U.S. Electrical Codes & Regulations — State of the Industry [2015 Update]

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Electrical safety begins with good codes enforced uniformly across the nation. But how uniform are we?

The National Electrical Code is adopted nationwide, but how it is adopted and where it is enforced can vary greatly. In the 2008 November/December issue of IAEI magazine, we examined the adoption patterns for the electrical Code—whether a state adopted the NEC across the board or left the adoption up to local jurisdictions.

States fall into three main categories when it comes to Code adoption.

Statewide — the NEC is adopted by the state and is required to be enforced by all jurisdictions; for example, Minnesota.

Hybrid — the NEC is adopted by the state, often for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions are allowed to adopt their own local codes; for example, Alabama. This model can also include states which adopt a minimum version of the NEC, and allow local jurisdictions to adopt either minimum or greater.

Local — the state does not adopt any version of the NEC and all adoptions and enforcements are left to the local jurisdictions; for example, Mississippi.

All of the data compiled were current at the time this issue was sent to the printer (August 2015). For up-to-date information about code adoption and licensing (not covered in this article), please view Electrical Codes and Regulations on our website at http://www.iaei.org/web/codeadoption

Code Adoptions at a Glance

As of June 1, 2015, twenty-three states (45%) had adopted the NEC-2014. Eighteen (35%) were on the NEC-2011; seven (14%) were on the NEC-2008; one state (2%) was on the NEC-2005. Arizona and Mississippi (4%) did not adopt the electrical code statewide and left adoption and enforcement solely to the local jurisdictions.

 

Figure 1

Figure 1. NEC code adoptions as of June 1, 2015.

 

Each state has its own timetable for adoption of the latest codes. For example, Massachusetts typically adopts the latest version of the NEC at the beginning of each code cycle. Other states may adopt within the next year of the code cycle, or wait three years until the start of the next code cycle to adopt a code. For example, the state of California adopted the NEC-2011 on January 1, 2014, at the start of the NEC-2014 code cycle. Other states may adopt multiple codes; for example, the state of Michigan adopted the NEC-2014 with Michigan Part-8 Amendments on June 18, 2015. This is the 2014 Michigan Electrical Code which covers everything other than 1 & 2 Family Dwellings that are covered under the Michigan Residential Code Adoption (NEC-2011).

 

Types of Adoption

Thirty-four states (67%) adopt a code that all local jurisdictions must adopt and enforce. This percentage is up three percent  (3%) from our previous 2008 article, because some states began moving towards statewide enforcement. For example, the state of Iowa began statewide enforcement of the NEC-2014, effective January 1, 2015.

There are two types of hybrid adoptions. Six states (12%) have a hybrid enforcement in which local jurisdictions are allowed to adopt their own local codes, but the codes must meet the minimum code adopted by the state. For example, the NEC-2011 is considered the minimum electrical standard in the state of Alaska, but local jurisdictions can adopt codes that are better than the minimum (i.e., NEC-2014). Eight states (16%) adopt the code, often for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions are allowed to adopt and enforce their own codes.

Three states (6%) do not have any state-wide adoption and all adoptions and enforcements are left to the local jurisdictions.

 

State-by-State Breakdown

 Alabama

Alabama Building Commission
770 Washington Ave Suite 444
Montgomery, AL 36104
(334) 242-4082
http://www.bc.alabama.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective April 18, 2011.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Code was adopted by the state for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce different codes.

 

Alaska

Division of Labor – Standards and Safety
PO Box 111149
Juneau, AK 99811-1149
(907) 465-4855
http://labor.state.ak.us/lss/home.htm

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective October 16, 2012.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Adopted code is considered the minimum electrical standard in the state, but local jurisdictions can adopt codes that are better than the minimum.

 

Arizona

Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety
Office of Manufactured Housing
1100 West Washington, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2935
(602) 364-1003
http://www.dfbls.az.gov/omh.aspx

  • Adopted Code. None. [Note: 2008 National Electrical Code adopted by the Board of Manufactured Housing. This does not overwrite codes adopted at the local level].
  • Adoption type. Local. Each municipality is free to adopt and amend the NEC, and it ranges from the 1990 to the 2014 versions.

