The market is split into 3 distinct product groups – Wiring Accessories, Circuit Protection and Low Voltage Cable Systems and includes a number of products used for low voltage electrical installations with power ratings of up to and including 1kV AC or 1.5 kV DC.The market is dominated by low voltage cable systems, followed by circuit protection share and wiring accessories. As the electrical accessories market is mature, the product mix has remained fairly stable.
Raw material prices play an important role in determining market performance for electrical accessories, with the price of cable in particular being highly dependent on copper prices. The price of copper has generally been on an upward trajectory in recent years. However, where companies bulk buy in advance, this can smooth or delay trends.
Changes in legislation affecting electrical accessories continue to have a focus on energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and health and safety. The 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations has introduced recommendations and requirements around fault detection devices in circuits, protection against electric shock and overvoltage, along with a new appendix focusing on energy efficiency.
Supply within the electrical accessories market is dominated by a number of large multi-national organisations, with the UK market of varying importance within company sales. These organisations generally offer a wide range of products of which electrical accessories form a small part. The market also consists of a number of smaller, electrical accessory focused companies specialising in a specific area of the market.
Activity at supplier level has involved consolidation, rationalisation and cost reduction, along with research and development to exploit opportunities for value added products. The last two years have seen relatively little merger and acquisition activity in this sector.
The electrical accessories market is a mature and sizeable one, therefore forecasts are for relatively slow and steady growth, in line with relatively subdued forecasts for construction as a whole following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Pressure on pricing is likely to remain a feature of this market for some time, particularly for lower price, commodity products. However, the weakness of Sterling has driven up the price of imported products and this has boosted the export market and may lead to higher demand for UK-manufactured products. Raw material costs – particularly copper – will continue to be a major influence on overall market value.