Almost everyone needs the services of a qualified domestic electrician at some time or another. And for specific tasks, their assistance is a legal requirement. But, how much do they charge, and what jobs can they do?
The average qualified electrician’s hourly rate varies from £30-£45/hr in the UK. While, for an emergency, an electrician’s call-out charge ranges from £45-£85/hr. Based on these rates, and many other factors, an electrician’s quote will depend on the requested job.
This pricing guide highlights those jobs for which you should hire an electrician and approximately how much they charge. We’ll also discuss the emergency call-out electrician cost and when you’re likely to pay that rate. We’ll also talk about the laws and regulations surrounding electrical work and how you find a competent electrician or electrical inspector.
Electricians Price List*
The following list shows a typical electrician’s job list. You can compare these tasks with your household projects and use them to approximately calculate the electrician’s costs. Typically, an electrician in Southeast England charges around £45/hr or £360/day. Although, some professionals offer discounts for large jobs. Here are just a few of the jobs you can ask an electrician to do. However, their estimated costs vary depending on their duration and skill level, among other factors.
|PAT Testing||£1 to £2 per item (50-items minimum)|
|House rewiring||£2000 to £7500 depending on house size|
|Television aerial/satellite dish||£100 to £200|
|Carbon monoxide/smoke alarm||£50 to £130|
|Electric cooker installation||£30 to £90|
|Electric installation testing and fault finding||£80 to £280|
|Circuit breaker panel/Consumer unit replacement||£400 to £500|
|Earth bonding for water & gas pipes||£150 to £250|
*We compiled these rates from various sources. Every home is unique, so treat them as estimated values to benchmark your own research. Prices always vary depending on your location within the UK. Therefore, labour rates in London and the Southeast are generally 20% higher than elsewhere. Always contact a local electrician if you want an accurate quote for work in your home. Alternatively, use the form on this page, and we’ll refer you to a registered electrician near you.
PAT or Portable Appliance Testing, is a periodic electrical earthing inspection of small portable appliances. The law defines these appliances as those you can plug and unplug from a wall socket and move around if you desire. Typical small appliances include television, kettle, computer, table lamp.
Sometimes a plug or wiring might become damaged, causing electrical fires, electric shocks or an overheating plug. Therefore, it makes good sense to check the appliance regularly for any faults. If something’s wrong, the device can be removed from service or repaired, whichever you prefer. However, a repair will cost extra. All portable appliances in business premises must, by law, be tested and a sticky label attached showing the next test date. Electricians usually test all appliances on the same visit, so charge a fee of £1 to £2 per test, with repairs charged at an additional agreed rate.
You should regularly have an EICR report done on the condition of your domestic electrical circuits. Commercial premises and rented property must be inspected at least every five years or when the tenancy changes to comply with the law. But, it’s also a good idea to have one if you live in your own home too, although not compulsory.
During the test, the electrician checks the entire domestic electrical system complies with the current electrical regulations. This includes house wiring, sockets, light fittings and fuse board. If there’s faulty or old wiring, you must rewire the house to comply with the law. Depending on the house size and how much wiring needs replacing, the charge will be £2000 to £7500, including materials.
Television aerial or satellite dish
Television aerials and satellite dishes collect the radio signals we use in our televisions. Although not connected to live mains circuits, they must still comply with the electrical regulations. You can ask a specialist aerial or dish installer to fit one of these. Alternatively, use an electrician. Typically, installation costs from £100 to £200.
Carbon monoxide/smoke alarm
Smoke and poisonous gas detectors are important in a house with open fires or fossil fuel boilers. Carbon monoxide detectors measure the level of toxic gas emitted by a fire. In comparison, smoke alarms measure the thickness of the smoke in a room. Both these detectors connect to the mains electricity and set off detectors in other parts of the house. Therefore, if the system detects smoke or gas in the lounge or kitchen, it will also set off the sensor outside the bedrooms, which is very useful if you’re in bed. These must be connected according to the manufacturer’s instructions to comply with the electrical regulations. Typically, installing one detector costs £50 to £130, including wiring back to the consumer unit.
Electric cooker installation
Electric cookers need a separate connection to the consumer unit. Cookers draw a lot of electricity and need high-value current cables to prevent overheating and potential electrical fires. Cookers must be connected according to the existing electrical regulations by a qualified electrician, who charges from £30 to £90 per unit.
Electric installation testing and fault finding
All electricians are only human. So it’s no wonder that they must inspect every addition or alteration to your domestic electrical circuits and rectify any faults. Furthermore, if an existing circuit develops a fault, an electrician must track down the problem and put it right. There are three certificates you should know about that a qualified electrician must issue to prove the circuit complies:
- Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC).
- Minor Electrical Installation Certificate (MEIC).
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
The cost of circuit inspection, fault finding and issuing a certificate ranges from £80 to £280, not including any necessary repairs.
