November/December 2020 | Vol. 25 No. 6
by Tim McClintock, Midwest Field Representative, NEMA
NEMA and its Members play a key role in educating the industry, and it is through these efforts and collective expertise that we continue to see technological and safety advancements move forward.
Active participation with the development of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) and other model construction codes ensures that codes do not pose a barrier to implementation of new and advancing technologies.
As technology advances at a rapid rate, it is constantly shaping the electrical industry. As new methods, products, and installation requirements are considered, the manufacturing sector is always out in front and plays a lead role with supporting the industry. This includes providing information and education to ensure leading-edge technology is installed and used safely for the public to derive their full benefit.
The NEC is the most widely adopted code in the world and serves as the standard for safe installations of electrical systems. NEMA and its Members play a significant role by participating in the development of the NEC and are relied upon for information and education in a multitude of areas and different forums.
Three key areas where the industry relies on the manufacturing sector include the development, adoption, and application of the NEC.
Code Development—The development process includes a broad cross-section of representation of the industry on each of the NEC Code-Making Panels, and the manufacturing sector is frequently relied upon for their expertise and technical information related to the topics being discussed. Providing that information is essential to ensuring the code recognizes the latest electrical products and does not create a barrier for equipment manufacturers, while maintaining the singular focus of ensuring safe electrical installations.
Code Adoption—One of the keys to successful adoption begins with education, and it is a multipronged approach. Information can be misrepresented by those who are misinformed, incorrectly interpreting information, or misguided in their assessments. The electrical industry views NEMA and its Members as experts in the industry and will often call on NEMA to provide training for various educational conferences, state and local adoption committees, and boards—or simply call for guidance on a specific issue related to the NEC or Member product. Following successful adoption, there is further opportunity for engagement, and NEMA and its Members are frequently called upon for guidance.
Code Application—Along with code development and adoption, the manufacturing sector also provides guidance and information related to the application of the code and related Standards. While the NEC is the baseline for safe electrical installations, NEMA and its Members prove once again that they are the go-to resource by providing guidance via Standards, engineering bulletins, and white papers.
NEMA and its Members continue to educate the industry in these challenging times by capitalizing on the digital meeting tools that we have at our disposal. This has provided an opportunity to more frequently reach out to the industry throughout the year; going forward, it will serve as another medium to continue providing valuable education and information to the industry. ei