We’re in lockdown, but the state is sending electricians into homes

The government is pushing ahead with plans to require every existing rental property to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report prepared by 1 April. (This new report is in addition to the Electrical Safety Certificate already required).

Landlords have been contacted by rental agencies asking them to give permission for the report to be prepared. This means electricians visiting the different rooms of a rental property to inspect the wiring.

This is a point when tenants are banned from having their friends or family around to their homes, yet they are required – they cannot refuse – to have an electrician poking around the wiring in every room. Despite all the claims of these visits being ‘covid secure’, we all know that an electrician is not going to come dressed like a forensic scientist.

Coincidentally, the French government is currently undergoing a massive programme of changing the country over to electrical smart meters. This programme started shortly after the autumn lockdown, at a time when people had been banned from having visitors in their homes.

Why are governments pushing ahead with sending electricians into homes, at a time when they are telling people it is not safe to socialise?

Only because the presence of the official visitor in your home is seen as innocuous; it is free social life that is held to be the public health risk. The officially approved electrician is seen as ‘covid secure’, while your friends and family (the people you actually WANT in your home) are a danger to public health and illegal.

While it is illegal to have a friend around, you cannot refuse the presence of an electrician to poke around your house. This apparent paradox explains the true logic of many of state actions under the pressure of this pandemic.