Standards and legislation
EnergySafety carries out technical and safety regulation of electrical and most gas activities throughout Western Australia, including the activities of electricity supply network operators and gas distribution licence holders.
Such regulation is based on the following legislation:
- Energy Co-ordination Act 1994 - The statutory office of the Director of Energy Safety and the powers of Inspectors.
- Energy Co-ordination (Designation of Inspectors) Regulations 1995 - The appointment of electricity and gas inspectors.
- Electricity Act 1945 - The powers and obligations of supply authorities, certain powers of inspection, the safety and energy efficiency of electrical appliances and extensive regulation-making powers.
- Electricity Regulations 1947 - Network operator service standards, line-worker and electrical worker safety, appliance energy efficiency [labelling and MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards)] and the safety of electrical appliances.
- Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 - The regulation of electrical workers, electrical contractors and electrical work generally and the establishment of the Electrical Licensing Board.
- Electricity (Supply Standards and System Safety) Regulations 2001 - Safety of the public, electricity consumers and electricity workers in the vicinity of electricity transmission and distribution networks. The regulations also set acceptable standards for electricity supply quality (voltage, frequency and harmonics), reliability and metering accuracy.
- Gas Standards Act 1972 - Standards of purity, pressure and safety of gas supplied, the inspection of gas installations, the regulation of the practice of gasfitting (including licensing), the approval of gas appliances and extensive regulation-making powers.
- Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 - Gas fitter licensing, the regulation of gasfitting work, service rules and standards for consumers' gas installations.
- Gas Standards (Gas Supply and System Safety) Regulations 2000 - Safety of the public, gas consumers and gas workers in the vicinity of gas distribution networks (that is, networks or pipelines operating below 1.9 MPa). The regulations also set acceptable standards for Natural Gas and LP Gas quality and metering accuracy. They also cover the safety of gas producing plants connected to gas distribution networks.
- Fuel, Energy and Power Resources Act 1972 - The conservation and utilisation of the present and future sources and supplies of fuel, energy and power in and to Western Australia.
Copies of this legislation is available from the State Law Publisher.
The standards of electrical work in electrical installations are legislated in the Electricity Act 1945, the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 and the Electricity Regulations 1947 (these publications are available from the State Law Publisher).
Electrical work is principally regulated by the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 which provides for licensing of electricians, electrical contractors, in house electrical work holders and restricted electrical workers. Electrical licensing is controlled by the Electrical Licensing Board with regulated requirements for the granting of licences and discipline procedures for those not complying with requirements.
Regulation 49 of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 requires all electrical work to comply with standards, principally Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3000 "Wiring Rules" and the WA Electrical Requirements (WAER).
All electrical work is covered by licensing except as prescribed in Regulation 19, where certain work that is considered low risk is excluded from licensing requirements.
There are requirements to submit Notices, to not permit unsafe work, to effectively supervise electrical work, to report defects and accidents, to not interfere with accident scenes and to maintain a register of employed electrical workers.
These Notices are the Preliminary Notice and Notice of Completion. The latter includes a certification of compliance of the electrical work to the relevant network operator. The responsible electrical contractor is required to submit such Notices pursuant to Regulations 51 and 52.
Regulation 242 of the Electricity Regulations 1947 requires the network operator to have such a notice before connecting supply. Specific exemptions have been given for Western Power to operate the "Customer Connect" scheme. Under this scheme, certain electrical contractors and nominated workers can connect first and then submit the Notice.
Regulation 253 of the Electricity Regulations 1947 requires network operators to maintain inspection systems to ensure the safety of installations.
Proposed regulations for residual current devices in residential premises - public consultation
Comments are invited from industry stakeholders and the public concerning EnergySafety's proposal to require all residential premises to be fitted with residual current devices, also known as safety switches, at or before the sale of the property or, in the case of rented premises, within 24 months of publication of the regulations in the Gazette. Further details are available in the position paper and the draft regulations. Comments should be sent to EnergySafety by 28 November 2008.
The Gas Standards Act 1972 and the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas installations) Regulations 1999 is the legislation governing gas installations.
