This piece was originally published in the February 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Bryan Holland, South/Southwest Field Representative, NEMA
The 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC) supersedes all previous editions, supplements, and printings dating back to 1897. The states and local jurisdictions that adopt and enforce the current edition of the NEC enhance public safety, as the code is not effective without timely adoption and proper enforcement. Statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Fire Administration clearly show a reduction in the number of injuries, deaths, and fires from electrical related hazards with each subsequent edition of the NEC.
Several states in the South have begun the process to adopt it. This includes Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The Georgia State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) met in November to form a task force to review and recommend adoption of the 2017 NEC. The task force met on December 8, 2016, and January 12, 2017, at the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in Atlanta, after which it unanimously voted to recommend adopting the 2017 NEC with no state amendments. The task force will submit a final report to the SCAC in April. The SCAC will then study the report and vote on the final recommendation to be presented to the DCA board for consideration at its November 2017 meeting. The anticipated effective date of the 2017 NEC in the state is January 1, 2018.
The North Carolina Building Code Council has formed an electrical ad hoc committee to begin review of the 2017 NEC. The first meeting of the committee was held on December 12 at the North Carolina Department of Insurance in Raleigh. The committee will report to the Standing Electrical Committee for its consideration and vote. Upon approval, a petition to adopt the 2017 NEC will be submitted to the Building Code Council. The anticipated effective date of the 2017 NEC is January 1, 2018.
The Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission (OUBCC) will hold a public comment hearing on February 21, 2017, on a discussion and action to formally review the 2017 NEC for adoption as the state of Oklahoma minimum electrical code. Upon approval of this recommendation, the OUBCC is expected to form a Technical Review Committee. A final report will be submitted to the OUBCCC. Upon commission approval, the anticipated effective date of the 2017 NEC is November 1, 2018.
The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act requires the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to adopt the revised NEC as the electrical code for the state of Texas. The 2017 NEC will be the minimum standard for all electrical work in the state when adopted on September 1, 2017.
Updates on the progress of code adoption in these and other states will be reported in the June edition of electroindustry. For more code adoption information in all 50 states, subscribe to NEMA Code Alerts at www.nema.org/technical/code-alerts.