If you have never met with an electrical contractor before, you may come across some words or phrases that may be unfamiliar to you. This week, we shall break down some common electrical jargon to help you better understand your electrics!

Breaker panel

This is an electrical service panel that contains the circuit breakers.

BS 7671

British Standards BS 7671 is the UK standard for electrical installations. It is informally referred to as the “Regs”. All installations must meet these standards, which is why it is important to check the qualifications of your chosen electrical contractor.


A chase is a trench that is cut into plaster or masonry. The aim of this is to make space for electrical cabling or pipework.

Circuit breaker

The circuit breaker is a device that is designed to break an electrical circuit under the detection of a fault. This could be anything, such as a power surge or a faulty appliance.

Competent Persons (Electrical)

Any electrical contractor who is registered with a relevant Competent Person Scheme is able to self-certify that the work they perform for their clients is compliant with Building Regulations.


Also referred to as a duct, a conduit is typically made from metal or plastic. The purpose of the conduit is to keep cables safely enclosed to prevent exposure.

Consumer unit

Commonly referred to as the fuse box, the consumer unit is also sometimes called a Consumer Control Unit (CCU) or Consumer Distribution Unit. The consumer unit is the main panel that connects incoming electricity to the home circuits.


A downlight is also known as a recessed light or spotlight. This is a light fixture that is installed in a hollow opening in the ceiling, pointing the light directly down to create a focal area.


An electrical installation condition report, or EICR for short, is a report that assesses the condition of the electrics in your property. You can read more about the EICR here.

Part P

Part P is a common way of referring to building regulations which cover electrical installations.


A residual current device, or RCD, is a device in an electrical circuit designed to spot the difference in current between live conductors. If there is a fault, the RCD will disconnect them for safety.

Ready to speak with an electrical contractor?

We are hoping this guide helps clear up some technical terms you may be unfamiliar with. If you are ready to speak with an electrical contractor, whether it be for an EICR report or complete installation, look no further than CEB. Get in touch to learn more about our services.

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