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Charging customers fees for COES

Can RECs and RELs charge an administration fee for the purchase of COES?

Yes. A Registered Electrical Contractor or a Restricted Electrical Licence holder may charge their customers fees for the administration of COES.

Specifically, ESV advises the following:

A Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) or Restricted Electrical Licence holder (REL) can seek payment from their customers for the purchase amount of Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES). The authorised amount for COES is legislated in the Electricity Safety Act s45B(12) and Regulation 265 of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019. This amount is GST exempt.

However, an REC or REL may elect to charge their customers an additional handling fee for their time in purchasing the COES, filling it out and lodging it with ESV as required. This additional fee amount is determined by the REC or REL and should be explained by the REC or REL to their customer.

Some REC’s and REL’s elect not to separately itemise Certificates of Electrical Safety on their invoices, instead the COES and handling fee form part of the sundry items or may even be included as part of one lump sum in their invoice. Although the purchase of COES from ESV does not attract GST, an REC or REL may be required to add GST to the amount they charge their customers. ESV cannot give advice regarding GST.

The amount the REC or REL charges the customer, over and above the authorised purchase amount for the Certificate of Electrical Safety, including handling fee is a contractual issue between the REC or REL and the customer. If a customer believes they have been over-charged for this, the customer should seek assistance from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Need more support?

For advice and information about COES or using ESVConnect for COES, contact our COES team in the following ways:

For paper COES lodgement call the interactive voice response (IVR) line 1300 360 366 and follow the prompts.