Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) will oversee the introduction of a new class of licensed electrical inspector (LEI) specialising in renewable energy installations, over the next 18 months.
The Victorian Government has announced the new category, which will be added to the Electricity Safety (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2020.
ESV will work on the transition to this new category from Wednesday, 5 October, 2022.
LEIs are responsible for inspecting and certifying a range of prescribed electrical installations, such as household wiring, solar photovoltaic systems, main earthing systems, switchboards and high-voltage installations. In recent years, Victoria has experienced a significant increase in the number of renewable electricity installations with around 56 per cent of Victorians expected to take up new energy technologies by 2030.
While the quality of renewable electricity installations is generally high in Victoria, audits have uncovered some safety risks. The specially trained licensing inspectors will focus on renewable energies, ensuring electrical inspections are carried out correctly and comprehensively. To be granted a renewable energy inspector licence to inspect these installations, LEIs must demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and expertise to identify unsafe and non-compliant system installations.
ESV will work closely with industry and existing inspectors as the new licence criteria is developed and rolled out. Existing G Class LEIs will continue to carry out inspections of renewable energy installations until 5 April, 2024 when the transition will be complete. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning produced a Regulatory Impact Statement earlier this year, outlining requirements for this new LEI class with submissions received between 13 July and 9 August this year with feedback being overwhelmingly positive.
ESV has increased its focus on the regulation of renewable energies, highlighting it is as a key compliance and enforcement priorities for the 2022-23 financial year. ESV Chairperson and Commissioner Marnie Williams
“ESV is in the process of developing new requirements for the licensing of these inspectors, which will be introduced over the next 18 months.” “We will be working closely with industry and existing electrical inspectors to ensure they have all the training they need to be able to carry out renewable energy inspections.”
Reviewed 24 January 2023