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Low Voltage Distribution Equipment

Low-voltage distribution equipment (LVDE) encompasses the devices (e.g., molded case circuit breakers, panelboards and distribution boards, switches, and busways) that distribute and switch electrical power and protect electrical circuits.

LVDE, which carries electricity from distribution transformers to electricity meters of end users, typically operates at less than 600 volts; in contrast, medium voltage equipment affords a wider range of 600 to 38,000 volts.

Products include breaker-type arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), protection devices that can prevent fires by detecting an unintended electrical arc and disconnecting the power before the arc starts a fire. AFCI technology in residential and commercial buildings is an important electrical safety device.

Members provide LVDE input and positions in other Standards, codes, regulations, and legislation.


  • Develops and maintains NEMA Standards related to LVDE and promotes the expansion of the use of AFCI breaker technologies in the National Electrical Code? (NEC)
  • Works with certification organizations (e.g., UL and CSA) on issues related to testing, certification, and establishing effective dates for new requirements
  • Manages the harmonization of tri-national standards for LVDE and AFCI breakers through the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations in the Americas (CANENA)
  • Participates in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) committees covering circuit breakers, panelboards, switchboards, enclosed switches, and busway products
  • Publicizes AFCI breaker technologies through public relations campaigns, industry website www.afcisafety.com, media outreach, advocacy with safety partners, and other venues; provides field education and training to state code officials, electricians, and contractors on LVDE products and systems through the NEMA Field Representative program


  • Commercial buildings
  • Industrial facilities
  • Government and military facilities
  • Single and multi-family residences


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