The new GREI: what are the most important changes?

The new General Regulations for Electrical Installations (GREI) will come into effect on 1 June 2020. This collection of regulations for electrical installations now consists of three parts and contains many new and adapted passages.

After almost forty years, it was time for a thorough overhaul of the GREI. The restructuring aims to improve readability and user-friendliness, as well as to provide more clarity about the application of the regulations. There are also substantive improvements and additions.

An overview of the biggest changes.

A new, clear structure

As of 1 June 2020, the GREI structure will be fully in line with similar European regulations. From now on, the regulations are divided by installation type into three books:

  1. Low voltage and very low voltage electrical installations.
  2. High voltage electrical installations.
  3. Installations for the transmission and distribution of electrical energy.

Each book consists of the same nine chapters, making the new GREI much easier to refer to.

  • Section 1: General directives for electrical equipment and electrical installations
  • Section 2: Definitions and concepts
  • Section 3: Determination of the general characteristics of electrical installations
  • Section 4: Protective measures
  • Section 5: Choice and use of the equipment
  • Section 6: Checks on the equipment
  • Section 7: Provisions for special installations and rooms
  • Section 8: Special directives concerning existing electrical installations
  • Section 9: General regulations to be observed by persons

The articles from the “old” GREI have been superseded in this new structure. Most articles have remained unchanged.

Clearer terms and definitions

  • The difference between domestic and non-domestic installations has been clarified.

  • In publicly-accessible areas, entrance doors or hatches of electrical service enclosures or premises must be locked with a safety lock. According to the new GREI, a lock that can be opened with a universal key or hand tool is not sufficient.

  • Adjustments and additions to the fire protection definitions have been aligned with international definitions.

New provisions for non-domestic installations

  • From now on, for all non-domestic installations, the regulations that previously only applied to installations that required the presence of BA4/BA5-authorised personnel apply to all.

  • The new GREI contains an extensive list of what must be included in electrical diagrams (and their attachments).

  • External influences and the areas in which they apply must be highlighted on a plan or in a table or list of the establishment or installation.

  • The periodic inspection of fairground installations (every 13 months) has been removed and replaced by an annual check for all portable, mobile or temporary electrical installations. Also installations in zones with explosion risk must be checked annually by a recognised body.

  • GREI has also added provisions for the latest technology, such as automatic restart systems. They ensure business continuity is not jeopardised by switching an automatic fuse or differential current device back on after an error has occurred.

Changes regarding fire protection (Article 104)

  • The GREI and Construction Products Regulation (CPR) have been coordinated. The requirements for the selection and installation of insulated conductors and cables remain the same in the new GREI. The applications and the situations in which they may be installed have changed.

  • The provisions for the use of halogen-free cables have been clarified and now also apply to halogen-free accessories.

  • Vital installations are split into safety installations (installations upon which the continuity of operation must be guaranteed for a certain time for the safety of persons) and critical installations (installations upon which the continuity of operation must be guaranteed for other reasons, such as the safety of goods and animals).

Are you complying with the new GREI?

All electrical installations must comply with the new GREI from 1 June 2020. So make sure you are on time with the new regulations. You can call on Mensura's experts for a risk analysis of electrical installations or for an evaluation and diagram of external influences.