National Electrical Industry Standards
What are NEIS? National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) are the first quality and performance standards for electrical construction. They go beyond the minimum safety requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC) to define what is meant by installing electrical products and systems in a “neat and workmanlike manner.”
How are NEIS Developed? NEIS are developed and published by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), under consensus procedures accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI standards are generally regarded as being the “official” U.S. standards on a given subject. Many NEIS are also developed jointly with other expert groups. For more information see our Industry Partners.
Advantages of NEIS. Everything in NECA’s installation standards comply with the NEC. But because they are quality and performance standards, most NEIS also contain additional requirements that go beyond, and extend, basic NEC safety requirements. With NEIS, the electrical installation you design or install not only meets code – it meets the shared expectations of everyone involved: owner, specifying engineer, electrical contractor, and the authority having jurisdiction.
NECA supports the inspection of electrical construction work by qualified inspectors, in order to protect the public against potential hazards due to incorrectly installed electrical products and systems, and to improve the reliability and performance of installed electrical systems, thus increasing their value to owners. NECA endorses the following principles with respect to electrical inspections:
1. In order to protect public safety, most states and localities require electrical installations to comply with the National Electrical Code®, and electrical products to be “listed” by nationally recognized safety testing organizations. Electrical inspections help confirm that electrical wiring and systems are installed “according to Code,” using only properly listed products meeting U.S. safety standards.
2. The benefits of electrical inspections are not limited to power or line-voltage wiring systems. In order to insure safety, all installations of wiring and equipment covered by the National Electrical Code® should be required to have permits and electrical inspections. This includes such low-voltage and limited-energy systems as telecommunications, security, nurse call, computer networks, audio and video distribution, fiberoptics, and cable television.
3. In addition to their public safety benefits, electrical inspections confirm that qualified electrical contractors are on the job and help protect the public against untrained or unprofessional contractors and electricians. Too often, unqualified installers perform improper electrical installations out of ignorance, cut corners in order to reduce costs, and use products that don’t meet national safety requirements or local laws and codes. The result can be unsafe installations that pose shock and fire hazards to users, and which also bring the entire electrical contracting profession into disrepute.
4. The cost of electrical inspections should be supported by permit and inspection fees paid directly by builders and electrical contractors. The cost of this vital public safety function should not be paid indirectly out of general funds, because this makes it vulnerable to fiscal cycles experienced by state and local governments. By the same token, revenues from electrical permit and inspection fees should be used only to provide and maintain a strong, professional electrical inspection function that protects public safety. They should not be regarded as a source of general public revenue.
5. NECA believes that electrical inspectors should be trained electricians with at least five years practical field experience in electrical construction, and that they should be certified by a nationally recognized organization such as the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. Only persons with substantial National Electrical Code® knowledge and experience, which has been verified by an independent agency, should be entrusted with performing this important public safety function.