand new category of products was also developed for Unicrimp, with the launch of the Q-Nect range of lever connectors and connection boxes.

Now in its fifth year of trading, the Ovia lighting division is going from strength to strength and the latest new catalogue has just been launched showcasing some exciting new products. The company is working towards making sure all of its premium Inceptor luminaires meet the requirements of the TM66 Assured Product Verification Scheme. This is an innovative initiative developed and fulfilled by the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) and endorsed by CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) and its aim

CW: What do you think should be made a priority for the electrical sector?

JG: I think the biggest priority for the industry should be to address the skills shortage.

The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 revealed an ‘alarming’ skills gap engulfing the trades and construction sector, with vacancies at record highs. It found the UK needs almost a million new recruits in the entire construction and trades sector just to keep pace with demand, and of the 937,000 needed, nearly a quarter of a million – 244,000 – must be qualified apprentices in order to plug a growing skills gap. Demand for electricians is set to soar, with the report revealing over 100,000 new recruits are needed by 2032.

is to advance circular economy practices within the lighting industry.

Last year LIA Chief Executive Officer, Ayca Donaghy, and Head of Policy and Sustainability, Bob Bohannon, visited Scolmore Group head office to meet with the Ovia team for discussions on the whole subject of the circular economy and the efforts being made by Ovia to drive its sustainability policies throughout the entire business operation.

We strongly believe that our long-term business success and continuous growth are only possible by operating responsibly and supporting the society in alignment with Universal Standards. This is why we pursue our growth in a sustainable way, by taking care of the well-being of our human capital, the communities in which we operate, as well as the planet, in a compliant and responsible way.

CW: Do you have any career advice for people starting out in the industry?

JG: As my personal experience testifies, when you set out with your apprenticeship under your belt, you just never know where it will take you. For many, working on the tools is something they’ve always wanted to do and they enjoy the new challenges that it brings with evolving technologies. For others, it provides a platform to explore and experience a range of different roles. I know that a number of the directors at Scolmore Group started out on the tools and have worked their way up on to the board and are now using their expertise at corporate level. The sky really is the limit.

CW: What do you think are the most exciting products or technologies coming to the market?

JG: It’s a really exciting time to be an electrician right now, with a huge focus on renewables and new green technologies helping to drive a more sustainable future. The cost of living increase is having a direct effect on consumers purchasing alternative methods to heat and power their homes. Electricians have a big part to play in training and developing the skills needed to progress in this rapidly growing sector.

As a business, we are committed to supporting the electrical industry and helping develop the next generation of electricians, and we are delighted to once more be involved in the annual SkillELECTRIC competition, this year as an official delivery partner. SkillELECTRIC is the search for the UK’s best young electrician and is the premier skills competition for the UK’s electrical industry. Each year, the best electrical students and apprentices from across the UK compete to win a place in the competition’s grand finale. The competition is organised by National Electrotechnical Training (NET) and run in conjunction with WorldSkills UK, and it is designed to promote and showcase high standards and skills across the electrotechnical industry. Scolmore Group has been involved in SkillELECTRIC since 2018. The level of workmanship and professionalism of the competitors is consistently very high throughout the competition and the event showcases some fantastic talent and commitment from the next generation of electricians. Their contribution to the sector going forward is invaluable.

CW: Where do you see the industry in five years?

JG: Within the next five years energy monitoring will be crucial. Energy monitoring devices are used to measure the power, power factor, current and voltage used in a household and provide data about the household energy consumption. Understanding power consumption habits is the first step towards taking control of energy bills.


32 | March 2024 @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine INTERVIEW
L-R: LIA Head of Policy and Sustainability, Bob Bohanan; LIA Chief Executive Officer, Ayca Donaghy; Ovia Managing Director, Mike Collins; Scolmore Group NPD & Research Manager, Surej Solanki and Scolmore Group Head of Product Development, Mark Flanagan



EMark Smith, Operations Director at Sevadis, looks at the key considerations for electrical contractors wanting to introduce EV charge point installations to their services.

xpanding your services to include EV charge point installations can be a strategic move to meet the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure while also diversifying your offerings to attract new customers and increase revenue streams. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to successfully integrate EV charge point installations into your existing service portfolio:

• Market research: Begin by conducting thorough market research to understand the demand for EV charge point installations in your area. Identify key market trends, competitor offerings and customer preferences to gauge the potential for expansion.

• Partner with suppliers: Establish partnerships with reputable EV charge point manufacturers and suppliers to access high-quality products and technical support. Collaborating with trusted suppliers ensures reliability and customer satisfaction.

• Training and certification: Invest in training and certification programs for your team to acquire the necessary skills and expertise for EV charge point installations. Ensure that your technicians are proficient in electrical work, safety protocols and specific requirements for EV charging infrastructure.

• Regulatory compliance: Familiarise yourself with regulations and building codes governing EV charge point installations. Adhering to regulatory requirements is essential to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues.

• Pricing strategy: Develop a competitive pricing strategy based on market

analysis, cost of materials, labour and overhead expenses. Consider offering bundled packages or discounts for customers availing multiple services to incentivise uptake.

• Marketing and promotion: Promote your new EV charge point installation services through targeted marketing campaigns, including digital advertising, social media outreach and collaborations with local EV advocacy groups. Highlight the benefits of EV charging solutions, such as sustainability, convenience and cost savings.

• Customer education: Educate your existing customer base about the benefits of EV ownership and the importance of charging infrastructure. Offer informational resources, workshops and consultations to address any concerns and encourage adoption.

• Seamless integration: Integrate EV charge point installations seamlessly into your existing service offerings to provide a one-stop solution for customers. Incorporate EV charging options into your website, service packages and customer consultations to streamline the process.

• Feedback and continuous improvement: Solicit feedback from customers who utilise your EV charge point installation services to identify areas for improvement and enhance the customer experience. Continuously evaluate and refine your offerings to stay competitive in the evolving EV market.

By following these steps, you can successfully expand your services to include EV charge point installations, positioning your business as a leader in sustainable transportation solutions while driving growth and customer satisfaction.


March 2024 | 33 ASK THE EXPERT


It has been three years since NAPIT launched its certification software covering electrical installation, inspection and testing, fire systems, emergency lighting, gas and ventilation.

NAPIT FastTest’s impressive list of features continues to grow with the inclusion of renewable and electric vehicle certificates and reports.

Why is this happening?

The reason is that NAPIT listens to those who use the software every day, welcomes their feedback, takes it on board, and makes changes to improve the product.

What is NAPIT FastTest?

NAPIT FastTest is an advanced multi-platform certification software for electrical installation, inspection and

New introductions

NAPIT’s certificate options have been expanded as a result of increased demand over the past three years. The platform now offers certificates for EV servicing, EV installation and solar PV, with even more certificates planned in the coming months.

Andrew Milner, NAPIT IT Manager and product owner of NAPIT FastTest, states, “The software is a constant work in progress, and there are always improvements to be made.

“However, we work relentlessly to ensure it meets the ever-evolving needs of our customers. We will continue to listen to the needs of those who use NAPIT FastTest every day and make sure it just keeps getting better and better.”

NAPIT says that NAPIT FastTest is the best certification software available due to the following reasons:

• Regular updates

• Training

• In-house development

NAPIT also hosts an online support portal, NAPIT FAQ, which provides information on everything from portal access, the dashboard, adding and removing operatives to installations, certificate settings, and FastTest functions.

Regular updates

As a relatively new service, NAPIT FastTest has already undergone several software developments in order to enhance its user experience. For instance, the NAPIT FastTest development team recently completed an update that introduces multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Andrew points out that cyber security is a constantly evolving topic. “Fraud reduction and identity theft prevention are vitally important for us and for our users,” he says.


A key element that makes NAPIT FastTest different is the level of support provided by the team, according to Andrew.

“Our customers are busy and they need a solution that will help them with their work. Whenever they need help, they know we are available,” he says.

NAPIT Senior FastTest Specialist, Michael Worrall, offers an hour of training to all users, regardless of whether they have a free trial or a full licence.

Michael says, “We noticed that most of the calls we were receiving about FastTest were from users who were unfamiliar with the software, so we thought providing a detailed overview of the software at the beginning would give people a better understanding of what they are dealing with.

“Our training sessions have received excellent feedback and there has been a noticeable difference in the calls we receive from those who have attended the session and those who have not,” he adds.

NAPIT FastTest features

Although NAPIT has developed this certification software, it is available to everyone who is required to produce certificates and reports. Using the software, you can upload your company logo and the logo of the certification body to standard certificate formats without having the branding of NAPIT on them.

The full NAPIT branding is available to all companies that are registered with NAPIT. There are a number of user-friendly features such as the ability to create company-specific front pages and templates of certificates that are commonly used to save time.

In addition to the desktop version of the software, there is a mobile version for Android and iOS devices that provides the ability to create certificates and reports on site. These can then be synced with the desktop licence via the cloud sync.

The FastTest portal allows the administrator to control the devices in use by the company as well as activate and deactivate licences to accommodate team changes. In addition, it allows users to be able to control who has access and who can review and authorise the issuing of certificates and reports.


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Timeguard is offering three lucky ECN readers the chance to win a Timeguard IP66 Weathersafe SRCD.

It’s a simple request for an outdoor socket, but there’s usually more to it than that before you decide what to install.

First you need to decide what level of IP protection is right for the job at hand. In simple terms, the higher the number, the greater the degree of protection and the costs will inevitably reflect that. So, make the right choice at the start.

The ratings you are likely to see at the wholesalers are IP55, IP65, IP66 and IP68. The first IP number indicates dust protection and the second is the degree of protection from water/moisture. So, for instance, an IP55 product is protected against dust ingress that could be harmful for the normal operation of the product, while IP65 or IP66 are fully dust tight. Water ingress is for proof against a low-pressure nozzle, while ‘6’ indicates protection against a high-pressure water jet. For very high levels of protection,

IP68 is dust tight and protected against long periods of immersion in water under pressure and is often chosen for inline connectors that may be exposed or even buried in the garden for years on end.

If the user wants to be able to check the status of outdoor power at a glance, you can provide models with clear windows, but check the spec for a polycarbonate that will stay clear and not cloud over and look tacky. Look for impact resistant cases, especially for installation in heavy ‘garden-traffic’ areas. Locking covers will add safety, especially when kids are around, and even prevent power theft.

Finally, don’t forget the option of fitting RCD protection for all manner of outdoor equipment that people seem to have these days with options for passive or active protection – the latter will not allow power to switch back on until the device is reset by the user. Timeguard,

For your chance to win one of three Timeguard IP66 Weathersafe SRCDs, simply answer the following questions correctly:



The winners of the January competition – three Kidde bundles, courtesy of Kidde – were Laurence Brown, Pas Marinaro and Ken Law.

