International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

May 2014


Keeping the lights on

New website Energy zone highlights IEC’s key role

Janice Blondeau

The work of the IEC to develop and publish International Standards to enable switches, plugs, cables, sensors, connectors, resistors and capacitors to fit and work safely together across energy generation, transmission, storage, right down to individual devices is well known. What is perhaps less recognized is IEC’s role as the global platform that helps keeps the lights on – a role that underpins many aspects of our daily lives.


A new Energy zone on the IEC website which showcases IEC’s energy-focused achievements, and the benefits that standardization brings, has just been launched.

Wherever there’s electric energy, the IEC is present

Modern life is unthinkable without electricity – it transforms lives. Electricity lights homes, offices and public spaces, drives information and communication technology, enables financial transactions and powers gadgets and mobile phones. IEC work covers the devices that use electricity at home, in the office, in healthcare facilities or public spaces, as well as the components from which they are all built.


IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems cover all facets of electrical energy generation, distribution, storage and use; including manufacturing, Smart Grid, smart cities, smart buildings, and e-mobility. They allow millions of components, devices and systems that use or produce electricity or contain electronics to work safely with each other everywhere in the world.

Insights into the whole energy chain

The new website Energy zone on the IEC website provides insights, including colourful photos, of how the IEC and the almost 14,000 experts who participate in its work are committed to bringing reliable and safe electricity to the world. Real life examples are presented with reference to the relevant IEC Technical Committees and Conformity Assessment schemes.

Standardization as a facilitator

It shows how IEC has led the way in establishing International Standards for transmission, connection and use, and how it provides detailed technical guidance for implementers of emerging systems such as off-grid small-scale sustainable energy initiatives. IEC’s primary drivers are safety, energy efficiency and systems compatibility, thus enabling safe and economic use of electrical and electronic goods and services wherever they are needed.


The Energy zone covers the main areas of the IEC’s work – generation, T&D (Transmission & Distribution), storage, components, connectors, cables and switches. Also shown is work in interoperability, safety, EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility), terminology, and the environment and hazardous substances.


  • The Energy website zone showcases IEC’s energy-focused achievements and the benefits of standardization
  • IEC’s role as the global platform that helps keep the lights on is highlighted
  • IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems underpin many facets of our daily lives


IEC's behind-the-scenes role

The IEC international community of experts has accompanied electrical and electronic developments since the very beginning.

As energy consumption is forecast to double between now and 2030 the IEC is working hard to help improve energy efficiency, provide clean energy and to make its work accessible to all countries.

The behind-the-scenes engineering and scientific work the IEC delivers enables existing and new technology to work in the most energy-efficient way.


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