Gas installation work is principally regulated by the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas installations) Regulations 1999 which provides for licensing of gas fitters and authorisation holders. Authorisations meet the requirements of the Gas Standards Act 1972 by licensing supervising gas fitters to be responsible for supervised gas fitters who may not be licensed and are frequently people such as electricians or coded welders.
Gasfitting licensing is a responsibility of the Director of Energy Safety who has established the Gas Licensing Committee for the granting of licences and discipline procedures for those not complying with requirements. Section 13 of the Gas Standards Act 1972 provides for the discipline of gas fitters who do not comply with requirements.
Regulation 18 of the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas installations) Regulations 1999 requires that the work is carried out safely and the installation is safe to use, complies with standards and is completed to a trade finish. Further, Regulation 32 mandates that installations comply with specific requirements and nominated standards. The principal standards are Australian Standards AS 5601 and AS 3814.
There are requirements to submit Notices, to not permit unsafe work, to effectively supervise work, to report incidents and to maintain a register of employed gas fitters.
The Gas Standards Act 1972 requires gas suppliers to inspect all work prior to connection, unless they have an inspection plan where they may sample inspect prior to connection.
In Western Australia, there are a number of laws which are designed to minimise the hazards of electricity and to reduce the risks of electric shock and fire. Many of the laws are embodied in the Electricity Act 1945. Part X of the Electricity Regulations 1947 deals with the safety of electrical appliances.
The Electricity Act 1945 prohibits the sale of many household electrical appliances unless the approval of the Director of Energy Safety is first obtained. The approval of other Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions is mutually recognised as approval by the Director. Those appliances that are of high risk, such as kitchen appliances or those that have caused problems are 'prescribed'. Prescribed appliances must be approved for sale or hire or before being advertised for sale or hire.
The Director of Energy Safety can prohibit the sale or use of unsafe or dangerous electrical apparatus/appliances under Section 33C of the Electricity Act 1945.
Testing of appliances/equipment
Regulation 19 of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 requires that the testing of electrical appliances/equipment be carried out by appropriately licensed persons (for example, by an appliance service person or an electrician). This testing is detailed in the Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3760 "In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment."
Section 13D of the Gas Standards Act 1972 requires all gas appliances to be approved by the Director of Energy Safety and appropriately marked, before sale or hire or advertising for sale or hire. The Director recognises the certification schemes operated by the:
- Australian Gas Association;
- IAPMO-R&T; and
- SAI Global.
Details of the recognised certification scheme marks can be found here.
Schedule 1 of the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas installations) Regulations 1999 defines "Type A" appliances as those which are typically domestic gas appliances. Type A appliances are generally type-tested.
Commercial and industrial gas appliances (Type B) have detailed requirements, particularly in Regulations 22, 22A, 35A, 35B and 36. These appliances require specific approval by an inspector and the gas fitter cannot leave the appliance permanently connected unapproved and the owner cannot use the appliance without the inspectors approval. These inspection can be carried out by the gas supplier or independent Type B gas inspectors.
The Electricity Act 1945, the Electricity (Supply Standards and System Safety) Regulations 2001 and the Electricity Regulations 1947 are the legislation covering electricity supply. Part VIII of the Electricity Regulations 1947 covers the supply of electricity to consumers. Part IX covers general safety requirements for electrical work. These apply to supply authorities. Part IX applies to all electrical work. These latter requirements are obsolescent and are planned to be updated in the future.
There is a need for network operators to meet obligations for safety and supply quality in accordance with the Electricity (Supply Standards and System Safety) Regulations 2001.
The Gas Standards Act 1972 and the Gas Standards (Gas Supply and System Safety) Regulations 2000 cover gas supply.
The regulations provide for the standard of gas quality (chemical composition) (Part 2), metering accuracy (Part 3) and safety requirements (Part 4) for their workers for gas incidents and for the public and consumers for safety from their infrastructure.
The gas supplier has the choice to satisfy the safety requirements to comply with standards or by a "safety case". If a safety case is chosen, it must be in accordance with AG 603 and/or AS 2885.
The Electricity Regulations 1947 cover the energy efficiency labelling of prescribed electrical appliances and the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) of the prescribed MEPS appliances or equipment.