Personal Details Name Company Name Address ................................................................................Postcode Tel Mobile E-mail..................................................................................................................................... The answers to March’s competition are: 1. 2. 3. To enter, please complete the form below and post to: ECN Competition, All Things Media Ltd, Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent, ME5 8UD. Alternatively, you can enter online at or email your answers and contact details to: Closing date
entries must be returned by 31 March 2024.
is final.
Contact Preferences YES, I would like to receive the ECN newsletter YES, I would like to subscribe to ECN magazine YES, I would like to share my data with Timeguard Signature Date
The editor’s decision
For the full terms and conditions,
electricalcontractingnews. com/competition-terms. The
of the winner will be
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*Prize not exchangeable.
What sort of SRCD would you choose to protect power tool users?
Passive b) Active 2. Which sort of enclosure offers most protection against water ingress? a) IP55 b) IP66 3. Can you get outdoor sockets with lockable enclosures and clear at-a-glance windows? a) Yes b) No To register to receive your copy of ECN each month, visit COMPETITION

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It is easy to understand why fire safety is of paramount importance, however, the lack of a British Standard leaves room for confusion where fire rating for cable management systems is concerned. Here, Mark Williams, Lead Marketing Manager at Legrand UK & Ireland, discusses how electrical contractors can ensure their product selection is offering customers peace of mind, in terms of performance in a fire situation.

Regulations tend to move forward fastest in the period following a disaster. In the years since Grenfell, as greater scrutiny has been placed on the fire safety of building materials, Legrand’s cable management team has frequently dealt with questions about the fire rating of its cable management systems.

Regulations can be hard to navigate and this difficulty has resulted in some confusion in the industry around fire safety. Regulatory change can happen quickly in response to deadly incidents of fires and, while responsiveness in this area is important, the electrical industry would likely benefit from increased clarity as well.

One safe way forward is for electrical contractors to ensure that the cable management systems they deploy are tested to the highest standards possible. This means contractors need to have a thorough understanding of fire safety and the impact that cable management solutions can have on a project.

The manufacturer’s role

It is important that manufacturers can offer proof of their products’ ability to withstand fire damage, despite the lack of standards or legal obligations related

to cable management products. When manufacturers have that proof, contractors can work with confidence that their project will provide high levels of safety for a building’s owners and occupiers.

Without a British Standard in place, looking abroad for an appropriate benchmark can be helpful. There is a standard test in Germany, for example, for circuit integrity cabling that allows cable management manufacturers to fire test their products in a true-to-life installation.

The DIN 4102-12 standard exposes building components, such as cable management systems, to fire for over 90 minutes, eventually reaching 1,000°C by the end of the test. Swifts cable trays and ladders – as well as Salamandre distribution trunking – from Legrand, are examples of solutions that have been subjected to testing under DIN 4102-12 conditions.

Assuming a project is taking place in the UK, it is important to adhere to UK standards. If a stakeholder enquires about fire testing standards, it may be helpful to be able to discuss the additional reassurance the DIN 4102-12 standard can provide.

The contractor’s opportunity

Electrical contractors are encouraged to be proactive about fire safety, staying on top of changes by taking advantage of the training and education opportunities available. Legrand is supporting the industry by offering several CPDs on fire safety,

covering cable pathways, compliance and containment that can be completed free of charge via Legrand’s Training Academy.

Along with CPDs, there are other resources freely available too, including Legrand’s guide: Creating Cable Pathways –an explainer on ensuring cable management will not contribute to the spread of fire or premature collapse, and the Fire Safety and Cable Management white paper.

One of the CPDs electrical contractors can benefit from is the Premature Collapse and Fire Rated Containment seminar, recently launched to evaluate the UK standards landscape as it applies to cable management systems. It discusses fire prevention, construction product regulations and wiring regulations. It can be completed virtually or at Legrand’s training facilities in London or Birmingham. Undertaking CPDs, such as the ones offered by Legrand can strengthen contractors’ understanding of fire safety and what’s needed to minimise risk.

Regulatory change can occur at a fast pace, so it is vital that electrical contractors stay abreast of fire safety issues. Time must be taken to get to grips with the standards they need to meet, the products available to them, and the tests those products have to pass. Taking part in training will support contractors who wish to offer their clients peace of mind and clarity when it comes to the fire safety of their buildings.


38 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE CABLE MANAGEMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
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Jake Green, Head of Technical Engagement, Scolmore Group, gives a brief overview of the general range of conditions detailed in Section 522 of BS 7671 that an installer will have to consider as they select a suitable wiring system for an electrical installation.

One of the fundamental principles detailed in Chapter 13 of BS 7671: 2018 (including amendments) is ‘Environmental conditions’. Simply stated, Regulation 132.5.1 requires that ‘the design of the electrical installation shall take into account the environmental conditions to which it will be subjected’.

Section 522

Section 522 of BS 7671 details those environmental conditions that need to be considered when selecting and installing wiring systems. The scope of the section is wide-ranging and covers the following:

• Ambient temperature – requires the designer/installer to ensure that installed equipment is suitable for both the minimum and maximum temperatures reasonably expected. Account should also be taken of the maximum temperature expected under fault conditions (522.1).

• External heat sources – electrical equipment must be protected from the detrimental effects of specific heat sources. This might be by shielding, distancing from the source, having equipment capable of managing the level of heat, or local reinforcement or substitution of insulating material (522.2).

• Presence of water or high humidity –electrical equipment must be suitably protected from ingress by water and/or the build-up of condensation. The Unicrimp Q-Nect series (junction boxes, connectors and connection boxes) provides a range of IP66 to IP68 products, providing the

designer/installer with suitable options when selecting equipment for use in the presence of water (522.3).

• Presence of solid foreign bodies –requires the wiring system to be capable of minimising the danger arising from the ingress of solid foreign bodies. The IP rating should be suitable for the nature of the foreign bodies (522.4).

• Presence of corrosive or polluting substances – requires due account to be taken of materials/substances likely to cause corrosion or deterioration of the wiring system. This can be water (rust), the presence of dissimilar metals or more obvious corrosive substances (522.5).

• Impact – the wiring system must be capable of withstanding damage caused by mechanical stress, such as impact, abrasion, penetration, tension, and compression during installation, as well as being protected from impact as part of the fixed installation (522.6).

• Vibration – requires a wiring system to be supported in such a way that due account is given to the likely vibration that will exist. This may require, for example, use to be made of saddle clips rather than standard cable clips where a cable is not installed within a cable management system (522.7)

• Other mechanical stresses – requires a wiring system to be selected and erected to avoid damage to the sheath during installation, use or maintenance. This requires use to be made, where necessary, of correct saddles, clips and the like to support cables to avoid damage to the cables and terminations. Furthermore, amongst other things, buried cables should be suitably marked with tape/cable covers (522.8).

• Presence of flora and/or mould growth – requires the designer to take account of the effects of plants, trees and the ingress of mould growth (522.9).

• Presence of fauna – recognises that wildlife can have a serious negative impact on an installation. Rodents can gain access through very small openings; large animals can cause significant damage to cables and the like. Designers and installers must make use of both suitable wiring systems and correct locations to avoid damage (522.10).

• Solar radiation and ultraviolet radiation – where solar or ultraviolet radiation is likely to have a significant effect, a suitable wiring system must be selected and erected or properly shielded (522.11).

• Seismic effects – unlikely to be an issue in the UK (522.12).

• Movement or air (522.13) and Nature of processed or stored materials (522.14) are covered in other parts of BS 7671.

• Building design – requires the designer to take due account of where structural movement is likely to exist and potentially create excessive mechanical stress. This typically happens in larger and taller buildings where relative movement is required as part of the build (522.15).

This article has only touched upon the various environmental factors to be considered by designers and installers. Reference should also be made to Appendix 5 of BS 7671 for the applicability of the various codes detailed in Section 522.

Scolmore Group,

40 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE CABLE MANAGEMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
Unicrimp IP66 Q-Nect connector Unicrimp QFire Saddle Clips
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This article by Webro’s Head of Marketing, Chris Mellor-Dolman, provides expert tips on how to care for your cables, including practical advice on how to extend the lifespan of cables, how to prevent operational issues with easy-to-follow care solutions, and handy hints for proper storage, handling and maintenance.

Cables can easily fall into the ‘fit and forget’ category, but the importance of proper cable care can’t be underestimated.

Maintaining and protecting them should be a priority within any project to preserve the safety, integrity and performance of the devices they connect to. Ignore this, and you’re heading for a swarm of potential challenges that can strike at any time:

• Ongoing repairs: Poor maintenance inevitably comes back to bite you. Neglect a car and it soon lets you know that it’s not happy. Cables are no different. Ignorance often results in a catalogue of problems that range from intermittent outages to complete failures that mean you’re constantly waiting to firefight. From productivity to labour, this all comes at a price too.

• Costly replacements: Look after cables and they’ll pay you back – quite literally. Otherwise, you could get caught up in a

never-ending cycle of fail-replace-fail, which inevitably hits the pocket in terms of new cables and the labour required to fit them.

• Loss of productivity and revenue: Downtime costs money. With vital equipment out of action disruption can be widespread, and at the heart of it is someone’s reputation. When things grind to a halt it doesn’t go unnoticed, especially when it starts costing money due to output coming to a standstill.

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• Safety risks: Damaged cables present a significant hazard to those working and living around them. From trips and falls to electrocution and fire, nobody wants to increase the chances of a risk to life.

• Damage to devices: Poorly maintained cables can result in the substandard performance of connected devices. In more extreme cases it can cause surges, with the outcome being permanent damage.

How to care for cables

The correct choice of cable for an installed application should always be the first consideration. Installing product unsuitable for the installation area will be the start of a painful relationship with the connected equipment and its reliability. Proper care and maintenance improves the performance and longevity of cables. Observe these simple cable management tips to ensure durability, efficiency, and safety throughout your business.

• Store right: Properly coiled cables kept in the right storage environment, i.e. in cool, dry locations away from sunlight, is the ideal solution. Storing them in colder locations can cause them to become rigid and thus difficult to install, so they should be acclimatised to reach a warmer temperature wherever possible when they’re removed from cold storage.

• Handle carefully: Whether it’s launching them off the back of a delivery trailer, or dropping them between floors on a building site, Chris says he’s seen it all. Cables are robust, but they’re not bomb-proof! Yes, metal-based cables

are sturdier than glass fibre cables for example of course, but why take the risk? Handle all cables with due care and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that what you’re installing is intact.

