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General Regulations: new requirements and obligations

The material provided below should be considered as general information only and must be read in conjunction with all relevant legislation, rules and codes of practice, particularly the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019.

Supervision duties

Supervision of apprentices carrying out electrical installation work – Regulation 507

It is now a requirement that any person who employs an apprentice must ensure that the apprentice is given effective supervision in accordance with ESV’s published Apprentice Supervision Requirements.  This requirement extends to any licensed electrician or licensed electrical switchgear worker who has been tasked with supervising an apprentice carrying out electrical installation work.

Read more on the effective supervision of apprentices.

Wiring methods for electrical installations

High voltage electrical installation work – Regulation 205

The design of high voltage electrical installation work must be verified in writing as complying with AS 2067 and AS/NZS 7000. The verification must be done by a competent person who was not involved in the design of the installation work. Appendix K of the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules is no longer a requirement.

Electrical installation work and safety standard for patient areas – Regulation 206 and 505

Now any person who commissions electrical installation work in a health facility or any premises that contains a patient area, or an area that is intended to be a patient area, must ensure that:

  • any person who carries out electrical work in the patient area is appropriately licensed
  • the REC or electrician commissioned to carry out the electrical work is given written notice that includes the following information:
    • details about whether or not the electrical installation work requires, or includes, electrical installation work in a patient area, or an area intended to be a patient area
    • the location and boundary of any patient area
    • the use or intended use of any patient area.

An electrician or REC must carry out any new electrical installation work or any alterations, repairs or maintenance to the electrical installation or portion of an electrical installation in that area to the requirements of the Australian/New Zealand standard, AS/NZS 3003:2018 Electrical installations—Patient areas.

Battery systems – Regulation 212

Any battery energy storage systems and their associated battery systems, as defined in AS/NZS 5139, must be installed to comply with that standard.

All other secondary battery systems, as defined in the scope of AS3011, installed in buildings, structures or premises such as those with critical power continuity requirements (e.g. Telecom, UPS, hospitals, sub-stations and black start) that are outside the scope of AS/NZS 5139 shall comply with AS/NZS 3000 and AS 3011.

Electricity supplies, construction and demolition sites – Regulation 214

All switchboards or metering enclosures newly installed on a construction or demolition site must meet the requirements of this regulation. This requires the switchboard or metering enclosure to be securely attached to a pole, post, wall or other structure that is rigid and secure, or otherwise be securely fixed in place.

Where the switchboard or metering enclosure is supplied via underground consumer’s mains, these must be enclosed in compliant heavy-duty non-metallic conduit. Furthermore, the consumer’s mains and compliant heavy-duty non-metallic conduit must have additional mechanical protection of WSX3 from the point at which the consumer’s mains exits the ground up to a point that is within 100 millimetres of the point at which the consumer’s mains enters the enclosure.

Properties with multiple points of supply – Regulation 218

New or altered installations that have multiple points of supply will need to comply with this regulation. These requirements are intended to ensure that submains or subcircuits supplied from one point of supply do not intermingle with any submains or subcircuits supplied from another point of supply. It is now a requirement that any submains or subcircuits connected to one point of supply must only be installed within the boundary of a zone established within the property, and must only supply electricity within that zone. Additionally, a zone diagram must be created and placed in each main switchboard within the property that contains:

  • a diagram showing the location and boundaries of each zone
  • the location of each zone’s point of supply and consumer’s mains
  • the location of each zone’s main switchboard
  • the location of any submains or switchboards located within any zone.

Furthermore, each main switchboard at the property must be clearly and permanently marked with the following words —

Warning—not all wiring installed in these premises is controlled from this main switchboard.

Consumer’s mains

Consumer’s mains not to enter or cross contiguous property – Regulation 222

It is now a requirement that consumer’s mains must not cross property boundaries.

Insulation resistance of underground consumer’s mains – Regulation 228 and 241

It is now a requirement that any new consumer’s mains must be tested and have an insulation resistance (IR) equal to or greater than 50 megohms when tested with a 500V d.c. insulation resistance tester. Table 228 makes allowances for IR less than 50 megohms for underground consumer’s mains that are greater than 50m in length.

Testing of electrical installation work

For the purposes of section 44(1)(b) of the Electricity Safety Act 1998, a licensed electrical installation worker must ensure that all electrical installation work carried out by that worker is tested in accordance with regulations 240-248.

For the purposes of regulation 253(1)(a)(iii) of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019, a licensed electrical inspector can only sign a certificate of inspection once the inspector has carried out the tests set out in regulations 240-248 on any prescribed work detailed in the certificate of compliance.

General testing requirements for low voltage electrical installation work – Regulation 240

Other than for high voltage installation work, all electrical installation work must be tested in accordance with part 8 of AS/NZS 3000, the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules.

Testing of electrical installation work in patient areas – Regulation 242

All electrical work in a health facility patient area must be tested in accordance with AS/NZS 3000 to verify that the installation work complies with AS/NZS 3003 – Electrical installations—Patient areas.

Testing of photovoltaic arrays – Regulation 243

All electrical work on a photovoltaic array must be tested in accordance with AS/NZS 5033, Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays. Note; a photovoltaic array includes the entire assembly of electrically interconnected PV modules, PV strings or PV sub-arrays comprising all components up to the d.c. input terminals of the inverter or other power conversion equipment or d.c. load.

