Never do your own electrical work
Always engage a registered electrical contractor.
Don’t be tempted to do your own electrical work – it’s illegal and it can also be deadly. That’s the message of our Electrical DDIY: Don’t do it yourself campaign.
If you are planning to have electrical installation work done, you must engage a registered electrical contractor (REC). They will send a licensed and qualified electrician to do the work to the required standards.
Finding a licensed electrician or REC
ESV licenses Victoria’s electrical workers.
There are around 45,000 active licensed electricians or registered electrical contractors (RECs) in Victoria.
Choose tradespeople or contractors who list their qualifications and areas of expertise as part of their advertisement or on their website, or contact them and ask if they are a licensed or registered to undertake electrical work in Victoria. If they are, they will have an identification card endorsing them to carry out electrical work.
Ask to see their licence
Always ask to see a tradesperson’s licence – it is your guarantee they are qualified and competent to undertake your electrical work and it provides you with avenues for recourse if something goes wrong.
Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES)
Whenever a licensed electrician completes any electrical installation work, they must provide a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES).
COES are only available from qualified electrical workers who are registered or licensed by ESV. As such, a certificate is assurance the work has been done by an appropriately qualified person and carried out in accordance with the high standards demanded by the ESV. The work is also subject to audit to ensure it complies with the standards.
A prescribed certificate is for all major electrical wiring work in all types of premises.
In a domestic property this covers all work done on wiring and equipment where the electricity cannot be switched off. This generally means work on wires up to the switchboard and may include the wiring from the street to the house/building and the electricity meter.
All prescribed work must be inspected by an appropriately qualified inspector (this will be arranged by your electrical contractor).
A non-prescribed certificate is for all minor electrical wiring work in all types of premises.
In a domestic property this covers all work done on wiring where the electricity can be switched off at the switchboard. For example, installation or maintenance of safety switches, circuit breakers, power points, non-plug-in electrical equipment or lighting points within the house.
Non-prescribed work does not require inspection, but ESV may arrange one with your agreement for audit purposes.
Who to contact if there are problems
If your electrical contractor does not show you his/her licence or does not issue you with a certificate of electrical safety, contact ESV immediately.
If you have any queries in relation to electrical safety around your property or about choosing and using an electrical tradesperson, please contact ESV on 03 9203 9700 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.