Proposal for Amendments to Electrician Administrative Rules

PROPOSAL FOR AMENDMENTS TO ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
Electricians

Chapter 73. Electricians Program

Proposal Filed: May 8, 2017 – Published in the Texas Register: May 19, 2017

Deadline for Public Comment: June 20, 2017

Underlined text is new language.

[ Strike-thru text ] is deleted language.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 73 §73.100, regarding the Electricians program.

The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act, §1305.101(a), requires the Commission to adopt, every three years, the revised National Electrical Code (NEC) as the electrical code for the state. The current rule references the 2014 edition of the NEC. The 2017 edition of the NEC was approved by the National Fire Protection Association on August 24, 2016. The proposed amendments are necessary to update the reference to the 2017 edition of the NEC.

The proposed amendment to §73.100 updates the date and code edition for the National Electrical Code. An editorial change is also made for consistency.

Brian E. Francis, Executive Director, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no direct cost or cost savings to state or local government as a result of enforcing and administering the proposed rule. No estimated increase or loss in revenue to the state is expected, because no changes in state regulatory processes or procedures are anticipated in order to implement the adoption of the proposed rule. Adoption of the 2017 NEC by local governments will not result in additional costs or cost savings to local governments, as code books and online training are available at no cost via the internet.

Mr. Francis also has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, the public benefits will include an increase in energy efficiency for consumers, and added protection for public health and safety due to licensees’ compliance with the updated standards of the 2017 NEC.

Mr. Francis has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be economic costs to persons – including small or micro-businesses – required to comply with the proposed rule. The Department is unable to provide an estimate of these costs, as they are indeterminate in nature. The amount of electrical work to be performed, and the equipment required to be purchased to perform that work, depends on the market for that work and equipment. However, Mr. Francis has determined that any increase in costs due to the proposed amendment should not adversely affect persons required to comply with the proposed rule.

Among other things, adoption of the 2017 NEC will result in licensees being required to expand use of tamper-resistant receptacles and arc fault circuit interrupters, and may require modifications to ground fault protection devices. In addition, licensees may be required to update warning labels for certain electrical equipment. However, other provisions of the 2017 NEC could result in a lower cost of construction and materials. For example, provisions of the 2017 NEC addressing lighting load could result cost savings due to reduced copper wire usage. For these reasons, Mr. Francis has determined there will be no adverse economic impact on persons required to comply with the proposed rule, including small and micro-businesses.

Since the agency has determined that the proposed amendments will have no adverse economic effect on small or micro-businesses, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, pursuant to Texas Government Code §2006.002, is not required.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted by mail to Pauline Easley, Legal Assistant, General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711; or by facsimile to (512) 475-3032, or electronically to erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1305, which authorize the Commission, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposal are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1305. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

§73.100. Technical Requirements.

Effective September 1, 2017, [ 2014 ] the department [ Department ] adopts the National Electrical Code, 2017 [ 2014 ] Edition as it existed on August 24, 2016 [ 21, 2013 ], as adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 8, 2017.

Brian E. Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation