Gas and electricity (consumer safety) laws

The Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) and supporting Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2018 commenced on 1 September 2018.

The legislation was developed to consolidate the previous separate electricity and gas laws to provide a more streamlined and consistent approach to the regulation of the consumer safety aspects of both energy sources.

The primary aim of the Act is to ensure the safe use of gas and electrical goods by consumers in NSW. The Act provides minimum consumer safety standards, outlines requirements for equipment and installations and supports a robust compliance and enforcement regime.

Specifically, the Act:

  • outlines standards for electrical, gasfitting and autogas work and industry maintenance of electrical and gas installations;
  • provides consistent definitions and compliance and enforcement powers to enforce safety standards in both the electrical and gas industries;
  • enables Fair Trading investigators to seize and remove uncertified electrical and gas appliances from retail sale;
  • allows Fair Trading investigators to take immediate corrective action in situations where gas or electricity installations or appliances are being used in an unsafe manner which poses a real risk of harm; and
  • provides key compliance mechanisms, such as penalty infringement notices, to be issued for gas and electricity related offences.

The Regulation contains the following key changes:

  • restrictions on the sale or disposal of electrical articles and gas appliances to enable warnings to be attached on the safe use of appliances;
  • providing compensation for seized gas appliances similar to electrical articles;
  • aligning penalties for gas offences with electricity offences;
  • updating references to the mandatory Australian standards for gasfitting and autogas work to commence on the 1 January 2019; and
  • updating fees for CPI increases and fees to be displayed as a fee unit.

The Act repeals the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004, the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2015 and the Gas Supply (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2012 and amends Section 83A of the Gas Supply Act 1996.

Need more information?

Go to the NSW Legislation website to read the laws in full.

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