In early 2010, the current Electricity Regulations 1997 will be repealed and replaced with new Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2009. The new regulations will cite more Standards, be more prescriptive, and introduce less flexibility for the electrical industry, in both the installation and appliance areas.
The Standards cited in the new regulations will be available from Standards New Zealand and details will be available once the new regulations have been released. A number of communication tools will be developed to help users to understand the key differences between the current and new regulations and the Standards cited by the new regulations, particularly AS/NZS 3000:2007.
What will change?
The Ministry of Economic Development issued the draft Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2009 for verification in October 2009 and the closing date for comment has now passed. 'The draft regulations signal very accurately what the new regulations will look like,' says Peter Morfee, Principal Technical Advisor/Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Economic Development. 'The new regulations will provide a lot more information to tell users more accurately what to do and how to do it correctly.'
'When the regulations come into force, AS/NZS 3000:2007 and the other cited Standards will become a lot more important. Electrical installers, contractors, electricians, and anyone doing building work will need to ensure they are knowledgeable about AS/NZS 3000 and all the cited Standards. Users will need to ensure that they follow the cited Standards correctly, as using the cited Standards will be the only way to meet the regulations.'
'Consumers will gain more certainty that whatever is installed is acceptable and that the appliances they are using are safe.'
The new regulations are due to come into force on 1 January 2010 and are the final step in the review of the Electrical Safety legislative regime that began with the Electricity Amendment Act 2006. The proposed regulations will enable the changes to the Electricity Act 1992 to be brought into effect.
Peter says that 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,' says Peter.
For non-domestic areas some additional 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,' says Peter. '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.'
The cited Standards
Most of the Standards cited in the new regulations include more information and have been revised and updated to be compatible with the new regulations. Details will be available once the new regulations have been released.
The Standards proposed for citation will be detailed in Schedule 2 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2009 and are listed below. The regulations will also include a list of Standards in Schedule 4 that are applicable to fittings and appliances, compliance with which will ensure that the fittings and appliances are safe.
Standards proposed for citation in Schedule 2 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2009
→ AS/NZS 1677.2:1998 Refrigerating systems – Safety requirements for fixed applications
→ AS/NZS 2500:2004 Guide to the safe use of electricity in patient care
→ AS/NZS 3000:2007 Electrical installations (known as the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules)
→ AS/NZS 3001:2008 Electrical Installations – Transportable structures and vehicles including their site supplies
→ AS/NZS 3002:2008 Electrical installations – Shows and carnivals
→ AS/NZS 3003:2003 Electrical installations – Patient areas of hospitals, medical and dental practices and dialyzing locations
→ AS/NZS 3004.1:2008 Electrical installations – Marinas and recreational boats – Marinas
→ AS/NZS 3004.2:2008 Electrical installations – Marinas and recreational boats – Recreational boats installations
→ AS/NZS 3009:1998 Electric installations – Emergency power supplies in hospitals
→ AS/NZS 3012:2003 Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites
→ AS/NZS 3014:2003 Electrical installations – Electric fences
→ AS/NZS 3016:2002 Electrical installations – Electric security fences
→ AS/NZS 3019:2007 Electrical installations – Periodic verification
→ AS/NZS 3112:2004 Approval and test specification – Plugs and socket-outlets
→ AS/NZS 3551:2004 Technical management programs for medical devices
→ AS/NZS 3760:2003 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment
→ AS/NZS 3820:2009 (to be published) Essential safety requirements for low voltage electrical equipment
→ AS/NZS 3832:1998 Electrical installations – Cold-cathode illumination systems
→ AS/NZS 4249:1994 Electrical safety practices – Film, video and television sites
→ AS/NZS 4417.1:2009 (to be published) Marking of electrical products to indicate compliance with regulations – General rules for use of the mark
→ AS/NZS 4417.2:2009 (to be published) Marking of electrical products to indicate compliance with regulations – Specific requirements for electrical safety regulatory applications
→ AS/NZS 4509.1:2009 (to be published) Stand-alone power systems – Safety and installation
→ AS/NZS 4701:2000 Requirements for domestic electrical appliances and equipment for reconditioning or parts recycling
→ AS/NZS 5033:2005 Installation of photovoltaic (PV) arrays
→ AS/NZS 5761:2005 In-service safety inspection and testing – Second-hand electrical equipment prior to sale
→ AS/NZS 5762:2005 In-service safety inspection and testing – Repaired electrical equipment
→ AS/NZS 60079.14:2009 Explosive atmospheres – Electrical installations design, selection and erection
→ AS/NZS 60079.17:2009 Explosive atmospheres – Electrical installations inspection and maintenance
→ AS/NZS 60950.1:2003 Information technology equipment – Safety – General requirements
→ AS/NZS 61000.3.2:2007 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Limits – Limits for harmonic current emissions (equipment input current less than or equal to 16 A per phase)
→ AS 4777.1-2005 Grid connection of energy systems via inverters – Installation requirements
→ IEC 60050 International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (all parts)
→ IEC/TS 60479-1 Ed. 4.0 Effects of current on human beings and livestock – Part 1:General aspects
→ IEC 61000-3-2 Ed. 3.2 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 3.2:Limits – Limits for harmonic current emissions (equipment input current ≥ 16 A per phase)
→ IEC 61000-3-3 Ed. 2.0 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 3.3:Limits – Limitation of voltage changes, voltage fluctuations and flicker in public low-voltage supply systems, for equipment with rated current ≥ 16 A per phase and not subject to conditional connection
→ IEC/TS 61000-3-4 Ed. 1.0 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 3.4:Limits – Limitation of emission of harmonic currents in low-voltage power supply systems for equipment with rated current greater than 16 A
→ IEC/TS 61000-3-5 Ed. 2.0 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 3.5:Limits – Limitation of voltage fluctuations and flicker in low-voltage power supply systems for equipment with rated current greater than 75 A
→ IEC 61000-3-11 Ed. 1.0 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 3.11:Limits – Limitation of voltage changes, voltage fluctuations and flicker in public low-voltage supply systems – Equipment with rated current ≥ 75 A and subject to conditional connection
→ IEC 61000-3-12 Ed. 1.0 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 3.12:Limits – Limits for harmonic currents produced by equipment connected to public low-voltage systems with input current > 16 A and ≤ 75 A per phase
→ ISO 7010:2003 Graphical symbols – Safety colours and safety signs – Safety signs used in workplaces and public areas
→ ISO/IEC 17050-1 Ed 1.0 Conformity assessment – Supplier's declaration of conformity – Part 1: General requirements
→ ISO/IEC 17050-2 Ed 1.0 Conformity assessment – Supplier's declaration of conformity – Part 2: Supporting documentation
→ NZS 3003.1:2003 Electrical installations – Patient areas of hospitals and medical and dental practices – Testing requirements
→ NZS 6115:2006 Electrical Installations – Mobile electro-medical connectable installations
→ NZS 6116:2006 Safe application of electricity in the meat processing industry
→ NZS 7901:2008 Electricity and gas industries – Safety management systems for public safety