UK STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS

ELECTRICAL ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS (ESS)

Manufacturers, distributors and installers of any product in the UK are required to comply with a myriad of product safety laws, regulations and standards. Product safety responsibility and reliability, of course, does not end once the product is installed at the consumer’s home. If either the manufacturer, distributor or installer are no longer trading there may still be an obligation on those that are still in business to ensure that the ESS is complying with regulations.

General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPS)

 

Responsibility

Take precautions against any risks of operating and maintaining ESS.

Consequence of Non-compliance

Failing to comply with the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine and 12 months’ imprisonment. The court may also forfeit any or all of your unsafe goods.

Solution

Flexi-Orb is an information centre for consumers and will provide advice regarding safe usage and operation of ESS. By being a member of Flexi-Orb, and signposting your customers to us, you will be ensuring that they receive the latest and most relevant safety advice.

Rapid Alert System (RAPEX) – part of the GPS Regulations

 

Responsibility

Manufacturers and distributors must have a process in place to inform consumers of any safety or product recall notices.

Consequence of Non-compliance

Where producers have not fulfilled their obligations under these Regulations, enforcement authorities have access to a range of measures that can be employed in removing risk to consumer safety.

The measure chosen will be proportionate to the seriousness of the risk, but can include:

  • Suspension notices
  • Withdrawal notices
  • Recall notices
  • Forfeiture & destruction

There is also liability to pay substantial damages where a product causes personal injury or property damage.

Solution

Manufacturers and distributors are able to notify consumers registered with Flexi-Orb, via its Flexible Energy Register, for any safety or product recall notices.

Code of Practice for product safety recalls – PAS7100

Responsibility

Manage a possible safety-related product recall or other corrective action.

Consequence of Non-compliance

Where producers have not fulfilled their obligations under these Regulations, enforcement authorities have access to a range of measures that can be employed in removing risk to consumer safety.

The measure chosen will be proportionate to the seriousness of the risk, but can include:

  • Suspension notices
  • Withdrawal notices
  • Recall notices
  • Forfeiture & destruction

There is also liability to pay substantial damages where a product causes personal injury or property damage.

Solution

The Flexible Energy Register will have registration data and will engage the consumer to ensure information is updated and relevant. This provides evidence to regulators that manufacturers and distributors have put in place all reasonable precautions and have a robust process.

Waste Equipment and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 – (WEEE)

 

Responsibility

A plan must be drawn up showing what should happen when the products manufactured reach their end of life, based on the compliance scheme.

Consequence of Non-compliance

The WEEE directive holds the right to prosecute the organisation under law and impose a fine of an appropriate amount – up to fifteen million pounds. The loss of sales could be the major penalty faced by the company if a product is impounded, and the executives of the company could face imprisonment as well.

Solution

Flexi-Orb, either standalone or in conjunction with the manufacturers, distributors, or installers’ own scheme, will proactively engage with the consumer as the ESS reaches the end of its safe number of cycles. Where there is no support for the consumer, for example, if the aforementioned have ceased to trade, then Flexi-Orb will engage with the waste recycling industry to bring about safe decommissioning of the product.

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

 

Responsibility

Safe, controlled installation.

Consequence of Non-compliance

The offence of corporate manslaughter, because it requires gross breach at a senior level, will ordinarily involve a level of seriousness significantly greater than a health and safety offence. The appropriate fine will seldom be less than £500,000 and may be measured in millions of pounds. The fine is for the breach of regulation, and not intended to put a financial amount on loss of life. There would, therefore, normally, be an additional amount ordered by a civil court. The assessment of compensation in cases of death will usually be complex, will involve payment of sums well beyond the powers of a criminal court, and will ordinarily be covered by insurance. A publicity order will also normally be made.

Solution

Registering each EESS on the Flexible Energy Register means that the Electrical Certification Bodies have visibility of installation so that they can perform onsite audits. In doing so, they will be able to improve safety standards across the industry, protecting not just consumers, but manufacturers, distributors and installers. The Flexible Energy Register also has a feed to the Fire and Rescue Service, meaning that first responders at an incident will have information on what type of EESS is on site, as well as where it is situated.

 

Disclaimer: This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.