USEFUL INFO AND LINKS

Electrical Safety

Did you know every householder in NSW has a legal responsibility to keep their home safe, including the way it uses electricity? Or, that if you own or run a business you’re responsible for the electrical safety of employees and everyone else on your premises?

Five simple rules

The good news is meeting your responsibilities is much easier if you remember five simple rules:

1. Regular maintenance

It’s vital to keep your appliances, electrical wiring, fittings, switchboard and earthing connections (particularly for properties over 25 years old) in good working order. If you ever have, or suspect a problem, always contact a licensed electrician. You can check if your electrician is properly licensed by asking to see their electrical contractor’s licence, doing a licence check or call Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

2. Certificate of compliance

If you have electrical work done, your electrician should give you a unique numbered ‘Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work’ (CCEW) to show the work has been tested and checked to make sure it complies with the regulations. Your electrician may be required to provide a copy of the certificate to the electricity network operator or NSW Fair Trading. Often a CCEW is required for warranty purposes for the electrical article that has been installed.

3. Safety switches

If you haven’t already done so, seriously consider installing an electrical safety switch, also known as a Residual Current Device (RCD). If you already have a safety switch, be sure to test it every three months and if it fails, contact Engage Electrics to check it. Also, if your house was built before 1977 it is unlikely to have an earth rod and you should seriously consider having one installed.

4. Contact your landlord or agent

If you’re renting, report electrical problems to your landlord or managing agent immediately. These should be repaired as a priority as landlords have a legal obligation to ensure all electrical installations and fittings on their property are kept in safe order.

5. Report electrical accidents

By law you must report any electrical accident where medical treatment is required, either by calling your electricity provider or NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20. Employers must also report accidents to SafeWork NSW.

What to do in an emergency

If urgent medical attention is required, call 000 for assistance. You should also call the emergency number on your electricity bill to arrange to make your electrical installation safe.

Source: NSW Govt. Fair Trading Website: Electrical Safety

What to do in an electrical emergency

For a fault or emergency related to infrastructure such as poles, wires, meters, or if your power is out, you need to contact your distributor.

If the fault or emergency is life threatening, please call 000.

Fallen powerlines

Stay well clear – just standing near them can be fatal. 

Stay more than 8 – 10 metres away.

Always treat fallen powerlines as live even when they are broken. Never go near them or anything they may be touching, such as vehicles, metal fences or pools of water.

Call your electricity supply company (refer to the emergency and fault numbers listed below) and the Police to report the location of any fallen lines.

Power outages

Call your electricity supply company to let them know your power is out. For outage details, check their website/app.

Storms are the most common cause of power outages as strong winds often cause trees to fall across powerlines, interrupting supply.

Always be prepared for power outages and have a torch, charged mobile phone and battery-operated radio. If you use electricity to run a water pump, make sure you have an alternative source for fresh water or a non-electric pump available.

In the event of a power failure turn off and unplug all electrical appliances at the powerpoint. This will help to prevent equipment damage in the event of a power surge.

For more information, read the Energy Safe Victoria Guide to power outages brochure.

Household electrical issues

NEVER do your own electrical work – DIY can equal DIE.

Contact Engage Electrics and arrange for one of our licensed electricians to visit.

Source: Energy Safe VIC Website: What to do in an Electrical Emergency

Appliances, lighting and equipment

Household appliances account for about 30% of total residential energy consumption with lighting an additional 12%. Average household electricity use in Australia has been falling for the last decade, despite increasing numbers of appliances, due in part to energy efficiency standards. Modern refrigerators and air conditioners for example use significantly less energy than older models.

Improving the energy efficiency of appliances and products has significant economic and environmental benefits, reducing the running costs of appliances and products for households and businesses. While many of the appliances, lights and equipment on the market have improved their efficiency over the last decade, there remains room for improvement.

Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3)

The E3 program is a cross jurisdictional program through which the Australian Government and state and territory governments and the New Zealand Government collaborate to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.

