10 January 2024 Energy Infrastructure, Metering

Safe Electrical Isolation Works: A guide for Housing Associations, Local Authorities and Landlords

Since June 2023, any organisation requiring electrical isolation works at their premises must work with a registered Safe Isolation Provider.

This short guide explains the new legislation and how it stands to benefit public and private organisations with large property portfolios (residential or commercial) when it comes to increasing efficiency and convenience for you and your tenants.

What is a Safe Isolation Provider?

A Safe Isolation Provider (SIP) is an accredited Meter Equipment Manager (MEM) that is authorised by the Retail Energy Code to legally carry out safe electrical isolation works. This includes the de-energisation and re-energisation of the meter point to allow for safe working on a customer’s electrical equipment within their property.

What are the new regulations on Safe Isolations Works?

Following the introduction of new legislation by Ofgem in 2023, only registered Safe Isolation Providers (SIP) can today legally undertake electrical isolation works at residential and commercial premises in the UK.

Whilst this may sound potentially limiting, the regulation has been introduced to have an enabling effect, allowing for easier and more flexible access to isolation works for customers.

That is because prior to this new regulation, whenever a customer had required isolation works at their premises, then it was up to the energy supplier to instruct a Metering Equipment Manager (MEM) of their choosing to work on the meter point. This meant that there was zero ability for the customer to appoint their preferred MEM to complete the isolation works.

However, thanks to the recent DCP 394 ruling, customers now have freedom to choose any accredited MEM that is registered as a Safe Isolation Provider to work on their property, no matter who the energy supplier is.

Why is this regulation significant for Housing Associations, Local Authorities and Landlords?

For organisations that own and manage a portfolio of properties where tenants can be served by multiple different energy suppliers, the ability to now choose a single MEM (that is registered as a Safe Isolation Provider) to perform isolation works across the estate removes significant barriers.

Previously, if you required isolation works across multiple properties in your estate (for a refurbishment project, for example), then multiple third parties including the energy suppliers, Distribution Network Operator (DNO), MEMs, electrical contractor, and tenants would all have needed to be engaged, managed and coordinated to an agreed timeline, causing logistical headaches, stress on resource, and potential delays.

With the ability to partner directly with Safe Isolation Providers such as SMS Ltd (who offer an end-to-end, project managed service including all scheduling, communication and tenant liaison as well as the safe isolation works) you are now able to approach your planned or emergency electrical maintenance or upgrades across your estate with greater levels of confidence and convenience.

This should provide particular assurance for the increasing number of UK Housing Associations, Local Authorities and Landlords who are planning on upgrading or retrofitting their estates in the future through the installation of low- and zero-carbon technologies, including EV chargepoints, solar panels, battery storage, and heat pumps. All of these technologies result in not only increased demand for trusted electrical contractors and strategic energy technology advisors, but also the provision of safe electrical isolation to enable such installations.

electrician cutting electrical wires

Who can install isolator switches?

Whilst isolator switches can be installed by any properly qualified electrician, such an installation cannot go ahead without the de-energisation and re-energisation of the meter point – something  which can only be legally performed by a registered Safe Isolation Provider. For this reason, more and more customers who require isolator switch installation at their premises are now choosing to work with SIPs such as SMS Ltd who are also accredited electrical contractors (and so can carry out the isolator switch installation themselves).

A highly experienced electrical contractor and meter operator, SMS has carried out thousands of isolator switch installations and other electrical and metering works across the UK residential, commercial and industrial sectors for both single and three phase supplies.

An end-to-end electrical isolation works solution

We are one of the only Safe Isolation Providers operating in the market to offer a true end-to-end service for your safe electrical isolation procedure and isolator switch installation.

  • Registered & Accredited
    We’re registered through the Retail Energy Code (REC) as an accredited Safe Isolation Provider (SIP), meaning we’re an electrical partner you know you can trust.
  • Industry Expertise
    Counting on almost 30 years as one of the UK’s leading electrical contractors and meter operators.
  • Project Management
    Including all aspects of tenant liaison and scheduling through our dedicated project management team
  • Communication
    We manage all industry communications and approvals with the Network Owner & Meter Operator
  • Safety Reports
    Provision of reports and remedial advice on any unsafe installation identified
  • Nationwide Coverage
    Our team of installers cover every corner of Great Britain.

Contact us for a free consultation

Our expert utility consultants and engineering team are on hand to discuss your safe electrical isolation project. Just leave your contact details to arrange a call back, and we’ll be in touch!