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Regulatory advice on requirement for lighting upgrades to be undertaken or completed under the supervision of a licensed electrician

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21 November 2016
ERF​​

The purpose of this regulatory advice is to clarify the requirement for lighting upgrades to be undertaken or completed under the supervision of a licensed electrician, for projects using the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Commercial and Public Lighting) Methodology Determination 2015 (the determination).

The intention of this requirement as outlined in the Explanatory Statement is to safeguard the integrity of the abatement by ensuring that the upgrades are implemented appropriately and that due consideration is given to technical and safety aspects.

As it stands, each state and territory takes its own approach to the regulation of electrical workers and the kind of work that may be carried out by particular persons. For example, in Queensland, the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 provide that a lineworker carries out “electrical work” – specifically, “electrical line work” - and is required to obtain an “electrical linesperson licence.” On the other hand, in Victoria, lineworkers are not licenced. Unlike other electrical workers who must obtain an “electrician’s licence” (or similar), lineworkers are regulated by agreement between the Victorian Government and the state’s distribution businesses. Lineworkers are registered with EnergySafe Victoria and supported by the relevant distribution business.

As an example, public lighting in Victoria are owned and maintained by electricity distribution network operators. These lights are typically installed on utility poles and are prior to the meter (i.e. unmetered). Our understanding, based on advice from EnergySafe Victoria, is that lineworkers are the only people qualified and permitted to work on power lines and near high voltage environments, generally prior to the meter.

Consistent with the intention of the determination, “electrician” may be interpreted as a person appropriately qualified to undertake or supervise the kind of electrical work being carried out. As such, it is appropriate to consider “electrician” to include lineworker where that occupation is the appropriate one to carry out electrical work for a project in a particular jurisdiction.

“Licence” in this context should be interpreted as any form of official permission from a state or territory, whether that be a licence, accreditation, registration or some other permission. Therefore, a lineworker with permission from their state or territory to undertake or supervise the relevant electrical work being carried out for the project, if theirs is the appropriate occupation in that jurisdiction to supervise or undertake that work having regard to the technical and safety aspects of the electrical work, may be considered a “licensed electrician” for the purposes of subsection 11(2) of the determination. Where an activity in a particular state or territory is not required to be undertaken or supervised by a person with a particular licence, accreditation, registration or some other permission, then the activity must be undertaken or completed under the supervision of an electrician licensed (or otherwise permitted) in the relevant state or territory to undertake electrical work.​

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