SENATE BILL NO. 144
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AND HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2
AN ACT AMENDING CHAPTER 14, TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (Two-thirds of the members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend §1401, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking the definition of "Person" as it appears therein and substituting in lieu thereof a new definition of "Person" to read as follows:
" 'Person' means individual, owner or full time employee."
Section 2. Amend §1401, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by adding definitions to read as follows:
"Tull-time employee' means one who receives a wage or salary and who is actively engaged in the services of the company, firm or corporation that is using the person's certificate during the periods of time that the company, firm or corporation is performing work that would require a registration certificate under this Chapter.
`Maintenance' means service.
`Dwelling' means an enclosure that affords habitable living space for human beings.
`Service' means to repair or replace in kind.
`Certificate' means a certificate of registration as required by this Chapter.
`Master Electrician, Limited Special' means any person engaged in specialized electrical installations of a residential nature limited to not over four family dwellings. Such specialized electrical installations shall be: air conditioning and heating; oil burner; swimming pool and such other categories as the Board shall from time to time specify in its rules.
`Master Electrician, General Special' means a person engaged in the business of or holding himself out to the public as engaged in the business of installing, erecting, and repairing or contracting to install, erect or repair electrical wires or conductors to be used for the proper performance of certain special machinery, lighting or heating installations."
Section 3. Amend §1402(b), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) The Board shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the Governor, who shall be residents of this State and citizens of the United States. Two (2) of said members shall not be engaged in the electrical industry, one (1) shall be a code consultant other than an Electrical inspector, four (4) shall be engaged in the Electrical Contracting business for a period in excess of ten (10) years. No more than two (2) members shall be appointed from any political sub-division, nor more than four (4) members shall be of the same political affiliation."
Section 4. Amend §1402(c), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows:
"(c) Each Board member shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years.
No member shall be eligible for successive appointments to the Board."
Section 5. Amend §1405, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §1405 to read as follows:
§ 1405. Organizations; meetings; officers; quorum
(a) The Board shall hold regular meetings at least once each month. The time and place of the meetings shall be determined by the Board. Special meetings may be called by the President or two (2) members of the Board. At least seven (7) days notice shall be given for a special meeting.
(b) The Board shall elect annually a President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer. Four (4) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of doing business."
Section 6. Amend §1408(c), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (c) to read as follows:
(c) Annually, prior to December 1, the Board shall submit to the Governor a report of its transactions for the fiscal year ending June 30, and shall also transmit to him a complete statement of the receipts and expenditures of the Board attested by affidavits of its President and Secretary-Treasurer. A copy of the annual report to be received by the Board members.
Section 7. Amend §1422, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §1422 to read as follows:
§ 1422. General requirements for registration
The following shall be considered as the minimum evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant is qualified for registration as master electrician, general, limited, general special or limited special, respectively, to-wit :
(1) as a master electrician, general ;
A reasonable knowledge of electricity and the natural laws and functions of electric wires, appliances and devices for electric light, heat and power purposes, and skill and knowledge in all matters relating to the work or business of master electrician, general, as defined in §1401 of this title and shall have had at least four (4) years of full time practical training plus two (2) years of full time practical experience. Technical training in a technical school or college may be deemed by the Board to be the equivalent of no more than two (2) years of practical training. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to provide proof of experience.
(2) as a master electrician, limited;
A reasonable knowledge of electricity insofar as it relates to the particular type or types of equipment pertaining to the business of master electrician, limited, as defined in §1401 of this title and shall have had at least two (2) years of full time practical training and one (1) year of full time practical experience, technical training in a technical school or college may be deemed by the Board to be the equivalent of no more than two (2) years of practical training. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to provide proof of experience.
(3) as a master electrician, general special;
The same requirements as for master electrician, general, except that the applicant must exhibit knowledge in electrical matters relating to the applicant's speciality.
(4) as a master electrician, limited special ;
The same requirements as for master electrician, limited, except that the applicant must exhibit knowledge in electrical matters relating to the applicant's specialty.
Section 8. Amend §1425, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto subsections (d) , (e), (f) and (g) to read as follows:
(d) A special certificate shall be issued to a master electrician, general special in the categories of :
(2) air conditioning, heating, refrigeration and oil burners,
(3) electric signs,
(4) swimming pools,
(5) overhead and underground primary distribution systems, and other categories that the Board may from time to time establish.
