Electrical Contractors' Association

ECA (formerly the Electrical Contractors' Association) is the main trade association for companies involved in electrotechnical and other technical engineering projects in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. In 2016, it had some 2800 registered members - companies who collectively employed around 100,000 UK staff and operatives and generated annual revenues of over £6 billion (e.g the UK electrical contracting industry is worth in excess of £10 billion). ECA also has associate categories open to industry manufacturers, distributors, educators, clients and specifiers who wish to engage and collaborate with members.

ECA
AbbreviationECA
Formation1901
TypeTrade association
Legal statusNon-profit company (No. 00143669)
PurposeSupporting and representing electrotechnical and other engineering services companies in England, Northern Ireland and Wales
Location
Region served
Covering UK, excluding Scotland
Membership
c. 3000 companies
Group Chief Executive Officer
Steve Bratt
Main organ
(President: Malcolm Crofts)
AffiliationsAssociation Européenne de l'Installation Electrique, Specialist Engineering Contractors Group, Build UK
Staff
130
WebsiteECA

ECA is currently either leading or active across a range of built environment, building, construction, maintenance, and infrastructure issues, and in particular those relating to electrical engineering, mainly in the commercial, industrial and public sectors, as well as the domestic arena. Key areas of activity include: technical; standards; skills; health and safety; renewable, energy efficiency and other energy solutions; supply chain procurement and payment; digitalisation; and employment issues.

History

Founded in 1901, the ECA represents contractors who design, install, inspect, test, monitor, and maintain electrical and electronic equipment and services. It was incorporated on 19 April 1916. ECA became the official trading name of 'Electrical Contractors' Association' in autumn 2017.

Industry improvements

The ECA played a particularly important part in the 1920s and 1930s when electric power was introduced to most houses. Before this time, and the formation of the National Grid, electricity was supplied at different voltages and frequencies.

Today, the ECA actively represents the electrical and electronic contracting sectors, taking a leading role in both technical standards (notably BS 7671) and professional competencies in both the domestic and commercial sectors.

It has diversified to cover not just electrical engineering, but also fire and security, datacomms, energy solutions, building management systems, audiovisual, temporary installations, and other services.

The Fire and Security Association (FSA) consists of members of ECA and ECA's Scottish counterpart, SELECT.

With the charity Electrical Safety First, ECA owns Certsure LLP, which trades under certification brands NICEIC and ELECSA.

With Unite the Union (which includes members of the former Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union), ECA is a founder and partner in the Joint Industry Board (JIB), which oversees wage negotiations in the industry. JIB also runs the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS), which administers site cards for individuals.

In 2017 ECA surveyed its members on corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a precursor to further initiatives.

ECA recent finances

Although, for a trade association, the current financial position of the ECA is relatively strong, in November 2012, it was reported to have lost £26m in the Lloyd’s insurance market, which required it to accelerate its plan to cut costs and restructure its operations.[1]

Functions

The ECA has three main aims:

  • To provide support services to its Registered Members. These include advice on: technical issues, employment, health and safety, contracts, energy solutions and skills.
  • To work with regulatory bodies, government and other opinion formers to build an efficient and sustainable industry, based on high standards of training and practice.
  • To form strategic relationships with those who specify electrical and other engineering services to enhance the profile and promote the use of Registered Members of all sizes.[2]

It represents the views of specialist electrical and other engineering companies within contractor group Build UK and via the Specialist Engineering Contractors Group. It holds a range of electrical industry conferences and other events, including the ECA Industry Awards and ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Award annually.

Publications

It produces the ECA Today magazine every quarter.[3]

The Managing Editor is Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR and Communications.

In addition to free material for its members, the ECA also provides free checklists for commercial clients on selected topics, such as Energy Solutions.

Location

From early 2015 to November 2017, the ECA head office was in Hammersmith, West London. It moved to offices in an 'industry hub' in St Katharine Docks, near London's Tower Bridge on 6 November 2017. Other bodies to be based in the hub include BEAMA, BESA, Electrical Industries Charity, Electrical Distributors' Association and Voltimum.[4]

Regional offices

See also

References

  1. Prior, Grant. "ECA loses £26m in Lloyd's insurance nightmare". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  2. About the ECA (website accessed 01 September 2010)
  3. ECA Today
  4. "BESA moves into "industry hub"". Cooling Post. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
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