What is the cost of an Electrical Compliance Certificate?


The cost of an electrical certificate of compliance (electrical coc) depends upon the work required to fix your electrical installation and the travel distance to your home or office. If the electrician finds no faults, the cost of the electrical certificate can range from R850 to R1,500. If faults are found, the cost could range from R1,000 to R6,000. If major issues are found, costs could range between R6000 to R15,000 or more.

In most cases where no electrical issues are found, you will only be charged R850 (Ex VAT) for the inspection and certificate. This price is for one hour of inspection and you will pay R600 (Ex VAT) for any time thereafter. In this case, the electrical certificate can be issued within a day.

For more information on electrical inspection times that apply for your flat or house, click here. In general, for flats and small houses, inspection time is not more than an hour while large houses can take up to two hours.

An electrician is bound by law to fix non-compliant electrical problems before issuing a new compliance certificate. In the case where electrical issues are found, a quotation is provided so that you can determine if you would like to proceed with the electrical repair work. If you decide not to go ahead with the quotation for repairs, you are still liable for the inspection fee of R850 (Ex VAT). Important: No compliance certificate can be issued in this case as this would be illegal.

Where repairs are required, a quotation will be submitted within a day or two. Repair work can take approximately 1 week to complete which means that the coc certificate can only be issued after the repair work.

Click here to see our "Summary of costs" section at the bottom of this page for the most likely cost scenarios that you will encounter.

How do you calculate the cost of an Electrical Compliance Certificate?

There are many factors that determine the cost of an electrical certificate of compliance (ecoc). Costs include the electrician's travel rate, electrical compliance inspection, and electrical repair work if the electrician finds electrical faults.

We have listed all the items below that contribute to the cost of an electrical test certificate (coc).

1. Electrician rate per hour

Electricians can charge between R250 to R800 per hour, depending on their experience and qualifications. Residential electricians generally charge anything between R250 to R500 per hour, while master electricians can range from R400 to R800 per hour. Electricians will also charge for their travel to your home or office. An electrical inspection can take between one and two hours to complete.

2. Travel distance from electrician to your home or office

Electricians need to cover the cost of traveling to your home or office. In South Africa, most electricians apply the AA vehicle travel rates which include petrol and vehicle maintenance costs per km. They will also include their hourly rate as it takes time to travel.

We inspected the AA vehicle rates for a Nissan NP200 (A popular bakkie used by electricians) and their calculator gave us a rate of R5.93 per km traveled. Therefore, an electrician would charge you a traveling rate of anything between R5 to R10 per km. Note however that most electricians will also include their hourly rate within the travel time.

Example travel calculation

An electrician that earns an hourly rate of R300 per hour and needs to travel 20km to your home, would charge as per the calculation below.

Traveling 20km at 60km = 20 minutes travel time. Add 10 minutes for traffic and robots. This gives us 30 minutes of travel time. The electrician rate is R350 per hour so we calculate the electricians rate for the given travel time as follows: R350 / 2 = R175. This is the electricians rate for 30min travel time.

We need to then calculate the AA vehicle rate: 20km * R5.93 = R118.60.

The total travel cost is therefore R293.60 (R175 + 118.60)

AA vehicle travel rates example

AA vehicle travel rates example

3. Electrical repair work

The cost of electrical repair work can range from R1,000 to R15,000 or more. An electrician is required by law to test a number of electrical items on your electrical installation. If they find faults, they have to fix them before they are allowed to issue a legal electrical compliance certificate. This is why it's important to deal with reputable electricians that don't overstate the items that need to be repaired.

Doing electrical repairs can be expensive but its important to keep in mind that if your electrical installation is not safe for humans and animals, you can be held personally liable for damages. It's not worth taking shortcuts when it comes to electrical repairs. Take the care to use professionals and you will buy yourself peace of mind.

Electrical items that are tested during an electrical compliance inspection.

  • Check that the premises is adequately earthed and bonded.
  • Ensure that your electrical main switch is compliant with regulation.
  • Ensure that switches, sockets and light fittings are still functioning correctly. The electrician may identify that some items will need replacing such as older plug sockets, light switches and cables.
  • Check the type of wiring system and inspect its safety condition. E.g. Older cables were often covered in rubber, lead and fabric, and these cables would need to be replaced. Modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation.
  • Check your fuse box and ensure it is fitted with a suitable residual-current circuit breaker (Trip switch)
  • Check that your switch box is labelled adequately and has the correct warning signs.
  • Check for damage, wear and tear or any other deterioration to your electrical installation. Believe it or not, your electrical installation ages over time and even though it may seem your installation is working, it may no longer be safe.
  • Ensure you are still using the electrical installation as intended and have not compromised the installation in any way.

4. Electrical inspection time

  • Small sized houses, apartments, cottages, flatlets etc usually take 20-40min to inspect
  • Standard free standing houses up to 1hour
  • Large houses (4 beds and cottage) up to 2 hours
  • Agricultural holdings/ Farms/ Plots/  can take up to 3-4 hours
  • Commercial and industrial buildings will require a site inspection for a more accurate estimate of inspection time

5. Summary of costs

As you can see, there are a number of factors that contribute to the cost and price of an electrical compliance certificate. Based on the information and examples in this article, we can make some assumptions about the range of costs associated with electrical compliance inspections.

Lets illustrate the cost summary using two examples: Scenario 1 is where no faults are found and scenario 2 is where the electrician found issues with your electrical installation.

Scenario 1 - No electrical faults found during a one hour inspection

  1. 1
    Electrician charges R850 (ex VAT) for issuing a compliance certificate. This includes his hourly rate and the cost of issuing the certificate. This cost is for the first hour of the inspection. For any inspection time more than an hour, a rate of R600 applies.
  2. 2
    He also charges R293.60 for travel costs which include his hourly rate, petrol and vehicle maintenance (20km travel). Important: If the traveling distance is within an 10km range, no traveling cost applies.
  3. 3
    Total Cost - No Travel: R850 (ex VAT)
  4. 4
    Total Cost - With Travel: R996.80  

Scenario 2 - Electrical faults found during a one hour inspection

  1. 1
    Electrician charges R850 (ex VAT) for issuing a compliance certificate. This includes his hourly rate and the cost of issuing the certificate. This cost is for the first hour of the inspection. For any inspection time more than an hour, a rate of R600 applies.
  2. 2
    He also charges R293.60 for travel costs which include his hourly rate, petrol and vehicle maintenance (20km travel). Important: If the traveling distance is within an 10km range, no traveling cost applies.
  3. 3
    He finds issues with your distribution board and needs to replace two trip switches. He also discovered that the light fittings in your ceiling are using old connection points that are no longer compliant in the latest legislation. Cost is R3,580
  4. 4
    Total Cost - No Travel: R4,430
  5. 5
    Total Cost - With Travel: R4,576.80

In summary, you can see that costs for the most likely cost scenarios can range from R850 to R5,000. Once the electrician does an inspection, a quotation is provided so that you can determine if you would like to proceed with the electrical repair work. Important: We test a number of electrical installations and not all installations have electrical issues. So your best case scenario in terms of cost is R850 (Ex VAT).


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