• Install with care: During installation, cables have to be routed through a wide variety of different obstacles. From holes in walls to pass-throughs in servers, avoid the obvious hazards to cable integrity by smoothing rough edges, using grommets – and employing conduit to provide corrosion and chemical protection where applicable.

• Avoid extremes: In all cases, it’s best practice wherever practically possible to install cables where it’s dry and not subject to extreme temperatures – especially where they fluctuate dramatically. Where this is unavoidable, be sure to use specialist products that are designed specifically for such applications like marine, chemical, duct, arctic grade, and fire-resistant cables.

• Check regularly: Ignorance is no defence. You need to inspect your cables as part of an ongoing cable maintenance plan. Look for the obvious visual cues such as fraying, knots and damage to the outer sheath. Electrical testing is certainly advised too, which will detect any deficiencies within cables that can’t be seen externally.

• Keep within limits: Use the correct cable length in every application. The more surplus cable you have, the higher the damage risk.

• Don’t overtighten cable ties: Strangulation can affect the performance of delicate cables such as ethernet and other data cables, and it can also

lead to safety risks due to bundled cables potentially getting too hot. It can also impede signals, hampering performance. Velcro type material (hook and eye) options are best for network and AV products, for instance.

• Don’t overfill fixtures: Overfilling management equipment such as cable trays can result in cable damage –excessive weight on high-performance products can cause insulation damage, resulting in unacceptable impedance, attenuation and crosstalk, and increased safety risk from potential fire.

• Don’t overbend: Without exception, every cable has a minimum bend radius. Overbend and the signal decays – especially in network cables where productivity is then lost.

How to clean cables

• Clean at regular intervals: The regular cleaning of cables serves two purposes. Firstly, it ensures that cables aren’t subject to a build-up of contaminants, which can cause them to degrade prematurely. Secondly, it ensures that cables get a close inspection where signs of damage can be spotted early and dealt with.

• Use suitable cleaning products: You might not be aware, but there are dedicated cable cleaning products on the market that you can buy. Many are solvent-based liquids and are highly effective at removing dirt and contaminants, including grease and oils. These solutions also provide the basis for cable cleaning wipes, which come in handy dispensers and are easy to carry from cable to cable.

• Avoid common cleaning mistakes: Avoid abrasive cloths and aggressive cleaning liquids as they can cause material surfaces to degrade. Specialist fluids and wipes as outlined above are the best option.

“Neglecting cables is the certain route to undermining safety, integrity and performance.”

• Employ safe cleaning practices: Always remember to follow appropriate health and safety guidelines when using cleaning products. Without exception, they should all come with very clear instructions for use.

In conclusion

Neglecting cables is the certain route to undermining safety, integrity and performance. Cables are the connectivity backbone of countless systems, and yet they’re often fitted and forgotten about. However, the importance of proper care and maintenance for cables can’t be underestimated. It optimises both their working life and effectiveness, ensuring that devices and appliances continue to operate without interruption. Ignore this and you’re inviting potential problems that could snowball quickly and even lead to complete failure. It all comes at a price too, including your reputation if you’re the person responsible for cable care. Now might just be the right time to move cable management up your priority list.


44 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE CABLE MANAGEMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
The importance of proper cable care shouldn’t be underestimated

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Legendre UK is currently constructing 149 one-bedroom flats at Sheepcote Road HA1 in Harrow and is using products from Spelsberg’s IBT range for the project, writes Spelsberg UK’s Managing Director, Chris Lloyd

Affordable housing is a hot topic in the UK, with the Government and developers across the country working to provide people with a route onto the property ladder. Specialist developer Pocket Living is ensuring this for Londoners by building modular homes exclusively for first time buyers.

Solving the housing crisis relies on building affordable homes quickly. Pocket Living aims to achieve this by providing modular style homes. At Sheepcote Road, the development features standardised 38m2 flats with few variations. This aims to speed up the construction process while ensuring quality housing that meets building regulations.

Legendre UK is also contributing to this. Sheepcote Road HA1 is being built with a continental frame, where concrete is used for the facade and internal walls. The method saves time by eliminating false ceilings and dry lining. Importantly, it also allows for electrical services to be embedded into the concrete itself.

Setting electrical infrastructure in stone

On-site, concrete is poured into the metal-lined shuttering and formwork, where it sets in place. Legendre UK then removes the formwork, leaving a smooth finish and installed services exposed. In this process, any electrical infrastructure, such as enclosures and conduit, needs to be installed on the formwork before pouring can begin.

There are multiple challenges in this application. First, an enclosure needs to hold its position during the concrete pour, mandating strong mountings to secure it to the formwork against the heavy concrete. Failure to do so risks severed connections. No leakage into the enclosure can be tolerated either. This can prevent electricians from installing or fixing equipment later down the line.

Providing concrete benefits

To avoid these outcomes, Legendre UK utilises the IBT system from Spelsberg, an enclosures expert. The range allows electrical enclosures, junction boxes, lighting outlets and more to be fitted into formwork and concrete poured around them.

The boxes support British Standard socket sizes and feature strong magnets that allow easy connection to the formwork.

The strong couplings and support spars of the IBT series keep everything in place during pouring, while a patented diaphragm system provides a strong seal to stop concrete

ingress. Once everything is set and formwork removed, cables and fittings can be installed into the exposed units. Complementing the goals of the Sheepcote Road development, the IBT system enables electrical installation to be completed quickly.

Rock-solid service

Around 30 Spelsberg boxes are used per flat at Sheepcote Road, which house lighting, socket outlets and smoke detectors, and the boxes have even been used in other applications such as housing radiator pipes.

Ready-made solutions for affordable housing

Once the Sheepcote Road development is complete, each of the houses will be available to local first-time buyers at a 20% discount compared to market value. Both an eight-storey and five-storey building will feature roof terraces and a communal garden. Furthermore, 16 of the 149 flats will be wheelchair adaptable.

Modular homes and continental frame construction can clearly speed-up modern residential developments and alleviate the housing crisis, getting new homes on the market faster and giving people in areas with high house prices a chance to become homeowners. With its IBT system, Spelsberg has a ready-made solution for these projects, helping to usher in a new era of comfortable and affordable UK housing.


46 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE ELECTRICAL ENCLOSURES/CABINETS @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
Legendre UK uses the IBT range from Spelsberg to build modular homes Spelsberg’s IBT range
If you need an EV Pillar. Make it Lucy. Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Solutions: from On-Street Charging to EV Hubs Sales & Technical Help 01422 317 335 For Quotes – For Orders – orderline@lucyzodion. com If you need help getting 2035 ready, contact us to today.


The unsung hero of EV infrastructure is not sexy chargers; the unsung hero of great EV infrastructure is the feeder pillar. Used to distribute power safely and efficiently, whilst ensuring charging speed reliability – correctly specifying an EV feeder pillar will provide secure, dependable, and compliant electrical connections, says Matt Page, EV Business Development Manager at Lucy Zodion

As the electrification revolution continues, robust electrical infrastructure is crucial.

Electrical enclosures and cabinets serve as frontline defences, safeguarding components and ensuring system reliability. But how does one specify the correct enclosure amidst various materials and standards?

With decades of experience in electrical connection solutions, Lucy Zodion is here to guide contractors. Here’s an overview of key considerations:

Electrical supply

The first thing to consider is the electrical supply. Will it be a new point of connection provided by the DNO or ICP, or will it be a private supply routed from a supply elsewhere? If the former, then consideration must be given to the space that the DNO/ICP will need to install its service head/cut-out and any metering requirements.


You must decide whether your EV feeder pillar will use Protective Multiple Earthing (PME), O-PEN technology, or TT earthing. The choice depends on various factors, such as existing infrastructure, preservation orders on trees and not forgetting resistance levels that would need to be guaranteed all year round in the event of a TT installation.

TT installations, where an earth rod is installed to provide the earth, are the most common. However, fitting PEN detection technology is a well-recognised alternative where it is impossible to fit an earth rod or mat.

Charge points

How many EV charge points is the feeder pillar powering and what are their ratings? Outgoing devices include single-phase and three-phase, enabling EV chargers to be powered from 7kW to 150kW.

Current rating and load balancing

What current rating is the incoming supply: 100A, 200A, 400A, 630A? Understanding your current rating requirements is essential. How much power does your feeder pillar need to deliver and how many charge points (in kilowatts) will it supply? Consider load balancing within the charge points to optimise your supply connection and get the most value from your electrical infrastructure.

Residual circuit protection

There is a requirement to protect the cables supplying the charge points and to do this, Lucy Zodion installs 300mA devices where the charge points have local 30mA protection. If the charge points do not have this local protection, the company offers 30mA protection to cover this. This is generally seen on the 7-22kW charge points, but Lucy Zodion’s EVIS range offers both solutions to protect your installation requirements.


Anticipate future needs by allocating space within your feeder pillar for additional equipment or charge points that may be installed later. This proactive approach ensures your infrastructure can adapt to evolving EV demands without costly modifications.

Location and planning requirements

Carefully consider the location of your EV feeder pillar. Are there specific planning requirements or access needs for maintenance and testing? Proper planning ensures seamless integration into your site or development.


In some cases, aesthetics plays a vital role. Does your EV feeder pillar need to blend into its surroundings? Standard enclosures are Hot Dipped Galvanised, but opting for a painted finish can help maintain the integrity of your site or development while ensuring that your infrastructure is functional and visually appealing.

Compliance and standards

Ensure that any EV connection pillars you specify are manufactured and tested by the following standards:

• BS7671: IET Wiring Regulations – covers the electrical installation of buildings, including the use of surge protection

• BS7671: IET code of practice for electric charging

• BS EN 61439: Low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies

Considering these key points will ensure that your EV feeder pillar is designed to deliver efficient and reliable power distribution for electric vehicle charging, contributing to a sustainable and greener future.

How many EV charge points the feeder pillar will be powering, along with their ratings, are key considerations

48 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE ELECTRICAL ENCLOSURES/CABINETS @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
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Allbro explores the advantages of GRP enclosures over steel.

In the realm of modern infrastructure, the choice of materials for electrical enclosures plays a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with safety standards and guaranteeing long-term durability.

As regulations such as BS EN 61439-3 emphasise the need for non-combustible materials in consumer units and switchgear assemblies for domestic premises, the debate between traditional steel enclosures and their GRP counterparts becomes increasingly relevant.

Steel enclosures have traditionally been favoured for their perceived strength. However, closer examination reveals significant drawbacks, especially in comparison with GRP alternatives. While steel may initially appear robust, it is prone to corrosion, particularly in outdoor environments where exposure to moisture and harsh weather conditions is unavoidable. The gradual onset of rust compromises the structural integrity of steel enclosures, leading to potential safety hazards and increased maintenance costs over the lifespan of the infrastructure.