Circuit breaker panel/Consumer unit replacement
If the EICR inspection and report show significant problems, you must upgrade the fusebox to a circuit breaker consumer unit. The new consumer unit uses circuit breakers that stop the flow of electricity almost instantaneously if they detect an electrical fault or earthing problem. In comparison, old-fashioned fuses often took a second or two to stop the supply. Modern consumer units also have an RCD (Residual Current Device) that detects problems with earthing and if you touch a bare wire. Replacing a fuse box with a consumer unit costs £400 to £500, including materials.
Earth bonding for water & gas pipes
Earth bonding protects your family from electrical shock from:
- Metallic taps.
- Gas and mains water pipes.
- Central heating pipes, radiators and ducting.
- And other exposed metal in your home.
Each metallic part of the house must be connected using 10mm earthing wire to a central 16mm yellow/green earthing conductor. Even if part or all the water pipes are plastic, you should earth bond the metal taps for safety. Earth bonding the house costs £150 to £250.
Electrician Cost Factors
An electrician’s quote for each job takes into account many factors. Here are some of them:
Is the job an emergency?
Electricians are human and have family lives too. Therefore, if you have an emergency that requires an electrician immediately, expect to pay an additional charge. Usually, the call-out charge for electricians might be anything from 1.5 to 3 times the standard hourly rate, and some professionals also add on mileage costs and a minimum charge. Generally, the emergency rate is £45 to £85/hr. But, if you don’t want to pay the call-out rate, you can always make an appointment during regular hours.
Where you live
- Different areas of the country have varying hourly rates. Usually, London and the Southeast charge up to 20% more than labour charges elsewhere in the country.
- You also have to consider whether you live in an urban or rural area. Generally, there will be many electricians in a town or city. Therefore, they will compete for work, and prices can vary considerably.
- Often, rural electricians travel considerable distances to reach their place of work. Therefore, they will charge extra for the travelling time and fuel costs. Similarly, there aren’t many electricians in the area, so hourly rates will be towards the upper end of the scale.
Duration of the job
Many jobs take different amounts of time to complete. A typical electrician will charge their customer according to how long they take to do the job while considering their hourly rate. Furthermore, if regular long-term work is involved, they will often offer discounts to secure the customer. Sometimes, an electrician quotes a price based on the number of items they fit, such as light fittings or power sockets. In this case, they base the quotation on the price per point.
Unless an electrician’s work involves inspections, they invariably need different types of cable, conduit and trunking, switches, light fittings and electrical sockets. Also, they need specialist items such as central heating controls, consumer units, immersion heaters, electric showers and thermostats. The job’s overall cost will take the individual material prices into account. Also, most electrical professionals add 10% of the material cost to cover their time when ordering.
Electrician Hiring Check List
When you start looking for an electrician or electrical inspector, you must ask some questions to ensure you find someone qualified and experienced.
Find out how long they’ve been in the business. Thus, allowing you to decide on their experience.
Are you insured?
A reputable electrician will have public liability insurance to work in your home. This policy covers damage and injury resulting from problems with their work. Ask for the policy number and insurance company’s contact details to check the policy hasn’t expired. It’s no problem to phone the insurance company, who will have a special department for you to check up on professionals.
Are you registered?
If an electrician is a trade association member, they will always have insurance anyway, as will all contractors on the Electrical Competent Persons Register.
What about local authority permission?
A qualified electrician will know if you need permission for your project from the local authority. Even if the tradesman says it’s okay, you should still check for yourself, as you are the person responsible.
Does the work need a safety inspection?
You must officially check nearly all electrical jobs. If the electrician is “Part P” Registered, they can self-certify their work without confirmation from the local authority. If they aren’t registered, you must have a Building Control inspector check the installation.
Electrician Certification & Regulations
Electrical work is a highly-skilled occupation requiring intelligence and practical ability. Electricians must have done a recognised apprenticeship or NVQ Level 3 or equivalent in at least one of the relevant City and Guilds examinations. After these basic qualifications, the aspiring electrician must also pass the most current Wiring Regulations BS7671.2008. At present, this is the 18th Edition.
Reputable electricians and electrical engineers belong to UK electrical trade associations, which specialise in specific sectors of the profession. This website lists the contact details of the electricians’ organisations and associations in the UK.
Competent Person Scheme
In practice, the only thing that the ordinary householder needs to know is whether the electrician is qualified enough to work safely in their home. According to the UK government and your local authority, an electrician has to be “Part P” registered to be able to self-certify their work and work in a domestic setting. This label refers to Part P of the UK Building Regulations.
To make the search more manageable, you can look at the Electrical Competent Person Register, a database of electricians and electrical inspectors compiled in conjunction with the UK government, local authorities and the various electrical trade associations.
Except for minor electrical jobs in your home, you must have them done by a registered and qualified electrician and have an inspection certificate issued by someone qualified to do so. Although the services of an electrician cost more than those of most tradesmen, they must be qualified and experienced. And that’s what you’re paying for.
Complete the form on this page, and we’ll contact up to four contractors on your behalf, who will send a quotation for the work in your home.