We follow state adaptations of the NFPA and IEEE family of consensus documents that set the standard of care for electrical safety in education facility design, construction, operation and maintenance; starting with the State of Michigan (a state with a $490 billion gross domestic product; and ranked the 13th largest state in the United States from an economic point of view). The education facility construction industry is a significant part of that $490 billion of economic activity.
We have been advocating for changes to the State of Michigan Electrical Administrative Act that currently requires all electrical work valued above $100 to be installed by a licensed journeyman electrician and inspected by an accredited electrical inspector. The $100 threshold was set decades ago and has never been challenged by another other advocacy enterprise representing the user interest. Almost all of the stakeholders on the present Electrical Administrative Board are stakeholders who benefit economically from the $100 threshold. Much of the reason for the apparent imbalance of interests lies in tradition; but also because no user interest has been present to advocate for a change. As we explain in our ABOUT; the user-interest is the only interest advocating for cost-savings. All the other stakeholders in the US standards system are generating revenue from their participation in the US standards system. Making money is easier to understand than saving money.
This advocacy priority was on the Do-List of the original University of Michigan codes and standards advocacy enterprise which was focused on strengthening the voice of the user/owner/final fiduciary in the promulgation of regulations affecting Michigan educational facilities. Of all the trades covered in the parent legislation — Stille-Derossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act (Act 230 of 1972) — the electrical power discipline is the only discipline in Michigan building technology regulations that sets a dollar criteria for electrical work to be performed and inspected. While we recognize the need for safe installation of the electrical power chain within a building; we propose another criteria for establishing the requirement for a licensed electrician and a licensed inspector should be determined (as it is in all other construction disciplines administered by the Bureau of Construction Codes, a division of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs).
The actual text of the present regulation is available by clicking here: 338.881 Definitions | Electrical Administrative Act 217 of 1956
As a consequence of the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reinvention significant changes to both the Bureau of Construction Codes, a division of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) have taken place within the past twelve months; which make us optimistic about political support for our proposals. We will be collaborating with our colleagues at Michigan State University to make necessary legislative changes we believe will lower the #TotalCostofOwnership of education facilities in the State of Michigan.
We will refer the Michigan Electric Code, and other state electrical codes the IEEE Education and Healthcare Facilities Committee will host breakout teleconferences with electrical professionals in the education facilities industry as required by the demand for them.
The next meeting of the Michigan Electrical Board is August 16th. We have been attending the meetings in Lansing and have made our proposal to revisit the dollar criteria known to the entire board. Our approach is informal now — during the public hearing section of the meeting. We hope the Electrical Administrative Board will develop another criteria on its own.
Contact: Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, Richard Robben, Kane Howard
Category: Electrical, State & Local Legislation