GRP enclosures address the limitations of steel while delivering superior performance. Engineered from a composite of reinforced glass fibres and polyester, GRP combines the strength and durability of traditional materials with enhanced resistance to corrosion and environmental degradation. This inherent non-conductivity of GRP ensures the safety of electrical components, making it an ideal choice for high-voltage applications where insulation is paramount.

Moreover, GRP enclosures boast a significantly longer lifespan. With minimal maintenance requirements, GRP enclosures offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for modern infrastructure projects. By leveraging cutting-edge technology such as the All-Guard coating – Allbro’s innovative abrasion-resistant coating – the durability of the Allbrox enclosure range is extended, and is claimed to surpass any other available option in the market.

GRP’s lightweight nature simplifies installation and transportation, reducing logistical complexities and associated costs. The nature of GRP offers greater design flexibility, allowing for an expanded product range in a manufacturer’s lineup.

The choice between GRP and steel enclosures boils down to a trade-off between perceived strength and long-term reliability. Steel’s susceptibility to corrosion and maintenance requirements undermine its suitability for modern infrastructure projects. In contrast, GRP enclosures provide a durable, low-maintenance solution that meets stringent safety standards and ensures the longevity of critical infrastructure in diverse environments.

As organisations worldwide prioritise compliance, safety and sustainability in their infrastructure investments, the importance of material

becomes increasingly evident. Modern infrastructure projects can confidently embrace GRP as the ideal material choice in an era defined by evolving regulatory requirements and environmental consciousness. GRP enclosures stand as a testament to innovation and excellence in infrastructure protection.

Allbro UK,

50 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE ELECTRICAL ENCLOSURES/CABINETS @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
Benefits of GRP
address the limitations of steel while delivering superior performance
GRP enclosures
March 2024 | 51 SPECIAL FEATURE TOOLS & TEST EQUIPMENT supported by @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine Somebody imagines the future. TIS keeps it under control.
Instruments for the performance, verification, maintenance & safety testing of PV & EV systems.


News, TIS covers five of its very current, topical and

Shining a light on test equipment for solar PV installations

There are various pieces of instrumentation available for testing solar PV installations and in this article TIS will attempt to clarify what is needed and when.

An Irradiance Meter with Clampmeter is a great and easy way to establish whether or not a solar PV system is behaving as it should under the prevailing sunlight conditions. A good Irradiance meter will give the expected power generated by the sun in a reading of watts per square metre – along with an appropriate clampmeter, the user can measure the voltage and current outputs from the array to give the power output and therefore confirm that the expected power correlates with the actual value measured. TIS supplies the TIS PV2KIT for this application.

A solar PV commissioning instrument is usually required to be used when installing grid connected PV systems and/or the requirement for MCS compliance. The Code of Practice for grid connected Solar PV Systems (2nd Edition) lists the following minimum test requirements derived from EN 62446:

• Continuity of earthing and/or equipotential bonding conductors

• Polarity test

• Combiner box test

• String open circuit voltage test

• String short circuit current test

• Functional tests

• Insulation resistance test

For small to medium installations, DC side MFTs are available with insulation and open circuit voltage tests of up to 1,000V and short circuit current tests up to 15A, and TIS offers the PVCHECKS for these applications.

In this issue of Electrical Contracting PVCHECKS PVCHECKS PRO Your One Stop Solution For Test Equipment Email: Telephone: 01274 752 407 Web:

For larger commercial and industrial installations, there is now a requirement for insulation and open circuit voltage tests of up to 1,500V, along with short circuit current tests of 40A. The newly launched PVCHECKS PRO will carry out all of the requirements under the standards along with being able to test at 1,500V and measuring short circuit currents of 40A.

52 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE TOOLS & TEST EQUIPMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
important product categories.
Maintenance of solar PV systems is, of course, vital to ensure the long-term return on investment from the installation. One factor which can affect the performance of an array is if a panel has developed an insulation fault down to earth or has been wired incorrectly in the first place. If such a fault is detected then one way to find the defective component would be to disconnect each panel in turn to determine the offending unit, which is rather time consuming to say the least. However, both PVCHECKS PRO and PVISOTEST have a game changing feature called ‘GFL’ – Ground Fault Locator. This setting on both units allows the user to pinpoint a faulty panel in a string of up to 35 with just one connection and key press. Of course, all of the above is in addition to the requirements on the AC side of the installation covered by BSEN 7671 – but that’s another story! TIS PV2KIT

Coming soon – the ‘holy grail’ for solar PV testing

As can be seen from the information above, there are lots of different pieces of test equipment available for solar PV, depending on what part of the industry the engineer is involved with.

For those who need a one-stop product solution for all aspects of solar PV testing, this year TIS is launching the PV-PRO, which is a combined I-V Curve Tracer, Commissioning Tester up to 1,500V and 40A, Ground Fault Locator for identifying and locating a faulty panel amongst a multi-string, plus much more.

The future is electric vehicles

Electricity distribution companies have already embarked on a minimum 10-year plan to satisfy demand along with increasing the infrastructure – a big part of this is solar PV, battery storage, ground and air source heat pump incentives.

The talk of hydrogen powered vehicles replacing EVs is literally hot air, as the hydrogen would need distributing much like petrol and diesel – using tankers delivering to garage forecourts. Importantly, hydrogen powered vehicles are also much less efficient than electric ones due to energy losses from engine friction and heat losses from combustion. Obviously, EVs do not need trucks driving around delivering the charge, it comes down the cables!

What should also remain is the safe testing of EV installations, both existing and new. TIS has multi award winning kits to allow the engineer to test both the supplying electrical installation, plus the actual EVSE charger itself. Although the TIS MFTPRO and TIS MFTECO are capable of testing domestic, commercial and industrial installations in their own right, they really come into their own when paired with the TIS EV-TEST100 adapter.

The EVSE adapter actually simulates the presence of an electric vehicle by calling

for a charge and introducing various fault conditions to check that the equipment will cut off the supply if there is a safety issue. When used as the TIS MFTPRO-EV full kit, there is an AUTO EVSE button on the TIS MFTPRO which actually guides the user through the full testing process with diagrams and prompts along the way – concluding with a full, stored test certificate at the end.

Safe isolation at any cost

Anyone who intends to work on electrical systems should be equipped with an electrical safe isolation kit. Some people find the cost of these kits prohibitive, which presents a real potential health, safety and, ultimately, electrocution risk.

The TIS 819SIKIT is probably the most affordable safe isolation kit and contains a GS38 compliant voltage tester, proving unit and safety lockout kit for locking off various types of breakers. Importantly, the padlock includes only one single key with an etched serial number to match the lock, meaning the chance of someone else having another key to open that padlock is almost impossible. Although cost should not be a factor when it comes to health and safety equipment, unfortunately in the real world it is – which is why the TIS 819SIKIT has a ‘street price’of £89.95 plus VAT.

A typical safe isolation process is as follows:

1) Obtain the required permission to work on the installation

2) Identify the source of the supply

3) Test your BSEN 61243-3 compliant voltage or lamp tester with a proving unit or known live supply to make sure it is working properly

4) Isolate the supply, disconnecting the system from the mains

5) Secure or lock off the isolation device using a safety padlock with associated lock off accessories, to prevent any tampering

6) Use the BSEN 61243-3 compliant voltage or lamp tester to confirm that the system is dead

7) Prove that your voltage tester or test lamp is still working correctly by repeating step 3) above

8) Put up clearly visible warning signs to show that the installation has been isolated

9) After confirming all of the above points and that the system is dead (no current is flowing), work can begin.

Please note that, in a nutshell, BSEN 61243-3 means that your voltage tester must work either without a battery or if the inserted battery is discharged, so as not to be able to power the instrument.

The importance of keeping DC leakage in check

Clampmeters being able to measure low values of AC leakage have been around for some time now – significant numbers have been sold from 2007 onwards, when pretty much everything needed protecting by an RCD. These instruments offer massive time saving benefits for board changes and finding AC leakage problems due to nuisance RCD tripping.

However, now there is an even more sinister leakage problem building momentum out there – DC leakage.

DC leakage is now increasingly prevalent due to electric vehicle batteries, solar PV and battery storage systems. If more than 6mA of DC leakage flows in a circuit, then all AC, A and F type RCDs can be ‘blinded’ and therefore may not trip in a fault condition. The selection and installation of a ’B’ type RCD or ‘RDC DD’ would then pick up the pure DC leakage current and therefore trip if there is more than 6mA of DC leakage. The bigger picture with detecting DC leakage is also that it can propagate to different properties, meaning a house without any DC current generating equipment could be affected by a neighbour who has –therefore the detection of DC leakage is vitally important. At the time of writing, the TIS 570 is the only combined AC and DC leakage clampmeter currently readily available on the UK market, being able to distinguish and measure DC leakage on electrical systems, even if it is super-imposed on AC currents.

DC leakage, if left unchecked can also cause corrosion within the fabric of metal and/or metal reinforced buildings.


March 2024 | 53 SPECIAL FEATURE TOOLS & TEST EQUIPMENT @ecn_magazine /electricalcontractingnews @ElecConNews
TIS 819SIKIT Check Out Our Professional Solar Range Email: Telephone: 01274 752 407 Web:
TIS 570


For electrical contractors, extending the life of their tools is possible. David Barnes, Marketing Manager at KNIPEX, explores some top ways to protect, maintain and keep tools ready for action.

Electrical contractors understand that a well-maintained toolkit is much more than a convenience – with rising business and living costs, it’s an important economic consideration, too. With the average commute to job sites clocking in at 17 miles, tools can endure quite the daily journey, especially in a city’s hustle where buses and trains are part of the daily commute. While everyday transit can take a toll if tools aren’t stored properly, other tools are firm favourites and see action every day. These tools need careful maintenance to stay in tip-top shape and at the ready to bring back the spark when the electrics go out.

One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your tools and avoid the cost of frequent replacement is a dedicated backpack or toolbox. These make sure tools are kept safe, organised and can be easily transported from job to job. If stored incorrectly or loosely, tools can be easily damaged. A good backpack or toolbox will offer compartments and padding to protect tools from the knocks and drops that can occur during transit. Having different compartments within a toolbox also allows electrical contractors to quickly find the right tool for the job without sifting through a jumbled mess and makes a good impression when arriving on-site.

The physical nature of an electrical contractor’s work means that the less strain they put on their body, the better. Ergonomically designed backpacks can distribute weight evenly, making it more comfortable to carry heavy tools over distances or when climbing ladders and scaffolding. With the right backpack or toolbox, electrical contractors can also secure their tools with locks, preventing theft, which is especially important when traveling in public areas.

