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Installations

The Electricity Act 1945 and Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 (the Regulations) specify various forms of notifications that must be provided for all electrical installing work.

Electrical Safety Certificate

When you have any electrical installing work done after1 July 2008, your electrical contractor must give you an Electrical Safety Certificate within 28 days.

This certificate is your guarantee that the work has been carried out by a licensed electrical contractor, is safe and complies with safety standards. It is required to be issued for all types of electrical installing work (other than repairs) completed on residential, commercial, industrial and institutional premises.

Whether you’re building a new home or just having one or two lights or power points installed, make sure that you receive an Electrical Safety Certificate for any electrical work carried out after 1 July. Keep the certificate in a safe place for future reference.

If you do not receive a certificate, contact your electrical contractor. If it is not provided immediately, contact your local network operator, which in most cases will be Western Power or Horizon Power. The network operator will investigate. Failure to receive a certificate could mean the work is not safe or the person who carried it out is not licensed.

If the person who gives you a certificate is not the electrical contractor but an employee electrician of the electrical contractor, he or she can show you their authorisation to give you the certificate.

Legislation also requires that all electrical installing work must be notified to the network operator on the prescribed notice.

A preliminary notice / notice of completion needs to be submitted to certify certain types of electrical installing work. The notice of completion form includes a certification of compliance of the electrical work to the relevant network operator. The responsible electrical contractor is required to submit such notices under Regulations 51 and 52 of the Regulations. Regulation 242 of the Electricity Act Regulations 1947 (the Electricity Act Regulations) requires the network operator to have such a notice before connecting supply.

In 1996, a change was made to the Regulations to permit the Director of Energy Safety to grant an exemption from the submission of a notice of completion by an electrical contractor. This expanded on the very successful in-house electrical installing work licence where exemptions were issued for the submission of notices in lieu of a log book.

Under Regulation 253 of the Electricity Act Regulations, all supply authorities in Western Australia must have an Inspection System Plan and Policy Statement to ensure the safety of consumers' installations and consumers' apparatus. These plans also provide for the investigation of fires, electric shocks and breaches of the relevant acts and regulations.

Two supply authorities in Western Australia use a sample inspection system to inspect the work of electrical contractors. Currently, Western Power is the only network operator that has sufficient volume of work carried out to utilise this system effectively.

The sample inspection system

The sample inspection system recognises that some electrical workers and contractors are quite capable of getting the job done correctly the first time. It also ensures that the responsibility for ensuring that the work is done correctly rests with the electrical contractor and electrician, and not with the network operator.

The sample inspection system also permits inspectors to audit a much wider range of industry work and ensure a safer result overall for the network operator's customers. For example, alterations and additions to domestic premises are a common activity and the electrical work associated with them is considered to offer greater safety problems than those in new dwellings. This system allows the network operator to establish an inspection surveillance in this area of work without increasing its inspection resource. Also, under the sample inspection system, the electrician who tested and checked a new electrical installation must attach a sticker inside the meter enclosure stating that the electrical installation has been tested and checked, and identify himself/herself on it.

A notice of completion is received from the electrical contractor which also provides details of the electrician who checked and tested the work. If the electrician's performance is satisfactory and he/she completes a reasonable volume of work within a defined time span, a sample rate (that is, one in five) is assigned to this mechanic. Inspections are then carried out when the sample rate (that is, the fifth job) is reached.

The sample rate for new electrical installations is determined by the network operator and is based on a formula which is part of the network operator's approved Inspection System Plan. The electrician's sample rate is set automatically and continually adjusts depending on the electricians' performance and volume of work.

Preliminary notices

Regulation 51 of the Regulations requires that an electrical contractor who carries out any electrical installing work or causes any electrical installing work to be carried out must submit a preliminary notice to the relevant electricity network operator.

If the electrical contractor requires a ruling on the proposed electrical installing work, the notice must be submitted at least three working days before the proposed electrical installing work is commenced.

If the electrical contractor does not require a ruling on the proposed electrical installing work, the notice must be submitted before the proposed electrical installing work is commenced.

Some exemptions to the requirement are included in the regulation.

Books of notices are available from EnergySafety and electricity network operators.

Notices of completion

Regulation 52 of the Regulations requires that an electrical contractor who carries out any notifiable electrical installing work or causes any notifiable electrical installing work to be carried out must submit a notice of completion to the relevant electricity network operator.

Some exemptions to the requirement are included in the regulation.

Books of notices are available from EnergySafety and electricity network operators.

Exemptions from submission of notices

Regulation 52(1) of the Regulations requires an electrical contractor or in-house electrical installer, who carries out any electrical installing work, to submit a notice of completion to the relevant network operator.

On the other hand, Regulation 52(2) permits the Director of EnergySafety to exempt an electrical contractor from the requirement to prepare and submit a notice of completion, subject to certain conditions.

The following criteria are taken into consideration when determining an application for exemption:

  • The volume of electrical installing work warrants an exemption being issued. If the volume is small (for example, only a few jobs per year) an exemption may not be granted.
  • The exemption is applicable to a specific installation.
  • The exemption only applies to the electrical contractor or in-house electrical installer who applies for and is granted the exemption.
  • A secure place, at the exempted installation, is provided to keep an electrical log book. The log book will be accessible to an electrical inspector when required and is to be kept in the site office under the control of a supervisor.


Electrical contractors who wish to apply for an exemption need to write to the Director of Energy Safety at EnergySafety requesting an exemption and provide the following information:

  • the electrical contractor's name, address, telephone contact number, licence number;
  • the name and address of the installation where the exemption will apply;
  • the estimated number of electrical installing jobs that they anticipate will be completed over a 12 month period;
  • details of where the electrical log book will be kept; and
  • the name of the relevant network operator.