 

Arkansas

Arkansas Department of Labor
Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners
10421 West Markham
Little Rock, AR 72205-2190
(501) 682-4500
http://www.labor.ar.gov/Pages/default.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective November 21, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. Adopted code is considered the minimum electrical standard in the state, but local jurisdictions can adopt amendments.

 

California

California Building Standards Commission
2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 130
Sacramento, CA 95833
(916) 263-0916
http://www.bsc.ca.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective January 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All jurisdictions in the state are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Colorado

Colorado State Electrical Board
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 894-7800
http://www.colorado.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. The state establishes the minimum standard. Local jurisdictions may make and enforce standards that are more stringent than the minimum established by the state, but must furnish a copy thereof to the board.

 

Connecticut

Department of Construction Services
Office of State Building Inspector
165 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 713-5850
http://www.ct.gov/dcs/cwp/view.asp?a=4447&q=521446&dcsNav

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective February 28, 2014
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All jurisdictions in the state are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Delaware

Fire Prevention Commission/State Fire Marshall
1537 Chestnut Grove Road
Dover, DE 19904-1544
(302) 739-3169
http://statefiremarshal.delaware.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective December 11, 2012.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All jurisdictions in the state are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

District of Columbia

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
1100 4th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 442-4400
http://dcra.dc.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, adopted March 28, 2014.
  • Adoption type. District-wide. All district and third-party inspectors are required to enforce the code.

 

Florida

Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee FL 32399
(850) 487-1824
https://www.floridabuilding.org/c/default.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2015.
  • Adoption type. Statewide.

 

Georgia

Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 679-4940
http://www.dca.state.ga.us/development/constructioncodes/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective January 1, 2015
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Hawaii

Hawaii Building Codes Commission
Kalanimoku Building
1151 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-0400
http://ags.hawaii.gov/bcc/

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Code was adopted by the state for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce different codes. However, the Hawaii Electrical Code is considered the minimum electrical code.

 

Idaho

Division of Building Safety, Electrical Bureau
1090 E. Watertower St.
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 334-3950
http://dbs.idaho.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Illinois

Capital Development Board — Building Codes & Regulations
3rd Floor Stratton – 401 South Spring
Springfield, Illinois 62706
https://www.illinois.gov/cdb/business/codes/pages/buildingcodesregulations.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. The state of Illinois has adopted the NEC-2008 statewide effective July 1, 2011, for non-building code jurisdictions. A list of codes used throughout the state can be found on the Building Codes & Regulations website above.

 

Indiana

Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Fire & Building Safety Division
Indiana Government Center South
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(800) 457-8283
http://www.in.gov/dhs/2906.htm

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Local jurisdictions shall not adopt and enforce their own electrical code unless it has been approved by the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission. In areas without an approved local building department, the office of the State Building Commissioner inspects all buildings and structures, except those intended for agricultural purposes and one- and two-family dwellings.

 

Iowa

State Fire Marshal Division, Building Code Bureau
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 725-6145
http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/building/index.shtml

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective January 1, 2015.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. The code that the Board adopts will apply to all electrical installations across the state. The codes that cities enforce cannot be less restrictive than the state electrical code.

 

Kansas

Kansas State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
(785) 296-3401
https://firemarshal.ks.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Code was adopted by the state for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce different codes.

 

Kentucky

Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction
101 Sea Hero Rd., Ste. 100
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 573-0365
http://dhbc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Louisiana

Department of Public Safety
8181 Independence Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 922-0817
http://lsuccc.dps.louisiana.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective on January 1, 2010.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Code was adopted by the state for state-owned buildings and hospitals, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce different codes.

 

Maine

Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Office of Licensing Requirements & Registration
Electricians’ Examining Board
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0035
(207) 624-8603
http://www.state.me.us/pfr/professionallicensing/index.shtml

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Maine has jurisdiction over state buildings and all structures in municipalities where no local electrical inspector has been appointed.

