NEC Keeps Pace with Technology

NEC Keeps Pace with Technology

This piece was originally published in the March/April 2020 issue of electroindustry.

by Tim McClintock, Midwest Field Representative, NEMA

We’ve all heard the phrase the “Roaring Twenties,” a time that saw the introduction of many new products and technologies, when the automotive, film, radio, and chemical industries all took off.

History appears to be repeating itself as we see emerging technologies in the electrical industry with the vast expansion of things such as light- emitting diodes (LED) and the Internet of Things (IoT). As we embrace new and advancing technologies, the National Electrical Code® (NEC) continues to remain relevant and serve as the benchmark for electrical safety for these and other technologies.

Massachusetts has already adopted the 2020 NEC, and 11 more states have commenced their adoption processes to update from the 2017 to  the 2020 edition. While each state has its own unique adoption process, we have found there are similarities common to the majority. Some States adopt by statute, whereas others adopt through an administrative rule. In some cases, adoption is by reference only—usually through a building code. In a perfect scenario, states would adopt automatically as soon as the next edition is issued. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and it is through these unique local and state-adoption processes that we are sometimes met with challenges, either to delay adoption or attempt to introduce amendments.

The Field Representatives continue to work on your behalf to support the timely adoption of the NEC unamended, and 2020 will be a busy year! In the Midwest Region, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wyoming have begun their adoption processes. I anticipate this list will grow as we move further into 2020, as states across the U.S. continue to recognize the importance of timely adoption. ei

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