Program & Structure – The National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®)


The NESC is revised every 5 years with the purpose of providing formal standards, safety-oriented work practices and practical guidance for the safeguarding of persons during the installation, operation, and maintenance of electrical/communication supply lines and equipment employed by utilities such as public or private electric supply companies, communications providers and railways.

NESC rules contain the basic provisions, under specified conditions, that are considered necessary for the safeguarding of the public, utility workers (employees and contractors), and utility facilities.

The NESC also addresses similar electrical/communication infrastructure under the control of qualified parties, such as those associated with an industrial complex or interactive utility system.


The NESC is structured into parts, sections, and rules. There are general sections at the beginning of the code covering the introduction, definitions, references, and grounding. Following the general sections are four main parts including: rules for electric supply stations (Part 1), rules for overhead lines for clearances and strength and loading (Part 2), rules for underground lines, (Part 3), and work rules (Part 4).

Learn more about the scope of the NESC



There are 7 NESC Technical Subcommittees with responsibility for developing the requirements contained in the NESC:

  • NESC Subcommittee 1, Coordination (Sections 1, 2, 3)
  • NESC Subcommittee 2, Grounding Methods (Section 9)
  • NESC Subcommittee 3, Electric Supply Stations (Part 1)
  • NESC Subcommittee 4, Overhead Lines-Clearances (Part 2/Sections 20-23)
  • NESC Subcommittee 5, Overhead Lines-Strength and Loading (Part 2/Sections 24-27)
  • NESC Subcommittee 7, Underground Lines (Part 3)
  • NESC Subcommittee 8, Work Rules (Part 4)

These subcommittees meet not only to consider change proposals and public comments in a revision cycle, but also consider technical topics, create working groups and task forces, and develop change proposals.

NESC Subcommittee members generally represent organizations with a material interest in the NESC.

State Adoptions

IEEE is undertakes periodic surveys of all Public Service Commissions, Public Utility Commissions, and other appropriate state regulatory bodies to determine the edition of the NESC in effect in each state and how that adoption is set forth or decreed.

2017 NESC Adoption/Reference Survey

2017 NESC Adoption/Reference Maps

For specific contact information for each public service or public utility commission, see the listing provided by the see the listing provided by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).


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