 

Maryland

Office of the State Fire Marshal
1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208
Phone: 410-653-8980 / 800-525-3124
http://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/StateFireMarshal.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective July 19, 2011.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Code was adopted by the state and applies to state-owned facilities and to any jurisdictions that have never adopted a statute to govern electrical work. However, most local jurisdictions adopt and enforce different codes. Maryland has two separate codes for buildings. New buildings are governed by the Maryland Building Performance Standards (MBPS), and buildings that are one year and older are governed by the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code (MBRC) or “Smart Codes.” http://mdcodes.umbc.edu/

 

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Department of Fire Services
P.O. Box 1025
1 State Road
Stow, MA 01775
(978) 567-3100
http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective January 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code

 

Michigan

Bureau of Construction Codes & Fire Safety
P.O. Box 30254
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9313
http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-10575—,00.html

  • Adopted Code. The State of Michigan adopted the 2014 National Electrical Code with Michigan Part-8 Amendments on June 18, 2015. This is the 2014 Michigan Electrical Code which covers everything other than 1 & 2 Family Dwellings, which are covered under the Michigan Residential Code Adoption.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Minnesota

Department of Labor and Industry, Construction Codes and Licensing Division
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4342
(651) 284-5005 or 1-800-657-3944
http://www.dli.mn.gov/Ccld.asp

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to enforce the code.

 

Mississippi

No state board

  • Adoption type: Local. The state of Mississippi does not adopt the NEC on a statewide basis. It is up to the individual units of local government, usually cities but sometimes townships or counties, to adopt and enforce building codes.

 

Missouri

Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety
205 Jefferson Street, 13th Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101-4421
(573) 751-2930
http://dfs.dps.mo.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2005 National Electrical Code
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Code was adopted by the state for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce different codes.

 

Montana

Montana State Electrical Board
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
(406) 841-2328
http://bsd.dli.mt.gov/license/bsd_boards/ele_board/board_page.asp

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective October 23, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Nebraska

State Electrical Division
521 South 14th Street, Suite 400
Lincoln, NE 68508-2707
(402) 471-3550
http://www.electrical.state.ne.us/

  • Adopted Code. The 2014 National Electrical Code, effective April 9, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Nevada

No state board

  • Adoption type. Hybrid/Local. The state of Nevada does not adopt the NEC on a statewide basis. It is up to the individual units of local government, usually cities, but sometimes townships or counties, to adopt and enforce building codes. The State Public Works Division adopts the NEC-2011 for state-owned buildings.

 

New Hampshire

Department of Safety, Division of Fire Safety
Bureau of Electrical Safety & Licensing Requirements
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
(603) 223-4289
http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/firesafety/index.html

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective January 1, 2015.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

New Jersey

Bureau of Code Services
N.J. Department of Community Affairs
PO Box 802
Trenton, NJ 08625-0802
(609) 292-789
http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/codreg/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, with amendments, effective September 8, 2015.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

New Mexico

New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Requirements Department, Electrical Bureau
2550 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 476-4500
http://www.rld.state.nm.us/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

New York

New York State Department of State, Division of Code Enforcement and Administration
99 Washington Avenue,  6th floor
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 473-2492
http://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code. As of December 2010, New York State has adopted the 2008 NEC for both residential and non-residential construction.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions, with the exception of New York City, are required to adopt and enforce the code. New York City has its own code.

 

North Carolina

North Carolina Building Code Council
322 Chapanoke Road, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 661-5880
http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Engineering_and_Codes/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective July 3, 2012.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

North Dakota

North Dakota State Electrical Board
1929 North Washington Street Suite A-1
P.O. Box 7335
Bismarck, ND 58507
(701) 328-9522
https://www.ndseb.com/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective September 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to enforce the code.

 

Ohio

Board of Building Standards
6606 Tussing Road
P.O. Box 4009
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-9009
(614) 644-2223
http://com.ohio.gov/dico/default.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective January 1, 2015.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. Code was adopted by the state and is mandatory for all structures.

 

Oklahoma

Construction Industries Board
2401 NW 23rd Street, Suite 2F
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
(405) 521-6550
1 (877) 484-4424 Toll Free
http://www.ok.gov/cib/

  • Adopted Code.  Effective November 1, 2015, the 2014 National Electrical Code will be adopted.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. Adopted code is considered the minimum electrical standard in the state, but local jurisdictions can adopt codes that are better than the minimum (for example, NEC-2011).

