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Ensuring power is off until inspection

ESV has compiled a list of FAQs on ensuring power remains off until inspection occurs. If your query is not addressed below, please contact us.

  • These requirements have been in place for 24 years under the Electricity Safety Act 1998.

  • Under the Electricity Safety Act 1998, electrical workers are required to ensure the power remains off after replacing residential-type main switchboards until the work has been inspected by a licensed electrical inspector.

    • A switchboard replacement is categorised in the legislation as high risk and must be inspected by an independent licensed electrical inspector before it is energised to ensure it is safe.
    • ESV stands by this requirement to ensure compliance is achieved and the community remains safe.
    • ESV, through its improved auditing processes, has recently identified increased rates of defects in switchboard replacement work and other prescribed electrical work.
    • New requirements under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021External Link have also triggered an increase in the number of switchboard replacements taking place across the state.
    • ESV is reminding industry participants of their obligations when carrying out these types of works to ensure they remain compliant and community safety is not compromised.
    • Pre-planning between both electrical workers and inspectors needs to occur so that an inspection can take place before energisation.
    • Electrical workers are required to arrange for an inspector to attend at an agreed time before the power is to be turned back on.
    • Inspectors are also affected by this increase in this type of work.
    • ESV will not compromise community safety over inconvenience to contractors and their clients.
    • Our expectations are that electricians learn from the issues identified through audit reports provided to them and modify their work practices to ensure compliance is delivered in the future.
    • ESV will initiate enforcement action when electrical workers are not responding to the educational material provided and are repeatedly delivering non-compliant works.
    • The first priority should be the safety of Victorians.
    • An infringement notice for energising a switchboard prior to it being inspected by a licensed electrical inspector is $740 for a sole trader and $3,698 for a company.
    • The Victorian Government has introduced new legislation under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021, mandating that all rental property switchboards are fitted with safety switches from 29 March 2023.
    • Yes, electricians should be prepared for this to avoid any issues in relation to inspector shortages in lead up to March 2023.
    • Inspectors and electrical workers must work together to overcome these issues in the interests of their customers. Safety must always come first.

Date: 09/12/2023 16:44

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Reviewed 28 January 2023

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