This piece was originally published in the January/February 2019 issue of electroindustry.
Mike Stone, West Coast Field Representative, NEMA
In the Western United States, approximately 80 utilities collaborated with the Electric Utility Service Equipment Requirements Committee (EUSERC), which was formed in 1983 by the merger of two different groups in Southern and Northern California that had been active since the 1940s. There are 14 Western states that have utility members represented in EUSERC. The NEMA West Coast Field Representative and an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) representative attend quarterly meetings to represent their organizations’ interests. Both UL and NEMA are associate members of EUSERC.
The EUSERC goals include the development of consistent safety Standards for the manufacture and installation of service equipment and metering equipment. To this end, each year EUSERC publishes an Electric Service Requirements (ESR) Manual that provides drawings and design criteria for all types of residential and commercial/ industrial service equipment. Member utilities use the EUSERC ESR Manual as the basis for their own ESRs and often make revisions to accommodate local requirements. Any deviations from the manual are indicated in the Acceptability Pages so that manufacturers know in advance if they need to make modifications to their equipment for a particular utility. Recent changes to the ESR have included new drawings for solar photovoltaics, energy storage, and electric vehicle service equipment installations.
NEMA has worked with EUSERC and its predecessor organizations for many years. These NEMA Member groups that were organized in the 1960s eventually evolved into one group, now called the Western Electrical and Energy Regulations Advisory Committee (WEERAC). WEERAC is composed of representatives from seven NEMA Member companies that manufacture service equipment. They are a subcommittee of the NEMA Codes and Standards Committee and meet annually in conjunction with a EUSERC quarterly meeting. Their concerns encompass the 14 Western states that EUSERC covers.
The collaboration over the years between EUSERC and NEMA has proven to be beneficial for all parties involved. Manufacturers are able to provide input on the development of service equipment Standards, and utilities have a forum to provide feedback to the manufacturers on field and installation issues.