Compliance and enforcement
ESV has identified nine compliance and enforcement priorities, which demonstrate how we will reduce energy safety risks to people and property. These are listed below, along with our Compliance and Enforcement Policy, which has been updated to align with the priorities.
Pole failure in high winds or hot weather can lead to fires or bushfires with significant consequences for people and property.
Vegetation that comes into contact with powerlines can start fires, cause power outages and could result in electrocutions. It is considered a state-significant risk as it has the potential to start devastating bushfires.
Faults in high voltage aerial electric lines have caused some of Victoria’s worst bushfires. REFCLs detect the most common powerline faults and rapidly limit the energy at the fault location to prevent a fire from starting. If the fault continues, they turn off the power completely. Initiated in response to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the REFCL program is:
- Estimated to reduce powerline bushfire ignition risk by up to 60% in Victoria’s most bushfire prone areas.
- A significant Victorian electricity distribution network safety program investment.
Victoria’s energy landscape is changing and renewable energy lies at the heart of the Victorian Government’s emissions reductions plan. ESV must be able to respond to the increasing use of renewable energy in its various forms to ensure it continues to be safely generated and delivered to Victorians.
We are working with Government to enable the renewable energy programs – including Solar Homes, Solar for Business, energy efficient heating and cooling, energy generation from wind, big battery storage, renewable energy zones and the Victorian Hydrogen Investment Program.
The Victorian Government’s $1.3 billion solar rebate program is enabling unprecedented solar panel and battery investment by Victorian households and small businesses. Our role is to:
- Ensure installations comply with applicable standards and are safe.
- Educate the community about the importance of solar installation maintenance to avoid potential fires.
Electrical work that is not carried out safely in line with applicable Australian Standards can cause injury, death or fires. Maintaining compliance among licensed electrical workers and licensed electrical inspectors ensures the safety of the Victorian community and electrical workers.
Electrical equipment manufacturers and importers can supply products online that are not registered with the national Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS), or do not comply with Australian standards, and so are potentially unsafe.
Third party strikes are the most common cause of pipeline and gas network damage and loss of containment, which can lead to serious injury. Other possible consequences include engaging emergency services, evacuations, traffic disruption and a loss of supply. The number of strikes and encroachments has stayed at around 2019/20 levels for the last 10 years (baseline 2019/20). In 2019/20 there were 189 gas main strikes.
Non-compliant, damaged or poorly maintained gas appliances or non-compliant installation or misuse of gas appliances can endanger life through the generation of carbon monoxide (CO) in habitable spaces. CO is dangerous to human health even at low concentrations.
Read the Gas appliance safety information sheet.
Compliance and Enforcement Policy
Safety is our number one priority at ESV. We will never walk past an unsafe situation and will always act to prevent harm and ensure community safety in the electricity, gas and pipeline industries. We expect regulated entities to know their regulatory obligations and will take enforcement action where required to achieve compliance and promote safety.