As the problems of the economy have dragged on, most companies have stepped up cost-cutting. This is a good idea if done intelligently, but sometimes it’s not. The budgets for electrical projects and plant maintenance are favorite targets for the infamous "10% reduction" target issued without regard to operational realities. The results can be expensive, or even fatal, to the corporation.

One misconception is that NEC compliance is "a nice goal, but we can't afford it" and the company saves money by not meeting NEC requirements. However, the NEC isn't a design manual. It exists for "…the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity" [90.1].

If meeting a "10% edict" would require NEC-violating shortcuts, point out that NEC compliance isn't optional. You may need to ask your company's insurer for assistance in making this clear.