Building and Energy (formerly EnergySafety) is responsible for the technical and safety regulation of all the electrical and most of the gas industry in Western Australia.
Building and Energy's functions date back to the State Electricity Commission of Western Australia, which from the late 1940s held both electricity and gas utility and regulatory functions. In 1975, this state government body was reformed to become the State Energy Commission of WA (SECWA).
On 1 January 1995, SECWA ceased and its utility business was split into two separate corporatised entities, Western Power and AlintaGas (the latter has since been privatised).
Concurrently, the electrical and gas technical and safety regulatory functions of SECWA were vested in the role of the Director of Energy Safety, a statutory position created by the Energy Coordination Act 1994. This position was administratively located within the Office of Energy, a new department also created on 1 January 1995. The Director headed the Technical & Safety Division (TSD) of that office.
The Director has independent statutory powers subject only to direction by the Minister and any such direction is required to be reported to Parliament.
On July 1 2002, the Director of all of TSD transferred from the Office of Energy to the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection (DOCEP), as part of restructuring of the Public Service of WA.
The role and functions of the Director and staff did not change. However, the organisation unit became known as EnergySafety, a division of DOCEP.
In 2006/07 EnergySafety became fully industry funded. This means that the cost of EnergySafety's activities is fully met by those who benefit from them, through a combination of licensing and industry levy revenue.
On 1 January 2009, DOCEP was restructured to become the Department of Commerce. EnergySafety remained a division, without any change of role or function.
On 1 July 2017, the Department of Commerce was amalgamated with the Department of Mines and Petroleum to form the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. EnergySafety remained a division, without any change of role or function. The new department has three key business groups – Resources, Titles and Compliance; Safety; and Industry Regulation and Consumer Protection, and is working for a safe, fair and responsible future for the Western Australian community, industry and resources sector.
On 22 January 2018, the Building Commission and EnergySafety were amalgamated to form the new “Building and Energy” division. Building and Energy oversees the regulation of building, painting, building surveying and plumbing services and is responsible for the technical safety regulation of all the electrical and most of the gas industries in Western Australia. This amalgamation will allow for a coordinated and efficient approach to the regulation of these industries in Western Australia. All registration and licensing services, as well as compliance, disciplinary and complaint resolution processes continue unchanged.