In 1974 the ETCI set up a Technical Committee to look at the question of a roll of approved electrical contractors and an electrical inspectorate to ensure that electrical installation work conformed to the wiring rules.
However the Department of Industry and Commerce ruled that the setting up of a roll of approved electrical contractors was a matter for self-regulation within the industry and not one for ETCI.
The contractors associations then took up the running and in 1980 the AECI submitted a draft proposal for a register of approved contractors to the Government. In spite of the best efforts of the AECI the proposed scheme received a non enthusiastic response from the Government and no significant progress was made. However the Dail debate on the Electricity Supply Amendments Bill 1987 helped to raise interest again in the whole question of the safety of electrical installations.
In 1988 following complaints by Bord Gáis that the National Wiring Rules for Electrical lnstallations were causing them difficulty, the Dept. of Energy set up a forum to discuss these problems and to satisfy Bord Gáis. After it was established that Bord Gáis had no valid complaint and the Wiring Rules in Ireland were similar to those in operation in other countries and were following CENELEC standards, it was again highlighted that although the Wiring Rules were well established in Ireland contractors did not necessarily follow them.
Arising from this a working group was set up in 1989 to consider a rough plan which had been drafted by ETCI. Investigations concerning the situation in other countries were made and after extensive consultations RECI was officially launched by Minister Bobby Molloy in April 1992. The founding organisations were ESB, ETCI, AECI and ECA. Each of these is entitled to nominate up to two directors to the board. In addition directors were elected by independent contractors who were not members of AECI or ECA.
In November 2007 and following a consultation process the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) published the decision paper on the criteria document which sets out the commission’s rules for the regulation of electrical contractors with regard to safety, under the provisions of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. A competitive tender for the appointment of an Electrical Safety Body or bodies was started in April 2008 and in November 2008 the CER appointed RECI as one of the Electrical Safety Supervisory Body (ESSB).
The implementation of the new regulatory system based on the CER Criteria Document (Cer/08/071) commenced on 5th January 2009 and is in place since.