Testing of battery systems – Regulation 244

All electrical work on battery energy storage systems and their associated battery systems, as defined in AS/NZS 5139, must be tested in accordance with AS/NZS 3000 to verify that the installation work complies with AS/NZS 5139 – Electrical installations—Safety of battery systems for use with power conversion equipment.

Testing of grid-connected inverter energy systems – Regulation 245

Typically known as the anti-islanding test, all grid-connected inverter energy systems must be tested to verify that the inverter energy system:

  • takes longer than 60 seconds to connect to the distribution network after the installation’s main switch is closed, and
  • disconnects from the distribution network in less than 2 seconds after the installation’s main switch is opened.

Obligations of licensed electrical inspectors

Obligations of licensed electrical inspectors – Regulation 253

Low voltage installations

A licensed electrical inspector must not sign a certificate of inspection unless they have been physically present to carry out the inspection and test all prescribed electrical installation work described in the certificate of compliance.

The inspection of the prescribed electrical installation work must be done in accordance with part 8 of AS/NZS 3000 the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules and the General Regulations.

The testing of the prescribed electrical installation work must be done in accordance with AS/NZS 3000 the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules and the testing requirements set out in regulations 241-246 of the General Regulations.

High voltage installations

The licensed electrical inspector must be satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that all prescribed high voltage electrical installation work described in the certificate of compliance has been satisfactorily tested in accordance with regulation 246 – Testing of high voltage electrical installation work.

In all circumstances, LV and HV, where an inspector has determined that the premises or land is unsafe, the inspector must state on the certificate of inspection that the installation appears to be electrically unsafe.

Notification of defects by inspectors – Regulation 259 and 260

If electrical installation work that has been inspected by a licensed electrical inspector does not comply, the inspector must notify the electrician responsible for that work, and complete the defects section on the certificate of inspection.

Reporting electrical incidents

Reporting of serious electrical incidents – Regulation 401

A REC or employer of electrical workers who become aware of a serious electrical incident that relates to electrical work carried out by the REC or the employer’s workers, or occurred at a location where the employer’s workers were carrying out electrical work must as soon as practicable report the incident to ESV.

Any electrical worker who becomes aware of a serious electrical incident that relates to electrical work carried out by that worker, or occurred at a location where the worker has carried out electrical work report the incident to their employer or alternately make a report to ESV, as soon as practicable.

All reports of serious electrical incidents must be made to ESV’s emergency response line on 1800 000 922.

All reports of serious electrical incidents must be followed up in a detailed written report the incident and sent to ESV within 20 business days of the initial report.

Reporting of other electrical incidents—accidental contact and electric shock – Regulation 402

Reportable electrical incident means an incident involving electricity in which a person has made accidental contact with any electrical installation or has received an electric shock as the result of direct or indirect contact with any electrical installation.

A REC or employer of electrical workers who becomes aware of a reportable electrical incident must report the incident in writing to ESV within 20 business days.

Any electrical worker who becomes aware of a reportable electrical incident that relates to electrical work carried out by that worker, or occurred at a location where the worker has carried out electrical work, must report the incident to their employer, as soon as practicable. Alternatively they must report the incident in writing to ESV within 20 business days.

All details of the reportable electrical incident must be given in writing to ESV within 20 business days of any person becoming aware of that incident.

Report an incident.

Electrical installation work carried out on energised electrical equipment may only be permitted in particular circumstances – Regulation 509

Regulation 509 – 511 sets out the particular circumstances and the steps on how electrical installation work is to be carried out on energised electrical equipment.

Electrical installation work must not be carried out on energised electrical equipment unless:

  • it is necessary in the interests of health and safety that the electrical installation work is carried out on the energised electrical equipment, or
  • it is necessary that the electrical equipment is energised in order for the electrical installation work to be carried out properly, or
  • it is necessary that the electrical installation work is carried out on energised electrical equipment for the purposes of testing the electrical installation work in accordance with the General Regulations, or
  • there is no reasonable alternative means of carrying out the electrical installation work.

The REC or the employer of any electrical workers must ensure that the following steps are adhered to before any electrical installation work is carried out on energised electrical equipment:

  • a competent person conducts a risk assessment in relation to the proposed electrical installation work and records the results of the risk assessment
  • the area where the electrical installation work is to be carried out is clear of obstructions to allow for easy access and exit by the person carrying out the electrical installation work
  • the point at which the electrical equipment can be disconnected or isolated from its electricity supply is:
  • clearly marked or labelled, and
  • clear of obstructions so as to allow for easy access and exit by the person who is carrying out the electrical installation work
  • capable of being operated quickly.
  • the REC, or the employer of any electrical workers, authorises the start of the electrical installation work after consulting with the person with management or control of the premises where the work is to be carried out.

How electrical installation work is to be carried out on energised electrical equipment – Regulation 511

The REC or the employer of any electrical workers carrying out electrical installation work on energised electrical equipment must ensure that the electrical installation work is carried out in accordance with a safe work method statement prepared for the work by a competent person who has tools, testing equipment and personal protective equipment that:

  • is suitable for the work
  • has been properly tested
  • is maintained in good working order.