CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE SERIES – PART 2 : HOW MUCH TO CHARGE FOR ISSUING AN ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
By Cecil Lancaster, ECA(SA) Regional Director, Bosveld region
The second in a 13-part series that gets back to basics … Cecil is a Registered Engineering Technician and holds an NHDip (Electrotechnical Engineering – heavy current); Installation Electrician (IE); and Master Installation Electrician (MIE). He is a member of the SA Institute of Electrical Engineers (MSAIEE); and member of the Chamber of Engineering Technicians (MCET). He is also an assessor for the Electrical Skills Education Training Authority (ESETA) and serves on some 20 SABS technical committees and workgroups and other committees and associations. Cecil joined the ECA(SA) as an ordinary member in 1986, and as an employee in 2002, when he was appointed Regional Director of the Bosveld (Pretoria) region, taking over from Fanie Steyn. Cecil is the Technical Advisor and Secretary for the ECA National Technical Committee and serves on most of the ECA(SA) National Committees.
Question: How do I estimate the cost of issuing a CoC?
Answer: Considering that we are aware that the Certificate of Compliance is a legal requirement of the Electrical Installation Regulations of 2009 (EIR), subclause 9(4), which states that any person who undertakes to do electrical installation work shall ensure that a valid CoC is issued for such work. It would not be fair to the client to add the cost of the required CoC as an add-on to a quoted job. As such, provision for that cost should be included in any quotation or estimate.
In this series, we will mainly focus on a CoC for existing installations, for example, when a house is sold and the seller needs a CoC as a legal requirement.
The charge-out tariff for any commodity or service can only be based upon the cost that is related to generating that commodity or service.
To confirm compliance as required prior to the issuing of a CoC requires extensive inspection and testing. Such inspection and testing require time (labour), which is a cost incurred, for which payment is due, regardless.
Because each and every electrical installation is unique, firstly in magnitude and design, and also in additions or alterations, as well as state of maintenance, it would not be realistic to attach a general rate.
The main cost component in order to issue a Certificate of Compliance, is the time spent on the inspection and testing of the installation. Secondary to that is remedial work, and the cost of the paper (R3.00 each) and completing the form, which is perhaps an hour of administration, and travelling cost and time, if applicable.
Experience has shown that for the purposes of certification of an existing installation, the inspection and testing of a three-bedroom suburban house, without ‘fancies’ such as a lapa, pool, garden lighting, etc. takes around three hours.
In the event of the installation not being compliant, the client should be provided with a test report and/or faults’ list with a quotation for remedial work in return for payment of the inspection cost. Upon completion of said remedial work, and against payment thereof, the user should then be issued with a CoC for the original inspected installation inclusive of any remedial work.
The current hourly rate will differ depending on the composition of the team, and regional factors. Bear in mind that the cost to company of employees has been found to be roughly double the direct wage. Thus, you simply add up the direct hourly wage of all the team members, and double that to get an approximation of the hourly rate.
Regional factors such as the cost of living and rates charged by other professionals in the area should also be considered.
In summary: The cost should be the labour component of the inspection and test, plus any remedial work.
In Part 3, Cecil will show how to complete the ‘certificate part’ of the CoC.