A registrant shall not be allowed to hold a certificate in more than one (1) special category. Said 'special' certificate shall authorize the registrant to perform and/or supervise the electrical work directly associated with the work within the category of the special certificate that is held by the registrant. Said 'special' certificate shall not authorize the registrant to perform and/or supervise any electrical work that is not directly part of the registrants specialty or that services or part of the electrical circuitry of other portions of the total electrical installation.
(e) A certificate shall be issued to a master electrician, limited special with the same restrictions as the master electrician, general special certificates and be further restricted to work on dwellings of not over four (4) families.
(f) The electrical inspection authorities shall not honor a request for inspection submitted by a person that holds an expired or revoked certificate.
(g) All persons receiving a certificate of registration shall display, on the vehicles used in the performance of their work, the words 'Registered Electrician' and the number assigned to them in not less than three (3) inch letters and numbers.
Section 9. Amend §1427(b), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows :
"(b) Renewal may be effected at any time during the month of June by payment of the annual fee, which shall be the same as provided by §1424 of this chapter for registration. The failure on the part of any registrant to renew his certificate annually in the month of June as required by this section, shall not deprive such person of the right of renewal, but the fee to be paid for the renewal of a certificate after the month of June shall include a late charge of $10.00 plus $1.00 each month or fraction of a month that payment of renewal fee is delayed."
Section 10. Amend §1427, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto subsections (c) and (d) to read as follows:
"(c) When the applicant fails to renew his registration by the end of a thirty-six (36) month period, such registration shall be canceled and renewal may be obtained only by re-examination.
(d) An applicant for registration may elect to postpone submitting his fee and bond after submitting application as provided by §1424 and successful completion of examination. Such postponement shall not exceed three (3) years and in any case registration shall not be issued until the applicant complies with
§1424. If the applicant fails to submit his bond and fee during a period not to exceed thirty-six (36) months, a re-examination will be required."
Section 11. Amend §1428, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §1428 to read as follows:
§ 1428. Revocation of certificate
(a) The Board may revoke the certificate of registration of any registrant that:
(1) is found guilty of the practice of any fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration;
(2) is found guilty of any gross negligence, incompetence or misconduct in supplying material or performing services as an electrical contractor;
(3) is found guilty of permitting or causing defective electrical work if done deliberately or if not corrected within 15 days or longer if necessary at the discretion of the Board following notice thereof;
(4) loses or has the bond required in §1424 canceled;
(5) is found guilty of using the certificate of registration or allowing the certificate of registration to be used for any work that the registrant has not directly supervised as a full time employee or owner of the company that performed the work ;
(6) uses or attempts to use a certificate number for which the registrant is not entitled.
Section 12. Amend §1429 (b), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking therefrom the amount "$1" and inserting in lieu thereof the amount "$5.00".
Section 13. Amend §1429, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto subsection (c) to read as follows:
(c) If a partnership, firm or corporation suffers a loss of certificate due to dissolution of the partnership, firm or corporation or death of the certificate holder, the partnership, firm or corporation may continue to operate under a temporary certificate of registration for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days when all the following provisions are met:
(1) The partnership, firm or corporation continues to employ the same personnel with the exception of the certificate holder.
(2) The partnership, firm or corporation does not change its name. During the sixty (60) day temporary period, a person associated with the partnership, firm or corporation may apply for a certificate and, if all requirements of this chapter are met, be scheduled for an examination as required by this chapter. The Board shall act within ten (10) days to rule on the acceptability of an application submitted under this section and shall schedule the examination within the sixty (60) day temporary period, provided that there is timely submittal of the application. If the partnership, firm or corporation allows the sixty (60) day temporary period to expire without having a person obtain a certificate or have in their employ a person with a certificate, then said partnership, firm or corporation shall cease and desist immediately from all work for which a certificate is required under this chapter.
Section 14. Amend §1430(a), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection (a) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:
(a) The scope of the examinations, if required, whether oral or written, or both, shall reflect knowledge of the current issue of the National Electrical Code, as well as questions pertaining to electrical theory and practices and 75 per cent shall be deemed a passing mark. Special reference will be given by the Board to the applicant's ability to place, install and operate electrical wires, appliances and apparatus.
