Simplifying licensing could bring safety risks, warn engineers

The Government wants to simplify licensing processes by exempting the need for an electrical installation project done by a professional
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It is one of the measures of the “More Housing” package (“Mais Habitação”) and that, together with the coercive lease measure, may bring problems. At least, that’s what the Order of Engineers (OE) believes will happen, if it moves forward with the simplification of licensing processes as mentioned in the proposal that will start being discussed in the Parliamentary Commission of the Portuguese Parliament (AR).

The measure to simplify licensing processes includes the exemption of the need for an electrical project “prepared by a designer for the execution of electrical installations below 41.4kVa”. Until now, the requirement to prepare the project was 10.35 kVa. With this measure, a large majority of low-voltage electrical installations, including residential properties, will no longer need this type of project.

However, the OE considers that this measure may bring risks, classifying it as “a clear step backwards for the safety of people and goods, contributing to anarchy in the execution of these special installations”. In an opinion sent to the AR, cited by this Wednesday edition of the Público newspaper, the engineers consider that this exemption covers “about six million” installations, putting people “in the hands of executing agents, unfortunately less and less competent” and that they will not have the obligation to “register the electrical installation layouts”, which may compromise future interventions and also lead to “higher costs in construction, higher risks of fire and dangers to people and animals”, besides the “degradation of the quality of electrical installations”.

The “More Housing” package was approved in generality last Friday, and is now being discussed in the parliamentary Commission of Economy, Public Works, Planning and Housing.

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