When choosing a backpack or toolbox, electrical contractors should look for cases made of heavy-duty fabric or high-impact plastic. Water-resistant or waterproof material to protect tools from rain or damp environments is also important. Padded shoulder straps for backpacks or easy-grip or telescopic handles for toolboxes are

also obvious choices, helping electrical contractors move from place to place easily.

For example, the waterproof Modular X18 service backpack from KNIPEX can hold up to 15kg, has 21 straps, 37 pockets, a luggage strap, a laptop compartment, and ergonomic back padding. It also has FIDLOCK connectors and adapters with fabric loops and MOLLE straps for individual tool storage and easy, organised access to the tools. The Robust26 Move tool case has an extendable, ergonomic handle and smooth-running wheels, so it is great for plane, train or van travel. It is also impact-resistant and has an integrated padlock fitting to keep all tools secure.

Protection for tools is important, but there are other ways to ensure they last longer too. Access to spare parts can be a cost-effective measure, allowing electrical contractors to replace components of their tools rather than the entire item – purchasing individual spare parts is often significantly less expensive than buying new tools. Over time, the savings from repairing tools rather than replacing them can be substantial, especially for high-end or specialised equipment.

Having the right spare parts on hand means repairs can be made quickly, without the need for a time-consuming trip to the shop or waiting for delivery of a new tool. This reduces downtime, allowing electrical contractors to complete

their work on schedule. Repairing and maintaining tools rather than disposing of them and buying new ones also reduces waste and the environmental impact associated with manufacturing, transporting and disposing of tools.

And let’s not forget familiarity and performance – every tradesperson has their favourite tools, understanding their nuances and performance characteristics. By repairing these tools, the electrical contractor maintains that level of familiarity and can work more efficiently than they might with a new, unfamiliar tool. It is always worth checking with the manufacturer to see if they stock a range of spare parts for your tools. KNIPEX, for instance, offers spare parts for many tools with interchangeable components, so you can maintain your tools’ performance without incurring the cost of complete replacements.

The care electrical contractors take in maintaining their toolkit is a testament to their professionalism and foresight. A dedicated backpack or toolbox is essential for safeguarding your instruments against the daily wear and tear of the job, organising them and making them readily accessible for any task. Maintaining your gear at peak performance will ensure reliability and efficiency in every electrical endeavour.


54 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE TOOLS & TEST EQUIPMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
Access to spare parts can be a cost-effective measure Your One Stop Solution For Test Equipment Email: Telephone: 01274 752 407 Web:


One of the most advanced Multifunction Testers available today with a proven track record over many years

3 years warranty

3 years free calibration

This is not just any Multifunction Tester for electrical installations

TIS MFTPRO is feature packed with additional features such as:

• Power Quality (with optional clamp)

• Volt Drop

• Firmware Updatable

• Earth Leakage (with optional clamp)

• Onboard help screens

• E EVSE testing capabilities

• S Single pole phase rotation

• I In-built max Zs values

• 3 phase loop testing

• A A, AC, F, B & RDC-DD RCD Tests

sales@tis-tic co uk

www testinstrumentsolutions co uk


Modern power tools and their attachments are engineered to streamline those tasks which once took the longest, explains

Today’s power tools can’t solve every problem, but when it comes to the many time-consuming tasks that test the patience and skill of every electrician out on-site, they can definitely help. Power tool manufacturers have worked hard to identify the jobs that could be improved by innovative cordless tools. Today, products like multitools and right-angled drills are specifically designed to tackle demanding, awkward jobs with ease. Technological advancements in

brushless motors, coupled with impressive battery power, also mean that cordless tools have the power, versatility and flexibility to save time, money and effort where before the work was just a grind.

Take the Multitool as an example; it is a compact and versatile power tool that, with a simple blade change, can carry out so many tasks. Unsurprisingly, it has seen a remarkable rise in popularity over the years, an ascent that can be attributed to the growing appreciation for efficiency and practicality in everyday tasks and specialised work environments, like electrical contracting.

One of the primary reasons for the multitool’s popularity is its incredible versatility. With various blades and attachments, it enables users to carry a whole toolkit in their pocket. This convenience is invaluable for quick repairs, adjustments and tasks that arise unexpectedly, eliminating the need to carry a bulky toolkit. HiKOKI’s CV18DA Multitool, for instance, is ideal for cutting and stripping wires, crimping connectors, sanding, cutting, scraping, drilling, fastening and sawing, with accessories that can chop holes for sockets out of plasterboard. But what makes it so

56 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE TOOLS & TEST EQUIPMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
Check Out Our Professional Solar Range Email: Telephone: 01274 752 407 Web:

essential for electricians is the improved tool-less blade change feature, which also allows you to transition between accessories with ease.

This Multitool’s lightweight build and ergonomic grip means you can get into the tightest corners or take on stubborn jobs without sacrificing comfort or control, so even the most intricate tasks in confined spaces can be tackled with precision and ease.

Getting into awkward spaces has always been the scourge of electricians,

and drilling at tight angles can be a hassle if you do not have the right equipment. This is where a right-angled drill becomes an invaluable tool. Designed with a head that sits at a 90° angle to its body, a right-angled drill offers the versatility and manoeuvrability needed to tackle jobs that other drills simply cannot.

One of the primary jobs for a right-angled drill is drilling holes through studs and joists to run electrical wires and cables. The compact design allows for

drilling in tight spaces between walls, floors and ceilings, facilitating the installation of new wiring systems or the extension of existing ones. Additionally, when installing electrical boxes, conduit clamps and other fixtures in cramped areas, the right-angled drill proves indispensable for making pilot holes and securing hardware.

Electricians may also use this specialised drill to create openings for outlet boxes and recessed lighting fixtures in hard-to-reach places. The right-angled drill’s ability to fit into narrow spaces, without compromising on power or precision, makes it perfect for precise drilling tasks that require a delicate touch. Moreover, when retrofitting or upgrading electrical systems within existing structures, the agility of a right-angled drill enables electricians to navigate around obstacles and through tight compartments, minimising the need for destructive measures to access or create drilling points.

For example, the D36DYA 36V High Torque Right Angle Drill, which is able to drill up to 159mm diameter with a hole saw in wood, is capable of accepting any HiKOKI 18V/36V Multi Volt battery or being plugged in via a mains power adapter. This ensures that work continues uninterrupted, regardless of the situation you find yourself when out on site. It also has a two-finger trigger, ensures ease of operation and minimises fatigue, allowing users to work longer and more comfortably.

As with any power tool, safety is paramount and electricians should look for Reactive Force Control (RFC) technology, which can shut the tool down in the event of a dangerous twisting motion, protecting the user from potential injury. Additional features to look out for on these kinds of tools include an LED light for working in low light conditions, rubber over-moulding for improved grip, a mechanical clutch and anti-kickback protection.

HiKOKI Power Tools,

58 | March 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE TOOLS & TEST EQUIPMENT @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine
Power tool manufacturers have worked hard to identify the jobs that could be improved by innovative cordless tools The Multitool is a compact and versatile power tool that, with a simple blade change, can carry out so many tasks Your One Stop Solution For Test Equipment Email: Telephone: 01274 752 407 Web:
call: 01827 300600 email: visit: GET Q-NECTED Strong, quick and reliable solutions. Explore our new Q-NECT range of Lever Connectors and Connection Boxes. Semi Transparent Lids Now Available



this article, Bosch delves into the mechanics of detection tools to understand their role in the future of health and safety.

Detection tools such as wall scanners have revolutionised the way professionals in various industries conduct inspections, renovations and repairs in buildings. Ultimately, the tools protect both the professionals using them as well as the projects they are working on. The advanced technology of these tools scans solid structures, providing crucial insight into the composition and condition of walls, ceilings and floors. These tools are employed across numerous industries and professions, serving critical functions. In construction and renovation, contractors and builders utilise them to locate studs, pipes, wires and other structural elements before drilling, cutting or installing fixtures. They ensure compliance with building codes and minimise damage. Within home inspection, inspectors rely on these tools to assess the condition of walls, ceilings and floors during property inspections, identifying hidden defects such as water damage or mould to

provide homeowners with comprehensive reports and recommendations. In addition, in interior design and decoration, designers utilise wall scanning tools to plan and execute decorative enhancements without compromising structural integrity, allowing them to confidently mount artwork, shelves and fixtures by pinpointing the location of studs and obstacles.

Typically, wall scanning tools include electromagnetic induction and radar technology. For instance, tools such as the Bosch GMS 120 Professional utilise electromagnetic induction by emitting pulses and analysing reflected signals to detect changes in material density, identifying metal studs, wires or anomalies within walls. Radar technology, on the other hand, is exemplified by tools such as the Bosch D-tect 120 Professional, which employs high-frequency sound waves to generate detailed images of internal structures, detecting variations in density and composition. However, to further minimise the risk of unsafe conditions, some tools combine both radar technology and electro-inductive sensors to provide fast and precise readings. An example of this includes the Bosch D-tect 200 C, which can alternate between signal mode and object view to provide more detailed and accurate object identification. Additionally, the tool can identify a safe drilling depth, detect moisture and allows reliable documentation sharing through USB-C. The information gained is crucial for safeguarding professionals and preventing costly mistakes.

Modern wall scanning detection tools are equipped with a range of features designed to enhance accuracy, efficiency and user experience. These tools commonly include multi-mode operation, allowing users to customise scans for stud detection, metal detection and electrical wiring detection. Additionally, advanced tools offer real-time data visualisation capabilities, enabling users to interpret scan results instantly on a built-in

screen. An accurate depth measurement feature is also essential for identifying the precise location of objects within walls, whilst automatic calibration and adjustment mechanisms optimise settings based on scanned material properties, reducing the risk of false readings, and, therefore, increasing the user’s safety. Ultimately, the utilisation of these wall scanning tools is crucial in terms of health and safety but is also vital for avoiding expenses incurred from repairing water or electrical damage. In summary, wall scanning detection tools revolutionise inspections and renovations, safeguarding professionals and projects. Employing electromagnetic induction and radar technology reveals hidden hazards within walls, ceilings and floors. Features such as multi-mode operation and real-time data visualisation measurement and automatic calibration further ensure precise results, reducing errors and ensuring safety. In an era of heightened safety awareness, wall scanners are indispensable assets, ensuring the wellbeing of professionals and the success of projects in diverse industries.


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the professionals using them and the projects they are working on Check Out Our Professional Solar Range Email: Telephone: 01274 752 407 Web:
Modern wall scanning detection tools are equipped with a range of features
tools protect
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Niglon is a fourth-generation family owned and run firm with purpose-built headquarters in the Midlands. Incorporated in 1966 but with roots chased back to working as an electrical sales agent in 1940s Birmingham, the company now has an extensive array of over 4,500 products across nine core categories.

