It was published yesterday, 10 August, on the Official Journal, the Decree-Law no. 96/2017, which establishes the regime of the private service electrical installations fed by the Public Service Network ("RESP" - Rede Elétrica de Serviço Público) on high-voltage, medium-voltage and low-voltage, and of the in-house production installations, either temporary or itinerant, of security or aid.

This Decree-Law aims, in the line of the SIMPLEX program, to simplify the control, supervision and regulation systems of the activities related to these installations.

In this context, electrical installations are classified into three types: A, B or C, depending on the characteristics of the installation concerned, and for each type a concrete procedures is defined as to start operations or to connect to RESP, in the following terms:

  • Obtaining of an exploration certificate issued by the Directorate General of Energy and Geology ("DGEG" - Direção Geral de Energia e Geologia)

This certificate constitutes a legal requirement applicable to the electrical installations of type A (i.e. in-house production installations, either temporary or itinerant, of security or aid, when do not integrate electricity generating plants subject to previous control, under other legal regimes) with power exceeding 100 kVA, and electrical installations of type B (installations which are fed by the RESP in on very high voltage, high-voltage or medium-voltage).

The request for an exploration certificate is submitted through the electronic platform of DGEG (to be created within 12 months from the date of the publication of the present Decree-Law). Once the request is accepted, the exploration certificate is issued and the respective access code is made available to the operating entity.

  • Obtaining of a declaration on the conformity of execution or a statement of responsibility of the execution

This declaration constitutes a legal requirement applicable to the electrical installations of type A with power equal or less than 100 kVA and electrical installations of type C (installations which are fed by RESP in low-voltage). Such declaration or statement of responsibility is issued after the performance of the tests and the required verifications in order to assure the safety and the correct functioning of the electrical installations already executed, by the installing entity of private service electrical installations (legal person or an individual entrepreneur who legally performs the construction activity in national territory) or by the technical service responsible.

  • Obtaining an inspection declaration

This inspection declaration constitutes a legal requirement applicable to the electrical installations of type A and type C, which are not covered by the above mentioned cases. Once concluded the execution, these electrical installations are subject to an inspection, by the inspect entity of the private service electrical installations (the entity responsible for the inspection activity, recognized under Law no. 14/2015, of 16 February) to go into operation. Once the inspection is concluded, the entity responsible for the inspection activity issues an inspection declaration - stating if the installation is or is not approved.

After the electrical installations start operations, the present Decree-Law states that, according with the complexity and risk that they assume, some of the installations should be monitored by a technician responsible for the exploration, and the other installations are subject to a periodic inspection, promoted by the explorer entity every 5 years.

The present Decree-Law enters into force in 1 January, 2018 and can be consulted here.

Regime of fuel gas installations in buildings and devices

(Decree-Law no. 97/2017, of 10 August)

 It was published yesterday, 10August, in the Official Journal, the Decree-Law no. 97/2017, which establishes the regime of the fuel gas installations in buildings and of the devices supplied by the same.

Among other relevant provisions, this Decree-Law foresees expressly the obligation (applicable to all the buildings to be built or subject to modifications with previous control under the applicable law) to be empowered with a gas installation that covers all the housing units. It is also established the obligation of all the construction, reconstruction, enlargement or modification works to respect the project of the mentioned gas installation.

The project of the gas installations and of the gas appliances installations should be executed by a gas installer entity (the entity qualified, under Law no. 15/2015, of 16 February, to the execution, reparation, modification or maintenance of gas installations, of gas distribution networks and branches, as well as the installation of gas appliances), with respect for the applicable technic and legal requirements, as detailed in the present Decree-Law.

Once the execution of the gas installation or of the gas appliances is concluded, the gas installer entity must issue a statement on the conformity of execution provided that one of the following situations is verified: i) new installations are constructed; ii) existing installations are modified, repaired or maintained; iii) the gas appliances are installed, repaired, adapted or maintained.

It is also foreseen an inspection phase, by a gas inspector entity (the entity qualified, under Law no. 15/2015, of 16 February, to conduct the inspection of gas installations and of gas distribution networks and branches) in order to certify the conformity of the installation or of the gas appliance to the beginning of the gas supply. Once the inspection is concluded, the inspector entity issues an inspection declaration of the gas installation, stating if it is approved or not.

In the present Decree-Law remains the obligation to carry a periodic inspection (which already arises from the current applicable legislation), but it is eliminated the inspection every two years for the gas installations that were subject to this legislation (which, with the present Decree-Law, should take place once every three years instead).

DGEG is the competent entity to verify compliance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, without prejudice of the competences attributed to other entities, namely to ASAE (Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica).

The present Decree-Law enters into force in 1 January 2018 and can be consulted here.