The Casper City Council on Tuesday approved on first reading an ordinance adopting the updated  National Electrical Code for 2023.

The state already adopted it, and local governments needed to do so as well.

"We literally have no choice," Mayor Bruce Knell said.

If the City doesn't adopt it, the state will have the authority to come in and enforce it, Knell said, adding Casper wouldn't like that.

Resident and former legislator Pat Sweeney asked whether existing residences can be grandfathered and remain in code.

Council member and Realtor Lisa Engebretsen responded people can buy houses with old electrical systems, but an inspector will inspect it based on current codes.

An inspector could declare it as outdated and hazardous, and that could cause problems for house sellers, Engebretsen said. "Buyers are not comfortable with purchasing houses not up to code."


Council member Steve Cathey voiced his distaste with the new code.

Those who updated the code are not just telling home owners what to install but where to install it, Cathey said.

If the code requires an electrical outlet on a food preparation table, and someone spills a liquid, it could get in the outlet, he said.

"That particular part of the code is asinine," Cathey said. "Unfortunately and against my better judgment I will vote yes."

The Council must approve the ordinance on two more readings before it goes into effect.

Last Day of Casper City Hall Before Renovation

Renovations start in early June

Lemonade Day Kick-Off. 5/3/23

Lemonade Day Kick-Off. 5/3/23

More From K2 Radio