Niglon adds new product lines regularly – meeting the needs of over 2,000 branch customers, and the product offer now includes: circuit protection, wiring accessories, installation essentials, cable management, control and automation, industrial accessories, earthing, lighting control, and fixings and tools. Almost everything an electrician might need, day to day.

The company combines traditional values with a truly modern approach to distributing electrical products, investing heavily in order fulfilment systems and R&D, while expanding its offering to ensure it has a solution to suit every customer. This now includes bespoke options where required.

The Niglon team is committed to serving the wholesaler and being an effective one-stop shop for everything electrical. This negates the need for customers spending time and effort sourcing from multiple suppliers. By reducing the hassle of using several sources at the point of order and throughout the entire process, including management of delivery and invoice processing, Niglon provides a truly value-added service to the supply and distribution of electrical components.

Stock and service levels –adapt or die in 2024

Manufacturers who do not continually invest in their operations (whether that be in stock, people or systems) are increasingly letting down the wholesale customer, who might then in turn disappoint the contractor. This can easily damage business. At home, especially post-pandemic, people have come to expect very high service levels within the wholesale and distribution sector. Looking from a trade perspective, many a buyer has had good cause to rue the day they went for the lowest cost option, only to have been let down either by product quality or availability, or both. Buy once and buy right would be Niglon’s advice, and this is the simple set of values the company adheres to: offering a competitive price, backed by excellent service levels – because sometimes the cheapest option does not always offer best value when it comes to supply partners.

Transforming the systems in place to monitor and order stock has seen Niglon’s product availability rise dramatically over the past few years. This has involved a significant increase in the amount of stock held, and an intensive testing period to ensure any new systems are working well and improving service. The investment in higher stock levels has meant the company is now consistently recording stock availability in excess of 98%, with accuracy on pick rates on average exceeding 99.9%.

Operations Director, Oliver Hinley, explains, “A few years ago a service-led decision was taken to carry around £1 million of additional stock. Equally, investment into our systems and people recently has been significant, and for our size, I would say we are now one of the most efficient in our field.”

The result is a more accurate, faster service for Niglon’s customers. Tweaks to finesse the system are undertaken regularly as part of the company’s pledge to continually improve. Oliver continues, “I’m confident our long-standing customers will have seen a huge difference in our On Time In Full (OTIF) order fulfilment rate since 2022.”

These smart decisions have meant that Niglon continues to provide very high levels of customer satisfaction, despite the unprecedented changes in demand seen in the market over the last few years (not least including Brexit, COVID-19 and, more recently, shipping problems in the Red Sea). In practice, this meant continuing to supply product lines where sales were several times higher than normal over consecutive months, including one item where the company sold 12 months’ worth of stock in just six weeks.

Sage commercial decisions and a focus on stock availability have led to many wholesalers moving their order books over to Niglon. Many have stayed with the

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now has an extensive array of over 4,500 products across nine core categories
combines traditional values with a truly modern approach to distributing electrical products

company because they recognise the value of a reliable supply chain partner and the catastrophic effect it can have on their own businesses if their customers cannot buy what they want from them, when they want it. Oliver adds, “Despite unforeseen levels of demand, the business has been very proud to be able to help customers who were struggling to get products from their incumbent supplier.”

Making an informed choice: Quality and price

Everyone in the industry is faced with choices when it comes to products, and there are various factors such as quality, aesthetics and price to be considered. Niglon has been practising what it preaches by placing testing at the top of that consideration list. Safety should always come first.

For the team at Niglon, it’s important not only that it knows that its products have been properly tested – but that it can demonstrate this openly to the entire industry. That’s why the company displays certification details on its website and brochure, and why it has proof of certification ready to show any customer who asks.

A real-life example of the lengths to which the company goes in order to vouchsafe its products can be seen with regards to the RCBO devices it sells. In addition to being independently certified by SEMKO as conforming to BS EN 61009, the company also has each batch of product which is produced independently tested. It is not a necessity for the product to be marked UKCA, but it is an example of how Niglon’s approach to testing and certification goes far beyond the norm.

And Niglon believes this level of mindfulness should be industry-standard rather than gold-standard. It’s only by having these open conversations that the products which haven’t been thoroughly tested can be highlighted and eventually removed from the market.

Technical Director, Chris Mottram, confirms, “In an ideal world, every time a wholesaler purchased a product from a supplier, they would ask for proof of third-party certification. Every time a contractor purchased from a wholesaler, they would do the same. And we would also educate the end-user about this process too. That would mean there were checks at every stage of the supply chain and this should, in theory, minimise the risk of an untested product making it into a home or business.”

Sadly, the team at Niglon is finding this is often not the case – and the instances of untested (or poorly tested) products being circulated on the market is, in the company’s experience, on the rise.

Customer confidence: Industry experience and people power

It is not just a question of supplying quality products at a good price and in an efficient manner – as the saying goes, any company is only as good as the people who work for it. And a real strength of Niglon in its present form are the staff. Many employees have several decades of time-served experience and commitment to the cause, and many others have joined in recent years as the company has expanded rapidly and who now bring a marvellous richness to the firm’s endeavours.

Training is also an area which has significantly improved, with learning modules being provided and even a Niglon Academy training programme being established to nurture and promote talent from within the business, to great success. With an expanded and up-skilled team now on hand to give advice and support, Niglon has sought to strengthen its already robust foundations when it comes to personnel.

Ben Adams, National Sales Manager at Niglon, reflects, “Our business is now more focused on the needs and requirements of the customer than ever before – we are flexible, pragmatic and commercially minded when taking on sales enquiries and dealing with issues as they arise: our people really are one of our greatest assets.”

Over the last few years, the company also made the conscious decision to become far more involved in the trade bodies which represent the industry, namely the Electrical Distributors Association (to which Niglon are an affiliate member) and also the EIC – the Electrical Industries Charity. The latter does truly sterling work for people (or their family) working within or allied to the industry across many different fields.

Darren Wiggs, Niglon’s Commercial Manager, confirms, saying, “It has been a privilege to work increasingly with these groups and foster a stronger sense of shared commitment and purpose, and it provides an excellent opportunity to reflect the people we serve and for Niglon to give back to the industry itself.”


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Niglon adds new product lines regularly Niglon places testing at the top of its consideration list and says that safety should always come first


Electrical wholesaler, 3Line Electrical, is rolling out logistics planning, route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery software from Podfather to boost customer service and improve management reporting.

With automated ETA notifications, electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) documents and real-time tracking of drivers, Podfather is improving customer communications and reducing queries. The software is also shining a spotlight on 3Line’s delivery operation, giving management analytics and insight which will be used to inform fleet management decisions and company expansion plans.

Podfather is a technology company that specialises in the development, delivery and support of software solutions that help companies plan and manage their vehicle fleets more efficiently.

Podfather has been helping companies manage their fleet logistics for over 20 years. Initially specialising in bespoke software development, Podfather has developed one of the UK’s leading solutions incorporating route planning and optimisation, vehicle checks, ETA notifications, tracking, electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) and reporting.

With over 30,000 users, Podfather works with companies of all shapes and sizes, from industry giants, such as Tarmac and Breedon, to well-known names, such as Rexel and ODDBOX, and everything else in-between.

“Before Podfather we obviously knew what vans we had but we didn’t know what they were doing,” says Dave Kenny, Operations Manager at 3Line Electrical. “Each van has a monthly cost, so, for example, if we had one that was doing one delivery a day then that van isn’t viable. However, if another is doing 60 deliveries a day that’s not viable either.

“Having used Podfather in a previous role I knew what the software could do,” he continues. “In the first month of using Podfather we already have processes in place and more business intelligence than

ever before, which is reducing the number of queries we get on a day-to-day basis and allows us to benchmark our operation to inform future decision making.”

3Line Electrical is a rapidly expanding, independent electrical wholesaler company supplying contractors, installers, facilities managers, commercial/industrial users, and the general public, with a wide range of supplies. With branches in Norwich, Newmarket, Nottingham, Derby, Poole, Bracknell, Swindon, Ipswich, Peterborough, Northampton, and most recently Basingstoke, Clapham and Raynes Park, 3Line Electrical prioritises customer service.

Experienced, local teams offer a comprehensive stock range, welcoming trade counters and a free delivery service.

Still in the early stages of implementation, 3Line Electrical has started rolling out Podfather software, with three of its 13 branches currently using the planning and logistics solution. ePOD documents, complete with date/location stamped

photographs, are already having a positive impact on customer service by reducing the number of customer queries and allowing staff to answer most remaining questions at the first point of contact.

Management at 3Line also has better visibility of the delivery operation with real-time reporting of jobs planned and completed and any issues that may have arisen. Additional intelligence, such as vehicle mileage, will be used to inform future fleet management decisions concerning cost and environmental impact.

“We know we are barely scratching the surface of Podfather’s functionality but already we are seeing positive impacts on the business,” Dave concludes. “As we roll-out the software to other branches and adopt more of the features on offer I am confident we will quickly reap additional rewards in terms of customer service and operational excellence.”


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3Line Electrical
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When you are next at a wholesaler trade counter, ask if they are members of their trade body – the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA). If so, the chances are that the knowledge and advice they offer has its roots in the professional Product Knowledge training they can access through the EDA –training that comes with Royal approval in the form of a Princess Royal Training Award.

Launched in 2018, the EDA’s Modules were created by volunteer working groups of product experts from manufacturers and wholesalers, coming together to pool their knowledge to develop a programme of professional training for the wholesale sector. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) was commissioned to write each course with a subject specialist author. The whole process took two years from inception to completion and covered:

• Introduction to the Principles of Electricity

• Lighting Introduction

• Lighting Systems and Controls

• Cables and Cable Management

• Wiring Devices and Controls

• Distribution, Switchgear and Protection

• Fire, Safety and Security Systems

• Heating and Ventilation

• Renewables

• IT and Data Infrastructure

• Industrial Controls

• Customer Services

Royal approval

Every year, HRH The Princess Royal, President of City & Guilds, grants awards to outstanding training and skills development programmes which have been proven to have significant positive impact on businesses and their people. In August 2022, the EDA’s suite of 12 Product Knowledge Training Modules was included among the winners, one of only 46 awards handed out that year.

Keeping the training fresh

Product and legislative changes mean the training is constantly reviewed and refreshed by product experts from both manufacturers and wholesalers. At the end of last year, Lighting (Introduction) was reviewed, although further changes due to legislation will require another update. Currently under the spotlight is Renewables (including EV Charging).

