In early 2010, the Electricity Regulations 1997 were repealed and replaced with new Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2009. The new regulations cite more Standards, are more prescriptive, and introduce less flexibility for the electrical industry, in both the installation and appliance areas. So what does this mean for you, the consumer? Only employ a certified and qualified electrician to protect yourself, your business or your property.
The following is quoted from www.standards.co.nz:
Domestic Electrical Work:
Heavier penalties will be enforced and there will be no room for mistakes. ‘Deviations will only be permitted if inspected. If an installer does work in any area and deviates at all from the cited Standard without inspection, the installer runs the risk of having incorrect, unsafe wiring and the work could well be illegal.’
- If an installer does work and does not deviate from a cited Standard, the installer will need to sign a certificate of compliance to say that they did not deviate from the Standard, and that the work is safe and complies with the Standard.
- If an installer does work and wants to deviate from a cited Standard, the user will need to have the work inspected. The installer will then need to sign a certificate of compliance to say the work has been inspected as it deviates from the relevant Standard, and that the work is safe.’
- ‘There’s more certification involved but it will be able to be split into different areas of responsibility. For example, the designer can sign off the design, and the installer can sign off the installation’.
Non-domestic electrical work
For non-domestic areas some additional electrical Standards will be cited that cover new technologies such as alternative generation, private generation, and alternative refrigerants. ‘Using new technologies involves risk and installers will need to be knowledgeable about these Standards as they will provide the means for them to manage any risk. Again, deviations will only be permitted if inspected.’
‘There’s a lot of change occurring in the electrical industry, driven by international trends for new technology and alternative ways of doing electrical work to conserve energy and to reduce pollution. We want the trade to become more reserved in entering areas of new technology and the new rules will limit any errors. Where we know the risks created by change are significant, we are ‘intervening’ (via the new regulations) by requiring an acceptable level of safety.’
To check to see if the electricians you’re employing are actually registered and qualified, there is a public search facility run through the New Zealand Department of Building and Housing. Go to this link and search for the person concerned.
Can’t find them? They may not be registered. Beware…