 

Oregon

Department of Consumer & Business Services
Building Codes Division
350 Winter St NE
PO Box 14480
Salem, OR 97309
(503) 378-4100
http://egov.oregon.gov/DCBS/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective October 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. Local jurisdictions must adhere to the state regulations and cannot impose requirements that are either more stringent or less stringent than those of the state.

 

Pennsylvania

Buildings Section
Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety
Department of Labor and Industry
1600 Labor and Industry Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
(717) 787-3806
http://www.dli.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/l_i_home/5278

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Rhode Island

Department of Administration
Building Code Standards Committee
One Capitol Hill, Second Floor
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-1129
http://www.ribcc.ri.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

South Carolina

Department of Labor, Licensing Requirements and Regulation
South Carolina Building Codes Council
PO Box 11329
Columbia, S.C. 29211-1329
(803) 896-4688
http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/BCC/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2013. NEC-2014 is being proposed for adoption.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

South Dakota

State Electrical Commission
308 S. Pierre St.
Pierre, SD 57501
(800) 233-7765 or (605) 773-3573
http://dlr.sd.gov/bdcomm/electric/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

Tennessee

Department of Commerce & Insurance
Electrical Inspection Section Information
State Fire Marshal
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-2981
http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/sfm/

  • Adopted Code. 2008 National Electrical Code.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Texas

Texas Department of Licensing Requirements and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711
(512) 463-6599
Toll-Free (in Texas): 800-803-9202
http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective September 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. On November 21, 2013, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees TDLR, adopted amendments to Chapter 73.100 of the Electricians administrative rules and established the 2014 NEC as the “minimum standard” for all electrical work in Texas covered by the Act. Any non-exempt electrical work started on or after September 1, 2014 must be installed in accordance with the 2014 NEC. Note: Adoption is required only for unincorporated areas of the state such as outside the city limits of municipalities.

 

Utah

Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing Requirements
Uniform Building Code Commission
P.O. Box 146741
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6741
(801) 530-6628
Toll-Free in Utah: (866) 275-3675
http://www.dopl.utah.gov/programs/ubc/index.html

  • Adopted Code. The 2011 National Electrical Code will be effective July 1, 2012.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code, without amendments.

 

Vermont

Electrician’s Licensing Requirements Board
1311 U.S. Route 302 – Suite 600
Barre, VT 05641-2351
(802) 479-7561
http://firesafety.vermont.gov/building_trades/electrical

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code, without amendments.

 

Virginia

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Main Street Centre
600 E. Main Street, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 371-7000
http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective July 14, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

Washington

Department of Labor and Industries
Electrical Division
P.O. Box 44460
Olympia, WA 98504
http://www.lni.wa.gov/tradeslicensing/electrical/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to adopt and enforce the code.

 

West Virginia

West Virginia State Fire Marshal
1207 Quarrier St., (2nd Flr.)
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 558-2191
http://www.firemarshal.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective 9/1/2013.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to enforce the state minimum.

 

Wisconsin

The Department of Safety and Professional Services, Industry Services Division
PO Box 7302
Madison, WI  53707-7302
(608) 266-2112
http://dsps.wi.gov/Programs/Industry-Services/Industry-Services-Programs/

  • Adopted Code. 2011 National Electrical Code, effective December 1, 2013.
  • Adoption type. Statewide. All local jurisdictions are required to enforce the state minimum.

 

Wyoming

Wyoming State Fire Marshal
Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety
320 West 25th Street, 3rd Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7288
http://wsfm.wyo.gov/

  • Adopted Code. 2014 National Electrical Code, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Adoption type. Hybrid. The state adopts a standard electrical code, and these are set as the minimum code that must be adopted by jurisdictions.

 

Find additional information about licensing requirements on our website at http://www.iaei.org/web/codeadoption. Code adoptions, licensing regulations, and even street addresses change frequently so help keep us up-to-date by emailing iaei@iaei.org.