Has somebody told you that your forthcoming electrical work will require an electrical compliance certificate? No idea what this legal document even is, let alone where and how to get one? Let’s demystify this complex topic.
But first things first: what are electrical compliance certificates, anyway? While it might sound like a complicated mouthful, all the certificate is for is to show that the electrical work that’s been carried out is in full compliance with all relevant safety standards and regulations. It really is that simple.
Depending on the state, the actual electricity compliance certificate will differ slightly – but the basic principle never changes. But because each Australian state and territory has its own electrical safety regulator, you’ll obviously need an electrical compliance certificate QLD issued by Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office for electrical work carried out in Queensland. Your electrical compliance certificate VIC, on the other hand, will come from Energy Safe Victoria – and so on.
However, the most basic questions you may have about the electricity compliance certificate that you need for the work taking place at your property – no matter where you’re located in Australia – can all be answered right here.
So with no further ado, let’s answer all the most common questions about the electrician certificate of compliance system across Australia:
1. When is a certificate required?
The easiest way to answer this is to say “most of the time”. Indeed, it’s mandatory for all electrical work involving modifications or installation from scratch – including additions or alterations to existing electrical systems as well as:
- Appliance installations
- New power points
- Replacement of switches & components.
2. When is a certificate *not* required?
Minor electrical repairs, including replacing an existing light fitting or power point, may not require a new certificate. And while you should definitely check with the regulator or your friendly tradie, you also probably won’t need one for:
- Testing & tagging of portable electrical equipment
- Maintenance of electrical systems.
3. Where do I get a certificate?
Don’t worry – your licensed local electrician will take care of it for you. After completing the electrical work, they should issue you with a copy of the electrical compliance certificate and send a copy to the relevant authority in your state. A compliance certificate from a Sydney electrician will look different to one from a Brisbane electrician for example as they come under different regulatory bodies.
4. What is the point of the system?
While it may seem like just one more bureaucratic headache, the certificate of electrical compliance is simply the easiest way for insurers, regulators and other relevant bodies and people – including you, the property owner! – to be assured that the electrical work was carried out 100% properly.
5. How long is a certificate valid for?
Generally, these certificates have a 5-year expiry date – but that doesn’t mean you need to keep applying for a new one simply because the five-year date is up. Most state & territory regulators, however, do require that a certificate remains on file for at least 5 years, with any modifications to the work in question then requiring a new certificate after that.
6. What if I don’t get a certificate at all?
That means the electrical work is illegal – and, like anything illegal, there can be serious consequences. These may include:
- Fines of up to $27,500 in NSW or as much as $100,000 in Victoria
- Legal action, whether pursued in a civil court or even prosecution for serious electrical safety breaches
- Insurance problems, including full rejection of a claim.
But by far the worst consequences of illegal electrical work involve the risk of electrical shock, faults & fires.
7. Is it possible to obtain my own certificate?
No – unless you’re a licensed electrician and you do the fully-compliant electrical yourself, that is.
8. Where do I get additional questions answered?
You could look up your state/territory’s relevant electrical safety regulator, who may have some publicly-accessible information available online. But by far the easiest way to answer any further questions you may need to be answered is to find a great licensed electrician near you.
Compliance certificate electrical – Need to know more?
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