Now at a screen near you

Since they were first launched in 2018 in textbook format, the training courses are regularly updated and, in 2023, were re-launched in an e-learning format, complete with videos and interactive learning.

As Tracy Hewett, the EDA’s Head of Education and Training explains, “Turning the textbooks into video and interactive content was a huge undertaking. Not only did we have to create the training content but we also launched an online platform – The EDA Academy – where people can access the training via a PC, tablet or smartphone. This makes our Product Knowledge programme much more flexible as people can study when and where they choose. The textbooks are still available of course, but now people have a choice of the training format that best suits them. Since launching the e-learning options, we have seen a 57% increase in orders for the module training.

“The e-learning options are proving extremely popular, with 90% of orders choosing this type of learning over the more traditional textbooks. The most popular module overall from this full programme of 12 is still Introduction to the Principles of Electricity, but we are also seeing a spike in training in Renewables.

“Contractors may not have appreciated that this level of professional training is available to their wholesaler suppliers. Interestingly, we are also starting to receive approaches from electrical contractors asking us for access to the training to help their wider business teams and even their apprentice electricians. This is a welcome development as so much work has gone into creating and maintaining this programme and we are delighted that it is being used more widely.”

Apprentice wholesalers

Electrical contractors are well-versed in apprenticeships, but wholesalers also have access to this type of training. The Trade Supplier Level 2 Apprenticeship, launched in 2018, is now the go-to training for wholesalers building their careers. Since its launch, 193 people have completed their Trade Supplier Apprenticeship.

The Association took a leading role in the creation and launch of Trade Supplier Apprenticeship, which provides a solid grounding in running a merchant business. The apprenticeship provides the sector skills required to work within the industry and the knowledge and understanding of the electrotechnical wholesaling environment.

Frequently, these Trade Supplier apprentices study the Product Knowledge Modules alongside their apprenticeship. This shows great commitment and also ensures that they qualify with excellent B2B expertise, backed up by sound product know-how.


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During last month’s National Apprenticeship Week, Screwfix launched Trade Link to promote the wealth of careers available in the trades.

Trade Link is a dedicated hub on Screwfix’s website, offering advice to tradespeople on how they can support the next generation to go into the trades.

Supporting over 11 million customers, Trade Link offers simple guidance on how tradespeople can go about hiring an apprentice, as well as explaining how tradespeople can support students aged 16-19 years studying T–Level qualifications, which require industry experience alongside classroom learning.

Customers will be able to read case studies from fellow tradespeople about their experience, explore guidance about recruiting apprentices and see how Screwfix is supporting the future of the trades across its business.

Trade Link reinforces the retailer’s commitment to the future of the trade industry. Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2024 opened for entries in February, marking the 10th anniversary of the annual competition. Screwfix Trade Apprentice champions the very best apprentices from the UK and Ireland, with one worthy winner taking away a career-boosting trade bundle worth £10k.

Alongside the annual Trade Apprentice competition, Screwfix has also funded 20 trade apprenticeships through its partnership with flexi-job apprenticeship agency, TrAC.

A 2023 study by Screwfix’s parent company, Kingfisher, revealed that a looming shortfall of more than 250,000 qualified tradespeople by 2030 is on course to cost the country £98bn in lost economic growth, with the biggest shortages set to be among electricians, plumbing and heating installers, and carpenters/joiners.

John Mewett, Screwfix CEO, says, “Research by Kingfisher shows that we are facing a potential shortage of 250,000 qualified tradespeople by 2030. It’s vital that we work with the Department for Education, colleges, schools, and our customers to promote careers in the trade to ensure there is a strong pipeline of young talent going into the industry. We know and understand the complexities of taking on apprentices and our customers can play a key role in protecting the future of the industry. We hope Trade Link is a valuable resource that provides a simple starting point for our customers, who are looking to support the next generation of tradespeople.”

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon says, “Apprenticeships are crucial to giving people from all backgrounds the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity, while addressing skills gaps and helping to grow our economy.

“So, it is brilliant news that Screwfix, one of our Top 100 apprentice employers, is encouraging tradespeople to support the next generation through its new Trade Link campaign.

“Screwfix understands the apprenticeship levy and uses it well. They know the wealth of benefits T Levels and apprentices bring to the industry and I hope this campaign inspires more businesses to take on apprentices or T Level students of their own.”


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March 2024 | 69 COMPANY SHOWCASE supported by @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine COMPANY SHOWCASE SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY LEDVANCE.CO.UK THE FUTURE IS CIRCULAR Replace, don’t waste – in the interests of the circular economy, the LED light sources and drivers in EVERLOOP LED luminaires from LEDVANCE can be easily replaced and recycled if necessary. This means the luminaires themselves can remain in use almost indefinitely, less waste is produced and fewer resources are needed. A huge boost for sustainability. Find out more about LEDVANCE EVERLOOP now at LEDVANCE EVERLOOP LEDVANCE.CO.UK THE FUTURE IS CIRCULAR Replace, don’t waste – in the interests of the circular economy, the LED light sources and drivers in EVERLOOP LED luminaires from LEDVANCE can be easily replaced and recycled if necessary. This means the luminaires themselves can remain in use almost indefinitely, less waste is produced and fewer resources are needed. A huge boost for sustainability. Find out more about LEDVANCE EVERLOOP now at LEDVANCE EVERLOOP


LEDVANCE has introduced a sub-brand for all the company’s sustainability initiatives, known as LEDVANCE LOOP. This model covers all efforts and measures across the company to help transform the lighting industry and improve its green credentials. LEDVANCE LOOP also includes circular products that are a part of the EVERLOOP series.

The new EVERLOOP product series features luminaires with conveniently replaceable LED light sources and drivers. Using replaceable parts, EVERLOOP products maximise a luminaire’s lifespan, avoiding the need to dispose of complete luminaires and reducing the number of electrical products going into the waste stream.

EVERLOOP products are not only a sustainable choice but also a convenient one for installers and facility managers. The first model of the series to become available was the LEDVANCE Linear IndiviLED Gen 2 which launched in December 2023, offering both direct and indirect versions with On/Off or DALI options respectively. The range offers CRI90 and UGR<19, which makes it perfect for office applications.


sustainable efficiency of industrial and office applications, as well as public buildings. In addition to extended lifetime and reduced waste, benefits include cost savings and allowing buildings to maintain their image.

“EVERLOOP is our answer to the challenge of going from a linear to a circular product lifecycle for luminaires, contributing to the EU’s plan to reduce electronic waste,” says Nuno Paiva, Head of Professional Portfolio Management at LEDVANCE. “The key feature of EVERLOOP luminaires is that critical components, such as the light sources and drivers, are conveniently upgradeable or replaceable, with available spare parts. That makes the luminaire EVER-lasting. In the future, we intend to integrate this feature into more of our luminaire series to save materials and minimise waste.”


The IndiviLED range will be expanded in spring 2024, with further types available in black and accessories added to create a complete lighting system.


With a greater lifespan, these luminaires are a sustainable and convenient choice for installers, planners and facility managers, ensuring the EVERLOOP products maximise a luminaire’s lifespan LED SWITCH


70 | March 2024 COMPANY SHOWCASE SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY @ElecConNews /electricalcontractingnews @ecn_magazine


Getting the new year off to a flying start, Ansell Lighting has unveiled Falcon Wall, a brand-new addition to its leading range of emergency luminaires.

Engineered with real precision, the emergency light has been specifically designed to achieve low-level illumination and emergency call point regulations.

Installed independently, it will deliver 1 lux on the floor in the event of power failure without the requirement for emergency lighting in the ceiling and can also be installed above call points to help meet the minimum 5-10 lux level requirement depending on regulations in the UK and Ireland.


Knightsbridge has just published its 2024 catalogue, which is now available to the trade. The handy A5-sized, full-colour publication – which runs to nearly 500 pages – is rammed with over 3,000 products, including over 400 new ones, featuring the latest innovations in wiring accessories and lighting.

Conveniently divided into three sections – Wiring Accessories, Lighting and Smart Home – it is further subdivided into easy-to-reference chapters, from moulded switches and sockets, metal clad switches and weatherproof through to domestic interior, outdoor and commercial lighting.

Falcon Wall features an ultra-low profile, interchangeable asymmetrical and symmetrical lenses, providing users with the flexibility to adjust the light distribution pattern based on specific requirements. Supplied complete with a tool for easy lens changes, it delivers maximum light output and performance.

Surface and recess mountable, Falcon Wall is highly robust, offering an IP65 rating, making it suitable for both internal and external use.

Ansell Lighting,


Snickers Workwear’s new range of lightweight mid-layers is crafted for full flexibility on-site and optimal comfort.

Built for active work, the range is fully flexible and can be worn as an outer layer when it’s warmer or a mid-layer when it’s a bit cooler.

They’re full of handy technical features and innovative fabrics to tame the wind, plus brand-new energising colours to brighten your springtime workday.

Choose from new street-smart styles such as the Windblocker Half-zip Hoodie or the Lightweight Flexiwork Mid-layer Jacket. There’s also a new Windproof Soft-Shell Jacket for women.

Whatever Snickers Workwear mid-layer you choose, you can be sure that they all have body-mapping designs for a great fit, outstanding functionality and long-lasting comfort – all day, every day.

Snickers Workwear,

As a result of consultation with customers, all wiring accessories have been revamped with the introduction of ‘top-down termination’ for even easier installation; and all decorative sockets now feature USB A and USB C charging outlets as standard. New designs for wiring accessories also include a raised edge in matt black, building on the continuing trend for dark finishes.

2024 sees Knightsbridge placing great emphasis on commercial lighting, and the new collection is truly comprehensive, covering bulkheads, downlights, battens, high and low bays, non-corrosive and recessed, suspended and surface lighting. Knightsbridge,


For large, commercial projects requiring a robust and reliable CCTV solution, ESP is able to provide an all-embracing solution. From the initial stages which include scoping the project, site visits and providing detailed drawings and 3D plans, through to the specification of the CCTV system that will best suit the application, contractors can rely on a team of qualified and experienced design engineers and technical experts to help deliver the ideal solution.

ESP’s 24/7 Colour IP POE CCTV range is designed to offer superior, reliable and straightforward installation solutions for a range of applications including larger and more complex commercial projects.

Guaranteeing sharp detail, in colour, day or night, the IP POE range includes a variety of cameras offering 5MP and 8MP resolutions and a choice of 8MP NVRs with a range of channel options.

With their ‘24/7’ colour function, the cameras use low light image sensors, which are able to use background light to produce a colour image in reduced light environments. ESP,

March 2024 | 71


Luceco Group has announced the release of its latest Specification Lighting Guide for 2024. The catalogue features over 1,200 SKUs, including over 250 new ones.