Section 15. Amend §1432(a) (3), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection (a) (3) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (2) (3) to read as follows:
(a) (3) Any person who installs his own electrical work, service or equipment in or about his own home and not for sale or any part for rent, except that such person shall be required to file application for inspection with the proper electrical inspection authority. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a person from obtaining free assistance in installing his own electrical work, service or equipment in his own home not for sale or any part for rent.
Section 16. Amend §1432(a) (6), Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection (a) (6) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) (6) to read as follows:
(a) (6) any manufacturing or industrial establishing retaining in its own employment a Professional Engineer, authorized to practice engineering in this State under Title 24, Chapter 28, Delaware Code, with at least ten years' experience in electrical planning and design ; such Professional Engineer may inspect the plant's additional electrical installation if he is responsible for and in continuing charge of such work at the site, and if such manufacturing or industrial establishment files with the State Board of Electrical Examiners a letter stating that all additional electrical installation meets the minimum standard of the National Electrical Code or any revisions thereof once each year. The provisions of Section 1433 (c) shall apply to this subsection.
Section 17. Amend §1433, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §1433 to read as follows:
§ 1433. Certificate of inspection; standards of installation; inspection authorities
(a) No person not the holder of a certificate of registration shall install, alter or repair any wiring or appliance for electric light, heat or power in or on any building unless employed by or working under the supervision of a person holding a certificate and no person not the holder of such certificate, unless employed by or working under the supervision of a person holding a certificate as defined herein, shall falsely represent that he holds such registration or shall use in any advertising the words "Master Electrician", "Register Electrician", "Electrical Contractor", or any words of similar meaning or imprint on any sign, card, letterhead, or in any other manner, except as specifically exempted in this chapter. Manufacturers of mobile homes, modular homes, and travel trailers shall be required to obtain electrical inspections and approval for the electrical work installed in or on these dwelling units.
(b) No person holding a certificate of registration as a master electrician, general or limited, shall install any new or used electrical wires, conduits, machinery, apparatus or any kind of electrical equipment, fixtures, appliances or devices without the prescribed inspections and approval of the electrical inspection authority, except in case of emergency, when such inspections and approval will follow the actual work required within a reasonable time. Applications for electrical inspection with an approved inspection agency must be filed within five (5) working days after the work has begun unless specifically exempted by this chapter.
(c) Persons who are permitted to do work only without a certificate of registration as provided for in §1432(2) and (6) of this title must secure such certificate of inspection at least once annually.
(d) The recognized Electrical Inspection Authorities shall be those Electrical Inspection Agencies, public or private, that have complied with the requirements of this chapter and have received conditional or annual certificate of approval from the Board. No person, firm or corporation shall perform or hold themselves out to the public as Electrical Inspection Agencies unless first obtaining a certificate of approval from the Board.
(e) The said inspection authorities shall make all inspections within five working days of the receipt of applications for inspection. No light or power company whether public or private shall connect any current, light or power to any property without first obtaining a permanent or temporary 'cut-in-card' from inspection authorities having jurisdiction thereof except in case of an emergency when service may be restored by a licensed contractor prior to obtaining such 'cut-in-cards'. No permanent or temporary 'cut-in-cards' shall be issued unless the work is being done or has been done by a person to whom a registration certificate has been issued under the provisions of this chapter, except for work being done or which has been done by persons who are not required to obtain registration certificates under the provisions of this chapter. Temporary 'cut-in-cards' will expire when the finished structure is occupied for a period of Fifteen (15) days.
Section 18. Amend Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new section to be designated as §1434 to read as follows:
§ 1434. Fees; requirements; revocation of approval
(a) All inspection Agencies, public or private, who desire to perform the electrical inspections or hold themselves out to the public as electrical Inspection Agencies to provide the electrical inspection services as required by this chapter, shall first submit i to the Board a list of their qualifications, and obtain a certificate of approval. The applicant's credentials must show evidence that the applicant has:
(1) Financial responsibility.
(2) Office facilities.
(3) Qualified personnel.
(4) Supervisory structure that will insure safe and adequate employee performance.
Upon review of the applicant inspection Agency's credentials, the Board may grant conditional approval. Such conditional approval shall be contingent on the Board's decision, and submittal by the applicant of the required fee and evidence of insurance. Insurance shall be maintained in the amount of $1,000,000.00 for each person and each occurrence. Conditional approval shall be granted for a period not to exceed six (6) months and the fee shall be fifty dollars ($50.00).