Energy Rating Label

The Energy Rating Label allows you to compare the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances before you buy—to reduce your electricity bill. The star rating shows how efficient a model is relative to other models of the same size. More stars means more efficient—when compared to other models of the same size.

The Energy Rating Label also shows the energy consumption of an appliance or how much electricity a model uses. It is based on standardised testing—required by law and conducted in line with the official Australian and New Zealand Standard. The lower the number, the less a model costs to run—and the less you pay on your electricity bill.

The Energy Rating Label is more than 30 years old and only the Canadian (1978) and the US (1979/1980) schemes pre-date the Australian system.

Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS)

On 1 October 2012, the GEMS legislation came into effect, creating a national framework for appliances and equipment energy efficiency in Australia. The Australian GEMS Regulator has replaced the previous state regulators and is responsible for administering the legislation in Australia. The introduction of the GEMS legislation supports the E3 Program and fulfils a commitment made by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2009 to introduce national legislation to regulate equipment energy efficiency in Australia.

The Australian Government is undertaking the first statutory review of the GEMS legislation.

Energy Rating and Light Bulb Saver apps

The Energy Rating Calculator can help you to save money on your energy bills by choosing a more energy efficient appliance. By considering both annual running costs and the upfront purchase price, you can compare models to help you save energy—and money—in the long term. You can download the free app on iTunes or Google Play.

More information

About the E3 Program Australian Government on behalf of state and territory and New Zealand governments

Energy Rating Label overview Australian Government on behalf of state and territory and New Zealand governments

Legislation – Minimum Energy Performance Standards Australian Government on behalf of state and territory and New Zealand governments

Energy Rating Calculator Australian Government on behalf of state and territory and New Zealand governments

Energy rating apps Australian Government on behalf of state and territory and New Zealand governments

Source: Australian Government – Dept. of the Environment and Energy: Energy Efficiency

NSW Electricity Providers

Compare your energy provider on their customer service, bill & cost clarity, tools & advice, focus on environmental sustainability, ease of sign-up, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.

Red Energy

Web: redenergy.com.au
Phone: 131 806

Alinta Energy

Web: alintaenergy.com.au
Phone: 13 37 02

Click Energy

Web: clickenergy.com.au
Phone: 1300 669 432

AGL

Web: agl.com.au
Phone: 13 12 45

Origin

Web: originenergy.com.au
Phone: 13 24 61

dodo

Web: dpg.dodo.com
Phone: 1300 053 747

Energy Australia

Web: energyaustralia.com.au
Phone: 133 466

VIC Electricity Providers

Compare your energy provider on their customer service, bill & cost clarity, tools & advice, focus on environmental sustainability, ease of sign-up, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.

Red Energy

Web: redenergy.com.au
Phone: 131 806

Alinta Energy

Web: alintaenergy.com.au
Phone: 13 37 02

Click Energy

Web: clickenergy.com.au
Phone: 1300 669 432

AGL

Web: agl.com.au
Phone: 13 12 45

Origin

Web: originenergy.com.au
Phone: 13 24 61

dodo

Web: dpg.dodo.com
Phone: 1300 053 747

Energy Australia

Web: energyaustralia.com.au
Phone: 133 466

Momentum Energy

Web: momentumenergy.com.au
Phone: 1800 627 228

Simply Energy

Web: simplyenergy.com.au
Phone: 13 88 08

Lumo Energy

Web: lumoenergy.com.au
Phone: 1300 785 962

Powershop

Web: powershop.com.au
Phone: 1800 462 668

ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS

Albury

Essential Energy
General Enquires: 13 23 91
Electricity Supply Interruptions: 13 20 80
Emergency: 13 20 80
Website: essentialenergy.com.au

Wodonga

AusNet Services
General Enquires: 1300 360 795
Faults: 13 17 99
Website: ausnetservices.com.au