The guide showcases an extensive new lighting controls section, Luceco’s innovative energy-saving LED luminaires, as well as offering updates on the most popular ranges. Each section is colour-coded for ease of navigation, with detailed technical product information to ensure ease of specification and help you to make the correct choice.

Hard copies are now available to order in a softback version and a brand-new durable hardback version, perfect for the office.

The digital copy of the latest Specification Lighting Guide is also available to view online and download at

Tony Jones, National Sales Manager on Projects at Luceco Group, says, “We are pleased to release our latest Specification Guide to showcase our innovative range of Specification Lighting Solutions. Luceco Group is committed to environmentally friendly solutions which help us to care for and protect the environment in which we operate. Through our comprehensive product guides, we aim to make it easier for customers to specify and install sustainable lighting which is the best fit and choice for them.”

Luceco Group,


Manrose’s Quiet Fan X5 has proved very popular since its launch, due to its quiet operation, easy installation, aesthetics and environmental credentials – making it attractive to wholesalers, electricians and households alike.

With our lives becoming ever busier and noisier, households are looking for quiet spaces in their homes. The Quiet Fan X5 has an incredibly quiet running volume as low as just 25dB(A) while offering an impressively high extraction rate of 90m³/ hr. This means moisture-laden air is removed to avoid condensation and mould while improving indoor air quality. With the energy crisis continuing, the Quiet Fan X5’s low-energy motor with a maximum consumption of 6W and a low SFP of 0.24w/l/s is the ideal solution for energy-conscious households.

The fan’s IPX5 rating means it can be safely installed within Zone 1 without the need for a low-voltage transformer, and it’s the ideal choice for a small bathroom, shower room or toilet, where space is at a premium.




The CED Electrical Group has announced its introduction into the electric vehicle market with a new range of Type 2 portable electric chargers and charging cables under the Axiom Brand.

EV chargers are available with adjustable (8A/10A/13A) or fixed (13A) amperage, with cable lengths of 7m or 10m and feature an LED screen display and UK power plug.

Please note that cable lengths include 1.5m for mains plug leads, with the balance of 5.5m or 8.5m, respectively, being the extent of the charging leads. 7m or 10m 7kw charging cables are also sold separately.

The adjustable amperage versions offer substantial flexibility and efficient energy consumption by working with various power outlets and avoiding the overloading of circuits by adjusting amperage to match available power.

With polycarbonate bodies, the range has ingress and impact protection and the benefit of a two-year warranty period.

CED Electrical,


Unicrimp has recently extended its comprehensive range of Q-Crimp accessories with the addition of three new Trade Tubs. Comprising a variety of essential fixings and clips, the new tubs offer reliability and versatility to the installer and are ideal for any job.

These robust new tradesman tubs feature a resealable plastic lid and carry handle, and the tub itself is manufactured from recycled material.

The First Fix Kit Tub includes 400 x Red Wall Plugs, 400 x 8x1 ½ Screws and 100 x 20mm

Open Grommets.

The Fire Alarm Installer Kit comprises 200 x Red 28 LSF P Clips, 200 x Red 32 LSF P Clips and 100 x Red 302 LSF Saddle Clips, which are designed for use on mineral insulated or soft skin fire cables.

For additional support with projects, the Multipurpose Q-Fire Tub combines 70 x 25mm, 20 x 40mm and 10 x 50mm Fire Clips, 100 x 8x1 1/2 Screws and 100 x Red Wall Plugs. Unicrimp,

72 | March 2024

Marshall-Tufflex has announced that it used an average of 60% recycled material in the production of its PVC-U cable management range in 2023. This achievement is part of the company’s continued efforts to improve the construction industry’s impact on natural resources and waste.

British-based manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex has been using recycled material originating from waste PVC-U windows in the manufacturing of its products for 30 years and, in 2023, this figure was at an average of 60%. The efforts are part of the company’s mission to drive positive change in the industry and represent over 2,750t of waste PVC-U that has been reused effectively for manufacturing Marshall-Tufflex products.

“To help combat the 25 million tonnes of waste generated by the construction industry ending up in landfill sites, we are revolutionising the way the built sector thinks about recycling. At Marshall-Tufflex, we want all PVC-U cable management products installed in buildings to be manufactured with recycled material and we would like this to be a reality by 2028,” explains Jon Chamberlain, Managing Director at Marshall-Tufflex.

The latest figures from the manufacturer come as part of a wider strategy of initiatives that the company has put into place in its bid to reduce its impact on the environment for future generations.

“In addition to using recycled material in our



manufacturing, we are also Planet Mark certified, which provides third-party verification on our environmental credentials, and we are also working towards a gold rating with EcoVadis. Furthermore, to help contractors identify the products and make specifications that will help to make a positive environmental impact, we are able to supply embodied carbon reports on our entire range.

Domus Ventilation has launched a new Decentralised Mechanical Extract Ventilation (dMEV) fan, dMEV-NICO, to provide continuous background extract ventilation for new build properties.

Designed to remove waste and moist air from a single wet room, such as bathrooms and kitchens, dMEV fans continuously extract the waste air at both low trickle or boost speeds, which is automatic thanks to a built-in monitoring device which detects occupants’ operation.

For housebuilders, dMEV-NICO provides a cost-effective extract solution that has been built to achieve the ventilation rates as set out in the latest edition of Part F and L Building Regulations. It also has a low life cycle and low maintenance costs, is virtually silent in operation, and has a modern, unobtrusive aesthetic that makes it suitable for all styles of home.

dMEV-NICO is suitable for wall, ceiling and window mounting. Wall and in-room installation kits make for a swift, straightforward installation. Domus Ventilations,

“We are delighted that our PVC-U products were manufactured using an average of 60% recycled material in 2023. We will continue these efforts this year and will work with customers and contractors to specify quality cable management products with higher levels of recycled content wherever possible.”



The Inceptor Rio is a brand-new, cutting-edge range of Ultra Low Glare (UGR >19) LED Batten Luminaires from Ovia. Rio is packed with innovative features and is engineered to meet the diverse needs of modern environments.

The Inceptor Rio has been tested and meets the requirements of the TM66 Assured Product Verification Scheme, which is developed and fulfilled by the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) and endorsed by CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers).

Inceptor Rio is available in two sizes – 1,500mm and 1,200mm – and in Standard, Microwave, Emergency and Microwave and Emergency versions. It is CCT switchable between 3,000k, 4,000k and 6,000k colour temperatures and includes a multi-current driver to allow a choice between various wattages. There is a choice of four different wattages with each size of batten – 18-31W on the 1,200m batten and 23-40W on the 1,500m version. The incorporation of these features allows the installer to customise the luminaire and adjust the design to a client’s individual needs.


March 2024 | 73


The new range of FType downlighters from Luceco is proving a winner for electrical installers as they combine end-user demand for style and value with and easy and quick fitting and ‘no-return’ reliability.

With Dim2Warm and four different white colour changes, a choice of four bezel colour finishes and options for flat, adjustable and regressed fitting, the three models in the new range combine to provide 209 style and colour combinations.

The new range is fully compliant with Building Regulations and is IP, fire, acoustic and air leakage tested for complete confidence and peace of mind. It has three-to-seven-year warranties, depending on the model, and is built on proven base designs with improved technology and features, ensuring a ‘right first time’ approach to any wiring installation. Based on extensive installer research, the new FType downlighters include time-saving benefits enabling speed and accuracy of installation, through to energy-efficient choices within the lights themselves. The range can span efficiently over multiple applications and is adaptable to any project or space. Luceco,


After 36 years working at Manrose Clive Britton has retired as Sales Director. Affectionately known in the electrical industry as Mr Manrose, Clive Britton is probably the longest-serving sales director in the sector.

Clive started his sales career in 1976 when he joined Lyons Tetley where he worked his way up to Area Manager. In 1987, Clive’s friend Robert Belcher decided to set up a new company. On 24 December 1987, the company was registered with Clive as company secretary and Manrose was born. In the beginning, Manrose started small, with only 15 product lines and a couple of variations. In comparison, 35 years later, Manrose now has over 3,200 products.

Clive says, “Now is the right time for me to go; everything is going really well. We are leaders in transforming our manufacturing from using virgin to recycled plastic. We are in a strong position as a brand leader.”

Clive is very happy with his successor Stuart Eglin, who is Manrose’s new Sales Director.



The latest addition to Click Scolmore’s Elucian consumer unit range is a new REC Isolator Switch, which is designed to make the connection of consumer unit tails to the electricity supply highly secure, as well as much easier and more convenient.

REC isolator units feature a front cover divided into two segments, allowing contractors and supply authorities to securely seal and lock off their respective ends, effectively thwarting any unauthorised access.

Unlike most REC units which do not come with a lid, Click has kept the design of the Elucian version in line with the rest of the Elucian range. The lid is also compatible with CUELOCK which can also help ensure that there is no unauthorised access to the entire unit. The lid can be propped open using the rotatable tab to allow the split covers to be removed without being impeded.

The unit includes a 100A mains switch and SPD module. Scolmore Group,


C.K Tools has unveiled its new compact electric screwdriver, designed to save time and meet the varied needs of trade professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

The first of its kind for the brand, the new T4930 E-Driver Electric Screwdriver allows users to quickly and accurately complete a job with ease, and in far less time than a manual alternative.

The E-Driver has been developed with a panel of tradespeople and has been designed to tackle heavy duty electrical jobs to small precision tasks.

Powered by a rechargeable USB-C 3.6V battery, the E-Driver offers a cordless and convenient premium tool with up to 200 minutes operating time per charge. Its ergonomic design allows for supreme grip and control and its intuitive forward and reverse buttons allow the user to change the direction of rotation, tighten and loosen screws with ease.

The E-Driver’s 6.35mm locking hex chuck retains the driver bit securely and its Torque adjustment dial allows for clear and easy adjustment to ensure screw fixings are tightened effectively.

C.K Tools,

74 | March 2024
Giving you WEEE Compliance. REUSE Hub. WEEE Recycling. & more for Lighting Recolight is the leading UK WEEE compliance scheme for lighting, taking on responsibility for its members’ WEEE compliance. O ering free integrated Lamp and Luminaire collection and recycling and the biggest UK-wide network of collection points for all WEEE lighting. Recolight go beyond recycling, by o ering circular economy services, facilitating the reuse of lighting equipment, and helping to avoid unnecessary recycling of surplus new lighting. Working with the lighting industry, Recolight o er support and services to help their Producer Members transition to a Circular Economy. Reuse | Recycle. 24 NETZERLIGHTING CONFERENCEOThurs2May2024|15Hatfields,LondonSE1
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