The Board may deny an applicant's request for approval. If so, the Board will provide the applicant in writing the reason or reasons for the Board's decision within 10 days of the decision and the applicant may reapply for approval.
(b) The authorized inspection Agencies shall be under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission in regards to fees charged.
(c) An annual certificate of approval may be obtained by an Inspection Agency after the conditional approval has been in force for at least three (3) months, the required fee paid and the Inspection Agency has shown that the agency has complied with the following:
1. (a) No electrical inspection authority or any of its employees, officers, or stockholders shall have any interest in or relationship to any electrical contractor, whether a corporation, partnership or individual.
(b) No electrical inspection authority or any of its employees, officers, or stockholders shall have any interest in or relationship to any manufacturers or seller dealing in electrical appliances, machinery, wiring, electrical hardware or other electrical apparatus.
(c) No electrical inspection authority or any of its employees, officers or stockholders shall have any interest in or relationship to any electric public utility, municipal electric department or other entity supplying electrical energy for industrial, residential or commercial use.
2. No electrical inspection authority shall conduct any electrical inspections in the State of Delaware until it has established in this State at least one office staffed by an adequate number of qualified personnel.
3. No electrical inspection authority shall conduct an electrical inspection in the State of Delaware as required by this chapter until it has in its employ at least one qualified inspector devoting his or her full time to the authority's inspections within the State of Delaware and the application for inspection has been filed by a properly registered Electrical Contractor who has a valid certificate, or by a person or persons specifically exempted by this chapter.
4. Each electrical inspection authority shall file and keep up to date with the Board, and keep open to public inspection in each office, addresses and telephone numbers of all offices, time of regular business hours of all offices, a schedule showing all rates and charges made, established, or enforced or to be enforced or charged, all rules and regulations relating to such rates and charges and all general privileges and concessions granted or allowed. The above information shall be readily accessible to the public at all times during normal business hours and on demand by any person, shall be produced for examination immediately.
5. Every electrical inspection authority shall make inspections within five days following receipt of application for inspection from a customer and issue certificate of approval within 15 clays after final inspection.
6. Each electrical inspection authority shall keep all records of its business within the State of Delaware and shall notify the Board of the office or offices at which various records are kept. Those records shall be open for examination by the Board's inspectors.
7. Each electrical inspection authority shall maintain an adequate number of offices in the State of Delaware, the current locations and telephone numbers of which shall be furnished to the Board, where applications for electrical inspections, complaints, inspection inquiries, bill payments, etc., will be received, so that prompt and diligent inspection service is rendered to the customers.
0. Every electrical inspection authority shall carry liability insurance, at least in the amount of $1,000,000, for each person and each occurrence to satisfy claims or judgments for property damage and/or personal injury arising out of failure of its inspector to properly discharge his duties and responsibilities.
1. Every electrical inspection authority shall carry workmen's compensation insurance in accordance with statutory requirements.
2. Inspectors shall be remunerated on a salary basis only Inspectors shall not be given commissions or other bonus incentives for volume of work performed.
3. In the event a customer refuses to correct the violation in the electrical construction work within 15 days, the electrical inspection authority shall notify the utility concerned, and the Board of such violations. In such case, the utility shall not render service to the premises in question until the violation is corrected.
(d) The fee for the annual certificate of approval shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.00) payable on or before June 1 of each year. Late charges and right of renewal shall be the same as herein specified for Master Electricians.
(e) The Board may revoke the certificate of approval of any Inspection Agency that is found guilty of :
1. Fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of approval.
2. Gross negligence, incompetency or misconduct in providing electrical inspection services.
3. Violation of any rule set forth in §1434 (c).
(f) Charges, hearings and appeals in all questions concerning Inspection Agencies shall be the same as established in §1428 of this Chapter."
Section 19. Amend §1440, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §1440 to read as follows:
§ 1440. Violations; penalty and jurisdiction
(a) Whoever violates the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or be imprisoned for not more than thirty (30) days or both. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
(b) Justices of the Peace in the county in which the offense is alleged to have occurred shall have jurisdiction over any violation of this chapter.
Approved July 12, 1973.