By September 28, 2017 Read More →

Energy efficiency a key driver in electrical accessories market

In 2016, the UK wholesalers’ market for electrical accessories was estimated to be worth around £2bn. AMA Research’s definition of the market covers products for low voltage installations, i.e. with a power rating of up to and including 1 kV AC or 1.5 kV DC. The main product categories are wiring accessories, low voltage circuit protection and low voltage cable systems.

In 2014 and 2015, the electrical accessories market experienced minimal growth. Despite a positive market for construction overall, with rising levels of output in most sectors of the economy, market value was suppressed by falling raw material costs and increasing levels of cheap imports. In 2016, it is estimated that the market increased by around 3%.

The demand for energy efficient products continues to be an important theme within the market, driving a significant proportion of the non-domestic RMI market and resulting in greater demand for electrical accessories used in monitoring and control of power, heating and lighting systems.

This demand is filtering through to the domestic sector, where take up of new technology is traditionally slower, and this is seeing controls becoming more mainstream with development of easy-to-install RMI products.

Renewable energy continues to be of interest to consumers, creating an opportunity for growth of associated electrical accessories such as LEDs. But the renewable sector has not shown the growth that was predicted, as Government subsidies have reduced and the interest shown by consumers has reduced accordingly, though it is expected that this sector will show some resurgence.

Product development has primarily focused on energy efficiency, wireless systems, integrated controls, reduced space and quicker installation. Plug and play systems are now offered by many leading manufacturers as their benefits, including quicker installation and reduced cost, have become more widely recognised.

Cable systems

Cable systems, including energy or power cables, busbars and cable management, account for the largest share of the market by value. This sector has been subject to price erosion, resulting from overcapacity in the supply chain, limiting market growth, although price pressures have been eased somewhat in recent years through consolidation throughout the supply chain and rationalisation of operations.

The market has benefited from a growth in networking, resulting in an increased demand for cable and higher capacity busbar trunking. Greater demand for more sophisticated fire and security systems has resulted in use of higher specification cable products which has boosted market value.

The ongoing trend towards pre-fabricated cable systems and development of more comprehensive systems is likely to continue to benefit the market. Modular wiring systems are slowly gaining market share, driven by demands for quick installation and increasing pre-fabrication across construction.

Low voltage

In the low voltage circuit protection equipment and low voltage electrical distribution boards sector, the awareness of the need to protect circuits from power outages/shortages, particularly in commercial areas where data can be extremely valuable, remains a key driver of demand for higher value products.

Safety concerns, acknowledged by the latest amendment to the wiring regulations, now require improved RCD protection, and the market has continued to benefit from greater use of RCDs as a result. The LV circuit protection market is dominated by 5 key players which together account for an estimated 75% share within the UK.

Wiring accessories cover products used in low voltage power and lighting applications, such as sockets and switches, industrial plugs and sockets, grid switches and lighting accessories. Over recent years, the improvement in the construction sector and the economy as a whole have been largely mirrored in the wiring accessories market. However, the wiring accessories market is particularly vulnerable to price competition from low cost imports.

Focus has been on developing higher value products with emphasis remaining on energy efficiency and on ease of installation.

The integration of lighting, heating and security controls is an ongoing trend and this has increased demand for higher value programmable switches and digital interfaces.

Electrical Wholesalers remain the dominant route to market in electrical accessories, supported by a large number of electrical contractors and panel builders that rely on electrical wholesalers for the supply of electrical accessories.

AMA Research estimates that electrical wholesalers hold a 60%+ share of the overall market for each of the three sectors included in the analysis.

*The ‘Electrical Wholesalers Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’, which was recently published by AMA Research, and the ‘Electrical Accessories – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’ publication are available from: